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Already the proud user of a Samsung Galaxy phone, I decided to purchase a tablet. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 inch was chosen due to the cost, it's ability to take a Memory Card (Micro SD) and it's android system. Although all my friends have ipads, I am not wanting to jump on the Apple bandwagon just yet!
The size is perfect for emails/facebook/games and also viewing photos. It has a good camera, although image stabilisation would make it even better. It has speakers which emit a reasonable level of sound for playing music or watching videos. However using earphones is much better, and often more convenient.
The touch screen is just the right sensitivity and you can set the screen to auto rotate, or not as the need might be trying to read a book in bed!
I would definitely recommend the Tab 2 as a cheaper, yet equally as good tablet as the ipad mini. It works wespecially well with other Samsung devices, through various methods of sharing apps, photos, documents and data.
I love it!
at present i have a Nationwide Comic Relief Credit Card. However I have recently found out that Nationwide are getting rid of this and I will be transferred to the Classic Card.
The Comic Relief Card gives a percentage of each purchase price to the comic Relief Charity - one of the reasons i chose the Card.
The main reason i got the card is that Nationwide do not charge a fee for purchases in foreign countries. There is a charge for withdrawing cash from ATMs however this is no where near as much as other credit cards.
now that they are gettign rid of the comic Relief Card I will stay with the classic Card for overseas purchases but am also thinking of getting the Abbet Zero Card for the reason that this does not charge at all for any purchases or ATM withdrawals overseas. So for cheaper overseas costs choose Nationwide or Abbey
My lifeventure travle towel is now 4 years old.... and still going strong.
I bought one for a trek across Europe where space was limited in my pack. It came back a strange shade of blue with an odd whiff about it, bt undeterred Iput it in the wshing machine and it came out good as new!
The giant sized travel towel takes up about an eight of the space of a normal bath towel and weighs next to nothing. at over 150cm long it can be used as a towel, a sarong, it can be draped over a lounger to make some shade when you get too hot on the beach.
As a towel it absorbs water like its going out of fashion. It can be rung out and reused so no waiting hours for it to completely dry. However if you do need to dry it, this'll take about an hour in the sun. It does need a good wash as you can imagine with sea water, pool chemicals, sand and sun cream it does get a bit smelly. Washing it out in the sink is no problem though.
People ask me what it feels like. It is a microfibre material. Very thin and also very soft. It does feel like you are using a chamois leather when wet but it does the job! I'd rather take one of these (I now have 6 of different colours and sizes) than a normal towel, knowing I can take more clothes or buy more souvenirs out there.
OK this review is about 2 different places we camped at in Zambia - Jollyboys and Fawlty towers in Livingstone
Jollyboys - a lovely little site, with cabins for indoor accomodation. Run by two aussies and others, with a keen interest in travel. The site has a pool, table tennis tables, a bar, a book exchange and lounge area, shop, internet access, laundry and good shower areas. It is a short walk into town and airport transfers acn be arranged. This was my favourite place to stay in Zambia and the little cabins looked fab to stay in, its a shame we didn;t stay in these or have longer her.
Fawlty Towers - down the road from jollyboys but not so nice. Lots of room for camping, and also dorms. Had a pool but not as nice as Jollyboys. Free internet access plus a lounge/pool table/TV area. at the rear of the place was Hippos bar - serving food and drink until the early hours - great stuff.
Fawlty towers has a guy on the gate for security - very reassuring. A 10 min walk away is the supermarket and small shopping centre. Fawlty towers will organise trips to Vic Falls and other excursions for you with local companies. I can recommend the helicopter ride over the Falls - superb.
Both OK sites for the backpacker/traveller on a budget but Jollyboys gets my vote.
Top golf is a revolution in golfing! Ideal for novices to learn the technique, families for fun and experts to practice their aim.
Top golf involves using electronically chipped balls and aiming them into targets on the driving range. Each target has several compartments in it and these are worth different points,, eg the outer ring is worth 4 points, through to 10 in the centre ring.
Each game costs around £4 and this is for 20 balls. You can play on your own, with a partner or in a group of 4. This means you can have a competition to see who gets the most points.
Topgolf give you a selection of clus so you don't need to have your own. there is always a topgolf person roaming around the bays to give any help and advice. They also offer golf lessons for the novice which could be useful.
A great place to have a fun game with mates.
Amazon is my first stop when shopping for good online. It has a wide range of products including electricals, books, CDs and DVDs, watches, jewellery, health and beauty and also home and garden bits.
amazon is a treasure trove of goods, including thoe sold second hand from the marketplace. It is also an excellent way to make extra cash through selling old books and games although amazon do take more fees than other sites do and they only allow you to charge a flat postage fee - useless if sending a thick hardback book.
Amazon stock levels are pretty good and proces are competitive. I know they had a price promise a while back - that if you saw a product you had bought from them cheaper within a certain time of purchasing it you got the difference refunded. Not sure if this still applies though!
amazon is a good shop to buy from, items have a good delivery time and are easy to return if bough wrongly. Check the prices on other sites too, though just to be sure you're getting a good deal.
Kelkoo is a website which compares prices for goods. It doesn't search for the cheapest because sites pay Kelkoo to be listed. so if a site doesn't want to pay their fees and sells the goods you want for the cheapest price - you won't see this!
so Kelkoo doesn't always list the cheapest goods but what it does do is show the prices sme of the bigger stores and websites sell an item at. This allows you to see the average kind of price and decide for yourself whether to buy from here, or search yourself on the internet!
Kelkoo is quick at listing prices and included a host of top-name stores. I have found that by going to the link provided the item is not on the stores site at that price - so sometimes it pays to go direct.
A useful site which is being copied by others but I still use Kelkoo first as it does seem to be the most accurate.
Personally I would love to have the money to shop at M&S or Waitrose but i don't so as my mum says, 'if needs must'. I shop at Tesco, a very large Tesco express to be precise. It's open 24 hours and stocks a complete range of goods, not just food. Downstairs you have food, stationary, homewares, sporting goods, books, cards, wrapping paper, toys and games and even some garden bits. Upstairs is clothes for men, women and children, electrical appliances, DVDs, games and CDs. also downstairs they have a collection and order point for their catalogue, Tesco direct, a pharmacy and a foreign currency desk, and also a photo processing counter.
I always say to friends at work that I seem to live in Tesco but this is true as I can get everything there!
Quality of goods is OK if you go for Tesco brands, but better if you buy well-known brands such as Sony for electrical good etc.
My favourite thing about Tesco is the clubcard scheme, for each pound you spend you get one point which would equal 1p off your shopping when your vouchers come through, or 4p is exchanged for clubcard deals. These include entry to attractions, car hire, flights the list is endless.
So for best value, get a clubcard and use your vouchers for 4 x the value in deals.
Reykjavik Youth Hostel is ideally situated just outside of Reykjavik city, the capital of Iceland. A short 5-10minute bus ride takes you to the centre of the city, alternatively you could walk it in 20-30minutes. However buses are not too expensive so I took this option.
On entering the YH, apart from YH promotional materials and the ovious backpackers lounging around I would have thought this a good 3star hotel! The hostel is extremely clean - it is very airy wide wide corridors and hallways and plenty of windows to let light in. Checking in was a very quick procedure and we were given not keys but keycards - used to swipe into a machine to access firstly our corridor, then our room. Security here was second to none. If I left the room and went downstairs to the kitchen I couldn't get back upstairs if I forgot my card!
The room was large - 3 beds, 1 single and a bunkbed. There was plenty of floor space to move around in and a cupboard with hanger to put clothes in. In addition it had a huge window giving views of the camping site in the grounds of the hostel. There was an ensuite bathroom, again very clean with fresh towels put out daily. The bathroom had a shower, toilet, hairdryer and huge mirror.
lighting in the room was ample although because of the time of year we went, with not much nighttime darkness, we rarely needed to put them on.
The hostel has two self-catering kitchens, although there is a restaurant which serves meals at a cost if you can't be bothered, or don't have time to cook. The kitchens are quite smal for the number of possible residents however they are a lot cleaner than I imagined. The hostel provides baskets on which you write your name and leaving date - put all your food in here and you'll have a reasonable chance f it staying safe. Leave it out on the side and everyone will help themselves. We did go out and buy some cleaning spray and cloths to give the kitchen a clean though just to be sure of not getting a tummy bug!
also within the hotel is a washing machine and dryer - you have to purchase tokens from reception. There is baggage storage if you need to check out and return later in the day for your bags, a tabletennis table and also grounds for camping. I didn't visit the camping site as I had no need to. Next to reception is a lounge area with books and games to borrow and there is plenty of information about places to see, tours to do etc. Additionally there is a payphone and small souvenir shop area where you can buy postcards and keyrings etc.
Next door to the hostel is a large swimming pool, sauna and massage centre. The cost to visit is OK, but not too cheap but you can stay there all day. Within a 5 minute walk there are 2 stores at which you can buy your food and toiletries.
Reykjavik is a lovely city but be warned - Iceland is not cheap. To give you an idea, I spent £10 easily on a quick lunch (including non-alcoholic drinks), a beer cost £7 a pint and entrance to Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon was, I think if I remember rightly, about £15.
I loved my stay and only need to save up to go back!
Each time I see Ryanair advertising flights for £1 or even 1p I am sorely tempted however I soon come to my senses and remember my last dealings with the airline. At the time of obtaining £1 flights to Dublin I thought I was fortunate to not have to pay the £80 i usually had to with other carriers however my experiences at the airport soon proved me wrong!
I must state that I have had no problems with Ryanair cancelleing my flight, chargin me twice or not answering calls on the phone, as I haven;t ever had to calthem. What I can complain about is their extra sly charges and their boarding rules.
I arrived at the airport with a small rucksack as hand luggage, expecting to not have to queue to check bags in. I was told at the first counter that I would have to check my bag in - it was not too heavy but had side pockets which, if they were full (they weren't!) would make the bag too big in terms of its dimensions!!! I hve never heard anything so ridiculous in my life. Did they think I was going through to duty free and going to load each side up with a bottle of vodka just so I made it awkward for other passengers to also fit their bag into the overhead lockers on the plane?? I tried arguing the point but to no avail and ended up having to remove my valuables and take these onto the plane in a carrier bag whilst I was charged £5 to check my small rucksack in!!! Unbeliveable!
The problems continued upon boarding the plane. A random sellotaped notice directed the premium boarders however everyone joined the queue! Thus those who had paid the £3 to board first didn't get to and ended up joining the scrummage for seats - yes, on Ryan air you have to grab your own seats. I pitied the elderly on the flight who got barged out of the way.
When on the flight you had to pay for your meals so i decided Ryan air had ripped me off enough and waited until I got to Dublin!
Photobox has been used for many of my photography printing jobs recently. I found them thorough the recommendation of a friend and have been very pleased with their service.
My first order was for a photobook. I had 600 photos from travelling and wanted to make a photobook rather than printing individual photos. This worked out a lot cheaper and easier than I first anticipated. Registration with the site was easy and straightforward. I even got a few free 6x4 prints for registering. I had to upload my photos - for 100 photos this took about half and hour but belive me it was worth the wait. After this I chose the photo book type and layout. I just had to drag and drop the photos where I wanted them. I could also edit the colours, red eye, size and position of the photos so editing can be done through their site also although you may wish to do this in another programme to save time. My photo book was 30 pages and contained about 50 photos. I could also add captions and a contents page. It took about 2.5 hours to assemble although I am a perfectionist and was new to the site. I expect it would be quicker next time! The book arrived within 10 days of ordering in a cardboard sleeve and wrapped in plastic. It is excellent quality paper with a glossy card front and back. Well worth the £20 or so it cost.
Since then I have ordered poster prints - both the singular pictures and also the collage versions. Both of these have been simple to order, again dragging and dropping pictures and have arrived in cardboard tubes within a week or so.
Quality and ease of use from this site are second to none. Editing software looks pretty basic but I haven't explored it much.
Muller are always a brand to be reckoned with in my opinion. The raspberry and cranberry flavour is their best in my opinion, particularly as I dislike fruity yoghurts or ones with bits. The packaging is good with pictures of raspberries and cranberries and giving useful information about it being fat free and less than 94 calories per pot - brilliant for those of us trying to watch or weight.
The smooth texture slides down great, it is fruity without having an artificial taste. Occasionally when I take one into work and it is out of the fridge for a while the yoghurt separates a little and a clear liquid is seen on the top of the yohurt, however once mixed in this doesn't affect the taste at all.
My favourite way of eating this yoghurt is for breakfast over the top of a small bowl of either corn flakes or special K, rather than milk. in addition i occasionally add dried fruit to give it a bit of variety.
As well as the large Muller light pots they also produce a six pack of small sized yoghurts and in this they do a separate raspberry flavour which is also very nice, and a cherry flavour which is amazing. I tend to now buy the 6 pack to take for a weeks lunches at work.
Price for this large yoghurt is between 52p and 54p depending which supermarket you go to. Sometimes they are on offer 4 for a £1 so this much better value.
A nice tasting smooth yoghurt - perfect for non-bitty yoghurt eaters like me!
Great, everything under a pound! However under a pound does not necessarily mean its cheaper here than elsewhere! The 99p and poundland stores are a God send in times of financial hardship (read that as the end of the month before payday). I have managed to pick up great branded goods for less than half the price they sell for in Tesco. However be careful, as someties you send up buying things for 99p and when you get home you realise what tat you have bought. Make sure you buy branded goods and that you know that 99p is a good deal. A six pack of Walkers crisps is good value at 99p but not when your household gets through 6 packs a day and Tesco have them on BOGOF at £1.29 for 6 and therefore the same price for 12.
Staff tend to know very little about the stock so don't bother asking. They are very good with giving you a penny back at the till though as they obviously have had training on this!!!!
The shops sometimes look like a jumble sale where locals have got there early for the bargains and had a good rummage. So to stop this, get there early in the morning too!
Stock changes regularly so don't expect to get what you expect there. If you are lucky they also have BOGOFs and even cheaper prices on food with short use by dates. I managed to get a pallet (12 bottles of lucozade) for 99p and got to the till and found them on BOGOF because they had a week on the BBE date. 24 bottles for under a quid - great stuff. Personally BBE dates on drinks and crisps don't bother me too much but they would on tins of meat or chocolate as they tend to go a funny white colour.
Trail is a superb magazine for all outdoor enthusiasts. Having read it for the past 8 years I can safel say that if you enjoy walking, cycling, scrambling or climbing then there will be something in each issue of Trail for you.
Each issue is packed full of features, some of which are described below:
Routes - 15 different routes are included every month. The majority of these are walking routes however there are always at least one or two routes for mountain bikers and scramblers. some also feature some climbing. Routes usually take a page or a double-page spread each with useful OS references and a map. This is where Trail differs from other magazines - the map and route description is written by people who have knowledge of the area and can point out altenative routes or nice places to stop for a bite to eat or even a photo! Routes cover a range of distances and difficulties throughout the magazine so there is something for everyone.
Gear - Reviews are often present in the magazines, although not every month I believe. They usually take a catagory such as winter boots and compare a selection of products in the catagory across a range of prices. Having bought a waterproof recommended as a best budget buy I haven't been disappointed, it certainly lives up to its review.
Features - A selection of features each month focus on new gear, legalities concerned with rights of way and walking in the UK, new routes, and also some articles of walking abroad. However the majority of the magazine focuses on the UK.
There are also lots of adverts for gear suppliers and quite often competitions. In addition a letters page enables readers to submit their views.
I have read other magazines but in terms of quality and value for money Trail is top dog. It costs around £3.95 I think, although I always get a cheap subscription deal!
Big beach sports was bought following my enjoyment of Wii sports, hoping for some similar game play in a range of different sports. I was very disappointed with the game as the reponsiveness of the remote and wii nunchuck was very poor. I particulalry disliked the volleyball game, being volleyball player myself, as I just had to move the remote to perform the shot, rather than actually have to move it as instructed. Any small movement of the remote triggered the correct shot, even if I tried to play a different one. Disc golf was fun but boring after 2 holes as it was not that difficult to play. Cricket was a bit more challenging when hitting the ball but once the technique was learnt it was easy.
The graphics are reasonable although sometimes I think it would be good to have the option of an overhead view or a choice of views as sometimes the game is difficult to follow because of the view angle.
I would say this is more of a kids game - easy to play and of reasonable quality. I certainly wouldn't pay full price for it with hindsight.