Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sunday supplement

Quite an eclectic mix this morning, from vacuum cleaners to canvas prints to online shopping.

To begin at the beginning... vacuum cleaners. I seem to be getting a reputation as a specialist vacuum cleaner blogger. (And I'm not complaining!) I've been rude about a Miele, fallen in love with a Neato and trained Charlie to use a mini version of the Dyson.

Our main household cleaner has hitherto been a Dyson, and I can't say I've ever had any complaints. But the Dyson is a lumbering beast of burden besides the Vax Mach Air Reach.
The latter is as nippy as a sports car by comparison - light, manoeuvrable but with one hell of suck (of you'll pardon the expression). It also has a hose that reaches right to the top of the stairs. And as this was what did for the old Dyson, that's a definite advantage.

I suppose you could quibble about having to attach the hose each time (rather than just pull it out) but that's a minor point. The Vax is every bit the Dyson's equal in terms of suction, a lot lighter (they don't claim it's the lightest full size vacuum for nothing) but with a main thingy-wotsit small enough to fit under furniture and radiators. In short, highly recommended.

From sucking to shopping. Online shopping, that is. First, Bonusprint kindly offered the chance to try their online canvas print ordering service. If doing anything online is going to be better than doing the same thing on the high street it's got to be quick, reliable, good quality and competitively priced. And that includes delivery.

Well, I can't fault the Bonusprint site for ease. Having used it once before it was simplicity itself to upload a photo, tweak it a little and then place the order. And the order was delivered just days later.

Of course, should anything go wrong with an online order you want to be able to return and/or replace things quickly and efficiently. So, to try out the services of Zalando recently I decided to buy some shoes (never easy without trying on). The order comes complete with the guarantee that you 'only ever pay the price shown in our online shop' - in other words, no shipping costs and no returns. As someone who is still baffled by Amazon's free shipping if there's an 'R' in the month and you remember to click the right button and/or order from the right supplier that gets my vote straight away. And - true to their word - the order comes complete with all the instructions you need (and not buried in the small print) to send the goods back should there be a problem.

I haven't actually sent them back. Because they fit, and I like them. But it's good to know how easy it would be if I had to.

Finally, it's time to announce the winner of the crock-pot slow cooker (offered as a giveaway last Wednesday). And for the first time the random factor of Charlie's finger has chosen someone from my Facebook page (just there on the right, just there - see?) and I notice the winner works for Honda Manufacturing in the UK.

To contrive a rather tenuous link, that's the same company my brother-in-law works for (or did). He hasn't changed jobs for years but has represented first Honda F1, Brawn GP and now the Mercedes team at race circuits across the globe. And - on an unscheduled visit to China (he doesn't do all the races any more) - he seems to have tweaked the buttons of the winning car. So congratulations Nico Rosberg, his sparky (and Charlie's uncle) Rob and Nathalie Marshall, who has won a crock-pot slow cooker.

Whatever and however you're cooking this Sunday, do enjoy it.

Have a lovely day.
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