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Warden Melody of the undergrowth is an adventure game very much in the style of old zelda games but released on the pc so you don’t need to own a nintendo system to finally play a similar adventure. The game is set over a persistent world where all changes you make stay in the world no matter if you travel to another area or play in another day.

The story revolves around the boy prince being trained and suffering an accident where he falls into a river and is washed up ashore lost and trying to find his way home, he is awoken by nyona who charges him with the task of being the next warden, protector of nature and to stop the king changing the world forever and destroying the balance of nature, but things might not be as they seem as you realise through the story progressing there are two sides to every story.

Along the way you uncover former wardens ghosts who have the ability to take hold of fabians body and then grant new powers and abilities to solve the puzzles. Mostly these powers are used to gain access to new area’s previously off limits, sometimes they just open shortcuts and are a requirement to defeat the boss of that area.

I will suggest that there are a lot of secrets that are never explained through the story progression and there are definitly area’s that were off limits and impossible to figure out how to get into, along with a seemingly pointless completionist task of lighting every single lantern and torch in the game which perhaps upon completion grants something special but I never completed this task. Also there are a plethora of seemingly pointless hats that perhaps when worn in the correct way with the right weapon and warden allow you to talk to the shadow beings you can “Sense” in certain circles, however if you fight them they are gone forever from the world, which could perhaps lead you to never being able to complete everything, unless of course simply eliminating every sense being much like pixel hunting in hotline Miami leads to a greater secret being unlocked such as an extra area or a modification to the ending it’s hard to tell from what is revealed in the game, and while some games like spelunky do this well with a hidden secret until the community finds it as a whole this is something I would like to be able to be uncovered through in game discovery as it feels more like something you should be able to ask in game characters about or find special in game lore that uncovers the secrets.

Having said that though the game itself is really good and definitely a lot of fun and I would recommend 100% that you use a controller as there are points where precise platforming would be required that would be a lot more difficult on keyboard and mouse. I myself put 12 hours into the game with my playthrough with a little exploration and discovery of secrets but mostly on a linear path to the ending as much as the game allows as there are progress gates which require a specific number of motes to be collected, which can lead to going off to find and collect the larger collectables in order to progress so it’s a good idea to collect any you go past on your playthrough if you want to avoid backtracking throughout the game. Travelling between area’s has a convenient fast travel system via a dream world by campfires so this isn’t as awkward as it might otherwise have been.

There are three main area’s all of which have their own guardians and their own unlockable warden forms with individual powers to help traverse the world, and the bosses of each area usually involve using that skill in some form to defeat that boss, and then obviously a final confrontation with whichever final boss you decide to go against, as nature and humanity clash. Your choice however is final as once you defeat the final boss returning to try and do things differently is impossible due to the global nature of in game elements and returning leads to a black screen of death glitch.

I still feel like there’s a lot I didn’t discover and a lot more to unlock with those hidden secrets and all the maths and translation puzzles I didn’t complete, but the in game lore and information about these tends to be lacking so knowing for sure what these would do for you besides complete achievements and give you a sense of completionism is something you would have to discover for yourself, but I do feel there are a few area’s I couldn’t gain access to, with the sewers and perhaps in the hat room, and outstanding lore with the witches who perhaps created the crystals which locked down nyona in the first place.

I would recommend the game and you’ll have plenty of fun with it exploring the game for yourself, the combat feels good and not too easy or too difficult and there’s always something else to do.

Check out warden melody of the undergrowth for yourself on steam now at https://store.steampowered.com/app/338310/Warden_Melody_of_the_Undergrowth/

The main phone that I use is getting fairly old and I’m overdue upgrading to a phone that could run apps and I decided to try out the Vodafone smart 6 because there seems to be a huge leap in price but little difference in specifications besides the outdated operating system.

A lot of features most phones seem to have are irrelevant to me as I have a decent camcorder which I use for recording and don’t really need a great camera on the phone and if I’m accessing the internet I prefer to do things on my pc so that I can actually use a keyboard and type quicker and navigate better so for the most part this is fairly pointless to me and the only thing I would additionally want is to be able to run mobile specific apps and games that you cannot access via the pc.

While the specifications seem to match up to be able to run some apps that I wanted to access like onion force actually running the game it had a tendancy to crash and revert to “desktop” for lack of a better word, and in other games like arcade math pro the inputs were so delayed that you couldn’t really play such a timing based game effectively. I tested out some other games such as matching blocks games and the like as anything beyond simple games just wouldn’t run despite seeming to be within the specifications listed on the product and the amount of space you had to store any apps was severely limited and seemed not to be improved by inserting a memory card for additional storage so if you’re attempting to use this for apps in any way you’re unlikely to be able to have any success which defeats the purpose of it being a smart phone at all and if you’re looking to get a mobile phone one with an easily accessible screen that often unlocks itself in your pocket is not ideal and I would rather return to the days of a flip screen that’s hidden and protected so it doesn’t do unwanted things in your pocket and don’t tell me you haven’t called or had calls from someone not knowing they’ve set off their phone in their pocket it’s happened to everyone.

As a result of this not really working effectively for apps I have been put off purchasing any better phones for using apps and instead opted for a tablet which I will review separately but I’m sure you’ve already seen the unboxing video of by this point. This is part of the problem, if you have to get a tablet to separately do all the things your smartphone should do but isn’t powerful enough to do or lacks the storage for then perhaps phones alone need to revert to just offering the basic phone and text services for those who want a basic phone and don’t need all of these apps as they don’t work anyway on the phone.

At the very least I expect to be able to run fairly common apps and store enough space to have multiple of the essential apps on a smartphone otherwise you’re just needlessly adding features that are unusable anyway, and this phone cannot do the most basic of apps I would expect any smartphone to be able to run and as a result of this I would prefer that it was just a standard phone and offered shielding in my pocket from accidental unlocks and phonecalls.

As a phone yes it works and it does the job, but if you’re looking for a smartphone to use apps and everything you would expect I would suggest you look elsewhere and pay a little more as this is only a phone and that’s all you’ll ever use it for, but if you get this and a tablet it’s probably the most cost effective way of having a phone and access to the apps you want to use.

Floor kids is an interesting twist on the rhythm game, where rather than having to input a precise series of button combinations to a precise timing you have the freedom to express your creativity to the rhythm of the game through 16 different movesets per character and what is stated to be hundreds of transitions between them. Having said that there are a few factors that do influence your scoring on the levels from keeping a rhythm, expressing your creativity, introducing hot moves, pulling off crowd requests in a timely manner and executing the chorus to perfection.

What does this all mean?

Well quite simply it means that while you are free to do whatever you want if you want the best scores you are going to have to try to do your moves to the rhythm of the tune, factor in crowd requests as this will be 1/5th of your score to adapt as quickly as you can to get their unreasonable requested moves pulled off. You do have a little freedom with your move as the 4 different sets have 4 moves and any of those moves within that style of move will work but you will have to account for how quick your character will transition as sometimes it takes longer than the patience of the audience on later levels making this a harder challenge than you would imagine.

The chorus of course twists the entire thing back on it’s head again with actual timing mechanics required to hit the beat on the correct time, that being said you’re still free to press any button to win here, and between each set there is a button mashing segment to hit everything as hard and as fast as you can, which makes getting a perfect score practically impossible for most people here, but still it’s a good segment to take out your frustrations for missing the beats on the previous segment. The chorus’s are pretty infrequent so they won’t be something that eats up your entire time of the gameplay but still count a significant portion of your score if you’re looking to perfect every level.

There are 8 characters all with their own movesets who you have to unlock over 40 different levels so if you want to unlock everyone and do everything there’s a lot of gameplay here as well as online multiplayer dance battles where you take turns to out score your opponent in the same track. Each character has their own specialisations and do have different styles of break dancing expressed through spins as well as holds and floor moves and have their own feel even though the gameplay mechanics remain the same.

I do also like the art style expressed using a hand drawn cartoony style that definitely fits within a break dancing game, and all the characters have their own personalities expressed well which fit their dance move styles expressed so a lot of consideration has been taken in expressing the break dancing genre in a rhythm game rather well.

But Is The Game Fun?

Yes, quite simply. You’re granted a lot of freedom to express yourself however you want, going faster or slower depending on how you’re feeling the rhythm, just don’t stop otherwise your character will literally stand still looking like a lemon in the middle of the dance circle, and you’re free to transition and vary your moves up as much as you want, adding heat and flare wherever you feel it fits and while you’re better off listening to the crowd and trying to hit all of the chorus beats you’re not going to entirely fail the level by ignoring or missing these, and they’re pretty infrequent so you’re not hemmed into following precise inputs to win while having short burts that do fit in because everyone knows the chorus right? And that’s why you’ve got to fit the exact known moves just to win over the crowd, whereas the rest of the song you get to express your creativity.

I enjoy the game and you’re going to have a lot of fun unlocking all of the characters, you might get a little unlucky with unlocks with the cards leaving it later until you get to unlock the majority of the characters, but getting a new character ads variety and you get to enjoy their different movesets and styles if you choose to go back and perfect previous levels to gain access to the final level, and it stands out from other games in the genre being quite different in it’s gameplay mechanics so it’s pretty unique in that aspect.

Get floor kids for yourself on steam at https://store.steampowered.com/app/821640/Floor_Kids/

Having kept my old philips shaver for a number of years which has served me well the time had come to upgrade as it no longer holds charge and can only be used while plugged directly into the mains which isn’t convenient, so I decided the best upgrade option would be another Philips shaver so I purchased a new series 3000 shaver for myself expecting it to work as well as my previous shaver or better.

Having ordered this via amazon I couldn’t guarantee to be in while the delivery would occur especially as it was ordered while I was working my last job where I literally lived in the building only returning home to sleep and recover before leaving for work again the entire day the next day. So while I was out my amazon delivery was “left in a safe place” by the delivery driver, not remotely the safest possible location just left behind the wheely bins and fairly visible by anyone rather than even being hidden inside the top of one of the bins, or placed over the back fence or even put through the letterbox as this would have fit. This wasn’t the worst part however, as I would rather have been able to arrange redelivery on a rare day off but the worst part of this was the disgusting thing I found inside my amazon package and could only have come from someone either the deliverer or at the factory themselves.

Upon opening my package I initially thought it was some form of white tac holding the item in place however upon closer inspection I noticed actually my item was stuck to the delivery packaging with chewed fruity chewing gum that smelt of tropical flavour, considering I only had mint chewing gum it definitely could not have came from me, and it was disgusting to have my item stuck onto the box with someone else’s chewed gum and whatever diseases they probably have and definitely has their mouth bacteria all inside my box.

How Does The Shaver Compare To My Old One?

Having used the shaver for a while I can definitely say I get rather frustrated by the new shaver often feeling like it hasn’t done as good a job at cutting all the hairs I have growing on my face, often leaving several very long hairs just missed that my old shaver would have trimmed, and that if I want to get rid of them effectively I have to go over the whole area again with my old shaver just to get rid of these hairs that stand out.

My old shaver was easier to clean and came with a brush to do so, whereas the series 3000 doesn’t come with a cleaning brush and the internals are much harder to clean and disassemble, and often the top will detach itself from the base while you are trying to clean it or tip out he hair follicle remnants which is ultra annoying because once detached this part is the hardest to get to clip back in.

It is worth noting that the shaver states it is designed to be for wet and dry, whereas my old shaver was only for dry shaving, and this may operate better with shaving foam, however since I dry shave this isn’t something I plan on testing. The shave heads on this are also flexible in 4 directions compared to my old shaver having more fixed heads, this is supposed to achieve a better shave but I find this doesn’t seem to make any difference and instead results in sometimes the shave head getting stuck under the casing and potentially damaging the shaver if pushed in the wrong way.

Overall Impressions of the Series 3000?

While I can see that the packaging suggests it is designed to be more protective and comfortable than regular shaving I would prefer it to be more effective so you don’t have to constantly go over the missed hairs over and over again until finally you get the smooth shave you’re looking for, this isn’t something that would work for me personally and if I had come across this as my shaving option as a kid I would probably have resorted to disposable razers just to get an effective shave, thankfully my original Philips shaver was very effective and served me well for years so I know they can do better, after having tried foil electric razers unsuccessfully.

Cleaning and maintenance of the shaver seems to be a last minute consideration as my previous shaver was designed to effectively be dismantled and restored with ease to keep it clean, this one collects the hairs in an uneven surface where you couldn’t effectively clean, the blades are much harder to take off and restore, and in doing so you can often find yourself resetting the heads wrong or catapulting the top of the shaver across the room as the flimsy clip releases itself.

All in all though the main thing you’re buying the shaver for is to remove facial hair and leave yourself feeling clean and hairless, and this shaver just doesn’t do this effectively, and I know Philips can do better as my previous shaver is from them, and I would give up comfort for an effective and clean shave that just works straight away removing all hairs from stubble to weeklong growth with ease. As this razer does not do this effectively unfortunately I cannot recommend this as an electric shaver, I would suggest finding a working version of my old shaver if you really wanted an effective electric shaver, or suggest disposable blades as they will work far more effectively than this product, that being said there are easy ways they could fix the problem, have the shave heads cut more effectively and not miss all these hairs, redesign the cleaning system so it’s flat inside easier to remove the follicle remnants, and make the top stay attached and the heads easier to remove for maintenance and cleaning.

It’s sad to say that I can’t recommend this product and I would replace it with any working electric shaver that actually removes hairs as well as my previous shaver did.

Juicy Realm is an action shoot em up roguelike over 4 biomes where you have to blast your way through waves of fruit and veg along with some other edibles trying to make your way to find out why all these fruit have become sentient and are at war with humanity.

It’s easy to make comparisons to the binding of Isaac and enter the gungeon, and these similarities aren’t entirely unjustified although the gameplay in this game is room to room rather than being over a procedurally generated floor, and the variety of floors and enemies at least at time of review is rather limited. Don’t put this against the game though as the binding of Isaac first started with a small selection of bosses and enemies and as the game became more popular more and more was added to the game to play on the variety and make sure replayability remained at the top of the agenda.

There are a few things to unlock beginning with additional gameplay characters, but also mid point bonuses between realms that aid you such as the gun shop and the upgrade store from defeating the first two bosses of the game, I’m unsure if there are further unlockables due to the fact that anything you unlocked is not stated or shown in any way and you simply have to discover that you’ve unlocked the extra playable characters on your own, there may be more added to the game as time progresses but even as it stands now it’s a very playable game and very approachable.

I would suggest if you’re an experienced gamer to start on the hardest difficulty if you want to get the most out of the game as it might be a little easier than you would expect but don’t take this as a negative because this game might have been designed for a younger audience with the colourful fruit and veg enemies and the easy gameplay mechanics without complex and numerous varieties of combinations of powers and weaponry.

It is worth considering that the bosses are also very unique each with their own mechanics to be dispatched, with a watermelon who has a hide too thick to be pierced naturally that you have to stun him with explosives and expose his soft innards in order to defeat him, and the method to take down all the bosses have their own mechanics you have to master and learn in order to progress.

The characters themselves have their own powers and unique abilities so they are different to simply cosmetic choices although the main path to victory is finding the best weaponry on your run and ensuring you keep your ammunition and health at suitable enough levels to defeat the game.

Every run in the game traverses four worlds each with their own boss and the length of a run tends to be under an hour of gameplay from start to win even on the hardest difficulty which feels about the right game length especially if they wanted to consider adding daily runs with high scores or fastest times, although the level and enemy variety might want a little adjustment if they were to consider adding such a feature so that runs feel a lot different, but you can understand that there are set groups of enemies in each world and those are the ones that you will always encounter and this isn’t an expensive game and adding such features and variety would take up a lot more work and really require the game to be more expensive than it is, so taking the game as it stands and at the price they ask for the game it’s very reasonable and a game worth a purchase for sure, and if you’re unfamiliar with this style of game it’s a great entrance into the genre as very much a roguelight with some very unique and fun gun styles, and remains a fun action blaster to fight your way through to win.

The storyline could come or go especially as the end of the run seems a little anticlimactic and like the whole lore was pointless and remains unexplained throughout, or like there’s more to be added beyond the dark forests at the end. You won’t be buying the game for the story however, you’ll be playing it for the gameplay and the fun you’ll get out of it and you’ll have fun blasting all the fruit with all of the weaponry available as you discover how to defeat the bosses and work your way to your first victory.

Check out juicy realm for yourself on steam at https://store.steampowered.com/app/732370/Juicy_Realm/

Having started a new job where I had been working 58 hours a week in the building it was good to get some time off and the opportunity arose to get on the guest list for the stone sour gig at the birmingham arena which I jumped at to get some R&R as well as do something with my time off.

The opening act were the pretty reckless who I had not had the opportunity to hear before, so I was pleasantly suprised by the act coming out strong with some good tunes, the act did start with what can only be described as the lead singer’s sex noises climbing to climax before they came on, and the sexualisation continued in the music and the singers actions on the stage but this lead to a heated performance which the audience loved.

The music continued to be varied and keep up the pace which many of the warm up acts I’ve experienced before in the years of gig’s I’ve worked at often fail to maintain especially when coming out strong but these guys managed to do it and warm up the audience immediately.

When stone sour themselves came on stage they came out just as strong keeping the audience entertained without too long of a wait between setup. They played newer songs followed by some of the old favourites all of the crowd new encouraging people to join in singing along.

The usual crowd shennanigans were going on from the crush at the front to people trying to start up moshpits, albeit right next to the front which of course failed because it’s impossible to start a pit in the middle of the crush. I pointed out to those attempting to do so they’d have better luck doing so further back so they headed back and of course were successful in making one causing a wave of people to wash past. In the past I have allowed myself to be carried by the crowd however after an incident at download festival I now hold myself steady and unmoving when these waves pass and attempt to stop it entirely. The incident I speak of is when I was at the front crush maybe 3 rows from the front and a large fast wave hit suddenly knocking everyone sideways so much so that people were struggling to stay upright and this lead to me and another girl ending up on the floor under the crowd, where I was being pulled up by a guy on my left but I held out my hand to the girl on the floor as she said “don’t let go” after we were both stuck under the crush of the crowd unable to stand up. I could have allowed myself to be picked up but I wasn’t going to leave her on the floor, however as I was refusing to get up without pulling her upright the crowd lifted me vertically and crowd surfed me over the front barrier and I couldn’t hold on to her hand during all of that and I don’t know if she ever got back up, I do know she was never lifted out the front as she didn’t come over the barrier and the medics couldn’t see if she got lifted out. I did also hear after the festival that year that someone died trampled under the crowd so it does stick with me that perhaps I could have done more especially if I hadn’t let the crowd push me and as a result knock me and her down under everyone so I vowed never to let that happen again, so when someone says I ruin all the fun not allowing myself and others to get knocked down by the wave of crowd then they need to look at their idea of fun, because running people down with a motor vehicle might be just as fun to them but surely going to result in injury or death and not exactly enjoyable to those getting plowed down.

The show continued with an encore resulting in wild wacky wavy arm inflatables being deployed, perhaps upstaging the band when they were fighting for attention and slapping them in the face every time they tied to get up front and center, but it made part of the show just the same.

All in all they put on a good show and it is definitely recommended if you get the chance on the upcoming tour to go see either pretty reckless or stone sour while they are on tour.

Trying to get back in shape and feel happier about myself after the years of maladministration I’ve been subjected to and my body falling into terrible shape and after a crisis of mental health issues I have not only been trying to get back into shape in sometimes desperate and stupid measures but also in order to feel happier about my looks I decided to buy some extreme facial products and leave them on for extreme periods overnight where it states to leave them on at most for 30 minutes and show off the results.

I try both a charcoal face mask and a 24 karat gold collagen one, both have a little effect which seems temporary and perhaps down to my own ill health which could be liver problems as this is where my doctor states the pain is even though I have to wait up to 26 weeks for a hospital appointment to get a proper scan, however I wish to look better sooner as I want to try and win back my ex and feel a little hopeful for something I want in life to go right for once.

Having tried both products however it is clear that one works far better than the other, at least in overnight usage terms. The 24 karat gold collagen facemask seems a little misleading, not only does the package show a slip on mask, but the gold is shown to be more extreme than the glue like liquidy glitter texture you end up with, which peels off too easily and doesn’t feel or look like it works as well as the charcoal face mask, which dries to a satisfying rubbery texture which dries to a satisfying peel to remove blackheads and impurities and also looks like it whitens the skin better at least in a temporary nature to leave a much better complexion for the day ahead, this does however fade and pass but again if I’ve got liver problems perhaps results might last longer for you at home.

I have used one1x however I notice that since my purchase clearasil and other products have their own charcoal products so perhaps this is an upcoming thing, either way I would recommend the charcoal face mask over any others as it does the job and feels more like it’s working and peels off satisfyingly.

Some games I wanted to play but didn’t do a full series on, more and more games will be added to this playlist with one off gameplay video’s so if you want to check out the links to the games you’ll have to go to the individual video for that game, however this playlist will show off many games which perhaps have more simplistic gameplay that wouldn’t need showing in a full review, or just some games I have got in bundles in the past or just something I want to show off a little without playing a full series on the game.

Check out the playlist for yourself at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQSi3zjTHLGIHM8tVt7-9xsfOS2oCScEW

Games are added to my steam curator page over at https://store.steampowered.com/curator/6860437/ feel free to follow over there to see when deal’s on these games are available on steam.

With the average UK household said to be wasting £60 in food every month tesco have introduced measures to cut down on their own food waste by launching a community food connection program which donates surplus food from their stores to local charities, alongside this they are introducing “perfectly imperfect” ranges to take more fruit and veg from their suppliers which wouldn’t fit the normal standards, but essentially is a replacement for the value ranges rebranded and perhaps repriced.

Of course this doesn’t reduce the fact that households waste so much food on average, instead that would come down to changing the way you shop and the way you use the food in your household, where various suggestions are made, through a leftovers tool where you can look up recipe’s to use the leftovers in your fridge rather than allowing them to go to waste, along with recipe’s at lovefoodhatewaste which has been launched to help waste less.

I received vouchers to try the perfectly imperfect fruit range with apples and pears currently available but these would change throughout the year with whatever fruit and veg they have growing which would have imperfect options, along with a voucher to try the eat fresh, keep fresh chicken range at £2.50

Perfectly Imperfect Range

The perfectly imperfect range is fruit and vegetable products which may just be off shape or a little small or large, but could have other imperfections too. It would seem they are a replacement for the tesco value range by another name, and as such varieties in the fruit and veg would vary from week to week depending on what products are available at that time to tesco to fill the range, and these would not last all year but be very seasonal, however while they’re there you can get necessary fruit and vegetable fulfillment at a reasonable price.

Finding the products proved to be rather difficult, and while staff would promise a new delivery every day if you went in 4 time in a week and a half like I did they never had a single delivery, and staff will use the go to “there’s a delivery tomorrow” without actually checking if the range is coming in or not as the products never got refilled, I ended up having to resort to talking to tesco’s twitter account to get help sourcing the product as even though deliveries were stated it never arrived either, and I got sent to another store which had some in stock, price may also seem to vary from store to store as my store stated 70p for the apples but I got them for 60p in the store I went to where they were in stock.

The range is fine, and when I worked at festivals the fruit would often be gala apples much the same as those in the perfectly imperfect range, and the conference pears look perfectly fine to me, maybe they don’t have noble shoulders but that doesn’t matter and eating them it’s simply that these fruits haven’t aged properly, there’s no pips inside, but once they’ve ripened and gone softer they taste perfectly fine, and if you’re into hard pears you’ve got them off the bat! All in all the range is perfectly fine, and the fact is other than looks you’re really going to get the same product at a cheaper rate, maybe you might have to peel the fruit and remove the imperfections if there are nips in the flesh, but that’s minor and you’re likely to get that in most instances anyway.

Eat Fresh, Keep Fresh Chicken

The “eat fresh, keep fresh” chicken range contains 300g of chicken which is more expensive than the willow farms range which is £1.89 for the same amount of chicken, the only variation is that both breasts are together in the willow farms where the tesco keep fresh range has two separate compartments, but at nearly 60p extra this probably isn’t ideal. With the 60p extra you could buy some clingfilm to wrap the second breast and this would last hundreds of packs not just one, and at nearly 25% off for exactly the same product it seems a rather wasteful range, especially if most people would cook both breasts together if they’re having a meal with a partner, and single people can store the other breast fine without it’s own vacuum sealed pack, unless they’re really silly and leave it uncovered several days straight, or even out of the fridge but that’s their own fault then and a lack of common sense in consumers doesn’t justify such expensive packaging options which is actually very wasteful in terms of product packaging.

Cooking the product itself it is an inferior chicken breast also, as it has a lot of added water. because the juices coming from the breast when cooked on the george forman grill were mostly water, having cooked a lot of meats and chicken on the grill I know the fluids that come from these and this was very watery, also when cooked the flavour was missing and it was a very disappointing product, you can definitely find chicken which hasn’t been pumped with preservatives and water as much as this for a better price, and at £8.34 a kilo you expect unmessed with chicken not something that is inflated with water to make more profits. (For reference beef brisket on the counter is £8 a kilo or you can get pork for significantly less) I just found the chicken very disappointing, and is probably the worst chicken I’ve ever had.

Another thing I would change is that the skin is removed, with such a product if the skin was left on the breast it could easily be removed if someone didn’t want it but those who like the skin it’d be nice to have it included, but if as it seems the chicken has been inflated with added water injected then it’d be a flag saying hey this is so much bigger than the skin so you can see why they’ve had to remove it, but a nice piece of crispy skin on the breast is very nice, and if the “added water” is supposed to keep it moist, that’s the job the skin would do, keeping the moist breast during cooking and leaving a very tasty crispy outer layer, and I know a lot of people don’t know just how good a salted crispy chicken skin is, it’s chicken crackling and it’s very good. (just keep an eye out some celebrity chef will eventually steal the idea when they realize how good it is)

Reduced To Clear

One way tesco reduce the amount they waste is reducing products to clear so they’re cheaper and affordable with those who cannot afford to pay full retail, the problem with this comes two-fold in some instances the shelves contain out of date products not reduced more than 25% as they wont reduce the full range, and the other major problem comes in the fact that the price reductions occur at the same time every day and in my local store there’s a group of 6 women that act like piranha’s and block the isle with their trolleys and take absolutely everything that the assistant reduces to 80% every single day (quoted by the staff at the tesco store I visited) not only do they block the isles but if you do get past to look at the reduced produce, they will try to push you out and then grab and hold every single product to hold onto and pass to the assistant so nobody else gets reduced to clear produce.

Now I’m not suggesting reducing to clear is a bad thing because there are a lot of things I would rely upon reduced in order to live, it just needs a little reform where people every single day with entire trolleys of reduced products are clearly either selling on or wasting all of that food, which goes against the food waste scheme, as if they’re taking so much home simply because it’s cheap just to waste it this isn’t good. The other problem is that some ranges such as the ready meals and meat don’t seem to get reduced and get ignored so much so that on the 6 visits I made in short succession over a few weeks trying to get the apples at various times on 3 occasions I found out of date products in the stores ( and in my own personal shopping I keep coming across out of date products in tesco not reduced below 25% and that’s why they go unsold, sure they might go to charities but people would buy them to use and not want to rely upon the charities if they got reduced enough to actually sell)

The reforms I would suggest would be not to take products off the shelf to leave unreduced or even reduced at a small ammount of 5-10%, instead starting off at 25% the night before at the same time everything is reduced 80% save a job by doing it all together. There are people who would then buy it at 25%, with at least an extra day on the range, then in the morning/noonish it could be reduced to 40-50% and then later reduced to the 80-90% savings. I can guarantee some ranges get skipped as I have even gone in an hour before the store closed and asked the staff at the reduced section if the products were getting reduced any further and they were not, and this was one of the occasions where there were out of date products on the reduced to clear, and most of the range was only 25% off which was not good, and with discounters in the area offering similar products at much cheaper than even those reduced to clear prices it becomes a hard sell for those who are price savy and shop around.

Who is to say how the reduced to clear range may change with the new system, perhaps more ranges won’t get reduced because they will be passed onto charities, but in that instance tesco really are wasting more food, sure it’s going to charities but when there are people who would buy just what they would eat without wasting it if it was reduced to a price they could afford then reform might need to be done to ensure everything gets reasonably reduced so more gets sold, because surely it’s better to sell than to simply pass the buck to charities to seem like nothing is getting wasted.

What Can You Do To Reduce Waste Yourself?

The main reform which would need to occur is with yourself when you are shopping, if you are one of those wasting anything close to £60 of food every month you might want to think about what you are buying, do you need it, will you eat it? Will it go to waste? How much have you already got in your fridge going to waste? And if you’re reduced to clear shopping don’t take the entire shelf just because it is cheap, just take a few things some treats and some essentials and only what you know wont get wasted. Be kind and polite so other shoppers can also take advantage of the reductions, and in turn you might notice there are products left for you on other days too rather than a mad rush to grab everything in a sea of piranha munching your flesh if you put your arm in the section.

Other than that if you know you have some food which will be going to waste, cook it before it goes off, freeze it, or use a recipe to use it all up and enjoy the food you’ve purchased rather than throwing your money directly into the bin.

I was sent a voucher for tesco meat products in order to put up my opinion’s of selected by tesco wine’s but I didn’t receive any discount off the wine perhaps for a variety of reasons, partially from the government changes which have been implemented to “prevent” cheap alcohol being sold, which far from preventing drinking problems just makes alcohol more expensive in the lower quality end of the market and those with drinking problems will still have those issues and spend whatever the cost to maintain the habit. So as always www.drinkaware.co.uk and stay responsible.

In store you wouldn’t get a lot of the information put in the campaign with food suggestions and pairings or any highlight on the selected by tesco wines, and regardless of the sales and promotional side perhaps if the wine section selected food pairings (as part of the responsible theme being portrayed of enjoying with a meal) on the shelves along the wine this might encourage people to try the suggested accompaniments, however in store you would not know anything special about the new range as they are hard to spot on the shelves and hard to spot on the bottles, supposedly to make pricing easier despite clearly not being the case shelf wide as other wines remain on promotion and with money off so only the selected by tesco range of usually cheaper wines avoids being put on further promotion and I do question heavily the true nature of the change.

The selected by tesco labeling is rather well hidden on the wine, not highlighted and easily spotted, and amongst other wines on the shelves it can be hard to find the particular bottles in the range, and the price variation is definitely not any different to existing products, so claims it is perhaps somewhere between full retail and discounted for convenience all year round seems incorrect as it is simply full retail all year and never discounted ever again while more expensive wines may be discounted to this price range and give a better quality of wine.

Something else you wouldn’t know by simply purchasing off the shelf is that all the wines are taste tested and selected by the master of wines james davis, however tasting the £4 merlot I purchased heavy in tannin and very inferior it is hard to see how this was “specially selected” amongst merlot’s to be sold on the shelf as the best tesco could offer and specifically selected by tesco to be sold for around £4 when I have tasted much better merlot’s for £4 with no tannin ready to drink and of a good quality.

The recommendations listed in this campaign for a sunday roast are a rioja reserva at £6.50 for red meat and an australian chardonnay for £3.95 for chicken, which may have been reasonable suggestions however with my own studies of wines and spirits with an intermediate WSET wine tasting certification which involved tasting a lot of wines and champagnes both high end and low I can safely identify the qualities of wines as well as know what foods to pair with which wines and I would always recommend a merlot with red meat dishes, whether a roast or a steak even though a rioja is adept and as a reserva and knowing the quality of their merlot perhaps it was a better suggestion out of the two wines, but going in blind I would’ve found a better merlot if I was tesco’s master of wines!

So not receiving a discount on the wine I chose a £5 meat voucher out of the choices, and cooked up a roast dinner with a tesco counter brisket and the making of this will be over at wackykitchen.co.uk The other choices were tesco cheeses, where the wine recommended is a bordeux superior again no mention of this on the shelves near the wine nor the cheese selection. The tesco party food selection suggests an australian shiraz £3.95, and a rose zinfandel £4.50

The blurb that prices are being simplified rather than half price promotions seems a little stale when prices vary so much ranging from £3.95, £4 products to £4.50 £6 etc etc so rather than being simplified it seems that all the wines tend to have their own prices and do not pertain to the quality of the wine, as you will be getting a cheap tasting wine, in the case of the merlot at the very least as this was definitely a bottom of the range wine that needed perhaps another year or two aging to remove the tannin and to open up the flavours as it was very bitter and hard to identify any flavours behind the tannin, perhaps if this was decanted for a week it would be drinkable but freshly opened it lacked the quality I expected for something seemingly “selected” especially for tesco by wine tasting experts, which again you could get a £6-8 merlot often discounted to £4 of significantly better quality than this, there seems to be no noticeable saving and simplification, instead this is a fully retailed £4 wine which really should be discounted to possibly £2.50 to be of any noticeable value and my recommendation would be to look for the wine discounted to £4 from a higher price which will be the good quality ready to drink merlot with good flavour.

It does state that perhaps the selected by tesco wine range will make it easier to make your selection and this may be the case, that you avoid the selected by tesco range and look for a better quality wine discounted, as often the discounted merlot which is reduced to £4 will be noticeably better than the full retail merlot of £4.

The meat counter brisket however was good quality and definitely recommended, I just wish the wine was as the quality is stated to be and not the tannin filled disappointment it turned out to be as anyone unfamiliar with merlot would buy this once taste it and think never again simply because this was released far too soon and utterly bitter with tannin.