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Member since: 06.09.2010

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    • True Grit [2010] (DVD) / DVD / 9 Readings / 8 Ratings
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      12.06.2011 22:27
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      Polished Authentic Western - Worth A Watch

      I've seen the original 'True Grit' film now about 3 times and after watching this Coen Brothers remake for 2010 I think I'd rather have watched the original again since it struck me as being the exact same film. No need to worry about spoilers if you have already seen the original because it's the exact same scene for scene as John Wayne's Oscar winning classic.

      This does not make it a bad film, it's very watchable and if you have never seen the original True Grit then it is well worth a watch. The brief premis of the story is that of a strong willed and morally ritcheous 14 year old girl Mattie Ross played by Haillee Steinfield seeking revenge for the murder of her father by the evil Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) and employs the services of Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to bring him to justice. Cogburn is a hard drinking no nonsense gruff frontier Marshall who has 'True Grit' and also has a habit of bringing in more prisoners dead rather than alive. He reluctantly agrees and young Maddie insists on joining him which he is even more reluctant on.
      When riding out into Indian territory they are joined by upstanding Texas Ranger LaBoef played by Matt Damon who is also hunting down Chaney for the murder of a Texas politician, again this addition to the team is suffered with great reluctance by Marshall Cogburn.
      I won't go any deeper into the plot but suffice to say the trio encounter villains along the way and the tale unfolds as young Mattie seeks her justice instilling some of her virtue on her two companions along the way.

      The film is well shot with everything having an authentic western feel and moves along at a decent pace, all the acting performances are first class, my only annoyance was I tired of Bridges drawling speech in his portayal of Cogburn very quickly but other that this it was a decent movie.
      I do wish a scene or two could have been done differently to the original as I personally don't like remakes to be a clone of the original. Even though you could argue that the remake was a grittier more somber adaptation it stuck too closely to what went before for my liking, others may not find this an issue.

      Runime - 110 mins

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        06.06.2011 22:08
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        Good parenting is not an exact science

        Always a hot issue how to discipline children, personally I'm of the opinion that a light smack does no harm. Children need to know from an early age when they are out of line and I'm not sure reasoning or shouting at them does the job. I must admit I got the odd skelp from my father growing up and like many people say - 'it never did me any harm'. I know I came from a loving family who let you know when you did wrong, by wrong I mean big time wrong not the minor stuff. Did it keep me in line?, yes it did, I was in no way in a hurry to get a slap across the backside so it was effective in letting me know when I had crossed the line.
        There is a huge difference between a light smack and beating a child black and blue and any decent parent knows this, in no way do I condone excessive discipline.

        Perhaps I'm just getting old but it just seems to me that so many children nowadays have no idea of consequences for their actions and a lot of parenting leaves a lot to be desired as well.
        It used to be if you caught a kid vandalising your car for example you could give him a clip round the ear and march him to his parents where he would get another one but these days you are more likely to get a mouthfull of abuse of the kid and another mouthfull of his parents. I hear stories of teachers in primary and secondary schools struggling to maintain order in the classrom because they are no longer allowed to enforce any kind of discipline.

        I like to think my 2 teenage kids have turned out alright as they have so far stayed out of any serious trouble, I'll share my secret to a sucessfull punishment - when I send them to their room I keep their mobile phone and I also switch off the upstairs power at the junction box so no TV or video games for them, this really annoys them and they soon tow the line.

        Good parenting is not an exact science and disciplining children will continue to be an issue that will divide opinion.

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          06.06.2011 21:35
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          Keep it concise but keep it informative

          Having been on Dooyoo a while now and read a good few reviews I still don't find it any easier to improve on my own. I know my reviews are not packed with information like some but my view is if you are serious about buying something and want as much information as possible you will check out as many reviews as you can including the really long winded ones with every concievable detail covered but as long as you can take one useful bit of information away from one of mine then thats good enough for me. The same goes for other peoples reviews that I read.
          I must admit I also find it difficult to find items to write a review on, the items I have done reviews on are all items I have had experience of and feel I am in a position to comment on. I'm certainly not going to go into 3 pages of what a Mars Bar or a can of Coke is.
          In my opinion a good review does not have to have every single detail of the product, just whats good and whats not so good about it, relevant information yes but too much detail I personally find makes me switch off.
          I take my hat off to all the guys out there who write first class reviews, it is appreciated.

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          • VLC Media Player / Utility / 14 Readings / 13 Ratings
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            24.12.2010 17:17
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            Well woth having

            If like me you are fed up with Windows Media Player playing up and either rejecting or not recognising codecs for video formats then VLC is exactly what you need.
            This free softwate is easily found online, takes seconds to download and get up and running and will play just about everything you throw at it with minimum fuss. There is no pressure to upgrade to a fully functional paid version either, the free program does the lot.
            There is a version for whatever operating platform or system you are using and I'm amazed how this tiny program manages to handle what it does without the need for constant downloads or updates, there will be occasions when you will need to update the software but these moments are few and far between and you are taken through the entire process swiftly and easily.
            There is nothing much in the way of instructions but you don't really need them as everything is pretty easy to pick up and understand, a right click of the mouse or the top toolbar is used to access Media playback preferances like picture full screen toggle, aspect ratio, chapter navigation, audio channel selection, subtitles etc.
            Everything you need is here and easy to pick up so the lack of operating instructions is no biggie and won't set you back any.
            The real beauty of this application is it's ability to play all the popular audio and video formats and a few not so popular ones as well, it can even have a go at repairing corrupt media files to play them as best it can rather than just flat out rejecting them.
            I would thoroughly recommend everyone has this installed on their PC as it really is much more hassle free than Windows Media Player and I'm crtain this will soon be your default program of choice for all your Media applications. If you download it and try it and if for some strange reason you don't like it you can uninstall it and it will disappear giving you no trouble as well.

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          • Raymond Weil Watches / Watch / 11 Readings / 10 Ratings
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            24.11.2010 01:39
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            Lovely prestige swiss made watch,

            This family run swiss watchmaker was founded in 1976 in Geneva and have been producing desirable luxury swiss watches ever since. The company prides itself on creating distinctive, asthetically pleasing, precise, reliable timepieces.
            I am a huge fan of Raymond Weil watches and own a couple of really nice 90's timepieces which I am delighted with. The few times I have put them to the jewellers for a new battery I always get a comment on how nice they are, and this is from a distinguished high end jeweller who has been in the business a long time and has seen a lot of decent watches.

            A Raymond Weil is by no means cheap but it's not ridiculously expensive either, their cheapest watch is around the £200 mark going up to £1500 for the precious metal and jewel encrusted models. Because they are not thousands of pounds the fake and replica trade that has sprung up putting out cheap copies of other designer watches like Rolex, Tag Heuer, Cartier etc. has left Raymond Weil products alone so you don't need the same vigilance to be guaranteed a genuine one and anyone who knows a good watch will also know this when they see one on your wrist.

            They will keep excellent time and lose very little over a year but you will need to manually correct the date at the end of some months as they don't auto adjust so a 28,30 or 31 day month cannot be automatically recognised, they may well do this nowadays but my ones certainly don't. All watches are splash and water resistant to a safe enough degree that you won't have any issues with water or moisture ingress and even the watches with precious metal platings are put on thick enough that they won't buff through in a hurry (usually hard gold plated to at least 5 sometimes 10 microns)

            Personally I prefer the older and vintage Raymond Weil timepieces, they just seem far more elegant and sophisticated than the recent collections which are just starting to look like everything else out there at the moment. I have really scrawny wrists and the huge mens chronograph watches simply do not suit me so the elegant slim design of a classic Raymond Weil dress watch was ideal but I look at the new models and they do nothing for me which is a shame, they are just the huge bulky stainless steel items not dissimilar to the ones on every other display stand in a jewellers display window which is something I hope the current Weil family administration will address.

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            17.11.2010 23:12
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            Buy it for a whiter, brighter smile

            I've never used Arm & Hammer toothpaste before and I'll admit I only bought it because it was on offer at Morrisons. It was £1.20 when it normally retails at double this. The claim of 3 shades whiter is absoutley true though, I'll swear my teeth were slightly whiter even after the first brush with it. I've used other whitening toothpastes before and this one feels so much quicker at getting results, your mouth and teeth also feel clean long before the amount of brushing you need with other products.
            Plus it does not have the highly abraisive feel to it that other whitening pastes have either, you don't get the impression that you are slowly buffing away all your tooth enamel.

            The Arm & Hammer trademark baking soda ingredient is still here and this is my only real gripe with it, you do taste the baking soda which when your brushing your teeth does come through, after the minty beginning the baking soda leaves a slight plastery tase in your mouth which others might not notice but I find it mildly unpleasant and for me a quick swill of mouthwash immediatly afterwards is a must.
            I'm so impressed with this Arm & Hammer Brilliant Sparkle toothpaste that I would buy it again even at it's full retail price.

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            • ebay.co.uk / Auction / 15 Readings / 13 Ratings
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              17.11.2010 17:47
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              Still a must to check out every da

              Ebay is the online auction site where you can buy or sell just about anything, I have been a huge fan of Ebay for a while now and regularly use it for both buying and selling but it has changed over the years and probaby not for the better either.

              For those new to Ebay lets start with buying, there are bargains to be had but you do have to do your homework, only buy from trusted sellers with decent feedback, it's incredible how many desirable high price items appear from first time sellers, I would never risk buying from a seller like this. You have to check what the seller has sold previously, if they are selling a £500 mobile phone and have previously only sold half a dozen items at under a pound then don't risk it. Only buy from sellers who have proved themselves over the long haul to be reputable. The old adage 'if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is' applies here.
              Ebay's feedback system is how you check out a sellers track record, everyone who has bought from that particular seller leaves a short line or two about the service they received, was the produsct as described?, was it delivered promptly? etc. This gives a good indication of what sellers you can trust.
              You still have to have your wits about you though, there are plenty of fake designer label items and loads of cheap Chinese products that look good and are certainly cheap but where very often but not always quality is sadly lacking, products like cheap chinese phone and laptop batteries and chargers could be downright dangerous. I sometimes wish Ebay had a button to syphon out the pages and pages of cheap Chinese goods.

              When buying you must always check the postage as well to ensure the combined amount still makes for a worthwhile purchase, sometimes an item may seem reasonable but the postage is anyhing but.
              Ebay is also great for buying stuff a lot of oddball items people would throw out. I own a classic car and without Ebay I don't think I would have picked up half the parts I need for it.
              Ebays daily deals are always worth a look, 2 bargain items per day from trusted sellers like Argos or Littlewoods Clearance stores for example. The really good buys can be gone in an hour so be quick if you spot something you want.

              On to selling, Ebay is an ideal place to sell any unwanted items or junk, it's easier than a car boot sale and you have the entire country and a few others around the world (if you want) as your potential buyers.
              New sellers must slowly build up feedback to show they are to be trusted, start with low cost items and ship them out promptly when you receive payment. You will soon build up a decent feedback rating and can up the value of the items you sell. Sellers with decent feedback who have proven themselves generally get higher prices for their items anyway. When posting items always get and keep postal receipts since this may be needed if the Post Office lose your item, producing a postage receipt keeps you in the right if there is ever any dispute about buyers never receiving your item.

              Payment for items can be Postal Orders, Cheques or big companies will take credit card payments, as well as the individaul sellers there are many major retaillers on Ebay nowadays. Ebays preffered method of payment is Paypal however, not surprising since they own and operate Paypal. Fees for selling include a listing fee, usually anything from 5p to £1.00 depending on the number of photographs etc you put in the listing plus a selling fee, 10% of the final sale value so take this into account when you sell items that there will be a bill shortly afterwards for this.


              Despite Ebay having changed over the years and getting a bit greedy when it comes to the fees involved now to sell stuff it is still handy for selling unwnted items you would normally throw out or give away and the items you can buy are still as varied as ever so I would still recommend it. Ebay is the biggest and most well known of the online auction sites but they know it and boy have they tried to capitalise on it.

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                29.10.2010 18:09
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                Worthwhile investment as a cheaper alternative to standalone Sat Nav units.

                This Route 66 Mobile 8 Symbian S60 V3 turns any smartphone or PDA that runs the Symbian operating system into a fully featured Sat Nav. as long as it has a built in GPS receiver or you purchase an external one if your device does not.
                There is also the same product for devices running the Windows OS so be sure you get the correct one for your application.

                I run mine on a Nokia N95 with it's built in GPS receiver and it performs admirably, very often fixing position much quicker than some of my friends dedicated Sat Nav's costing a few hundred pounds. The beauty of having your phone as your Sat Nav is that it always stays with you so need to worry about your car being broken into or having to keep hiding a windscreen mounted one out of sight every time you park up. Plus if you are on foot and looking to go somewhere unknown there is also a pedestrian mode that will switch from roads to pavements.

                As a Sat Nav I find it to be user friendly, your desired destinations can be input as a street name or postode, as a landmark or recent history item or even as a lattitude/longitude co-ordinate input.
                Once your destination is input the program will let you choose either the shortest or quickest route to reach it and will give concise turn by turn instructions always putting right if you miss a turning like any decent Sat Nav should.

                The Route 66 product comes supplied with Great Britain and Ireland maps with all the usual poins of interest like petrol stations, banks etc. and you can update these for life free of charge. The Route 66 does not have the huge selection of voices or colour schemes that something like TomTom has but there is enough to suffice. Additional Maps, Trafic Information, Travel Guides, Weather Reports and the all important Safety Camera database are all available at an additional cost. The Safety Camera add on is £10 for a years subscription and includes all updates as part of this. This will sound an alarm when approaching a safety camera and you can also set it to alert you if you are exceeding a designated speed.

                The initial install of the program and maps plus all future updates are done through linking your device to a computer and synching with the Route 66 program which comes on disc and you install on your PC. This program in turn updates it's maps and databases online before passing these updates on to your phone or PDA. It's a very simple proceedure however and won't give you any headaches.

                In summary this is a worthwhile product and I am more than happy with my setup. I got mine for £18 from a reputable store so do shop around for the best price, this was at a time before Sat Navs were being sold for £50 - £60 so was even more of a smart buy in my eyes. Dependant on your phone you may find the screen a little on the small side but on my N95 it's perfectly fine.
                Be aware that once you install this program onto a device it is very difficult to switch it over to something else, the activation code required to get it going ties it into whatever device you register it on so you can't buy one and put it on everyones phone in your family.

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                06.10.2010 22:32
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                A fantastic buy

                If you are looking for a TV card for your PC then this Peak Dual DVB-T Digital TV PCI card really is a fantastic buy.
                I paid £30 for my one but as I write this I see Amazon listing one at £22.75, this is fantastic value for what you get.

                What do you get you ask?, - you get a digital TV card with dual tuners which performs very well, you will receive Digital TV inc. HD TV and Radio but no DAB or Teletext, the picture is crisp, channels change instantly with no break up of picture and the channel auto scan will pick up everything there is to get. The card supports subtitles as well as real time and schedled recording with 'Timeshift' (pause live TV and it will record to your hard drive so you can resume it from where you left off)

                The box contains your PCI card, driver disc and a remote control as well as the instruction manual, there is also a portable antenna but I think you would need to live in a very good signal area indeed to get this to work, where I live I get nothing and have to plug in a roof aerial.

                The remote control is not fantastic, it's pretty lightweight and cheap feeling but performs perfectly well, signal range is good and all the usual remote features are covered. The signal is received from a wire you have to plug into your PC, you then have to fix up a receiver eye in a suitable location with a couple of adhesive velcro pads.

                I wrote a review for a Hauppage WinTV-T- Nova previously and one of my main gripes with this card was that to get the dual tuner function to work you had to plug in 2 TV aerials so if you split your freeview aerial to turn it into 2 it results in a degraded TV signal, the Peak card only needs the one aerial input and the dual tuner function works perfectly well with this. Considering the Hauppage Nova TV card is 3 times the price of the Peak one I honestly can't say the Peak one is any worse, in fact it's probbably better.

                This card works fine with all the popular Windows Operating Systems, XP, Vista and Windows 7 and will work with Media Centre which is by far the best media program to use in my opnion.

                To use this TV card your PC must have -

                A PCI 2.2 Compliant Slot
                Pentium IV 2.0 Ghz or equivalent proccessor, 2.8 Ghz for HD TV.
                512 MB RAM minimum, 1 GB recommended
                A gaphics card with minimum 64 MB memory that supports DirectX 9.0C or higher.
                AC97 Compatable Sound Card.

                In summary this is a very competent card for the price, dual tuners and fully featured and I would recommend it to anyone.

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                • Freeview / TV Channel / 24 Readings / 21 Ratings
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                  19.09.2010 18:19
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                  Check out what Freeview offers and decide if it will keep your viewing habits satisfied

                  Freeview is a great way to watch televison at minimal cost. Freeview is all the popular terrestrial channels plus a few more, approx 60 TV channels and 24 Radio Stations.
                  The good thing about Freeview is once you have bought the Freeview box, which can be anything from £20 upwards thats all you have to pay, apart from your licence fee obviously.
                  There's enough on here to keep you amused, BBC 1,2,3 and 4, ITV 1,2,3,4 plus C4, E4, More4 and Five and Five US as well as Virgin 1 or Channel 1 as it's now called along with a few additional channels including some shopping amd music channels.

                  To obtain a good picture you must match your aerial to your signal area, too weak or strong a signal and your viewing pleasure will suffer, you can visit the Freeviw site and input your postcode which will give you coverage details and advise on your aerial reception.

                  Obviously the choice is nothing like Sky or Cable etc. but then neither is the price so if like me you found the monthly payments a bit excessive then Freeview is definatley worth considering.
                  I love my Sci-Fi so at first I really missed my Sky 1 but now I don't give it a second thought. Even if you have something like Sky it is worth considering Freeview just for a bedroom TV again saving paying any multiroom fees from other providers.

                  If you have Sky already and are considering giving it up by far the best option however is not Freeviw but Freesat, all that happens is you phone Sky and cancel your subscription (prepare for a fight, they really don't like to see you go) and ask them to provide you with a Freesat card. They keep this really quiet but Sky are obliged to give you one of these and they used to be free however ther may be a charge of around £10 now, I'm not sure.
                  The benefits are you still use your Sky Box and Satellite Dish so picture quality is still excellent but you no longer pay any subcription fees to Sky, it's all free just like Freeview except you have access to 200 TV Channels instead of 60 odd. Admittedly many of the channels are not much use to you, some are simply shopping channels or foreign language but others will be of some use and at least your choice is broadened.

                  My only criticism of Freeviw is channels like ITV2, and Dave etc. have been rehashing the same old stuff for years now, ITV 2 will show a movie one night then include it again in an action week special then churn it out again a month later as a season of movies dedicated to a certain leading actor. There's also not much in the way of cartoons to keep youngsters happy.

                  My advice is to check out whats on offer and then decide if you think your viewing would be satisfied by Freeview, if it can then go for it and stop those monthly payments, I saved almost £500 a year when I switched.
                  You could even just use it for an upstairs bedroom TV and save on multi-room payments

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                    12.09.2010 01:29
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                    Great product but look up sale in the dictionary Molton Brown

                    I must admit Molton Brown is an indulgance I thoroughly enjoy but seldom go out of my way to buy.
                    This black pepper bodywash is warming and invigorating, lathers well and leaves a warm spicy masculine aroma for a good few hours but won't last much longer than this. To eek out a few more hours of smelling sweet you have to use the full range and with Molton Browns eau de toilet at £35, soap bar at £15 and body lotion at £15 this can get expensive and since both my wife and mother as well as 2 neices all enjoy their own favourite Molton Brown products after buying these for them now and again I get reluctant to buy this for myself. I do receive some now and again as gifts from them in return though.

                    This body wash will last a good long while however as will all Molton Brown products, very seldom will you ever get a bargain price on any Molton Brown product though, the Molton Brown stores never seem to have any promotions or discounts, never a 10% off day and the best you will ever seem to get is free small testers now and again and mainly only if they have a new fragrance to promote.
                    You can't even get a bargain on Ebay, you will possibly save 50p on the retail price but thats as good as it gets.

                    A cheaper alternative to Molton Brown that I've found is Pecksniff's range of body wash products, very similar even down to the packaging but what starts at £15 a bottle will go for half that on Ebay.

                    But my biggest complaint about Molton Browns Black Pepper Bodywash is nothing whatsoever to do with is quality or fragrange but that showering regularly with it discolours white shower grouting far quicker than any other shower product and as the one who has to clean and fix it every so often this annoys me.

                    If I got this for my Birthday I'd still be a happy bunny though.

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                  • Poundland / Highstreet Shopping / 13 Readings / 13 Ratings
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                    11.09.2010 23:41
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                    Identify what you like and whats value and fritter a fiver on it

                    In this time of recession Poundland stores are springing up everywhere, bucking the trend and is a definate growing concern.
                    And it's easy to see why because eveythings a pound which makes your shopping much easier, you can go in with a fiver or a tenner and know exactly where you stand with the value of your shop.

                    Poundland carries a variety of items but it's by no means comprehensive, don't expect supermaket type choice because it's simply not there.
                    What they do stock is a limited range of food and drink including crisps, chocolate, cakes, biscuits as well as some tinned and packaged products like tea and coffee, pet supplies, household cleaning and domestic products, car care and DIY products, as well as personal hygene and beauty products. Bear in mind everythings a pound so you won't get a car battery in the motoring section but you will get a headight bulb at a pound instead of a fiver at your dealership. There are many big name brands to chose from as well as some you wil never have heard of so make your purchases wisely.

                    There's probably more but I recommend using Poundland to identify your favourite items and whats value for your pound because not everything is value, for example some toothpastes and shampoos that would cost 89p in somewhere like Semi-chem are not such a great buy in Poundland but theres every chance you can get carried away and forget this.
                    There are definatley bargains to be had, a pack of GU10 spotlight bulbs would be £6 in Homebase but I picked up a pack in Poundland that have been going strong in by bathroom ceiling lights for years now.

                    Like I say best to identify whats value and what you like, I pop into Poundland every now and again and always pick up the same items more or less, batteries are a good buy, a pound buys enough batteries to power wall clocks and TV remotes for a good long while, you might have to change them more often than say Duracell but thay are branded (Sanyo or Kodak usually) and what you get for your pound lasts a mighty long time. You also get a full card of about 30 watch or calculator batteries and I reckon I've saved a good few quid in replacing watch batteries myself rather than take them to the jewellers.
                    Another good buy is their 'No More Nails' adhesive sealant equivelant, the proper 'No More Nails' is between £5 and £8 a tube, the stuff from Poundland is slightly thinner and has not as good a grab factor but when it sets it's every bit as solid and you can get 8 tubes of this for the same cost as 1 tube of 'No More Nails.
                    Imperial Leather shower gel is also a favourite of mine, but it's mostly chocolate I fill my basket with, Toffifee, Dime Bars (or Diam Bars as they are called now), Terrys chocolate orange bars etc.
                    I would never consider Poundland for a compehensive shop but if I'm passing the door I might decide to pop in and spend a fiver or a tenner and stock up on my favourite items. I've noticed some items tend to be near their sell by date so it's possible the big name brands offload stock cheap to Poundland because of this.

                    It is a poular place though and narrow isles mean it can feel alittle crowded at times, staff are quick enough at rattling items through the tills at least.


                    Edit: Just a quick update, Poundland must be having to adjust to the current economic climate as well since I have just noticed the dime bar and chocolate orange bars have now gone from 4 bar packs to 3 bar packs for your pound. Poor show.

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                    • Kwik-Fit Insurance / Car Insurance / 12 Readings / 11 Ratings
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                      11.09.2010 21:50
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                      It's a funny old game this car insurance, I'm baffled how they work out their prices

                      I see from everyone elses reviews that Kwik-Fit do not as a whole get a good write up. Here my experiences of the company having almost completed a years insurance with them.

                      Last September I did the comparison site check for insurance on my 9 year old 1.3 Toyota Yaris and they came up as the cheapest, a quote of £230 fully comp with protected no claims and a years free breadown recovery service (although I did notice that different comparison sites had hugely varying Kwik-Fit quotes). This all sounded good so I went with them and paid the amount in full. Being Kwik-Fit I expected loads of junk mail through the post every other day but to my surprise it never came.
                      My insurance documents came through electronically on the same day, apparently it is slightly cheaper to do it this way and I just opened the e-mail and printed the policy documents and certificate of insurance on my home printer.

                      Two days later I was rear ended by a 7.5 ton recovery truck whilst sitting in traffic and the car was totally written off whilst I suffered minor injury.
                      I was really worried that because I was claiming so soon after taking out the policy that I would encounter problems even though a rear end shunt carries no blame to myself.

                      My Kwik-Fit policy was underwritten by Co-operative insurance and all dealing were done straight through them and they sorted out a courtesy car immediatley and organised physio for my injuries.
                      In dealings by telephone and letter I found them to be quick and efficient to respond. After 4 days my Yaris was properly assesed and declared a write off and a value of £2000 attached to it.
                      It did take a few months to get the cheque through and I had already bought a replacement car, since I did not like the idea of holding on to the courtesy car too long in case anything happened to it as there were hefty penalties should it get damaged or vandalised. I only kept the car for 10 days and used it to go to my GP, Hospital casualty and for trips to see potential replacement vehicles.
                      I decided on a 2002 Civic 1.7 Coupe to replace it, group 11 insurance would be cheap enough for someone who has been driving 20 years and never had an accident that was my fault.
                      So back onto Kwik-Fit I went and this is where I got a fright, they wanted another £200 for the Civic which I thought was a bit excessive, basically I think they knew they had me by the short and curlies and could quote me anything as I would either have to pay the difference or cancel my insurance and pay the cancellation fee. Also given the fact that I had claimed and needed that sorting out made Kwik-Fit pretty certain that I was'nt going anywhere else.
                      So I paid the difference and have been running the Civic for almost a year now and it's renewal time again this month.
                      I still have not got the renewal quote through so I can't say what it will be but I will update this review when I get it through.
                      I woud also like to know how the free years recovery worked and if I had broken down would I have been looked after, perhaps someone could post up if they have had to use the free years breakdown cover and if it was worthwhile as it played a big part in my decision to go with Kwik-Fit in the first place.
                      I've been doing the comparison site checks already and Kwik-Fit are nowhere to be seen this time round, well down the field of results.

                      So in summery I can't realy slate Kwik-Fit as the only thing I think they are guilty of it taking the oppertunity to make some money off me to amend my policy for my replacement car as they knew they had me trapped into sticking with them no matter what they quoted.
                      Organsing the insurance and getting the cover started was easy and virtually instant thanks to their electronic delivery of documents and I was happy with the price quoted although I would love to know how worthwhile the years free breakdown cover was and if I had broken down there would be no complications.

                      *** Update *** Got my renewal in from Kwik Fit and they have seen fit to increase my premium by £300 stating that everyones premium is increasing by 20-40%, so they are now looking for over £700 in total, looks to me like they are one of these companies who try to lure you in with a cheap initial year then up the amounts in the hope that you stay with them. Needless to say I have gone elsewhere.

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                      • paypal.com / Bank / 23 Readings / 19 Ratings
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                        11.09.2010 18:43
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                        In the main a very good service but not as foolproof as Paypal claim.

                        Paypal is a safe, easy way to send and recieve money over the internet keeping your bank details hidden from the third party. This is what Paypal and Ebay claim anyway. Since Ebay own and operate Paypal they take every oppertunity to push the service almost forcing it on you as the preffered method of payment on the hugely popular aucton site.

                        It does keep your bank account details hidden. - Your account details are known to Paypal who can withdraw funds directly from your account should your Paypal balace not be enough to cover any transactions.
                        It is also very secure - a lot of effort has been put into verifying your identity and keeping your details safe, a password entry to the site is your first line of security. They will also credit your account with a penny and ask you to verify the transaction no. to ensure you have full access to a valid account. Another security step is they will take your phone number and an automated dialer will phone you with a pin no. which you must recite back again to help verify you are the account holder.
                        These measures are the most comprehensive I've seen online and should ensure a secure environment for your online transactions.
                        It is quick and easy - After making a purchase you can have it paid for straight away and hopefully have your purchase winging it's way to you without delay. You can pay for goods or services or even send money as a gift to someone instantly

                        Paypal claim that you have no risk making a purchase since they will reimburse you in the event that a seller takes your money but does not deliver any goods. This is not strictly true, they will instantly reverse any charges they have taken off you and try to reverse whatever funds have gone into the sellers account however if they have no funds in their paypal account and they sever their bank account from their Paypal account then you will not get your money back. Paypal will open a dispute and a claim but they have no way of reimbursing you from the seller and they will not cover this loss to you themselves so don't fall for believing your transaction is totally safe - you can still get seen off. This happened to me once, fortunatley only for £18 but the outcome would have been the same if the amount had been more, I never saw it again and all Paypal do is leave a dispute open for years because the seller did not have any funds in his Paypal account, he withdrew eveything to his bank account then withdrew it all and closed it leaving Paypal with no means to claw it back. From what I can gather a lot of people lost similar amounts to this seller.
                        Personally I have a small debit account purely for online purchases which I use that only ever has a couple of hunded pounds in it at any time. I figure if anyone gets hold of my details all I will lose is £200 max.
                        Backing the Paypal account up with a credit card would protect you if you are seen off as it becomes the credit card companies responibility but do you risk someone getting hold of your credit card details, I'd rather not.

                        Customer support always there if you need it - Live help is available online with minimal delay, telephone help is also there but a spell on hold is a possibility.
                        Also be aware costs can add up - You are charged for everything, you have to pay a nominal amount for every transaction you make, especially if you are going through Ebay, you have to pay listing fees, relisting, selling total fees, if you are sending money the receiver has to lose a small percentage unless you send it as a gift in which case you cover the costs.

                        In summary Payal is a handy way to pay for goods and services if you can live with the charges and efforts have been made with security but it's not as foolproof as they would have you believe and there is still the possibility you could be seen off despite claims to the contrary.

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                        • Pedigree Jumbone / Dog Food / 13 Readings / 13 Ratings
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                          10.09.2010 10:52
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                          The opinion that matters most is the dogs, and she says yes

                          Pedigree Jumbones instantly turn my usually mega playfull pal 3 year old Jack Russell Mosset into Gollum from Lord of the Rings. This chunky looking doggie treat becomes 'my precious' to Mosset, the Jumbone is not eaten immediatley but rather carried around everywhere and must be guarded with her life.
                          Perhaps after a week she will start to nibble down the ends and this Jumbone will last weeks which I'm not sure is a good or a bad thing given the personality change they bring about. By the time she has finished the Jumbone pack I always say she's not getting them again but I'll always be in the pet shop or a supermarket and I will forget and cave in. They are meant to be a longer lasting chew bone and perhaps other dogs will wolf them down straight away but I buy the pack of 2 medium sized Jumbones which are usually around £1.80 which will last over a month.

                          Putting myself in a dogs shoes these Jumbones do look like a treat and a half, they are chunky and heavy with a darker meaty coloured centre thats not meat but some kind of hardened meat flavoured paste, encasing this is a lighter waxier looking substance that looks very similar to Pedigree's Dentastix. For the first couple of days these bones do give off an odour thats not particularly pleasant but not unbearably unpleasent. You get two in a pack and these really are the daddy of doggie treats, any other treat gets scoofed immediatley but the Jumbone is to be reveared and rightly takes pride of place as no 1 doggie treat.
                          The final say should go to Mosset and as I write this review she is lying in her bed with one eye firmly fixed on her Jumbone, must protect 'the precious'.

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