Saturday, 6 August 2016

Brut Sport Style deodorant - a lot of pain for no gain

What did I get? Brut Sport Style deodorant

How did I get it? Sent freely for trial by Trnd

Ah, the great smell of Brut. The smell of my dad for a month after each Christmas in the 70s. Jousted with Old Spice as the smell of man when I was a young child. Left behind during the 80s as newer, fresher brands such as Insignia took over.
I'm assuming Brut has kept going in the intervening period but to be honest I couldn't say. Even in my forties it's still a brand I wouldn't choose as it seems a bit too old-fashioned, so it was an interesting experience to be given the chance to try it by Trnd. A parcel arrived with cards to give out, money of vouchers, some cricket fixture lists (Brut Sport Style sponsors a range of first class cricket stuff) and instruction in how to trial the deodorant. Some of that is geared towards a different sort of chap than I ("invite your mates round for a beer and take photos of you opening the package and trying the fragrance"; "take it to the gym and discuss the new fragrance") which sounds a bit forced. I did open it with the kids though, took some photos of the packaging (I don't put myself in my photos) and had a go.

The design is the best bit of this new Brut. Great colours and a sturdy squirter. Sadly, that's the most positive thing I can say.

The first spray is one I'll remember for a long time. About a second after applying I gave a sound like Tom when Jerry traps his tail in a mousetrap and had a face like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. Jeez, does it sting. Really sting. I've used loads of deodorants over the years and never known a sting like this.

So it must be strong, right? Wrong. This is the most disappointing part of the whole 'Sports' thing - it hardly works. Most quality deodorants still smell at the end of the day but this stopped smelling in mid-afternoon and by the time I got to bed I smelled like a hadn't bothered putting deodarnt on at all - not nice.
I drive a desk for a living and don't do gyms but I do walk a fair bit. Let's be fair to Brut and say that maybe there's some magic ingredient that is triggered by hard exercise and I didn't trigger it.

The smell is an improvement on traditional Brut, which I didn't mind anyway. It still smells a bit like Brut but more modern (can a smell modernise? Probably not, I think I'm being pretentious there) but it's a shame I didn't get much chance to smell it. Maybe a couple of hours each day, nowhere near what I get from other brands. A thumbs down on this one.

A word for Trnd - the package received is good and they prompt in a timely manner for feedback. They're a marketing company and not involved with the brand, my poor review of Brut shouldn't reflect on Trnd.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Shining Tor, Cat Tor and the Goyt Valley

What wonderful thing did life give me for free today? A wonderful walk along the border of Cheshire and Derbyshire, with historic ruins and FREE FOOD

How? Just get up and go. You can do it too
Errwood Hall


 The Goyt valley is a favourite of mine. It's got woods to get lost in, ruined buildings to play in, high hills to view from and babbling brooks. It's a beautiful and fascinating place and it's all free, including the parking.
A long walk up The Street to Pym's Chair and a view I've never appreciated before. With the aid of some new binoculars I could make out the hills near my hometown of Glossop (Lantern Pike, Chinley Churn and the Mare's Back quite easy to spot) but also the vista round past the airport to Jodrell Bank. Having been driving a desk in all the sunshine this week it was great to be out and part of it. From Pym's Chair it's a stride over Cat's Tor to Shining Tor along the Cheshire/Derbyshire border with constant views of the Cheshire plain.
Meadow Pipits aplenty over the moors here, kestrels hovering in the thermals running up from the plain to these high hills. Cotton grass thrives here.
Shining tor
Shining Tor is the highest point in modern Cheshire. It's a gentle ascent from Cat's Tor and from afar it's hard not to focus on the
para gliders that soar around the summit. On reaching the trig point it's odd to watch the sails of these gliders suddenly appear over the lip of the Tor and then disappear again below one's feet.
A quick banana and then over Shooters Clough and down to the Goyt Valley. The Cat & Fiddle pub is in the distance, an alternative starting point.
This descent to the Goyt is dominated by the most delicious bilberries.
There are millions of them spread either side of the path. Nobody picks bilberries yet they taste just like blueberries, which are really expensive in the shops. I grabbed as I passed, and munched all the way through Shooters Clough to the ruins of Errwood Hall.
This once magnificent hall was the home of the Grimshawes, a wealthy merchant family from Manchester. Sadly, the hall was only used for less than 100 years as the family dies out and it was soon demolished (over eagerly) as the nearby reservoirs were built. I'm not going to give you any more details as I urge you to visit David's excellent site and lose yourself in the photos there. I've been bringing my children here all their life, it's a great place for hide and seek.
Errwod Hall
From the hall I carried on down to the road and back to my car. An absolutely wonderful walk.
Errwood Hall

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Free milk, but I prefer Accrington Stanley

What did I get? A small bottle of milk

How did I get it? Freely given away in Manchester

I hate the taste of milk. At 5 years old I remember being told to drink my free bottle at school and thinking, I really don't like this and never have. I've not drunk it in over 40 years.
I know it's a shame, it's a healthy thing. I encourage my kids to drink as much as possible and we get our milk delivered by a milkman from the dairy to keep prices fair to the farmer. Please do this if you can, Britain's dairy herds can't survive much longer at the prices supermarkets are paying and for an extra 3p per pint I am making a difference.

It's all about the taste, I think. I can drink chocolate milk with no problems but any other flavours don't mask it enough for me. Cream and milky products in food are hit and miss. I don't mind a fresh cream cake if I get enough of the other flavours to combat the taste of milk. Warming milk for porridge and the like? That really turns my stomach.
There really isn't much in the way of food and drink i won't eat. I think milk and particularly strong goats cheeses are the only thimngs that my body rebels against. It's not an allergy or intolerance, I'm fine with it - it's just the taste.

It's weird when you think about it. If I were to say I like breast milk there would be cried of outrage (I probably don't like it, but I haven't tried it since I was a bab) but that's from my species and my start in life. Yet drinking from a cow is perfectly acceptable once your mother's dried up. I'm not ridiculing it, it's healthy stuff, but it just seems odd. Who was the first person to look at a cow's udders and put two and two together and go for it?

Anyway, this is a rubbish review of Cravendale milk because I didn't try it. But bless the fine people in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, who gave thousands of bottles away for free on one of the hottest days of the year. Cheers.

Here's Dr Feelgood - Milk & Alcohol

Friday, 8 July 2016

How do you like them apples?

What did I get? Apples

How? Right place, right time. A leftover buffet at someone else's workplace.

Another long gap between posts. I'm having a very busy work period and was working away for much of the pat week. Plus, I've been short of freebies for the past few weeks.

With all my freebies I post after I have tried/tested/used/visited them. There's no point in judging or reviewing otherwise. I've actually got dozens of books, DVDs and other stuff I've received (literally, dozens) but until I've managed to try them I shan't post.

So I was leaving work today and heard a shout calling me into a shared meeting facility. Another organisation had finished a large meeting and the cleaner was reluctant to throw all the food away. It's sinful how much hospitality food goes to complete waste.

An apple for each of the family. Granny Smiths and average in quality. I have no idea who supplied them so it's not much of a review but there you go - it'll keep the doctor away.

Have a playlist about apples.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Happy Gilmore is happier than me

What did I get? Happy Gilmore on DVD

How did I get it? Annoyingly, I can't remember. It was a competition win.

My longest break without posting. One major reason - the European Championships and endless football matches. England are still in it, as are Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland - an incredible feat.

There have just been 2 rest days without football but I still didn't post as I'm a bit sad and very scared over Brexit. But this blog isn't a politics blog (although the ability to vote freely is a freebie and a victory that we all should use at every opportunity), so that's the last of saying why Happy Gilmore is happier than me.

If you've seen Happy Gilmore then you'll know he's anything but. Adam Sandler plays the titular chap who isn't one of life's winners. Happy has anger issues that stem from the walk out of his mother and the death of his father when he was a kid. Only grandma (with whom he lives) seems to get Happy's unconditional love. All this is played out in the opening few minutes as a scene setter.

Happy shares his father's love of hockey (ice hockey to us Brits; field hockey is what we know as simply 'hockey') but he really isn't very good. Every year he fails the trials but he still classes himself as a hockey player. Barely able to skate, lacking basic hockey skills and hampered by his temper, Happy does possess an incredibly hard shot. Using this in an unconventional way, Happy takes on the world of golf ... and this is definitely a golf film.

The film is rated 12 and I watched with my eleven and a half year old son. It's not bad, but there is a fair bit of cussing in it that would have made it a 15 back in my day. The gorgeous Julie Bowen appears in stocking and sussies a couple of times too, but nothing worse than that really.

As a comedy ... it's OK. It harkens back to an eighties Police Academy affair a few times but there are some amusing slapstick scenes and some surreal moments which tickle my fancy, plus a cameo appearance from Lee Trevino. It's a heavily sponsored film too - I bet a large portion of it's gross takings are from Subway.

I'd give it 6, my son says 8.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Mimes of Wine - "la Maison Verte"

What did I get? "la Maison Verte" album by Mimes of Wine
Where from? Given freely for review by Subba-Cultcha

When I go on the Subba Cultcha site to apply to review an album I do listen to the Soundcloud or YouTube clips to see if it's something I'll like. It does obscure the reviews as you're already halfway to liking something before you've listened properly, so most of the reviews are positive. It wouldn't be fair for me to review some EDM or R&B album when I really am not into either genre.

Mimes of Wine fall into my favourite type of music though. There'll always be room for heavy stuff in my life (see Wednesday's post) but mysterious, melodic swirly music with a fair bit of guitars suits me just fine.

My full review is on the Subba Cultcha site. Links to Mimes of Wine songs are above.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Dead Label - a game of Throne of Bones

What did I get? Throne of Bones (LP) by Dead label

How did I get it? Freely sent for review by Subba Cultcha

I love rock music and as I get older I'm enjoying it louder. My thirteen year old daughter says I'm too old and it's not fair to hog it from teenagers like her. Fair point.

One aspect of thrash I'm not too fussed with is the death growl. I get why it's done - it's part of the atmosphere of the song and depicts death, hell and despair - but it means that I can't hear the probably hard worked on lyrics. There, that's me being old.

The wonderful Subba Cultcha site allows you to apply for albums, gigs and festivals in return for an honest review. My full review of the album is here.