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Adrian Morgan

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Magic Box Cleaver Internet Portable Stereo ( MP3 Playback,Internet Radio )
Magic Box Cleaver Internet Portable Stereo ( MP3 Playback,Internet Radio )

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 29 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
With poor VHF reception, this really comes into its own as a bedside radio with hundreds of stations from around the world. You can change the bass and treble by hitting and holding Settings (not explained in manual which is quite basic). And occasionally it goes into Scanning mode, which entails unplugging for a second or two and rebooting. But overall the best value radio in the house.

Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat
Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat
by Steffan Meyric Hughes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Circle, 10 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Cracking read on the whole, and lots (Lots?) of stuff that, as a Londoner, I never knew. Tunnels and power stations and secret rivers and obscure facts about London's river always fascinate me.

I could go on about some of those facts and figures I most enjoyed reading - indeed I would have liked more of London and not quite so much of the diversions abroad and into childhood, which made it read at times like an early autobiography, albeit peppered with some rather serious and wise philosophising that belies the author's tender-ish years.

Having said that his upbringing by the Thames and the strong attraction he will always feel for it came out the most strongly. Surfing on the power station wave - wouldn't be allowed these days for sure... What larks!

As an inveterate sub editor I picked up a few things that need changing in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th editions. Stephenson never challenged for the America's Cup, and SAS and SBS surely stand for Special, not Secret, Boat and Air Services. And he has a tendency to explain terms that needn't be explained, such as the meaning of bathyscape, but then this is meant to be a book for all, not just those steeped in boats.

I also detected a slightly world weary tone to the writing (which is nevertheless rich and descriptive), rather than the kind of implausible optimism in the face of adversity one finds so amusing in his fellow Thamesophile, Jerome K. Cheer up Steffan!

Cruising Scotland - the Clyde to Cape Wrath: A Companion to the Clyde Cruising Club Sailing Directions
Cruising Scotland - the Clyde to Cape Wrath: A Companion to the Clyde Cruising Club Sailing Directions
by Mike Balmforth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £27.50

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable!, 6 Aug 2011
Good companions, human or otherwise, are crucial on a cruising boat; they should be reliable, amusing, competent and above all knowledgeable. I have never sailed with Mike Balmforth or Edward Mason but in common with countless other yachtsmen who have been tempted north to sail in these waters, after reading their companion guide to Scottish cruising, we will feel we have.

The Clyde Cruising Club Sailing Directions, this book's pilotage alter ego, are essential but necessarily short on the evocative details that inform any cruise of the West. Cruising Scotland more than fulfls what it promises on the jacket: it is a friendly companion, filling the gaps, and providing a delightful running commentary to what many claim to be the finest cruising grounds in the world. It is the kind of book you would read by the fire during the winter, with a chart spread out in front of you. And keep in the ship's library for reference as well. It is packed with essental advice about where to anchor, what to see and what to expect. For example "Loch Teacuis is something of a challenge to dedicated rock-hoppers due to its two shallow and rock strewn entrances ... Lovers of complete solitude should find it here."

Whilst sprinkled with choice snippets from other evocative writings of the West, from Ronald Faux to Libby Purves, Para Handy and beyond, it is essentially written from deep personal experience. There is a clue - one of many - in a photo on page 183 of an anchorage in Loch Skipport, cloud cascading down the slopes of Hecla. "The next day proved wet and windy!" reads the caption. You just know that Balmforth has been there, probably a dozen or more times. But how many of them weather-bound, swapping yarns around the cabin stove, with a dram in hand while the wind howled in the rigging, the flip side of cruising Scotland?

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