Tom Reviews

Review: packed lunch (made by wife)

As a kid growing up with ARFID (more info at i didnt eat anything at school other than a packed a lunch.
In fact what I ate for a packed lunch is pretty much what I had for lunch and dinner every day for at least the first 25 years of my life.
that means the order I eat things in is actually correct:

  1. Sandwich
  2. Chocolate
  3. Crisps/salty thing
  4. fruit or yoghurt

always finish with the fruit as its the palate cleanser (not with the sweet, you cretins)
Anyway I'm 37 now and eat a relatively normal diet nowadays but I have recently started a new job and my wife is on maternity leave while expecting our first child
So she has graciously made me a packed lunch twice this week
This has saved me around 10 minutes in the morning and makes lunch time a nice suprise to find what i had packed.
Imagine my suprise when i found no choclate in my lunch box? I was dumbfounded. She had instead doubled on salt (crisps & peanuts)
(My wife, when questioned, insisted that there was no choclate at home.
I conducted a thorough investigation of this claim and found 2 chocolate crepes in a draw at home.
I decided against sharing my findings as I want more packed lunches and dont want to piss her off)
She countered the salt with an extra helping of chopped strawberries
when I first saw the strawberries I was worried that the taste would have permeated through into my marmite and cheese sandwiches but you will be pleased to read, dear reader, that everything tasted fine
So while it wasnt the perfect lunch it did save me time, money and made me happy so thats a win

Score: 9/10 Highly recommend getting a wife who makes you packed lunches

packed lunch

Review: Job Interviews

job interview

What a palaver!
I swear back in the day I just needed a CV and quick chat.
Now I need a 3 stage interview and to describe my spirit animal in excruciating detail (ant)
why an Ant? becuase they are adaptable and just get on with the job
"but what happens when things go wrong and you put a stick in the middle of their route? they get lost and go crazy!"
Mate....I dont have a fucking thorax, do I? I'm not an actual Ant.
I humoured your dumb question and gave a jovial response and now you want to pick holes in my bullshit answer.
"unlike an Ant I am able to cope with change In my environment"
what a load of bollocks

I look forward to the day I can just ask my AI clone/avatar assistant to do all this rubbish in my stead.

Score: 4/10 Dance, Monkey! Dance!

Review: Journey of The Prairie king (some shit my wife is playing)

My wife has been playing "journey of the prairie king" for like 1 hour straight and she wont stop saying shit like:

  1. ah shit i didnt even see that coming
  2. tom look at this
  3. u think u can beat the prairie king?
  4. i frigging hate this game
when asked to sum up her thoughts on the game she said "gyhuuh?"
i think this answer sums up the game
she cant take her attention away from it and she is hooked
but for how long?

as far as I'm aware, the game is some sort of mini game found in Stardew Valley
it looks like an old 8 bit or 4 bit game i dunno it looks plain as fuck
you face a wave of bad guys with your character and a gun in a one room arena
it looks like the binding of isaac

my wife has just said "you are a horrible man, i asked you to help me on thsi game but instead you write a can quote me on that" [Wife 7:30pm 06/04/2024]
overall the game looks rubbish but My wife is enjoying it.

Score: 6/10 please stop talking about it

Review: You'll never find me (Movie)

Australians seem to do a pretty good job at horror! (go watch "talk to me")
I feel like this move is a mix between "babadook" (psychological, slow burn) and "killer joe" (set in a mobile home)
Its set in a crappy mobile home with some old creepy drunk (or is he sweet and innocent?)
who regularly has kids do knock and run on his door - but during a particularly bad storm a young woman turns up soaked and in need of some respite
what follows is interesting, tense and full of twists to keep you guessing at the backgrounds and motivations of our 2 main characters

I think i guessed this one about 45 mins in but I wasn't 100% on my theory as it kept on twisting and turning
It looked great and i loved the use of colour and it has a fairly satisfying ending.
If you like a slow burn psychological horror then i can recommend this and I'll be keeping an eye out for more from the writer/directors
Indiana Bell (writer director)& Josiah Allen (director) according to IMDB

Score: 8/10 crikey! Worth a watch

Review: The Gentlemen (Netflix series)

Do you fancy a foray into a frolicking & fanciful criminal underworld?
"then stick up your trotters and take a butchers" (put your feet up and take a look)
at this great new series that i'm sure guy ritchie had something to do with....did he write the script?
did he direct?
I havent got a fucking clue and If you dont have a fucking clue how the criminal underworld works you'll probably love this show
If you are member of a big time crime organisation I imagine you probably screaming at your tv:
"not like that! shoot him in the head!" or
"everybody knows you dont cut off the whole finger! just above the knuckle is all you need....fucking amatuers this lot"
this is similar to the frustration I feel when seeing bartenders in TV shows serve pints with their fingers all over the rim of the glass.

anyway, Theo James/Kaya Scoledario do a sterling job of making me believe they are begrudgingly/competently running a massive crime syndicate based around selling weed from secret underground bases on posh estates
If you've seen the movie, its basically that for 8 hours. Which is fantastic.

I still want to watch Rock'n'rolla part was promised....

Score: 9/10 - We are not criminals Freddie

Review: Shogun, episodes 1 & 2 (TV series)

Cosmo Jarvis is a weird name innit?
This cut price Tom Hardy plays, John Blackthorne, the first Englishman to set foot in Japan.
He does a great gruff voice that works well for dishing out Elizebethan era insults such as, but not limited to:

I really did enjoy his performance although a colleague of mine hated his voice.

Shogun demands your attention as quite a lot of it is in Japanese so you have to read the subtitles.
The language barrier between the English/Portuguese Vs the Japanese makes for some fun and shocking clash of culture moments.
I played a video game: Nioh - which also based on the actual first englishman (or was he irish) to visit japan, William Adams.
its all interesting stuff and definitley worth a watch.

Score: 9/10 - Piss all over the Portuguese)

Review: Rudimental, Skepsis - Green & Gold ft Charlotte Plank, Riko Dan (Music Video)

I really enjoyed the first seven seconds as I thought tarantula by pendulum was about to play.
This is a lively song and I'll be honest, I listened to 10 other new releases today and this was the first one I actually enjoyed.
Pretty standard fare though from Rudimental although I do really like the catchy chorus.
Would I favourite it on spotify? nah.
Would I skip it? no.
its not quite a Gold from me but it just passes with a green.

Score: 7/10 - Its alright I suppose

Review: Needing a poo during an important meeting


I have needed an urgent poo in many situations over the years of my life so far.
this most recent case was not the most urgent poo but the importance of the meeting made it the most difficult situation.
I had been out of the office on visits so had a packed schedule and hadnt been to the toilet all day
I get back to the office just in time to cover a meeting for a colleague.
Literally had my laptop up and running at bang on 1pm in time for the meeting.
This meeting was important because it involves multiple peoples welfare and so I have to give it my utmost attention and respect
This meant I had to really suppress what started to happen in my bowels about 3 mins into the meeting by using various wiggling techniques, strained sighs & winces.
I gave my input and the second I thought the meeting was drawing to a close I made my excuses and rushed to the toilet
The relief was great and it reminded me of similar great escapes I have had-
the worst being driving back to a depot and needing to expel the copius amounts of sweets, chocolate and moster energy drink I had bubbling away
I remember nearly crying at the thought shitting my pants so close to the depot.
but i think thats what gets you - your subconsicous know you are near a toilet so it starts up the generator in the lower decks of your body in prepartion for whats to come
I dont appreciate this aspect of my body in these situations but I am sure it comes in handy 99% of the time.

Score: 2/10 I suppose it could of gotten worse

Review: One Day (Netflix series)

I spent the first episode yawning and not really caring for either character but by episode 3 I wanted to know what happens next.
Each episode is a snapshot of a year in the lives of Emma & Dexter and how their friendship and love ebbs and flows over these years.
we also get to see the rise and fall of their personal lives and how they intersect with each other.
I was told there was a twist! I did some quick maths and was fully expecting the series to end in September 2001.
but they survive 2001 so dont worry..

Score: 8/10 - its a fun ride with likeable characters who you will end up caring about

Review: Buying a home (as first time buyers)


About 8 years ago I went through a DRO or debt relief order which is basically a soft bankruptcy.
I had lost my job and owed nearly 20k.
I was fortunate to have a roof over my head living at a social co-operative (its a weird type of social housing that I should probably write a review for).

Anyway - 8 years after reaching the bottom, my wife and I have managed to save enough for 5% deposit on a house under 200k.
We have had to move an hour away to be able to afford a place but I am amazed not to be renting. The process of saving for a house basically meant we were semi-hermitted for 2 years.
finding a house within our budget and that fitted our hopes and dreams was quite difficult.
we were "gazumped" on 2 houses we had bids accepted for - this is where a cash buyer has stolen the sale from under us.
The house we bought we had intitally seen a few months prior but we didnt put an offer in as it was about 30K over what we wanted to pay.
The seller dropped the price just as we had about given up of finding anything and we managed to buy a recently built home (6years old) for 3k less then the seller paid for it!
then we basically just had to pay loads of people loads of money to do all the paperwork for us and it took around 3.5months!
It was pretty confusing and we made a few faux pas such as getting a better rate on mortgage after exchanging contracts - but it all worked out fine.

moving in and out was OK as we had loads of volunteers!
even my old neighbour helped me move out...cant tell if that means he liked us or wanted us out!
we rented a luton van with a tail lift and managed to get 90% of the stuff on and the rest in peoples cars.
we had everything in the new house just by just after midday! massive thanks to everyone that helped xxx
the day we picked up the keys we decided to rug doctor the entire house as the carpest looked dirty.
we did a good job.
however msyelf and my mother in law got a good whiff of teh carpet the next day when we were putting the sofa together and our heads were near the floor:


Piss all over the carpets.
apparantly cleaning a carpet can agitate old smells.
Once you smell it you cant get rid of it. we tried lots of cleaning products and white vinegar and such until it was decided we had no choice but to rip out the carpet and put in laminate wood flooring.
This took us about 4 days to buy everything (with some help) and get it done.

I am very happy with the results but fuck me it was some work and i was not expecting to be renovating a room after less than a few days of home ownership.

Also the toilets are leaking and I have literally just discovered one of the upstairs windows wont shut.
I imagine my weekends will forever be filled with trips to B&Q and odd jobs

Score: 8.1/10 I actually own a home!

this score is an average... actually owning a home is 10/10. paying for it is 7.5/10. the process of buying is 7.9/10. actually moving is 7/10

Review: Posh pub restuarant (food)

On day two of operation: spend all my money as fast as I can, we are going to posh pub/restaurant
to anyone thinking "err no a pub cant be a posh restaurant" fuck off, they serve cocktails.
Am I reviewing the meal? no.
I am reviewing just having a meal at a venue.
I walked to this pub (proper trek) once and just ordered a J20 and some chips and I was blown away.
How the hell someone can make chips and blow me away must either point to my lack of a culinary palete or that this place is bloody amazing.
Since the chips I have eaten at the 3 Horseshoes In madingley like 3 times (bloody expensive)
but as we are moving away from the area soon I cannot think of a better last meal
I will just get some random stuff off the menu. It will be great.

actually I'm not writing a review of the meal cos when i get back home I just want to drink a beer and play Ps5 or watch something with my Wife.
I am writing a review of something everyday, so I guess I am just getting this one out of the way

Score: 9/10 Nandos is cheaper but this is tastier


Review: Pay day takeaway (Indian)

Its pay day! Lets celebrate by spending my money as quickly as possible and buy an expensive takeaway!
Thats £40 down the drain on vindaloo, naan, poppadoms, onion bhajis, whatever my wife had and a burning ring piece tomorrow
Sometimes the vindaloo isnt that spicy and I proper love it.
most of the time I cry and my nose runs.

Score: 8/10 So tasty, but too expensive

Ai take away

Review: Next Goal Wins (Movie)

I only went and looked at my phone for most of the movie again.
There was definitely a few laughs to be had and there probably would have been a few more if I had paid attention but it wasnt a particularly gripping movie.
I usually love a sporting under dog story but this one just didnt grab me.

Score: 5/10 orange card


Review: Buttering soft bread on a cold day (with cold butter)

Its 8am and I'm making sandwiches for my packed lunch.
We've ran out of spreadable lurpack (I am nearly middleclass).
Remembering all the Bear Grylls episodes I have ever watched, I overcome and adapt by just making a cheese and marmite sandwich;
Marmite will have to act as the butter.
My wife ominously calls down the stairs:
"Can you make me a sandwich too?"
I panick!
"We've ran out of spreadable butter!" I shout upstairs
"My dear Husband, We have some normal butter, use that." she shouts back while she applies her make up.
I look at the solid ice white butter dish and gulp.
Surely she cant be serious? Use the cold butter? This bread is difficult not to tear a hole in with spreadable butter.
"Are you sure you want a sandwich? I dont think this is gonna work."
I cant quite remember what my wife said, but I realised I never really had a choice.
I had to make her a sandwich or deal with the consequences, for who knows how long.
I implemented a fine slicing technique reminiscent of the ancient chinese torture method, Death by a thousand papercuts.
While doing this I thought about microwaving the butter or pouring boiling water on the lid of the butter dish but then I looked down and I was pretty much done.
Here are my results:

Score: 1/10 Absolute Pish

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Review: Danny Brown - Y.B.P (Music Video)

My doctor recently called me middle aged on my last check up;
I am also white and I'm about to be upgraded from working class to middle class.
This makes it difficult for me to relate to the new Danny Brown song, Y.B.P, which I assume means "young, black & poor".
this doesnt stop me somewhat enjoying the track and especially enjoying the final 3rd of stop motion video.
the guy on the 2nd verse some some awkward sounding delivery which I would usually associate with Danny Brown - I dont know what this signifies.

Score: 6/10 - Its alright I suppose

Review: Trips to the Tip (recycling centre)

I kinda love a trip to the tip.
I'm moving house so have lots of old crap to throw away.
bang it all in the boot of the car.
10 mins down the road, get to the tip.
show off my reverse parking skills by parking in the diagonal bays.
ask the bloke in the Hi-Vis "would you count this old hoover as plastic or metal?"
His eyes light up with £ signs as he asks "is that a dyson?"
"No mate, its some cheap shit from tesco."
"chuck it in the metal bin" he nods towards the big metal skip and is pleased that his sage judgement has been heeded.
then you get to climb the stairs to the massive skip and toss your crap in.

Occasionally I have to get sneaky and hide a bag of rubbish around a corner or chuck it in a skip i'm 50% sure is the right category.

Score: 9.5/10 Strangely Cathartic

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Review: Jack Reacher, Season 2 (Prime TV series)

Jack reacher season 2 wasn't as good as season 1.
I did like meeting his old army buddies but it just meant there was less screen time for Reacher to break bones.
Everyfight they did have, up until near the end, was always a knife fight because the bad guys didnt want to cause a scene.
So many times the series could of just ended if someone decided to shoot a gun instead (is this even set in America?)
Rather than link to a video from this current season, as I feel I have been bombarded by trailers for it, I have linked to a fight scene from season 1 which shows some good ol' bone breaking action

Score: 6/10 - a bit dumb but still enjoyable

Review: The Kitchen (Netflix Movie)

The Kitchen is a drama set in a dystopian future that occasionally reminded me of Romain Gavras' movie "Athena."
Where Athena focused on the figureheads of both the rebels and the police, the kitchen concentrates on one citizen (UK rapper Kano) of the slums and his attempt to get a one-bedroom flat!
His plans go awry when he re-unites with his long-avoided son.
It's as exciting as it sounds.
While the movie looks nice and colourful, I just found myself looking at my phone instead and scrolling through Reddit.

I'm trying to figure out why he even wanted a 1-bedroom flat anyway. He already had one and was probably paying fuck all rent
Also Ian Wright Wright Wright is in the movie.

Score: 4/10 - Boring

Review: Colgate - Max White (Toothpaste)

A favoured reader has requested I review my tootpaste...
I am beholdent to my readers.
INTRODUCING: Colgate Max White with crystals (wooo) and 10x longer fresher breath.
I dont really think much about brushing my teeth. It's a quick couple of minutes of my day that seem really inconsequential so writing a review means I currently have a good dollop of toothpaste sloshing about in my gob.
Its not that minty! Its mostly chalky. It definitely has a kick of freshness about it which I will guess is atrributed to: (checking the ingredients list)...Methylcellulose(?)
That sounds minty.
Is it whitening my teeth? Its got some grainy bits in it so there is propbably a small element of the toothpaste slowly sandpapering my teeth back to sparkly white; but they largely remain a whitey yellowy colour.

The reader has asked some rather personal questions:
My wife is an intelligent lady so obviously from the bottom. She wouldnt be Mrs Tom-reviews if the opposite were true.
Do I have any brand loyalty? I didnt think so! But my Wife reliably informs me that we are, in fact, a Colgate(tm) household.
And that she was rather disappointed in me when I erroneously purchased some cheap Aquafresh.
When I buy toothpaste I just buy whatever brand name is closest to £1. clearly I rarely buy the toothpaste.

The reader goes on to ask for a "price to performance ratio" but I didnt buy it so I guess thats a 0:1
which means my teeth are clean and the joint account is probably lean as Wife is probably buying mega expensive toothpaste.

overall the toothpaste doesnt have any "wow" factor so I would happily try a different one. dont expect a review.

Score: 6.5/10 It does the job.

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