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the new strummer (UK)

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Eatweeds Gourmet Wild Food Recipes (Volume Book 1)
Eatweeds Gourmet Wild Food Recipes (Volume Book 1)
Price: £1.96

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walk the walk with Robin, 1 Aug 2014
I have the paper copy signed by the author that he gave me last year. At last he is all kindled up, at a bargain price!

Robin is the most inspirational life transforming person I know. But having been through a lot of the other reviews, and having read reviews of most of the foraging books on Amazon, and bought the books, there is one important lesson worth passing on. And this is it: Do not start trying to identify edible plants from a book. Get underway with Robin, or another experienced forager and learn in the field. Foraging is about connecting with nature. You have to get out there to learn. There are no prizes for learning fast as the lesson is for life, and we all learn at our own speed. But once learnt, my experience is that recognising an edible plant is like recognising a friend, you don't ask for their passport and driving licence to check it is who you think it is, you know. Once learnt, you will not be the same person again.

But identifying the plant is one thing, what to do with it is another. I confess I find identifying plants quite straightforward and immensely gratifying, but what to do with them afterwards? Soup, salad...err...and that's where Robin's book comes in. Like Roger Phillips "Wild Food" Robin walks the walk and talks the talk. Maybe there is an author that talks, very well in fact, but how does he walk? Maybe not as well as the hype would have one think. Maybe there is a pun there, and an anagram. But I have two editions of that book and wouldn't give both away...in the middle of winter they are worthy companions. Right now, with stuff ripening in the hedgerow, I want some good tried and tested ideas of what I am actually going to do with it all....thank you Robin!


Levi's Men's 501 Original Fit Jeans, Black, W36/L30
Levi's Men's 501 Original Fit Jeans, Black, W36/L30
Price: £46.29

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 502 and a half?, 30 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I haven't worn 501s for years but had fond recollections of them as being fairly snug without cutting off the blood supply and letting me put things in the pockets. I bought two pairs, one pair at a very keen price coloured "hard ground" leg length 32" so I could turn them up and this pair of blacks, keenly priced, with a 30" leg length, both 36" waist. The cut of the two is vastly different. The waist of the hard ground measures 36" but those of the black measure 38". Needless to say the hard ground are rock star snug whereas the black are M&S style loose and indifferent, like a trouser but styled as a jean. I don't understand why they are different. They are both described as 501 original whatever that is. The black are made in Pakistan, the hard ground in Turkey. They all have authentic looking tabs and labels aplenty. Thought it best to draw this to the attention of discerning Amazonians in search of a bargain.


Bailey Hats Crushable Wynn Trilby Hat - Black
Bailey Hats Crushable Wynn Trilby Hat - Black
Offered by Hats and Caps
Price: £52.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stingy brims suit me!, 18 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I loved this hat from the moment I put it on. It is very practical being crushable and water resistant. There is no lining but it still keeps my head as warm as if I had hair (if I remember correctly). I am a 59" and this large, said to be 58-59" fits well, although I think the lack of lining and cloth headband (as opposed to leather) let the hat stretch a little bit whilst also keeping the cost down. It is said a felt hat like this can be stretched a bit anyway, using steam, but I haven't needed to try.

It is worth noting the brim is 1 3/4" which is stingy. Trilby brims are usually described as narrow at 2", medium is 2 1/4", wide 2 3/4" and extra wide 3". It is surprising what a difference this makes. I tried a medium recently and it just did not look right on me. A hat seller told me a trilby suits nearly everybody but different brim widths suit different faces. I need narrow or less (although if the brim is down all the way around, a drop brim I think it's called, Indiana Jones style, then it looks OK).

I would like to see more people wearing hats, I think the right hat on the right head looks great.


Jaxon Hats Crushable Diamond Crown Pork Pie - Black
Jaxon Hats Crushable Diamond Crown Pork Pie - Black
Offered by Hats and Caps
Price: £26.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all in the angle and attitude, 11 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It took a while firstly, to convince myself this hat was for me and secondly, to wear it out. What would people say? I was worried, as to me this is not a "serious" hat, Homburg it aint. Obviously from the response, I am not a "serious" person! It went down better than the trilby (also from Village Hats) that I thought was me from the moment it came out the box. Another friend bought a pork pie hat for her beloved and got instructions from the salesperson in M&S on how to wear it. I had to scour the internet and found the angle is nearly everything. Take Popeye Doyle from "The French Connection" - tilted slightly to one side but horizontally on the head. He must be the only one to wear it like that and it's all wrong if you ask me. The angle should be back, how far depending on the wearer. See the CD cover of "Old Yellow Moon" by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, I think Rodney has an appropriate angle. For a more extreme angle, see images of Tom Waits such as on the CD cover of "Glitter and Doom Live". Not the same hat (Mr Waits shows himself to be a prolific hat wearer) but he can get away with that angle. See if you can too, but I think an arty musician attitude goes with it, rather than accountant or barrister.

As for Village Hats, I will be using them again. Rapid delivery, and extensive internet research shows their prices are highly competitive. They stock a wide range of hats, the quality goes with the price. This example is unlined and consequently tends to be at the cheaper end. The crushable element does not appear to be an indicator of price as you can blow a couple hundred quid on a crushable hat in the West End if you are not careful. But if you want a fine Italian fur felt fedora, Village Hats have some! And everything in between. I shall doff my hat in their direction again.


Helly Hansen Men's Dry 2-Pack Baselayer Set
Helly Hansen Men's Dry 2-Pack Baselayer Set

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nice kit shame about the sizing, 25 Aug 2012
I have worn Helly Hansen baselayer clothing for all outdoor activities since 1987. I find this model somewhat warmer than the original from back then, but having discovered the HH "Dry Revolution", I am converted to that for the warmer months. It is made to be clingy as in the illustration and I believe that is to maximise the wicking of sweat from the skin, which is what is so good about wearing a quality baselayer such as this. I know not everyone likes the clingyness but I do.
The downside is the sizing combination. I know we are all different shapes and sizes but I don't think I am that unusual in having a 44" chest and 36" waist. In Helly Hansen sizes, I take a XL top and L bottom. I don't think the XL bottoms I have from this twin pack will fall down but I would definitely prefer the size smaller. Alas, one can't mix and match sizes.


Helly Hansen Men's Dry Revolution Short Sleeve Baselayer Top
Helly Hansen Men's Dry Revolution Short Sleeve Baselayer Top
Price: £25.45 - £44.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars revolutionary, 25 Aug 2012
I have worn Helly Hansen as a base layer for outdoor activities all year round since 1987 and am a big fan. Now, I am an even bigger fan. The "dry revolution" kit feels incredibly silky next to the skin, and is really stretchy. The absence of side seams is an improvement, I have got a bit of chaffing off these on my oldest model Hellies. I am a 44" chest and the XL fits like a second skin. I know not everyone likes that clingy style of base layer but I do and believe the kit is designed to be worn that way for maximum wicking. The fact it makes me look like a blancmange tied up in the middle only encourages me to run more and render myself down, when the kit will continue to fit but without stretching so far.


Helly Hansen Men's Dry Revolution Boxer Short
Helly Hansen Men's Dry Revolution Boxer Short
Price: £22.05 - £30.00

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars silky, super light and stretchy, 18 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Unlike a similarly priced product by another make, these look tiny but stretch really well. I normally buy 36" waist. The Large measure 28" out the packet but fit really comfortably. They are stitched into the packet with a loop of black thread, I suggest care is exercised in removing this as I managed to pull a thread in the shorts.
I now have three pairs of these boxers, they are wonderfully light and silky next to the skin and hold everything in place very coolly. I may be wearing them as casual wear as well as for running and other outdoor activities.


No Title Available

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a small large, 14 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I usually buy 36" waist and in the absence of a size guide for this item I bought a large. It measures 28 1/2" unstretched and does not stretch very far, to 32" is reasonable. If you have a 34" waist you may get into them, needless to say I didn't.


Moleskine Folio Watercolour Notebook A4
Moleskine Folio Watercolour Notebook A4
Price: £19.99

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 60 pages if you paint on both sides, 7 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I found out about this item from the latest book of Barbara Rae's work, "Sketchbooks". She is my favourite Royal Academician whose work I find inspiring, especially the fact she uses sketches done en plein air in books like these to produce her paintings and prints.

A quality product with good heavy paper that is fit for the stated purpose. Makes a lovely gift. The pages are stitched in place, so that they open out fully making it easy to paint a panorama across two pages.

I feel a little deceived in that the book is described as having 60 pages but it contains 30 sheets. You can only get 60 paintings done if you paint on both sides of the paper, which I am not about to try. In fact, I am not sure that is advisable, hence thinking the description "60 pages" is deceptive.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 1, 2013 5:18 PM GMT


One Hundred English Folk Songs: For Medium Voice (Dover Song Collections)
One Hundred English Folk Songs: For Medium Voice (Dover Song Collections)
by Cecil J. Sharp
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.01

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hardcore folk for musicians, 23 Oct 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is full of musical staves, one for voice and two for piano. All the words are written underneath the staves. This is not a complaint, merely an observation so other would-be purchasers know what to expect. So there I am, doing Every Good Boy Deserves Football working out the notes to transfer to tab.

It is possible a lot of the piano accompaniment can be translated effortlessly to guitar, I will give it a go...

The other thing I feel worth mentioning is the "notes on the songs" tell you, amongst other things, what mode the songs are in if they are not something akin to the "major" key. The three other modes that the songs are in are Mixolydian (9 songs, some only partly Mixolydian), Dorian and Aeolian (between them about half the songs in the book). This might be a bit much for those only used to major and minor. It will be doing an injustice to reduce modes to the following but I'll do it anyway:

Mixolydian shares the same notes as a "normal" major key except the 7th is flattened, so in G there is no F#, but an F.

Dorian and Aeolian are both quite like a "normal" minor key, the difference is the 6th: in Dorian it is major and in Aeolian (commonly thought to be the same as a "normal" minor key) it is minor.

This is why the notes on the staves have some natural signs, eg key signature has one sharp like a G major (or E minor) but every F has a natural sign next to it, which really means it is G mixolydian, the same as all the white notes on the piano but starting at G.

The thing is, a lot of hardcore folk music is actually quite challenging, it is not as easy as a pop song in a major key, that can be accompanied I IV V etc (although many folk songs can be that easy to get along with).

I'm sure some smart person out there will correct my little knowedge with some of their own modal knowledge...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 31, 2012 1:48 PM GMT


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