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Profile for Mark Shackelford > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Mark Shackelford "mark shackelford" (Worthing, UK)
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Memory of Water
Memory of Water
by Emmi Itäranta
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Curious mix of post-apocalyptic nightmare and Japanese sensibility., 24 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Memory of Water (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Curious mix of post-apocalyptic nightmare and Japanese sensibility.

Take the opening paragraph for example:
"Each morning for seven weeks now I have swept the fallen leaves from the stone slabs that form the path to the teahouse, and forty-nine times I have chosen a handful among them to be scattered on the stones again, so the path wouldn't look like it had been swept."

I loved the prose style, and the idea that Water has become the most precious commodity (a not unlikely scenario...).

A thought-provoking and beautifully written story - I look forward to more from this author.


Cole & Mason 145 mm Brushed Chrome Oxley One Handed Pepper and Salt Mill Set, Set of 2, Silver
Cole & Mason 145 mm Brushed Chrome Oxley One Handed Pepper and Salt Mill Set, Set of 2, Silver
Price: £35.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Smart, clever one-handed salt and pepper mills, 22 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Excellent one handed salt and pepper.

Brushed aluminium is very smart - looks good in a modern kitchen, and being able to be used one-handed is a great boon in the kitchen - stir and season at the same time... I like it.

Easy to refill - just pop the top off, and also has a simple way to adjust the coarseness of the grind at the bottom.
Slightly nuisance is that you don't know how much salt or pepper is left in - my old ones were perspex, so didn't have this as an issue.

Nice to use, easy to refill, looks smart, and great for one-handed use.


Zyliss E910005 Zick Mini Food Chopper, White
Zyliss E910005 Zick Mini Food Chopper, White
Price: £13.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hand(y) powered chopper, 22 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Hand powered chopper - with rotating blades powered by pressing on the top. Great for small items - herbs, spices, nuts, garlic etc.
This is a very neat device - and easy to use. Shove the stuff in, press the top down - and there you are.
Looks very robust - and has very few parts, so is easy to clean - and not much to break!

I do have a powered chopper/slicer - but that can be a bit of a faff to use for one or two small things - so this little chopper will be very useful. Especially garlic - we seem to use a lot of garlic in our kitchen (the upside being that there very few vampires around - the downside being... cough, cough)

Also very handy if you were on a camping holiday without the luxury of electricity - but wanted to do you own cooking.


Cole & Mason 190 mm Dark Wood and Stainless Steel Oldbury Gourmet Precision Pepper Mill, Brown
Cole & Mason 190 mm Dark Wood and Stainless Steel Oldbury Gourmet Precision Pepper Mill, Brown
Offered by Home Field & Stream
Price: £32.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Good solid pepper grinder with a "cunning" size scale., 20 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Good solid pepper grinder with a "cunning" size scale.

Smart looking pepper grinder - but will live in our kitchen rather than on the dining table.
We have a VERY old pepper grinder that my wife was given before we got married (several decades ago) which is still working OK - but is a bit arthritic, and the screw top does keep falling off into the saucepan! This should make a good replacement.

This new one has a top that snaps on (quite tight to get off - but probably a Good Thing)... so no more inadvertent splashes in the pan.

The idea with this new grinder is that it has a scale from small to large - so that you can control the size of pepper pieces - and this is what attracted it to me in the first place. This does seem to work ...ish.
The small setting does mean you don't get big pieces, but the larger setting means you get a variety of sized bits - which I suppose if fair enough.
Very nice looking, pleasant to handle, and very suitable for our kitchen needs.


Ultrasport Mother Hulda Kids Swing - Red
Ultrasport Mother Hulda Kids Swing - Red

5.0 out of 5 stars Great swing seat - will go on our apple tree in the summer., 16 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Great swing seat - will go on our apple tree in the summer.

Strongly made - heavy duty plastic seat, and strong weather proof ropes. This looks like it will last well, both through the British weather and also with the abuse it is likely to suffer from Benjamin.

It is designed to go with the Ultrasport climbing frame - but is equally useful when hung from a tree, or any solid beam.


Kid Galaxy Soft and Squeezable Light and Sound Vehicle Fire Truck
Kid Galaxy Soft and Squeezable Light and Sound Vehicle Fire Truck
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars large red toy that is quite noisy, 16 Oct. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
large red toy that is quite noisy
fun for a child for a while


Order of Play
Order of Play
Price: £9.99

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the shufffling madness, 3 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Order of Play (Audio CD)
"In the shuffling madness..." - it is always interesting to see how any re-recording of Locomotive Breath kicks off.

This one is gentle, shuffling snare, gentle guitar floating around, and the sax-instead-of-flute (a Good Idea)...

But where was I? Ah yes - on the train passing Lancing and Shoreham aerodrome, with an Aotearoan "long white cloud" shrouding the Downs... and this intriguing album on the Walkman.

Martin Barre (CV = the guitarist of Jethro Tull for the past two centuries), has been touring with his own band and playing old Tull songs (and a few other odds and ends) - this is a studio "Live" album... and rather good too!

Starts off with a wonderful slow blues rethink of "New Day Yesterday" - with the airiness of Free, but an essence of Colosseum, followed by a great take on "Fatman"... at this point I am thinking it is about time I put "This Was" and "Stand Up" onto the Walkman... what a long time ago. And what glorious music!

We then hit "Minstrel" - a fairly faithful rendition, followed by the inimitable Barre intro to "To Cry You A Song".

Odds and ends from "Thick as a Brick" (OK - but a bit out of place), and then "Sweet Dream" - taken at a terrific pace with some snappy snare and that lovely warm Barre sound, slightly fuzzy but melodic... some gentle bits in the middle and then that wonderful edgy guitar introduction to the chorus.

And yet more treats - the lovely "Song for Jeffery", "Teacher" and, of course, the ultimate expression of Aqualung and some more of Barre's glorious guitaring (and THE riff).


Wind in the Wires
Wind in the Wires
by Duncan Grinnell-Milne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating glimpse of the early days of aircraft at war., 30 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Wind in the Wires (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Fascinating glimpse of the early days of aircraft at war.

The book was first published in 1933, and along with books such as "Winged Victory" and "Sagittarius Rising" takes us back to the crazy world of WW1 aviation - very inexperienced, poorly trained, but very enthusiastic young men being sent aloft in planes literally made from "stick and string".
Grinnell-Milne started the war flying the decidedly out-of-date (even then) Maurice Farman Longhorns and Shorthorns, and was tasked with observation flights - and chasing off the German planes doing the same job. Poorly equipped they seldom shot anyone down - and were more in danger from their own aircraft and the rather unprepared airfields!
Amusingly he started his flying training at Shoreham (just down the round from where I live) and at one point describes flying over Worthing Pier.
His first posting was not a happy one - and unlike the other books, which suggest that the pilots were desperately needed - he did not get much flying to start with. He then has some adventures (NO SPOILERS) and his descriptions of flying through and above the clouds are delightful.
Lovely book - and especially poignant now we are a century away from these times.
A voice from a nearly forgotten past - and with no one alive who remembers it now.


Kid Galaxy Morphibians Terrapin
Kid Galaxy Morphibians Terrapin
Price: £24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun for small boys and their Dads., 24 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Great fun for small boys and their Dads.
Brilliant colour and shape, ZOOMS around - slightly strange to control to start with as the levers work the wheels on each side. So both forward goes forward, both back goes back and then one forward, one back spins it round.

Slight annoyance - no batteries supplied... and needs 3AA and 1x 1.9v (luckily my wife has a drawer full...)

Didn't enjoy our tiled floor (which is fair enough) but raced round the garden, up some ramps, fell off the top (with no apparent damage)... Not sure how long these are going to last as the front and rear bumpers don't look that strong.

These are GREAT FUN!!!! Haven't laughed so much in a long while... and Benjamin's Aunt Lizzie got hold of it and was amused for ages. And a great price (so we've got TWO! Or possibly THREE)


Kid Galaxy Mega Morphibian Snake
Kid Galaxy Mega Morphibian Snake
Price: £24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun for small boys and their Dads., 24 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Great fun for small boys and their Dads.
Brilliant colour and shape, ZOOMS around - slightly strange to control to start with as the levers work the wheels on each side. So both forward goes forward, both back goes back and then one forward, one back spins it round.

Slight annoyance - no batteries supplied... and needs 3AA and 1x 1.9v (luckily my wife has a drawer full...)

Didn't enjoy our tiled floor (which is fair enough) but raced round the garden, up some ramps, fell off the top (with no apparent damage)... Not sure how long these are going to last as the front and rear bumpers don't look that strong.

These are GREAT FUN!!!! Haven't laughed so much in a long while... and Benjamin's Aunt Lizzie got hold of it and was amused for ages. And a great price (so we've got TWO! Or possibly THREE)


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