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During my younger days a variety of soups made up quite a large part of my diet. I can still remember those Campbell Soup Tins and the Knorr Soup Packets. Several flavours caught by fancy then and still do now. Suprisingly most of the flavours that I prefer are the vegetable varieties rather than the meat ones. Mushroom Soup, Vegetable Noodle Soup and off course Tomato Soup make up my favourites and I continued to enjoy these flavours until today. However it was just recently that I had the opportunity to try the Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup and boy was I impressed. Its almost like a meal in itself, especially if had with a couple of slices of buttered bread. One thing that immediately strikes you from the moment you open the tin is its extra creamy texture. This fabulous appearance is continued until it hits your soup plate and then the bottom of your tummy. Absolutely yummy. (Heah I becoming a poet that last sentence rhymed) It has a wonderful aroma and I make sure I have a couple of whiffs before digging my spoon in for the real thing. (By the way “The Real Thing” was my title for one of my other ops on a, yes you guessed it, “Heinz” product and coincedently another tomato product in tomato ketchup) Its tin is the standard Heinz metal tins and the labels highlight the contents of the soup in sharp and distinctive pictures of the respective vegetable, in this case the tomato. Not only does this thoroughly satisfy your appetite it is also extremely healthy in that it contains no artificial ingredients or colourings. So that strikingly red concoction you see is completely natural. Well what colour did you expect from a tomato anyway. Its suitable for vegetarians and contains an average count of 128 calories for a 200gm serving. Not absolutely acceptable to those on a weight loss regimin but passable I would think. At just 45p a can this makes economical sense and for the quality and
health aspects of this product, its an absolute bargain and great value for money. So what else would you like me to say. Should I tell you how to cook it?. I think you can figure that out yourself. One thing is for sure and that is I am very impressed with this and will most certainly be sampling some of the other flavours in the Heinz range in the not to distant future. By the way I wont go so far as classifying it as creamier than the contents of a scrotum, as so eloquently put by Deano, but it goes close. LOL. Yuch I’ll have to clear my thoughts before my next meal.
I suppose that one of the good things about travelling abroad and especially to a country where many of the heavily taxed items like cigarettes, alcohlic drink and fragrances are sold so cheapily, is that you get the opportunity to go into a shopping frenzy that you would certainly not have the pleasure of doing here in the U.K. or in Europe. One of the benefits of going shopping mad is that you tend to purchase items that vary from your usual patterns and your usual favourite brands, as you are given that opportunity by the prices that these items are available at. On my recent trip to South America I visited one of many shops specializing in these items and one shop in particular could my attention by its huge array of fragrances. This particular shop was located between the borders of Brazil & Argentina in an area referred to as “no mans land”. You couldn’t really call it a shop but rather a duty free zone consisting of several shops under own roof and specializing in Luggage, Electronics, Toys, Cigarettes, Alcohlic drinks & Fragrances to name a few. The choice of fragrances was absolutely breath taking and prior to stepping into this place my origianl intention was to pick up some cigarrettes only. That concept changed as soon as I walked into the place. It took me about one hour to walk around this shop and stopping whenever something caught my eye. Each fragrance had a tester available and you just needed to spray a bit on the special tester cards that were available on each shelf. After sampling over twenty different fragrances I settled for one, which prior to that I had only distantly heard of and that was Carolina Herrara 212 for Men. The first thing that caught my attention about 212 was the shape of the bottle. It was unlike any I had seen and it’s simplicity somehow managed to give it something that not many could deny appreciating. The bottle is shaped in a long cylin
derical form and if you were not aware that this was indeed a fragrance, many might be forgiven for thinking it was a deodorant spray or powder. It gives off a very masucline appearance in its style and colour. Both the bottle and the box are done up in a lovely matt grey silver finish and if I can recollect correctly I have never seen another fragrance in this colour. You can’t get to see the actual colour of the fragrance and I suppose in a way that is good as many a prospective customer of a fragrance are put off by several colours and primarily those that are in that limey green or plain transparent. Once again that same simplicity is reflected in the wordings on both the box and the bottle, with the words “212” and “MEN” printed without fuss on the box and simply “MEN” printed in a neon blue colour vertically on the bottle. The actual smell of 212 is something that is so difficult to explain and could only really be appreciated if one could sample it oneself. 212 for Men is referred to as containing sandalwood and spices and containing the spirit of incense. Well most fragrances contain sandalwood so what makes this one different. I suppose its that additional ingredient that give it it mystic and originality. That special ingredient has to be something to do with spices and incense, as they have rightly mentioned. It somehow envelopes you and makes you want to close your eyes for a second to take in its intense aroma. After that initial phase you are left with an extremely refreshing and oriental type of smell and something that everyone will enjoy (gals especially) I never really thought that I would feel this way about any fragrances other than my favourite ones, but then I say that all the time until another peach comes along. 212 for Men is not a fragrance that you would want to wear for casual or day wear. Rather I personally feel that this
fragrance should be reserved only for evening wear and occasions. It’s as if you need to give it a bit of respect. As far as pricing goes this is one area I cannot really help you with since I purchased it for a fraction of the price that it’s available at over here. However on average the Eau du Toillette 100ml goes for around £34.00 and the 50ml at around £24.00 a bottle. I would not recommend the Aftershave, unless you also use the EDT, as this does not really reflect the true impression of 212. I hope that I have enticed you enough to want to purchase this and what I can assure you is that 212 for Men is something, I personally think, you will never want to let go off once you have appreciated what it has to offer.
Some of you may be aware from some of my last opinions that I was in South America for quite a long period of time. The main highlights of the trip was the awesome beauty of the places I visited, ridiculously cheap prices for many a product and the absolute care-free nature of a majority of the peoples of that continent. Everything is so “tranquillo” as they say over there. Brazil especially is very famous for its beef and I visited several amazing restaurants that offer you a “All You Can Eat” buffet for R$14.00 (Fourteen Real Dollars) which works out to approximately GBP2.40. You just have to see the selection to believe it. There were over fifteen different varieties of parts of beef and the usual pork (consisting of a whole pig), sheep, chicken, goat, fish etc. This alongwith the usual salads, pasta, seafood dishes, desserts etc. The selection of beef was what interested me and I visited that particular restaurant a total of 8 times during my stay in Brazil. Naturally with all that beef a sauce is a must and upon my request I was presented with a bowl containing a rich and thick dark brown colour sauce that I thoroughly enjoyed on that and all my further visits to that restaurant. It was only later on when we visited the supermarkets that I decided to pick up a bottle of A1 Steak Sauce, which although imported from the United States, was sold at a very moderate price of R7.00 (Seven Real Dollars), which works out to approx GBP1.20 for the bottle. I purchased this so as to enjoy the steaks that my host was constantly preparing at there home for me. Upon my first usage I realized that this was indeed the very same sauce that was served at the restaurant, which I was not aware of at the time because it was served in a bowl rather than straight from the bottle. Crafty because all along I thought it was a home made recipe of the restaurants. I really don’t need to go into the ingredients,
history and nutritional values because all that can be found at there website at www.a1sauce.com. What I can provide you is my personal experience and why this sauce is so good. First of all its appearance is wonderful. It looks like what is expected of a Steak or Barbeque sauce in that its rich, thick and has a lovely dark brown colour. It also smells brilliant. One whiff of this stuff envelopes you in thoughts of the pleasure eating moments to come. A1 Steak Sauce is made by Kraft Foods and has been around for 140 years so that just goes to show you that there must be something really good about this product. Not only is it absolutely tasty it also pretty healthy. Very low in calories, proteins and carbohydrates and a non existent fat content gives you the true picture and probably stands it way over the competition. This sauce really livens up your steak and I personally just love to smother it all over my plate. However a more cautious approach may be better for some who may want to delve more on the actual steaks flavour rather than the sauce. If you like pepper they also have the Piquante (Pepper in Spanish) version. Certainly not in the mould of Tabasco but will definitely add a bit of zest to whatever you have it with. The product is presented in heavy glass bottles of 240ml. content. I'm not aware of any other packing types that may possibly by available. Although referred to as a Steak Sauce A1 can be had with poultry, other meats, salads and used in cooking. Smaller servings are recommended though, so as to not spoil the foods original taste. When I got back you would have thought that I would have other things on my mind like catching up on my work, my house affairs and the likes but do you know what I did the first night I got back, I was on the Internet trying to find out if A1 Steak Sauce was available over here, since I had not previously seen it before and since I on
ly managed to bring two bottles back home. This was primarily due to possible Customs problems with bringing in Foodstuffs and plus that I was already laden w ith a host of other stuff that I had spoilt myself into buying. So what did I find out. Not much that made me smile I must say. Sure it looks like it’s available but the packing looks different. I think I need to do a bit more research and if anyone can help out in this would much appreciate a few words in my Guest Book. We have some guests coming over for dinner this Saturday but no way are they even getting a glimpse of my A1 Steak Sauce. I’ll give them some Worcestershire Sauce instead. My steak sauce will be in a bowl (restaurant style) LOL.
It has always been the game of big business. Sell the user the basic product at the cheapest possible price and then screw them in the spares that are necessary in order to continue to use that product. Many products fall into this catergory especially things like automobiles and electrical appliances and fixtures. Other similar examples are Game Consoles where the consoles are sold cheapily and the cream is made in the games. One product that certainly comes under this category and what this opinion is all about is the Gillette Sensor Excell Razor. Ever since I was a kid I have been using a type of razor made by Gillette. First it was the GII, then it was the Contour, then the Sensor and more recently the Sensor Excell. I really don’t know wether to be praising this product or venting my frustations. Okay lets get to the praising bit first. Gillette razors have always been my favourite and that of millions of others, primarily due to the quality of shave that one receives when using them. It is also always available, easily available and the company comes out with innovative new products every once in a while. On top of this Gillette provides the complete range of shaving accessories from the foam to the after shave. The Sensor Excell Razor itself is a sturdy piece of equipment. It is in a silver grey colour and has a well contoured grip that makes holding it easy even when damp or wet. At the top of the razor is part that holds the blade. It has two knobs on each side, which when depressed will eject the existing blade or receive a new one. This is one part of the razor that takes a lot of wear and tear and I used my Sensor for around five years before finally changing to the Senor Excell. This just goes to show you the quality aspect of the product. Further as is expected the razor comes into contact with water most of the time and in all my years I can never remember every se
eing any rust or any other cosmetic damage to the razor, other than a few scratches. The Sensor Excell Blades are the ones that primarily provide you with that quality shave. A lot of research goes into producing a blade that provides the best shave. I am not really sure if the makers ever thought of the cost though. Each blade has soft grey coloured microfins that I presume help drain of the water and moisture quickly and at the same time help to reduce friction on the skin. Each blade has a lubrastrip (lubricating strip) which is primarily there to ensure that you have the most comfortable and smooth shave. The actual blades are twin blades and are self adjusting (swivelling). This once again ensures that the blade moves over the contours of your face (or other parts of the body) easily, especially around the chin area. The quality of the blades are excellent but my only gripe is that they dont last that long, especially if you shave everyday, like me, and also have quite a bit of facial hair growth. Now lets get down to the frustration bit. The actual Gillette Senor Razor is sold at just £4.39, which comprises of the complete razor with one blade that is already affixed. Great so far. Now what happens when your blade is finished and used up. You go and purchase more blades without thinking to much about it. That is until you get to the shop and find out how much they are: £4.79 for a pack of 5 blades £8.79 for a pack of 10 blades Ridiculous is all I can say and just reverborates what I said earlier on this opinion. This is where Gillette makes all its money from. Further these blades, although providing you with one of the best shaves possible, dont really last that long. In my case I get around four really good shaves with a new razor and then another three “not-so-good” shaves. After that I have to change the blade. So that’s one blade a week, four blades a month and a
round £4.00 a month just on the blades. I suppose for me its just one of those things I have to live with because I certainly wont dare trying to change from Gillette. My last attempt failed miserably and my Wilkinson Sword Razors lies somewhere in the confines of my dressing table drawer never to see the light of day again.
As some of you may be aware I am presently in Brazil. On my Varig flight to Sao Paulo I picked up a bottle of Dolce & Gabbana Eau du Toilette 75ml at a price of just US$25.00, which worked out to around £16.00. It has now been over 6 weeks since I purchased this and I feel ever so qualified to give you my views on this fragrance. Dolce & Gabbana is originally a fashion house from Italy and was established in 1985. As is the norm with fashion houses they introduced a range of womens fragrances in 1992 and closely followed by the Men's fragrance range in 1995. What makes Dolce & Gabbana different is that this is an Italian establishment and although at home in the fashion business, the fragrance side was an area usually reserved for the French. To be honest with you I heard about Dolce & Gabbana many years ago and resisted the temptation in purchasing there fragrance primarily due to it being Italian. However my views changed considerably after it received very positive responses from close friends of mine. So when the opportunity arose I had no hesitation whatsoever in picking this one up. Appearance wise this is a product of two faces. The box is asbolutely gorgeous and different, whereas the bottle lacks any real attraction and is rather plain looking. The box is of a very dark blue colour and is covered in a velvet material. This is what makes it different. The bottle is a transparent one with contoured edges and the label is a simple two tone one in silver background and black wordings. The fragrance itself is of a limey green colour, which is clearly visible through the transparent bottle. This is an extremely common colour but I suppose it's not the colour that counts but rather the smell. Dolce & Gabbana is classified as a spicy, lavender, ambery fragrance. It is supposedly made up of a blend of lemon, orange, lavender, sage, cedar and tobacco. Do they honestly use al
l these ingredients in fragrances? I'm not sure but how can you tell. It is almost impossible for any of us to really tell especially with those inexperienced nostrils that we all possess. What I can tell you is that it smells of citrus and has a woody lingering fragrance to it. It has a very eloquent smell and one that is different from any that I have used previously (and that is quite a few). It is a fragrance that you can use with full confidence and know very well that the majority of people will love it. It is recommended for evening wear but I use it throughout the day. The only negative aspect of Dolce & Gabbana is that it is a bit sticky. I use it occasionally as an After Shave and when applied on the hands it feels sticky and does not evaporate completely like other French brands. I have to wash my hands after using this. Surprisingly it does not leave an stains, which one would have thought with its sticky nature. I've used it on my white shirt many a time and this is the best way to find out if it stains. As mentioned earlier in this opinion, I purchased my 75ml. bottle for around £16.00. However the usual price here in the U.K. is around £23.00 for the 75ml and £30.00 for the 100ml. I'm sure that it could be found cheaper online but this is something that I never do since I always purchase mine in the Duty-Free, as you may be aware of. As the saying goes Dolce & Gabbana is not for attracting attention (which by the way it does do) but rather for being and expressing onself. How do you do that? You figure it out. In any case this is highly recommended by me and with Christmas coming up would make an ideal present for your partner. Hint Hint - Mine is almost half finished LOL.
How many of us have said to ourselves that Ketchup is Ketchup and brand really doesn’t matter. Many I suppose. How many of us have subsequently gone out and bought ourselves a cheaper brand or a chain brand with this very theory in mind. Many I suppose with myself included. What do you think has been the majority of reactions after experiencing these cheaper brands. The answer would probably be “Disappointment” and was certainly the case with me. Heinz Tomato Ketchup has always been a product that our household purchases on a regular basis and is something that we purchase without a second thought. However with the concept of economizing we made a cardinal sin by thinking that this could apply to our favourite Tomato Ketchup. There is no substitute to Heinz. One of the factors is probably that Heinz were one of the pioneers in the Ketchup business so they have set the standards asfar as taste and quality is concerned. Others brands are just not able to provide a cheaper alternative that could provide you with even 90% of that trademark taste and texture. Tomato Ketchup is something that is used quite frequently but more so with chips, hamburgers, some salads and occasionally in cooking. The usage differs from person to person and I know of many who need ketchup with everything. The Americans fall into this category. On the other hand the French just cant stand the stuff. So everyone has different needs and tastes but overall Ketchup is something that we all probably use and enjoy with something or the other. The Heinz company have been producing ketchup for over a 100 years now and today produce a staggering 57 varieties of ketchups. There ketchups are totally free of any artificial colouring or preservatives so that deep red colour that you get is totally natural. Also there is no artificial thickeners used, which speaks wonders for a product that is so thick and rich and th
at many of us have appreciated. According to the stats Heinz Tomato Ketchup also contains an ingredient called Lycopene, which supposedly helps reduce the risk of heart attacks in men. I wonder why only in men and not women though. Other ingredients are; tomatos, spirit vinegar, glucose syrup, sugar, salt, spice & herb extracts, spices and garlic powder. As with all good products Heinz Tomato Ketchup is available in several pack sizes including the easy to use plastic squeezy bottles. I personally have only recently started using these squeezy bottles and overall the positives outweigh the negatives over the glass bottles. The squeezy bottles dont break, they are much lighter and by giving them a squeeze you can easily extract the ketchup even when the contents are about to finish. This was one of the major disadvantages with the glass bottle in that since the ketchup is so thick it used to be quite difficult, at times, to get the contents out of the bottle. Eventually you end up having to give it a mighty wack and more often than not you end up with a huge amount of ketchup on your plate and certainly more than you intended to have. Various pack sizes available and pricing information from Tesco are: Squeezy Bottles 460gms at 92p and the 700gms ones at £1.11. The glass bottles are available in a wider range of sizes and these include 340gms, 540gms, 1kgs and 1.14kgs. Overall there is only one thing to say and that is if you want the “Real Thing” then its just got to be Heinz. PS. I don’t know why on earth I am writing about Heinz Tomato Ketchup whilst in Brazil . Probably because the colour of my face and skin, at the present time, closely resembles the my favourite ketchup LOL.
No. 10 – Cricinfo at www.cricinfo.com Being an avid cricket fan, which is my second most avid sporting passion, I like to follow the cricket irrespective of who is playing. Off course SKY do show a lot of matches but many of the less glamorous matches, involving smaller teams, are hardly ever covered. The fact that I also travel extensively throughout the year and in countries where the television and satellite coverage is not that great makes the Internet ever more important to gather information and follow ball-by-ball coverage of almost every single match. No. 9 – Pharmacy2u – www.pharmacy2u.co.uk I purchase many of my general medications, vitamins and toiletries online and one of my favourite companies that I like to use is Pharmacy2u. There product range is extremely extensive and prices are very competitive with many a discount to be had almost all year round. Delivery is prompt and packaging is excellent, which is essential with products of this nature. No. 8 – Boots – www.wellbeing.co.uk Again the Boots website is very similar to the Pharmacy2u one. I use Boots for purchasing mainly products bearing the Boots label and occasionally other products that are sometimes cheaper than Pharmacy2u. I make sure that I check both websites, to compare prices, before placing an order. Once again delivery is prompt and packaging is also very good. No. 7 – My Voice – www.myvoice.co.uk I have been a member of MyVoice for quite a considerable length of time and although the earning potential is low they do keep the polls coming and your account balance does continue to rise on a regular basis. Since MyVoice do not inform you if polls are available by email you need to continuously check their website for new polls and therefore this is what I do at least once a day. No. 6 – Ipoints – www.ipoints.co.uk I have been with Ipoints for over a year now and my points
balance has been steadily increasing. I have never actually purchased anything to qualify for points. Rather all points earned have been “free points” for registering with companies and clicking on advertiser wesbites. Recently I won 500 Ipoints in the Dooyoo competition by predicting the winner of the World Cup. This has dramatically increased by points balance and made visiting the site a much more pleasurable affair. No. 5 – BBC – www.bbc.co.uk I visit the BBC website several times a day. This is very important for me especially when I travel. It keeps me upto date with the latest world and local news and also gives excellent all round sport coverage. The BBC website is updated very frequently and I consider the information contained in the website to be much more updated than the television version. No. 4 – Yahoo – www.yahoo.co.uk I love card games and one of my favourites is “Hearts”. The Yahoo site provides on the of the best online games service on the internet today. You play online with hundreds of players throughout the world and all games are recorded and points allocated if you win. The games are not limited to Hearts alone or to card games. Yahoo provides extensive coverage of just about every game imaginable and you can find thousands of people worldwide using these services at any given time. No. 3 – Soccernet – www.soccernet.com I just love my football and wether I’m in the office or overseas I use Soccernet to keep upto date with the soccer scores and live scores. Soccernet provides almost unparalleled football covering (or Soccer, as the Yanks call it). Many high profile matches have a live commentary option and most matches have a live score option, where the scores are updated every 60 or 30 seconds, depending on what you select. They also cover all the world football leagues very well and the website is very uncomplicated making it very easy
to load and use. This is what sets it above Sky’s website, which is extremely clustered and takes ages to load. No. 2 – Ciao – www.ciao.co.uk I think everyone is aware of Ciao and that this is a consumer based website where members provide there opinions/reviews on products/services/places in order for others to make a proper decision before buying/using/visiting such products/services/places. Community spirit is very high at Ciao with members interacting wonderfully well. Unfortunately Ciao have restricted payment, for reads, on many interesting categories, which makes it rather cumbersome to earn yourself some money. Just today Ciao have made some modifications to their website. However the changes are not very drastic. They are mainly related to the presentation of opinions in both the Top 20 lists and on an individual basis. No. 1 – Dooyoo – www.dooyoo.co.uk Once again everyone is aware of Dooyoo and naturally so since this opinion is on Dooyoo. Dooyoo is very much in the same mould as Ciao with regards to its purpose and airms. In recent times Dooyoo has gone through a very turbulent patch due to the total overall of its design. However in recent times the various hiccups have gradually been corrected and members have also gradually gotten used to the changes. This has lead to a steady increase in submissions of opinions and hopefully a return to normality very shortly. So there you have it. My Top 10 websites in order of preference.
When one uses a bathing soap the things you would expect was that it produce a reasonable lather, have a pleasant aroma and produce the desired cleaning effects. With Imperial Leather soap you get all of these in abundance and this is what makes it such a high quality and reassuring soap. You might say that all soaps are similar in that they all lather and have the required cleaning effect. However with Imperial Leather they have taken it into a different dimension. I first used Imperial Leather Soap a long time ago, probably when I was in my teens and during that period of my life I was never really bothered about the brand and just used whatever was available at home. It was earlier this year when I traveled to Ghana that I used Imperial Leather soap once again. The brand has become so popular that it is made in Ghana and therefore was available very cheaply. On my return back to the U.K. I decided to purchase it once again after being thoroughly impressed with it from my prior use. Imperial Leather soap is available in two versions. One is the regular bath soap and the other is the mild version. The one that I purchased was the regular bath soap and these are available in two sizes and in different packaging. You can get the family bar of 200gms, which is packed 2 bars in a pack at £1.35 and the 125gms regular sizes bars at £1.00 for a pack of 2 bars, £1.80 for a pack of 4 bars and 60p for a individual pack. I picked up a pack of the 4 x 125gms bars since at £1.80 they represented quite good value for money for such a high quality product. One of the best features about this soap is its lathering qualities. The amount of lather produced with so little effort is absolutely astounding. This too no greasy surfaces. I remember just about a week ago when I was having a shower, unfortunately I realized a bit too late that the shampoo bottle was empty. Instead of getting out of the shower and gettin
g another bottle from the storeroom in the kitchen I decided to use the soap to wash my hair with instead. The results were incredible. It lathered almost aswell as a shampoo and the lather was certainly a lot thicker than what you get from a shampoo. The smell is also extremely pleasant and as the name suggests, it has the elements of leather imbedded in it. The saying “a little luxury every day” makes so much sense and fits in so perfectly with this luxurious soap. The colour of the soap, although classified as white, is indeed an off-white almost creamish colour. One of the trademarks of this soap and one that makes it easily recognizable anywhere is the Cussons label that is affixed to one side of the bar. The label is in the trademark black, red and gold colours that are so distinguished. One the other side of the bar the words “Imperial Leather” are embossed. I have also noticed something else that further enhances my views on this soap. It seems to last quite a bit longer than other soaps. This can only mean that the ingredients used are in higher concentration levels than other soaps and therefore it makes it a lot more economical. As far as prices go many may consider Imperial Leather soap to be on the expensive side. However if you take all of the advantages into consideration aswell as the fact that the soap will generally last longer than your regular soap, you might re-evaluate your appraisal of the price factor on this soap. Overall I am extremely pleased with Imperial Leather soap and so is the family. My kids just love it and everyone smells so nice and fresh especially after just having a bath before bedtime. Whilst on the subject of Imperial Leather I have learnt that they produce many other related products such as shower gels, hand washes, bath washes and talcum powders. The fact that the giant PZ Cussons produces Imperial Leather is another factor that further
enhances this excellent products reputation. If you haven’t yet tried Imperial Leather soap then go get some. You are truly missing a very pleasant and refreshing experience.
If you are a smoker many of you will know that smoking is almost irresistible when you are at the wheel of your car and especially if you are driving over long distances. However the interior of any automobile provides an ideal environment for the aroma of tobacco to lay siege and provide a rather unpleasant atmosphere for non-smokers. The smoker himself or herself has become so acclimatized to this smell and therefore it is very difficult for them to fully realize the full consequences of this. The only time that we are ever aware of that nasty aroma is when you first sit in your car in the morning and that only lasts for a few seconds before your nostrils get used to it. My wife has her own vehicle, which is absolutely smoke free, but on weekends we use my car for going out and after numerous complaints and grimaces of disgust, from my wife and children, I finally decided to do something about the smell that has become so incorporated into the confines of my car. On one of my routine visits to Tesco’s I came across a product that appeared to be exactly what I was looking for. This was the Haze Airwick Crystal Car Freshener. Since we were already familiar with the other Haze Air Freshener sprays, I picked this up without any hesitation whatsoever. The fact that it only cost £1.97 made it easier. This car freshener is available in two variations. One was the Anti-Tobacco type and the other the Citrus type. Naturally the Anti-Tobacco one was the type I purchased. It is presented on a convenient blister card packing, with each variation in a different shade. The Anti-Tobacco type is in a mint green colour and is easy to place anywhere in the car. The giant conglomerate company Reckitt & Coleman produce Haze Airwick Crystal Car Freshener, awell as the other Haze/Airwell range of fresheners. The quality level of the product is therefore more strongly assertained. According to
the makers the lasting power is 4 weeks and this is due to the gel used having 80% perfume content. As far as the 4-week period is concerned I will have to wait to verify that since I have been using it for just less than two weeks now. However since the last two weeks its fragrancing qualities are still almost as good as when I first put it in, so I confidently expect it to last the whole four weeks. Regarding the 80% perfume, for this we would have to take the makers word for it, but I am also quite confident since they are Reckitt & Coleman, who are generally renowned for high quality products and providing factual information. As mentioned earlier I have been using this for two weeks now and it has made a significant improvement. Now I avoid smoking as much as possible in my car and when I do have the occasional one, especially on longer drives, I make sure the front two windows are down. When I first put it in the fragrance was really very strong and for the first couple of days it was rather irritating. Gradually as the freshener started doing its work the fragrance has become completely tolerable and quite pleasant. The label indicates that the fragrances are warm cedar combined with juicy orange. Well I can certainly smell the cedar but “juicy orange” – sorry no. The smell is a woody and a musky one and wouldn’t really be out of place in a body deodorant. It does have a slight hint of something sharp, which is probably the “juicy orange” that they are talking about. In any case it has helped considerably in removing the smell of tobacco. I am not sure if the smell would resuface if I was to discontinue using it but I am more than certain that it would not be as bad. Naturally it has not gone completely and this will be expected after years of smoking. The confines of a car are something that need to be kept in good condition and that includes the air. This is es
pecia lly the case for non-smokers. It is unlike an office or a room where you can easily leave the premises or due to the extra space the concentration levels of smoke are less. This is a small space and when people get into it they are more than likely going to have to remain in that space for some period of time and without any luxury of movement. Therefore it is essential that you think about using products like this. Overall I have been very impressed with the results and the wife and children are also much more happier accompanying me in my car now. The fact that I have also curtailed smoking in the car has also helped tremendously. If anyone of you still smoke in your car I would suggest that you stop completely or reduce and most certainly get yourself some of these car fresheners. At just under two quid each they make a life much easier and much more comfortable for all concerned.
I celebrated my birthday on the 31st of August, which was just a couple of weeks ago. As expected all my friends bought me a gift, the assortment of which ranged from my favourite Bacardi, a carton of B&H, a couple of colognes/aftershaves and several boxes of chocolates. Since I have technically been on a diet for almost a month now I have been controlling myself as far as the chocolates but just couldn't resist trying out one of these this weekend. One of the chocolate boxes I received was Lindt's Lindor Truffles and this was the one I chose to indulge myself in. I made sure that the wife and the kids were around otherwise I was absolutely sure that I would not be able to control myself, especially after such a long time away from the pleasures of chocolate and that too a box of Swiss chocolates. If they were not around I probably would have ended up consuming a large proportion of the contents, or so I thought. As it was I had just about enough to thoroughouly savour the experience and put me in the right frame of mind to write about these absolutely lovely chocolates. They came in an very elegant looking box in a slightly off white colour. The box is very magestic and classy looking with a gold ribbon running down one side of the box and tied in a lovely bow at the top of the box. Believe me you don't feel like opening the box initially because it looks so nice as it it, but eventually you do due to the enticing nature of the contents. The box is 300gms in weight and contains 25 assorted chocolate truffles. The assortment is made up of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, hazelnut, peanut butter and Amaretto flavoured truffles. Each truffle is wrapped in a colourful bright wrapper consisting of a wide array of colours like blue, red, orange, yellow, very dark purple and regular purple. Each flavour has its respective coloured wrapper. The actual colourful wrappers cover the chocola
te itself and this is then covered by a transparent wrapper that is very easily opened by a single twist. These chocolates are absolutely divine and they just melt in your mouth. If you bite them the outer chocolate covering melts almost immediately and the inside is slightly more firmer. The hazelnut variety has tiny bits of hazelnuts spread through the truffle center. The peanut butter and Amaretto flavoured ones are very similar in texture the regular chocolate ones but with their added flavour. I especially like the Amaretto ones since I like the actual Amaratto liqueur immensly and had written an op about this. Lindt are made in Switzerland and as most of you are aware the Swiss know there chocolates. Swiss chocolates have a unique taste that is so different than what we get here. Belgian chocolates come the closest in similarity. The only problem is that once you have several of them you start feeling a bit stuffy and sickly as these are very very sweet and fill you up very quickly. I tried one of each flavour (six) and that was all my wife allowed me. Mind you I dont think I could have had another one for at least for a couple of hours. I personally have never seen this packing here in the U.K. but I am aware from the other opinions on this site that the Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles are available here in a smaller pack size. These are the ones in the red wrappers. Obviously my friend must have picked these up from some other European destination (probably France or Holland). However I am sure that if you do a bit of searching on the Internet you could probably get these wonderful gift boxes delivered to you here in the U.K. for around £7 to £8.00. However I am not absolutely sure about this. Overall what I can say is that I have heard about Lindt for a very long time but this is the first time that I have actually experienced some of their chocolates. My first experience has been a very pleasant one and I would c
ertainly consider purchasing them in the future either for personal use or for giving away as a gift. There is certainly something a lot more appealing for the receiver, when the chocolates are from Switzerland than from any other country.
Man this is easy. My 5 top beers are; Heineken, Carlsberg, Lowenbrau, Amstel and Kingfisher. End of op!! I wish it were so easy. Obviously you now need my expert insight into the reasons for my preferences LOL. No. 1 - Heineken ----------------------- I travel very frequently to Africa & Asia and this is probably why I like Heneiken so much. It is available in almost every country in the world. Be it in cans or bottles, its available. Their old advertizing slogan "Heineken reaches the parts other beers cannot reach" is spot on in this aspect, although the reckoning behind the advert did not take this in mind. Heineken is also one of the easiest beers to drink. It is not too mild and at the same time not strong. It's sort of just right for my liking. It provides a medium head and a crisp and refreshing taste. No. 2 - Carlsberg ------------------------ The beer from Denmark is my second choice. Also available in a majority of countries makes finding it quite easy. Their advertizing slogan "Probably the best beer in the world" is probably just of the mark in my reckoning. More like "Probably the second best beer in the world". Once again a very easy to drink beer and one that has a very refreshing taste. The head is much better than Heineken's and the colour slightly darker. No. 3 - Lowenbrau -------------------------- Now this one is from Germany and I was very impressed with it. German beers are generally quite strong tasting and leave a very hoppy/bitter aftertaste. This on the other hand is one of the first German beers that I have tasted, which is as smooth tasting as the Dutch, Belgian and Danish beers. Very un-German like indeed. One thing I like about this beer is the colour of the label/can. Its in a lovely sky blue/turquoise colour and very attractive. The head is medium and very sim
ilar to that of Heineken. Easy to drink but slightly more filling than my first two choices. No. 4 - Amstel -------------------- Made by the same makers as Heineken. Heineken have however tried their very best to give Amstel its very own personality and independence and have been promoting this brand quite heavily in recent times. It is substantially stronger tasting than Heineken and the other two beers mentioned above. One thing I like about Amstel is its colour and its extra carbonation. Where other beers tend to fizzle out at the end, Amstel tastes just the same even at the last sip, making it a very well balanced beer. Slightly on the stronger tasting side for me and thats why its at number four. No. 5 - Kingfisher ------------------------ I just had to add this to my favourites after experiencing it for the first time after ten years, just this gone weekend. It is an Indian beer but brewed in the U.K. The yeast is still imported from India and therefore provides the same unique and original Kingfisher taste. This is probably the most food adaptable beer that exists. It goes extremely well with Indian food and heavy foods. It also has its own unique taste and something that you get used to and start to enjoy almost immediately. So there you have it. My Top 5. What do you think?. Let me have your views. If you have any suggestions about something you may think I would like then let me know. However please please do not mention "Budweiser" LOL.
Last Saturday I was invited for a lunch party at an Indian restaurant. Usually I enjoy my Saturday lunches at home with a nice barbeque and some white wine. However since this was at a restaurant and being that wine was evidently not on our hosts menu. I decided to try some Kingfisher beer, which is so well prompted at most Indian restaurants. My previous encounter with Kingfisher beer was at least ten years ago when I visited India. I remember back then I started having a beer called Hawards 2000 but that was way too strong for me and I finally settled on Kingfisher for the rest of my time over their. It was always served in large glass bottles back then. So when I first saw this beer it bought back pleasant memories and therefore I had no qualms in trying it out in preference to my usual Heineken and Carlsberg. I thoroughly enjoyed Kingfisher that day and ended up consuming quite a bit. Naturally it has to be served chilled and I had to request the restaurant owners to stick six of them in the freezer for me, since I like all my beers ice cold and the draught was just not as cold as I like. Kingfisher beer originated in India and is presently India's largest selling beer. It is made by United Breweries and was first brought into the U.K. in 1982. Due to its high popularity, especially amongst the Indian community and by diners at Indian restaurants, it was decided to have Kingfisher brewed here in England under a joint venture between United Breweries and Shepard Neame in Faverham, Kent. It is brewed according to the original recipe and they use yeast brought in from India in order to provide the real taste. Due to this it is now available in both cans and bottles and draught. Further, the frequency of availability, outside the restaurant chain, is improving steadily. One of the most important features of this beer is that it is very light and crisp and this makes it ideal to have with heavy foods,
especially Indian foods like curries, tandoori dishes and spicy dishes. I must reiterate that this would go just aswell with all other foods but due to its lightness and easy drinking nature it adapts better to heavier types of food. Usually once I have eaten I really can't drink much after my meal but with Kingfisher I was able to continue drinking albeit at a more sedate pace. Alcoholic content is a moderate 4.8% and since this beer is very easy to drink you might end up drinking a bit more than you bargained for. The colour of the beer is a pale yellow and it has a quite pronounced head. If I would try and compare it with more famous beers then the comparision would only come to colour, which closely resembles that of Heineken. As far as taste is concerned it has a very unique taste, which is probably something to do with the yeast being imported from India. It may ever so slightly resemble Carlsberg in the taste department but don't take my word for it. Having only had this for the first time in the U.K. and that to only in the restaurant, I cannot give you any very accurate pricing information if you wanted to purchase it from the shops but after a little investigating I can inform you that you can purchase a carton of 24 x 33cl. bottle for £24.99. It is rather expensive compared to other more established beers. Overall I enjoyed this beer immensly but I don't think I would make the effort to purchase it for taking home. I would, however, certainly consider having this again whenever I visit an Indian restaurant in the future as it certainly adds to that unique Asian experience. I would also recommend this to anyone else visiting an Indian restaurant. As for the draught version, if available, otherwise the bottles will do.
Shaving is common event for a majority of men and women. My particular concern has always been with regards to the type of blades that I use and my choice has always been the range from Gillette. Today I use the Sensor and I am thoroughly pleased with it. However when it comes to the shaving foam I have never really been particular. My conception is that once the blade is of a good quality then the quality of the foam, gel or cream becomes rather irrelevant. Thus I have used many different types of foams with little attention to the brand. However my outlook and thinking has somewhat changed after I used Noxzema Menthol Shave Foam. I shave everyday and from Monday to Friday I shave in one motion i.e. downwards. On weekends I shave in two motions i.e. downwards and then again upwards. Everyone has there own choice in the frequency of changing of blades. I personally use one blade for just over a week and try to make the most out of them. A new blade will work very effectively for the first two/three days and then after that more pressure is required and the shave will not be as close. What I have experienced with Noxzema's Shaving Foam is that I am getting a much closer shave even after using the blade for three days. This very fact naturally implies that the shaving foam is responsible for this. Further when you start using a new blade usually your skin turns a bit reddish in patches for a short period of time. This is due to the extra close attention your skin gets from the brand new blade. With Noxzema this has not been the case. When one encounters the name Noxzema you naturally think cosmetic and skin care. My wife and my mother use Noxzema cream in those blue jars. Therefore I was quite surprised to see a shaving foam bearing the Noxzema brand. What caught my attention was firstly the can. It is in a lovely sky blue colour and stood out amongst the other shaving foams, on the shelf. On closer examinatio
n the words "Concentrated for Closer Shaves" and "Dermatalogist Tested" encouraged me enough to give it a try. The fact that I was already aware of the Noxzema name made purchasing this foam much easier. The price is rather high at £5.20 for the 300m. can. However the fact that this shaving foam is highly concentrated means basically that you only need to apply a small amount to experience a quality shave. Therefore this 300ml. can would probably last you about one and half times or maybe even double that of your regular shaving foam. If you take this into account then the price is reasonable considering the quality of the product and the comfort that you will undoubtedly achieve whilst shaving. Noxzema Shaving Foam is available in both regular and menthol. The thing that I like about the menthol is that it leaves your skin with a lovely tingling sensation after shaving and this lasts for at least a half and hour, before eventually wearing off. It helps create the freshness that we all want to have first thing in the morning. As is the norm nowadays this shaving foam also contains certain ingredients that help your skin. The fact that Noxzema have been engaged in the skin care business for over a hundred years, would certainly give them some advantage over the other manufacturers in this aspect. So finally this is one shaving foam that I will surely consider using in the foreseable future. Unforuntately it is not commonly available and the only major outlet that I have seen it being sold at is Boots.
The Secret Sexy Sauce I vividly remember by school days, when I was in my early teens, everytime I used to buy a packet of “ready salted” crisps, there was always something that had to be sprinkled all over them before I began to devour them. That something was Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. Lea & Perrins has been around for ages and is the sauce that has literally put Worcestershire on the map worldwide. It was first commercially produced way back in 1837 and was invented by two close friends called John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins. What makes Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce so different from others is its incredible selection of ingredients and plus one other secret ingredient. Many have tried to imitate Lea & Perrins but have failed rather miserably in this regard. The very fact that this sauce has been around since 1837 and is today known practically everywhere around the world speaks volumes for the quality and the unique taste that this sauce provides. This sauce has been associated with many products with some more than others. If you think of a “Bloody Mary” cocktail then you must certainly think of Lea & Perrins, because no “Bloody Mary” would be complete without a few drops of this unique sauce. Ask any recognized barman/woman and they would surely attest to that. Infact whenever I make a Bloody Mary the two other ingredients, other than the basic ones of tomato juice, vodka, salt and black pepper would have to be Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce and Tabasco sauce. There is nothing like a Bloody Mary made right. Looking at the ingredients, as listed on the bottle is rather misleading in that it makes it all look so simple. Rather it is the opposite and the ingredients are actually so complex that you could not but help to be surprised. The ingredients listed on the bottle are: Malt vinegar, spirit vinegar, mollasses, sugar, s
alt, anchovies, tamarinds, shallots or onions, garlic, spices and flavouring. More in depth analysis of this would tell you that the ingredients have been carefully bought and selected from all corners of the world, in order to provide the flavour associated with this sauce. Just look at these facts; onions from Britain, garlic from France, shallots from Denmark, anchovies from Spain, black tamarinds from India, red chillies from China, cloves from Madagascar and molasses from The Caribbean. This is an awesome bit of information and just goes to show you how committed the makers are to provide you with just the right taste. Then off course you have the final secret ingredient, which is only known to 3 or 4 people at a time. On top of that each one of these few people only hold a part of the secret ingredient in order that no one person should be aware of the whole secret. The recipe has hardly changed since its inception in 1837. Infact the only thing that has changed over a period of time is the packaging. At the present time it comes in glass bottles with a flip top lid, which allows easy dispersal of the contents. The bottle is transparent, which allows you to see the very dark brown (almost black) looking sauce contained within. The label is in the unmistakable shade of orange with black lettering and is something that is very recognizable anywhere. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is a very versatile sauce and can be used to liven up many foods and drinks. By adding a couple of drops to soups, casseroles, pasta dishes and many others adds a lovely zest to them, that no other sauce can match. Include a few drops in your barbecue sauce and the effects are just awesome. We have a barbecue at least once every two weeks and Lea & Perrins is always a vital ingredient to the sauce and coating that we prepare for the chicken and the sausages. I’ve already mentioned its necessity in creating the p
erfect Bloody Mary but this can also be used to spice up regular tomato juice. Infact Lea & Perrins can be used in several other cocktails and is certain addition to the contents of any recognized bar or pub. As far as pricing goes the 150ml. bottles go for just 95p each and since it is used sparsely it should last for quite some time. Overall an excellent sauce that adds life and zest to everything it touches and for those of you who haven’t experienced it yet I think you are missing out on something quite special. On a final note this sauce is certainly not suitable for vegetarians.
Well what can you say?. The new look Aurora is finally here amid much hype and anticipation. In all honesty I can say it is like a culture shock. To all us fellow Dooyooers the new look Aurora initially appears very different, a little confusing and full of glitches. I would like to approach this subject by expressing my views on what I like, dislike and problems that I have experienced during the short time that Aurora has been online. Pros ----- 1) The appearance is much more pleasing to the eye. The shades have been lightened considerably and the inclusion of grey and peach colours has strived to provide a more serene effect. Buttons and fonts have also been smoothened and increased in size to provide further appeal. 2) Pages appear to load much quicker than before. I am not sure if this has something to do with the reduction in overall content on each page or increase in bandwith. However one thing that Dooyoo lacked in considerably, compared to Ciao, was the page loading time and although still not as fast as its competitor, it is a significant improvement. 3) Rating of opinions has been made slightly easier and much in the same mould as Ciao. The relative buttons are directly clickable instead of having to point, select and then get the button. 4) The frontpage is a lot more unclustered. Eventhough many of us find it too different if you look at it from an unbiased point to view, it is a lot simpler and easier to use and navigate. Cons ----- 1) The Dooyoo Mile counter and total number of reads, which was formerly in the top right hand corner of all pages, except a member profile page, has dissapeared. This is one feature that I personally really liked about Dooyoo. You were always upto date and close and personal with your balance and reads. This was more pronounced when you had just written an opinion. There is nothing more exhilerating than watching your miles and r
eads ticking over. 2) With the new Aurora you are not presented with the option to select latest/new opinions on a particular category i.e. food & drink, electronics etc. Many members prefer reading the latest opinions in a favourite category and this feature appears to be non existent. Please correct me if I am wrong. Problems ---------- We are all aware of the numerous problems and glitches experienced immediately after launch on the night of August 28th-29th 2002. It is understandable that Dooyoo would experience these problems in view of the major facelift being embarked on. However personally I would have recommended that the select maybe about 50 regular and active members of the site and give them an opportunity to use the new site on a trial basis of new week. Naturally all activities would be just for trial purposes and a different user name, password could have been given. They could have offered an cash incentive for participants. Many new websites do this in order to find out all the problems and glitches by putting the site through standard usuage. After more than a day there are still several problems that I have experienced. 1) Leaving comments seems to be very similar to Russian Roulette. Sometimes it works and sometimes you just get the Error 404 page. 2) On the left hand side of the frontpage you have the option to select the latest opinions by clicking on the "more new opinions" button. Once this page is loaded you are presented with the latest opinions using the same format of 1-25, 26-50 and 51-75. The first 1-25 opinions are listed just fine. Try clicking on 26-50 or 51-75. You get nothing. Therefore once your opinion goes out of the top 25 there is little chance of it being seen again. 3) Further in the latest opinion list if you were to click on the members name you are taken to that members profile page but in the OLD Dooyoo format. Select any opinion and the o
pinio n page loads without a problem. Try rating it - Error 404. 4) Select the option of "who has rated this opinion". Next select any members name from those who have rated. The members profile page opens in the NEW Dooyoo format. However on many occasions it does not open fully. It only provides you with the members stats, Circle of Friends and Thums Up/Down. You are not provided with the list of opinions that the member has written. 5) On your account page everything is just fine except the "Circle of Friends". Only the first three are visible and no link is provided for you to access the other members in your circle of friends i.e. "the members that trust me" and "the member that I trust". I am sure that there are many more problems that I have not uncovered. With the way it stands at present, it is making it very difficult for members to use Dooyoo as usual. This is evident from the lack of postings and reads. Take my example. I posted an opinion on the night of the 28th August almost at the same time that the new Dooyoo was launched. I have secured a total of 10 reads so far and my opinion is not accessable from the latest opinions list. We were all expecting changes and were ready to adapt to those changes. However not only are we faced with changes but so many problems accompanied with it. This is making it very difficult to adapt and Dooyoo need to seriously look at all these problems and rectify them soon. I would personally suggest that they put the old system back up for the time being. This would then give them time to iron out all the glitches and then present us with something that we can enjoy. After all it is inevitable and eventually we will all get used to these changes and begin to enjoy and use the site as we were doing previously.