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Reviews Written by
Mark Shackelford "mark shackelford" (Worthing, UK)
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Herald of the Storm (Steelhaven: Book One)
Herald of the Storm (Steelhaven: Book One)
by Richard Ford
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good story - interesting characters, 27 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I very nearly gave up on this book after the first chapter. The prose seemed sluggish with too many unnecessary long words ('proceeded' instead of 'went' etc.). I put it on my "pile to go to the charity shop"... but then reread the other Amazon reviews, all of who seemed to think it was excellent.
So I persevered... and then I realised that each chapter is written in the style of speech of the character. The first chapter's character is a bit grandiose, but then you meet "Rag" who is a street urchin, and her chapter is written with a Cockney lilt.
Very clever - and, having now read all the way through, I am very grateful to the other Amazon reviewers who persuaded me to carry on!
Set in a sort of middle ages, bit of a "Game of Thrones" world - kings and princes, magicians and mercenaries, plots and counter plots - the story clatters along with seven or eight major characters each taking their turn at a chapter... I assume there are several more books in the series to come - as, although the individual characters are well drawn and each of their stories well worth reading - their story arcs are nowhere near approaching each other (yet)... But I will certainly be reading the next one in the series.


McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2014 - 1 User - 1 Year (PC)
McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2014 - 1 User - 1 Year (PC)

3.0 out of 5 stars OK Virus checker - but makes PC very slow to boot, 17 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Thanks to Microsoft stopping support for the XP version of their AntiVirus system, I needed to look elsewhere (as I am not going to be blackmailed into upgrading to the awful Windows 8)

This package fulfils the same role, and although not free, does run on XP.
I am not aware that McAfee has any intentions to stop support for XP - as they don't have a vested interest.

It installed simply and quickly off the CD, and after a reboot seems to be running OK.
It has only been in use for a week - and I haven't seen it pick up any viruses - which I trust is a Good Thing.

It does however, like the MS antivirus, mean that the initial boot-up of my PC can take a while, and it is still thundering around doing stuff for about 20 minutes after a boot-up. This is quite annoying as it means that I have to leave the laptop until this finishes before I can run Chrome etc., so I am considering an alternative, lighter profile anti-virus - such as BitDefender (which is free).


Pampers Sensitive Refill Pack Giga 12 x Packs of 56 (672 Wipes)
Pampers Sensitive Refill Pack Giga 12 x Packs of 56 (672 Wipes)
Offered by Groceries R US
Price: £17.80

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent baby (and other things) wipes, 17 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are very good quality baby wipes - and pretty much everything else wipes!
They are as good as any others that we have used


Pampers Fresh Clean Baby Wipes - Pack of 12(768 Wipes)
Pampers Fresh Clean Baby Wipes - Pack of 12(768 Wipes)
Price: £11.76

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent baby wipes, 17 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are very good quality baby wipes - and pretty much everything else wipes!
They are as good as any others that we have used


sussed!® EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE | the hilarious conversation game
sussed!® EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE | the hilarious conversation game
Offered by tdelectronicsuk
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Another great version of Sussed!, 14 April 2014
A new version of the Sussed "game" - although it is more of an amusing "Spanish Inquisition" this time - as it deals with your emotions... so a bit more personal.

As usual there is a series of cards asking you (and a set of people) to score you (or one of them) against a series of odd categories.

For example:
Joy: How am I likely to most enjoy myself?
- Visiting an art gallery
- Going sailing
- Doing nothing

As with my previous copy, it can be used as a Team-Building exercise (it does require people to know something about the other players, or at least to have worked with them).

Now... If, like me, you have a team who are NOT shy in coming forward with their opinions, you are (a) likely to have a riotous time, (b) learn some interesting things about their opinion of you and (c) cause enough hilarity to have the people in the next office complain about the noise.
If, on the other hand, your team don't like to express themselves, then you will have 6 people sitting round a table looking embarrassed...

I suspect that this will also be rather fun at a family occasion - so I will try this at Christmas!


Almo Nature Rouge Dry with Chicken 750 g
Almo Nature Rouge Dry with Chicken 750 g
Offered by Mighty Oak Trading
Price: £11.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Frankie Cat loves it!, 7 Mar. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Frankie Cat loves it!
We started her off by mixing some with her current food and although she seemed to pick around it at first, it soon became her preferred choice. We gradually phased out her old food and didn’t see any ill effects on her toilet habits!
Also Almo doesn’t smell as offensive as some other dry cat foods, which is good.


Almo Nature Daily Menu in Tetra Chicken & Turkey
Almo Nature Daily Menu in Tetra Chicken & Turkey
Offered by Mighty Oak Trading
Price: £17.02

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fussy eater enjoyed it, 6 Mar. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Murphy is a fussy eater, but when this was mixed with his dried food he wolfed it down (he is an Irish wolfhound after all!) and licked the bowl clean.
He is a 42kg dog and ate about 1/2 a pack a day (mixed)
Packaging easy to open and use, easily reclosed and kept in fridge without smelling.
No spillage when opening.
Ingredients not the best so wouldn't feed all the time.


Takemitsu: Works for Flute and Guitar
Takemitsu: Works for Flute and Guitar
Price: £18.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Music or Noise? Depends where you are coming from..., 21 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Hmmm. I see what you mean, Mr. Other Reviewer.
Takemitsu is a Japanese composer, and so he composes classical music in the Japanese tradition. In which less is more, much more.
You need to understand the background to Japanese culture - whether art, music, poetry or ceramics. The Japanese pare everything down, remove all unnecessary ornament, and you are left with a Taoist idea. Absorb yourself in it - let yourself become part of it.
Take their haikus for example - 17 syllables to encompass a entire poem that would take a European more than 17 lines.
Takemitsu's music is NOT easy listening. It is NOT ordinary classical music (in this case for guitar [like Villa-Lobos] or flute [like Mozart]).
It is Japanese. It is the touch of the seasons, the sound of the forest, the taste of the stream... it is to immerse yourself in, to be open to alien ideas, to unconventional sounds, to unexpected sequences of notes - even notes that don't really appear in European classical music.
I love it :-)


Elementary: The First Season [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Elementary: The First Season [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by momox co uk
Price: £10.89

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars US Cop show - with added Sherlock - just GREAT :-), 1 Feb. 2014
If you want to watch a faithful adaption of Sherlock Holmes, then get hold of some Jeremy Brett.
If you want post-modern surreal Holmes - check out the BBC's extraordinary display of Mark Gattis's fevered imagination - and the equally extraordinary Cumberland Bandersnatch's acting (and I do think both of these series are glorious).

Here we have (on the surface) a typical US cop show. The grizzled, world-weary Captain, the up-and-coming young cop, and a range of murders, robberies - the usual fare.

But - we also have a brilliant performance by Jonny Lee Miller - as a post-addict, OCD, ADHD, Asperger's (you name it) suffering genius with a penchant for solving crimes. In the first (of several) twists to the story - the famous John Watson has morphed into Joan Watson (and gorgeously acted by Lucy Liu).

The stories are fun and (unlike Mr. Gattis) are not based on Conan-Doyle's work - but allow Miller to twitch and shake his way through the deductions, a really convincing performance. And as pointed out above, Lucy Liu provides a great contrast, (and as Lianne pointed out, great legs).

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole series - and especially some of the twists to the overall tale.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 30, 2014 2:08 PM GMT


Elementary - Season 1 [DVD]
Elementary - Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jonny Lee Miller
Price: £15.60

5.0 out of 5 stars US Cop show - with added Sherlock - and really rather fun!, 1 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Elementary - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
If you want to watch a faithful adaption of Sherlock Holmes, then get hold of some Jeremy Brett.
If you want post-modern surreal Holmes - check out the BBC's extraordinary display of Mark Gattis's fevered imagination - and the equally extraordinary Cumberland Bandersnatch's acting (and I do think both of these series are glorious).

Here we have (on the surface) a typical US cop show. The grizzled, world-weary Captain, the up-and-coming young cop, and a range of murders, robberies - the usual fare.

But - we also have a brilliant performance by Jonny Lee Miller - as a post-addict, OCD, ADHD, Asperger's (you name it) suffering genius with a penchant for solving crimes. In the first (of several) twists to the story - the famous John Watson has morphed into Joan Watson (and gorgeously acted by Lucy Liu).

The stories are fun and (unlike Mr. Gattis) are not based on Conan-Doyle's work - but allow Miller to twitch and shake his way through the deductions, a really convincing performance. And as pointed out above, Lucy Liu provides a great contrast, (and as Lianne pointed out, great legs).

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole series - and especially some of the twists to the overall tale.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 1, 2014 2:46 PM BST


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