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Chopper (Brunei)

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Andrew James Precision Oven Thermometer Hang Or Stand On Oven Shelves
Andrew James Precision Oven Thermometer Hang Or Stand On Oven Shelves
Offered by Andrew James UK LTD
Price: £4.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, 6 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought two of these thermometers.
They arrived without any hassle, and I used one for the oven, which verified that my main oven
is about40 Deg C cooler than the thermostat is set at.
The other I switch between my smoker and roaster-smoker. Home made efforts so without a thermostat.
these little beauties definitely take the guesswork out of cooking & smoking meat.

Recommended. Good value.

The Serjeant-Major - a Biography of R.S.M. Ronald Brittain MBE Coldstream Guards
The Serjeant-Major - a Biography of R.S.M. Ronald Brittain MBE Coldstream Guards
by James Leasor
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Larger than life character, 19 Nov. 2012
The book is the auto-biography of Ronald Brittain.
A legendary R.S.M. of the 1st Bn Coldstream Guards.
It covers his life as a young lad in liverpool at the turn of the last century, and then follows his service all the way to his retirement from the British Army after 37 years service.
He served in 2 world wars and over 40,000 officer cadets passed their training under his beady eyes.

I enjoyed the subject of the book, and found him an interesting character.
It takes a special kind of man to stay that long in a Guards Regiment.

It was also an interesting look at the British Army of nearly a century ago.
I also enjoyed the gentle humour, which had me chuckling several times.
The down side was the manner in which the author presented the story. it was not totally chronological and jumped about a bit.

That aside, an enjoyable read. A life in 190 pages.

Stairlift to Heaven: Growing Old Disgracefully
Stairlift to Heaven: Growing Old Disgracefully
Price: £3.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A good chuckle., 6 Nov. 2012
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I have read several of Terry's other books and found them all amusing. This keeps the standard as high.

Terry highlights events in his life over a five year period between his 65th & 70th birthday in the form of several small "sketches".

Some of his humour is non-p.c. Good! i am sick of P.C.
His rich description and set up for punchlines are good, and the punchlines better.
i could easily picture some of the "sketches" as a sit-com.

I loved the line "the Scots traditionally being very big on throwing things, hammers, cabers, tantrums,uppercuts, sickies and so on................."
Also describing a sky as "murky & grey as an Afghans underpants....................."

Or his philosophy on purchasing trousers. "......considering the purchase of new trousers I always ask myself which would i rather have, a brand new pair of trousers or a second hand pair of trousers with lots of wear left in them, plus a couple of bottles of decent wine. The second hand trousers & wine win every time". Absolutely Sir.

Good value read that will have you chortling into your coffee and guffawing into your "sundowners".

The Submarine Hunters A Story of the Naval Patrol Work in the Great War
The Submarine Hunters A Story of the Naval Patrol Work in the Great War

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The comic strip presents........., 5 Nov. 2012
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I bought this expecting an historical account of the Naval side of WW1.
On that account I was disappointed. I certainly don't remember seeing any reviews to the contrary..

It is a "Boys own" "Wizard prang" type of story published in 1918 and very-very loosely based on factual actions.
Our 2 pubescent heroes get mixed up in all sorts of jolly japes & wheezes including assisting in sinking 3 U-Boats, capturing another U-boat, dealing with 2 Beastly Bosch spies, plus getting cast adrift in a small vessel,and interned in a Dutch military camp then lots more.
These two testosterone filled adolescents could have won the war single-handed.

I loved the peep into the past,rich with phrases like "I suggest we adjourn to the cave & partake of refreshments". Makes a change from the "Yoof" of today with the catch-all of "Innit".
Both lads were "well accomplished in the art of natation". It was a good job they could swim as well, these two were a right pair of Jonas's or Uncle Alberts for any vessel they were drafted to.
Full of "Modern Pirates" for U-boat crews & "German frightfullness".

But set into context as a read for budding war heros, some of whom were probably called up, and also propaganda tool for the war effort it made passable reading.

It actually reminded me of the BBC/Channel 4 TV series "The comic strip presents" so much that I could imagine Rik & Ade taking the lead roles.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 9, 2013 1:24 PM GMT

The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses
by Salman Rushdie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Emperors new(ish) clothes?, 31 Oct. 2012
This review is from: The Satanic Verses (Paperback)
This book needs no introduction. The fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khommeini was more than adequate publicity of the book, its contents & the author. A P.R. scoop for the author, courtesy of extreme Islam.
This book has been on my wish list for a long time, and now I have the time & less complicated life to read a weighty tome such as this.

I have read one of his other books, around the time I took time-out to backpack around India. It is not an unfamiliar culture to me. I am well travelled and reasonably well read.
However once I had read it, I found parts of the book amusing and in places it moved along nicely. Sadly the rest was a disappointment. Turgid prose, disjointed plot & sub-plots, ponderous metaphors, impenetrable & unbelievable characters did not compensate for the little interest it generated.
By the time the point of the book reached its "sweet spot" I really could not be bothered.

So, I checked the reviews afterwards and see that reviewers largely fall into 2 camps. Those who denigrate the people who give bad reviews, and those that gave bad reviews.
Reading the "Good" reviews to get a feel for what I might of missed I got the feeling there was an "Emperors new(ish) clothes" situation. If this book had been written by a lesser author and the Ayatollah had not obliged with the excellent p.r. stunt this book would not be fawned & fussed over by the self acknowledged "intelligentsia".

Edit: I read about a meeting between Thatcher & Gorbachev 6/4/89 where Maggie is quoted as saying " The book is impossible to read, but why incite murder of its author".
Maybe a reason?

Defenders of Europe: The Byzantine Army 610-1071 A.D.
Defenders of Europe: The Byzantine Army 610-1071 A.D.
Price: £2.28

3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting perspective, 29 Oct. 2012
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This well researched and fully referenced book makes interesting reading.

It explains the politics and the miltary mind set of the Byzantine empire and clearly sets out the reason for their downfall.
He also sets out a case that "fledging" western europe from the fall of Rome to the Battle of Hastings was vulnerable to
the bigger & better organised armies of the eastern states ( Russians,Bulgarians, Turks etc) and without Byzantium as a bulwark against them the map of western europe may have been very different.

101 Ways To Make Your Wife Want To Have Sex With You
101 Ways To Make Your Wife Want To Have Sex With You
Price: £0.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Use this book only if desperate., 29 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Working on the theory that I do not know everything about my wife after 12 years of marriage, i bought this.
Old dogs like me, can sometimes learn new tricks.

It took five minutes to read. It is basically one tip per page. Each tip is 2 sentences long at most. That means a lot of page turning and no "in-depth" psychological stuff. In fact nothing new at all.

I should have guessed this was going to be a waste of time, when I saw the photo on the cover of a big, ugly, gaudy tattoo on an equally big foot.I am still not sure of the relevance of the cover photo. Maybe I am being a thick male?

Between Heidi and Horror: A Brief Memoir of the Somme
Between Heidi and Horror: A Brief Memoir of the Somme
Price: £0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty & humorous., 29 Oct. 2012
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Our hero is the author, a self confessed low life "I'm rough as robber's dog and licentious as Sodom's finest" in his own words.
The opening scences are of a skirmish in Tsaritsyn, revolutionary Russia in 1918. He is facing certain death at the hands of Latvian riflemen.
Then the story moves back to the Western front of 1916 and his promotions in the British Army and his growing insanity.
He did not join up with the Kitcheners out of patriotic motives, but to escape civil & criminal prosecution and gambling debts.
He was present at the battle of the Somme & survives.Not surprisingly, he starts to lose his mind, and invents a Swiss girlfriend called Heidi who he will live with when he escapes to that country.
Desertion is his chosen escape from hell on earth. He says "I had blithely assumed desertion was as easy as a Welsh barmaid".
His clever plan to desert the frontline includes purchasing a French sailors uniform, hence the unusual cover photo.

Despite the fact the author is a self confessed natural born shirker and shallow hedonist, he is no coward.
Witness his sortie into No-mans land where he has to lead a private soldier. When that soldiers nerve starts to fail Fox uses "Webley to temple" instruction.

He was no doubt a thief, fraudster, but he is honest about his faults.
The book is written in what I would call Military humour style, with dry,sardonic, observational humour.

The sequel will fill in the gaps between deserting and appearing in revolutionary Russia. I am looking forward to it.

Ambridge, Albania
Ambridge, Albania
Price: £2.22

3.0 out of 5 stars Good humour, original idea.., 28 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Ambridge, Albania (Kindle Edition)
The plot & storyline is as described on the product label.

The storyline is an excellent & original idea. The plot is tight and well worked out.
The humour had me chuckling a lot, and laughing out loud a few times.
The cocktail called "taking a sheep backwards" for example.
The characters are believable and the whole thing moves along at a good pace.

However, the book suffers badly from poor proof reading which allows some annoying errors and basic typos which can disrupt the read.
Some examples:
"potable compact disc player"
" xxx and aaa walked in" ( They are not Albanian characters!)
" ;ucinder" instead of Lucinda.
"breaks" instead of breaks.

A shame as the book would have warranted 4 stars if it had been more professionally produced.

Alfs Curse
Alfs Curse
Price: £2.33

2.0 out of 5 stars Dire, 24 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Alfs Curse (Kindle Edition)
I have read a lot of self published books. I would like to have the time, and skill to get myself published,(self or professionally) so I am fairly tolerant when I get a new book. Every author has to start somewhere.
So, having bought this one, I did as I always do .... got stuck in.

Ignoring the terrible grammar, and use of English, and the rambling style of prose with disconnected thoughts and old jokes dressed up as new I found I had not the slightest empathy or interest in the main character.

I gave up at the 50% mark. Before anyone queries how I can review a book I have only half read......
I am reviewing the half I have read. Maybe the other half is better. I just cannot be bothered to read it.
Deleted from my Kindle.

Then I checked the reviews.
How three other readers gave it 5 stars I do not know. They must be Beano readers.

This " loveable rogue" genre has been done far better by other authors. e.g. C S Kenny's "I think I'm OK" , also on kindle.

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