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Reviews Written by
Adam Clark (UK)

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Pruners Okatsune 104 extra large model
Pruners Okatsune 104 extra large model
Offered by OnlineMarketJp
Price: £34.17

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best secateurs I've ever used!, 7 Mar. 2015
Simple, robust and lightweight design with a solid catch and V-shape spring, which is better than Felco's fiddly thumb catch and coil spring. I use a handsfree method to lock the Okatsune secateurs by pressing the end of the secateurs against my side.

The Okatsune blades are made from razor-sharp Samurai steel with a cutting mechanism that stays sap free, which is unlike Felco No.2's that clog up with sap making the blades stick.

I'm a professional gardener who's owned/tried many secateurs over the years. Okatsune's are the best secateurs I've ever used and far superior to the vastly overrated Felco's. I believe Monty Don uses Japanese-made Tobisho SR-1 secateurs which are similar to Okatsune's but twice the price.

Okatsune advertise the 104's as extra large but they're not compared to European secateurs; they're the same size as Felco No.2's and 8's. They also make No.103's for medium hands and No.101's for small hands.

Here are some overall lengths and weights for comparison:

Okatsune 101's = 180mm, 177g
Okatsune 103's = 202mm, 228g
Okatsune 104's = 210mm, 235g

Felco No.2's = 215mm, 240g
Felco No.6's = 195mm, 210g
Felco No.8's = 210mm, 245g

Okatsune have recently opened an office in the UK, so there is no need to contact Japan for spare parts. Now just need the secateurs to be stocked on Amazon in the UK, rather than having to wait for delivery from Japan!


Okatsune 103 Bypass Secateurs
Okatsune 103 Bypass Secateurs
Offered by Wakyo Network
Price: £35.50

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best secateurs I've ever used!, 4 Mar. 2015
Simple, robust and lightweight design with a solid catch and V-shape spring, which is better than Felco's fiddly thumb catch and coil spring. I use a handsfree method to lock the Okatsune secateurs by pressing the end of the secateurs against my side.

The Okatsune blades are made from razor-sharp Samurai steel with a cutting mechanism that stays sap free, which is unlike Felco No.2's that clog up with sap making the blades stick.

I'm a professional gardener who's owned/tried many secateurs over the years. The Okatsune No.103's are the best secateurs I've ever used and far superior to the vastly overrated Felco's. I believe Monty Don uses Japanese-made Tobisho SR-1 secateurs which are similar to Okatsune's but twice the price.

Okatsune advertise the 103's as medium-sized but compared to European secateurs they would be classed as small or compact. Because of this they took a while to get used to but now I've come to realize they're the perfect fit for me. They also fit in my pocket better! However if you've large hands or want to match the size of Felco No.2's/8's you may prefer No.104's. They also make No.101's for small hands.

Here are some overall lengths and weights for comparison:

Okatsune 101's = 180mm, 177g
Okatsune 103's = 202mm, 228g
Okatsune 104's = 210mm, 235g

Felco No.2's = 215mm, 240g
Felco No.6's = 195mm, 210g
Felco No.8's = 210mm, 245g

Okatsune have recently opened an office in the UK, so there is no need to contact Japan for spare parts. Now just need the secateurs to be stocked on Amazon in the UK, rather than having to wait for delivery from Japan!


Felco FEL2  Model  2 Original Secateurs
Felco FEL2 Model 2 Original Secateurs
Price: £37.47

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There are better secateurs!, 4 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm a professional gardener who trained exclusively on Felco secateurs. I remember at horticultural college being underwhelmed with their performance so once I started my own business I bought everything other than Felcos which I deemed were vastly overrated and expensive. Anyway to cut a long story short after losing my pair of Wilkinson Sword Classic's (old style, no longer made) in a client's pond, I thought I'd try some Felco No.2's again. Oh dear, I wish I hadn't. Cutting power is poor through anything larger than the smallest stems (25mm diameter cutting capability - eh?), catch is fiddly and blades get clogged up with sap making them stick (at college we were taught that Felcos, in addition to regular sharpening and oiling, need to be periodically spat on to keep them moving freely!). I returned the secateurs and Amazon kindly refunded me.

The drop blade Felco No.8's are much better than the straight blade No.2's but the secateurs I currently use are the Japanese-made Okatsune No.103's (Monty Don gave me the heads up!). Simple robust design, razor-sharp Samurai steel, strong catch and sap free. If you've large hands or want secateurs with similar dimensions to Felco No.2's you may prefer the Okatsune No.104's. I hope this helps and my apologies to the Felco appreciation society! (three hundred 5* reviews and counting!?)


Christ? No! Jesus? Yes!: A Radical Reappraisal of a Very Important Life: 1
Christ? No! Jesus? Yes!: A Radical Reappraisal of a Very Important Life: 1
by Tom O'Golo
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Radical stuff, 13 Sept. 2011
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In this book the author puts forward a number of controversial theories about Jesus and Paul. If you are willing to have your beliefs challenged, then this book is for you. The author proposes that:

1/ Jesus was an anarchist who flouted religious and political conventions. "Jesus was living and promoting...anarchism: spiritual and political anarchism." (page 123)
2/ Jesus was a radical, refining down the ten commandments to principally two: loving one another and loving God. The author states that there is no need to be dependent on dubious supernatural Gospel stories such as the virgin birth or his miracles. Jesus' radical message should be enough to follow him.
3/ The first followers of Jesus (or "Jesuans") were communal-living anarchists. "There is little doubt that the earliest followers of Jesus, and all those who continued the monastic tradition into modern times, have adopted the anarchist principle of leading a simple, industrious, mutually self-supporting life." (pages 131-132)
4/ Jesus' brother, James, was vegetarian.
5/ Paul corrupted "Jesuanism" by making Jesus into a God, reducing salvation to a matter of belief in Jesus almost regardless of the Torah's demands and establishing a Church hierarchy to create and control the beliefs of its membership. "All that is good about Christianity stems from Jesus, and all that is bad about it stems from Paul." (page 199)
6/ Jesus may have travelled to Britain during his lost years to study with the Druids.

Chapter listing:

Forward
1 The Official Gospel Story and its Context
2 Gospel Fact or Gospel Fable?
3 Crucifixion or Crucifiction?
4 It all Depends on what you Mean By...
5 Some Post Jesuans, and Saul/Paul
6 To Imitate or Innovate? That is the Question
7 Appreciating what Jesus Really Said
8 Rules, but not Rulers
9 Jesus: Man of Mysticism
10 Jesus and the False Profits
11 Jesus: A Druid Sage?
12 Philalethia: Jesuanism in Action
Afterword

"Christ? No! Jesus? Yes!: A radical reappraisal of a very important life" (2011) is a revised and retitled version of "Jesus, Antichrist, Anarchist, Economist and a Theist" (1998). Tom O'Golo may be a pen name for Gordon Strachan but this is unconfirmed. Strachan was a radical Church of Scotland minister who died in July 2010, aged 76. Strachan's books include Jesus the Master Builder: Druid Mysteries and the Dawn of Christianity.
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Anarchy and Apocalypse: Essays on Faith, Violence, and Theodicy
Anarchy and Apocalypse: Essays on Faith, Violence, and Theodicy
by Ronald E. Osborn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, 1 Sept. 2011
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This book consists of eleven essays Ron Osborn wrote between 1999 to 2010. He covers a wide range of subjects such as the Holocaust, President Obama's Christian Realism and the death of the Seventh-day Adventists as a peace church (Osborn was raised as an Adventist). All the essays bar one were written in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Jesus called his followers to not resist evil but turn the other cheek. The US government contravened this command by retaliating to 9/11. Osborn explains that such a response only serves to create more violence. To break the cycle of violence it is necessary to return good for evil.

In reading Leo Tolstoy's "The Kingdom of God Is Within You" and Noam Chomsky's "The Chomsky Reader," Osborn was led from pacifism to Christian anarchism. Tolstoy viewed the state as a violent and deceitful institution that has no place in a truly Christian society.

"Anarchy and Apocalypse" is a great book for all those who believe Christianity is not merely a faith but a radical way of living.


80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health, Your Weight and Your Life - One Luscious Bite At A Time
80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health, Your Weight and Your Life - One Luscious Bite At A Time
by Douglas N. Graham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.37

57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 4 Jun. 2011
Douglas Graham describes a simple diet to revitalise our health and wellbeing. I have so much more energy and stamina than before. I was not thriving as a vegan until I started to follow the 80/10/10 diet principles. This involves more fruit (for breakfast I have 5-6 subacid/acid fruits and for lunch 10-12 bananas); and less grains, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils (including so-called "healthy" olive oil and houmous, one of my old favourites!). Thank you Doug.

UPDATE 14/7/13: Possibly contrary to the book principles, I have started eating a handful of raw mixed nuts for breakfast and having my fruit for lunch. I feel much stronger and better for it.


Christian Anarchism: A Political Commentary on the Gospel
Christian Anarchism: A Political Commentary on the Gospel
by Alexandre Christoyannopoulos
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read, 3 Aug. 2010
Christoyannopoulos simply and clearly chronicles the theology of Christian anarchism by drawing on notable advocates over the last two millennia. He affirms that the foundation of Christian anarchism is a rejection of violence. In following Jesus' nonviolent message these adherents withdrew their support for civil government, as all states retain power by using, or threatening to use, force.

Christoyannopoulos explains that even though "Christian anarchism" is a relatively modern term, the early church (such as the Church Fathers) had anarchist ideals by following Jesus' pacifist teachings rather than the militaristic empire of the day. However after Christianity became the official state religion in the 4th century, the church transgressed from a humble bottom-up sect to an authoritarian top-down organisation. Christoyannopoulos notes that Christian pacifism and anarchism were then submerged for nearly a millennium until the Middle Ages. He then cites the emergence of various pacifist/anarchist Christians such as Francis of Assisi, Peter Chelcicky and Leo Tolstoy.

A few minor criticisms. Firstly the conclusion is titled "The Prophetic Role of Christian Anarchism" and includes the section "Christian anarchists as prophets". The term "prophet" does not sit comfortably with me. I much prefer the preceding chapter "Examples of Christian Anarchist Witness". I would call myself a witness, not a prophet, due to Revelations and a belief that humanity has been blessed with all the prophets it needs.

Secondly, the book currently retails for £40. Fortunately I was kindly given this book as a gift, but I do not know how many people (especially impoverished Christian anarchists like myself!) are put off by the cost. My local library even turned down my purchase suggestion as it was outside their budget! I realize this is an academic piece of literature and the publisher has forecast a low printing volume, but if it were a quarter/half the price it would be far more accessible. However even with these criticisms, it is still amongst the best books I've ever read (what price do you put on truth and enlightenment?) and in my opinion on a par with Gandhi's autobiography. If need be beg, borrow (but don't steal) a copy!

UPDATE: I now own a copy of both the hardcover and paperback. The much cheaper paperback version has the same main text as the hardcover and is "abridged" solely because it has lighter footnotes. Any long key footnotes from the hardcover are incorporated in the main text of the paperback within square brackets, so you are not losing out. I actually prefer the paperback as the binding is better quality.


On Civil Government: Its Origin, Mission and Destiny and the Christian's Relation to It
On Civil Government: Its Origin, Mission and Destiny and the Christian's Relation to It
by David Lipscomb
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, 26 May 2010
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In this book David Lipscomb shows why Christians should not support, or rely upon, civil government. Lipscomb is a Christian pacifist who believes that war is the result of human government, as he explains:

"All the wars and strifes between tribes, races, nations, from the beginning until now, have been the result of man's effort to govern himself and the world, rather than to submit to the government of God." (page 14)

He believes that governments are ruled by Satan, executing wrath and vengeance, and thus Christians should have nothing to do with them.

"Every one who honors and serves the human government and relies upon it, for good, more than he does upon the Divine government, worships and serves the creature more than he does the Creator." (page 50)

Although Lipscomb does concede that human government is necessary and has a place in God's plan, in the same way there is a place called Hell.

"Human government, the embodied effort of man to rule the world without God, ruled over by 'the prince of this world,' the devil. Its mission is to execute wrath and vengeance here on earth. Human government bears the same relation to hell as the church bears to heaven." (page 72)

However he is also critical of Church institutions, believing they too have been corrupted by ambition and pride, just like civil governments. Lipscomb goes on to propose a Christian form of anarchism, where Christians should neither support human government nor use force to overthrow it.

"It is the duty of the Christian to submit to the human government in its office and work and to seek its destruction only by spreading the religion of Christ and so converting men from service to the earthly government to service to the heavenly one, and so, too, by removing the necessity for its existence and work. No violence, no sword, no bitterness or wrath can he use. The spread of the peaceful principles of the Savior, will draw men out of the kingdoms of earth into the kingdom of God." (pages 84-85)

This withdrawal of support for human government has been achieved by various Christian anarchists in the 20th century, including Ammon Hennacy who followed a lifestyle of simple living and voluntary poverty, thus reducing his taxable income.

First published in 1866 and nearly 30 years before Leo Tolstoy's great Christian anarchist book, The Kingdom of God Is Within You, On Civil Government is ground breaking and a must read.
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Spear & Jackson 4053BS Razorsharp Blade Sharpener
Spear & Jackson 4053BS Razorsharp Blade Sharpener
Price: £6.99

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little gadget, 15 Mar. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A great little gadget which simply and quickly sharpens all garden tools (only 3 or 4 strokes required). No need to dismantle secateurs. The tungsten carbide sits on one side of the V-shape groove, meaning only one side of the blade is sharpened (which is correct). Designed for sharpening right-handed tools.


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5.0 out of 5 stars Great little spade, 26 Aug. 2009
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This is a great tool for weeding, digging and planting. It makes it possible to remove deep-rooted weeds without having to continually stand up to use a standard fork or spade. I have found that small hand tools bend when levering out established weeds. Much stronger than hand trowels or forks and less cumbersome than standard spades. It is also perfect for planting bulbs and two handed digging on raised beds (much easier and quicker than one handed digging with a hand trowel). I have even used this spade like an axe to chop branches and roots. A superb versatile little tool.


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