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Eugene Onegin (Lincoln England)
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Eat Istanbul: A Journey to the Heart of Turkish Cuisine
Eat Istanbul: A Journey to the Heart of Turkish Cuisine
by Andy Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

4.0 out of 5 stars Turkish Delight in the High Street, 11 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you have visited the magical city of Istanbul or have come across Turkish cuisine in some other way then you may have been tempted to buy a book which allows you to re-create some of the delicious dishes you encountered. If so, then this new volume will tick most boxes. Its greatest glory is the marvellous photographs of David Loftus which really are a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. The images of the dishes themselves are juxtaposed with fascinating shots from the back streets and cafes of Istanbul which adds to the atmosphere, but is rather confusing as the one real fault of the texts is the lack of captions to many photographs which means you are not really sure what you are looking at. It should also be said that although this is marketed as ‘part cookbook, part travelogue’ it really is fundamentally a collection of recipes with some evocative pictures and a little context thrown in. No matter-here we have about 90 dishes for you to try ranging from simple dips to more complex desserts arranged in themed chapters starting with breakfast and covering all the main meals up to dessert. Some of the dips need no cooking and can be made in seconds, some require a confidence with pastry and fish preparation. However, the emphasis is on the easy to prepare food with an interesting range of pides, mezze dishes, sticky desserts and meat stews. Perhaps the most important observation to make is that this book has been written for people who don’t always have access to authentic ingredients with substitutions appearing regularly to replace hard to source products. This can sometimes lead to irony-I can’t imagine Turks using Feta cheese to make classic dishes, but the authors are not intending to appeal to the native cook and it does mean that many recipes can be made from things picked up from your local supermarket. One word about the look of the book: it is exceptionally handsomely produced and a joy to look at making it a perfect gift for the lover of Istanbul and its food.


Colgate A1500 ProClinical Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
Colgate A1500 ProClinical Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
Price: £170.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Cleaning Power, 27 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The main thing to say about the Colgate Proclinical A1500 is that it really does deliver teeth which are noticeably cleaner and smoother than the results which can be achieved with hand brushing or the older style of electric toothbrush. The key is that this device is that it really is a lot more powerful and consequently delivers real benefits in terms of plaque removal. It has to be said that it is a bit noisier than some sounding much as a dentist’s professional polisher sounds, but this is a small price to pay for the cleanliness you get. There are 3 settings to choose from-Auto, Deep Clean and Optimum which offers the highest levels of power cleaning. I usually use Auto which is a variable programme which changes as the brush deals with different teeth. The best feature is the blue light which allows you to check when you are holding the brush at forty five degrees for maximum cleaning performance. Two standard heads are included and one for sensitive teeth with replacements coming at between three and four pounds each. The brush needs sixteen hours of charge a week, but it is easy to leave the unit plugged in overnight. Do note, however, that to plug into the mains in the UK, you will need to have a shaver adapter if you haven’t got such a socket in your bathroom. The only other slight criticism is that the charge light does not change colour when it is full. I have never been a great fan of electric toothbrushes, but I am finding this one genuinely useful. If you don’t mind the price, a strong recommendation.


Ring RCT1 European Travel Kit
Ring RCT1 European Travel Kit
Price: £25.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Piece of Kit, 24 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having spent a number of years living and driving in Europe, the value of a kit like this self evident-they are not a luxury extra, but a legal necessity which may be checked as part of a routine stop in a number of countries. I found this particular product very practical and containing all the essential items you need to comply with the latest legislation including the breathalyser pack now required under French law. There are also a set of headlamp adjusters are perhaps the most crucial item of all and which should fit most cars. One of the best features of this kit is the bag in which it comes which is lightweight, rectangular and will take up minimal room in a boot. Velcro straps allow you to attach the bag to the side of the rear compartment to ensure you will know where it is if you need it in a hurry. The price of this set is ok and all in all this is well worth buying-I keep mine in the car even in the UK where the first aid kit, fluorescent jackets and replacement bulb kits are all useful. Recommended.


A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine: The Last Diaries
A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine: The Last Diaries
by Tony Benn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Seeing and Perceiving, 11 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine finds Tony Benn the same only different in that while his appetite for political debate and his ability to challenge preconceived thinking remains marvellously intact, the creeping shadows of mortality are also very much present here as are the author’s increasing physical frailty. The tone of the entries is also subtly changed with Benn’s still passionate advocacy of Socialism now tempered by a doubt as to whether it will triumph at least at the level of National Governments. However, don’t let this rather sombre introduction in any way dissuade you from reading these final diaries. There is still plenty to relish not least Benn’s assessment of Gordon Brown as Prime Minister which although very critical remains rather restrained compared to that reserved for his bÍte noire Tony Blair. Even much interesting is his analysis of the Financial Crisis which he sees coming before it happens and there are many wise observations about its implications. I suspect many of all political views will find his comparison of the international banking system to a casino a convincing one. Indeed that is the appeal of Tony Benn in his later years; you don’t have to share his ideology to appreciate his acute analysis of national and international events. His concern about the declining role of Parliament in the democratic process, the media’s obsession with personality over policy, the increasing power of corporations and unelected bodies to shape everyone’s lives are key themes here: as Benn says, a vote once every five years for parties which are broadly the same is not democracy. Yet while the campaigner retains a gruelling schedule through the period covered by the diaries (2007-mid 2009), many will be more moved by an old man whose age is increasingly catching up with him hence the increased reliance on his family as well as his great joy in their many achievements. His frequent frustrations with computers and household repairs will find many sympathetic readers to say nothing of his increasing tiredness as illness robs him of his energy although not his vitality. Apropos of this it is worth saying that the extra chapter which covers the period from mid 2009-2013 whilst worth reading is something of an afterword rather than anything more substantial. In a world of cardboard cut-out politicians, Benn stood out as someone who continued to speak out against the status quo even as he faced his own mortality. His lifelong devotion to democracy even more than his passionate socialism are my lasting memory of this book. A diary to savour, but also to reflect on for all intelligent people for as the man passes the dilemmas he so clearly identified live on.


Poland in the Modern World: Beyond Martyrdom (A New History of Modern Europe (NWME))
Poland in the Modern World: Beyond Martyrdom (A New History of Modern Europe (NWME))
by Brian Porter-Szücs
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

4.0 out of 5 stars In Search of a Country, 26 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Brian Porter-Sjucs had won me over by the time I completed his Poland in the Modern World. Initially I was put off by the text book format and very superficial section on the nineteenth century and I still suspect this volume is intended as a course book for a programme in Central European studies. The style of writing does rather smack of a lecturer teaching a student although some may find the author’s explanation of the basic terms of Capitalism and Marxism useful. These observations notwithstanding, I persevered with this book and was glad that I did because the pace and interest pick up and I ended up learning much and wanting to know more which is not a bad recommendation for any book. The narrative really gets going after 1914 as Porter-Sjucs effectively dissects the political and economic issues which divided Poland not least the divisions between those who sought to put Nationalism before all other concerns and those who sought an agenda which united all those living in what is now Poland. This is one of the key themes of the book: just who can be considered a Pole? Not an easy question given the presence of multiple ethnicities from Germans to Ukrainians and Jews. The huge cultural and economic divisions between East and West are also highlighted. The section on the war is not detailed but clear and fair-minded in its analysis. The best chapters are definitely those concerning the years 1945 onwards with some very illuminating writing on the development and ultimate eclipse of communism, the growth of the Solidarity movement and the slow emergence of political pluralism which, as the author eloquently demonstrates, was no easy business. Each chapter of the book concludes with detailed notes and suggestions for further reading which will please Polish specialists for at the end of the day this is a very good primer on Modern Poland but not an in depth analysis. However, this is not what the book sets out to do, and on its own terms this a recommendable and worthwhile project.


Ultrasport Men's Pensacola Polo Shirt Long Sleeve - Dark Grey, Medium
Ultrasport Men's Pensacola Polo Shirt Long Sleeve - Dark Grey, Medium
Price: £59.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Stylish Fit, 22 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If polo shirts with classic American university logos are your style then this is an excellent buy. It has two big selling points. Firstly it is made from 100% high grade cotton. Secondly it is a genuinely comfortable fit thanks partly to the elasticated cuffs and hem. Note that this is a long sleeved shirt which given the British climate is likely to be more of a plus than a minus. The colour is a tasteful fusion of grey and claret which looks stylish and co-ordinates well. The shirt is practical enough for sport, but also smart enough for an evening out. Washing the garment also proved easy at 40 degrees with no negative effects to the texture or shape and with no loss of colour. In terms of the sizes I have a Medium which is an excellent fit suggesting it is of a generous cut as I usually take a Large. If you don’t mind the price tag, this is a really comfortable, elegant polo shirt which is likely to become a favourite in your wardrobe.


Mobile-Bits4u Alcatel One Touch Fire Black PU Leather Pull Tab Protective Pouch Case and High Capacity Long Stylus Pen (L)
Mobile-Bits4u Alcatel One Touch Fire Black PU Leather Pull Tab Protective Pouch Case and High Capacity Long Stylus Pen (L)
Offered by ONX3
Price: £2.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Ask for More, 13 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I bought my new T-Pop, I wanted a protective cover which fitted properly, was inexpensive and arrived quickly. This is exactly what I got from this product. It fits the phone very snugly with a simple pull up loop to release the device. The cover is black and made of hard wearing vinyl. Best of all it comes with a touch pen which for me is an essential in order to use the keyboard on this model. The price was very low and best of all despite the value of the order, it was sent within an hour and arrived by first class post the next morning. Would that everything in life was so efficient....


Western Art and the Wider World
Western Art and the Wider World
by Paul Wood
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Theory Than Practice, 12 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The differing reactions to this volume will, I suspect, depend entirely on the type of reader who picks it up. There is no doubt in my mind that this book is intended as a text for an undergraduate course in Aesthetics, Critical Theory or Approaches to Art History and the students and staff involved in its teaching and study will welcome its focus on just about the biggest debate within the subject over the past decade and a half-namely the need to create a critical and historical analysis of visual culture in all its forms across the globe, a so-called World Art History. Few people are better qualified than Paul Wood for such a task given his involvement with the widely used Art in Theory anthologies and his undoubted scholarly rigour allied to a very wide grasp of his subject. There are separate chapters on the interaction between Western European Art and the wider world in historical periods from the Renaissance through the Enlightenment and Modernism to Contemporary Practice. The need for such a text in the seminar room is not in doubt and in this context the book will be a success.
To the more general reader not familiar with the rarefied world of academic Art History, the reaction may be very different. I imagine many people will be in sympathy with the central contention of this book namely that the story of art as written in the past has been far too focused on a few centuries and a limited number of names overwhelmingly from Western Europe all too often at the expense of the fascinating cultures of Islam, Africa or Indigenous peoples. This is unarguable. However, the way in which Wood proceeds to analyze and express this argument and his suggestions for an alternative approach are much more contentious. The central problem with his argument as with so many similar publications is that whilst on the one hand he argues for a radical different approach to writing Art History free from western dogma and preconceptions, but then proceeds to write 300 pages riddled with them. The whole discussion is wreathed in the cherished tenets of Western academic jargon-Modernism, Post-Modernism, Marxism, Post Structuralism et al thereby ensuring that the audience for his ideas is a specialized as his vocabulary. The style of writing reinforces this exclusivity being as dense as it is unreadable. Finally as is so often the case on these occasions the theory swallows the image so that one is left with the feeling that here the history of art has been manipulated to fit the idea. Life is rarely as simple as that and neither is reading this book.


Sage Instant Accounts 2014 (PC)
Sage Instant Accounts 2014 (PC)
Price: £106.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Confidence Inspiring Software, 9 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
One of the most challenging parts of managing a small business can be finding a reliable and accurate way of presenting accounts for tax purposes. This latest version of Sage should help many. It is easy to install taking around 20 minutes or so. It offers numerous features which make the job of accounting easier particularly in regard to keeping accurate data for VAT returns and those people who find themselves spending a lot of time on this task such as builders or retailers will find Sage especially helpful with the facility to submit a an online return to HMRC very handy. Updates about changes to taxation legislation as it evolves will also prove its worth over time.
Yet this software is not simply about accounts it will also allow you to create professional-looking invoices and quotations easily and offers the ability to map the success of your business in terms of sales, expenses and profit. If you have a long list of customers whose contact details you need to store, then this is also possible to set up and save.
It has to be said that when you first use Sage the registration of your business and entering all the relevant data required is quite time consuming-I would suggest 3-5 hours might be needed, but then again this is only needs to be done once.
It is important to note that Sage Instant Accounts does not have all the features of Sage 50-if you are looking for a multi business ready system or one that offers stock control functions, then you need to buy the latter software. However, what Sage Instant Account does, it does very well.


You Rang, M'Lord? - The Complete Boxset Series One - Four [DVD] [1998]
You Rang, M'Lord? - The Complete Boxset Series One - Four [DVD] [1998]
Dvd ~ Paul Shane
Price: £16.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Downton Abbey with Laughs, 29 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You Rang M’Lord has always been a bit of a poor relation to Dad’s Army and Hi-di-Hi! In Perry and Croft’s comic canon, but watching it again after nearly twenty five years confirmed my original belief that this is one of their very best series. The reasons for this assertion are manifold: not least the quality of the casting which ensures every line and character is exploited to the full. Then there is the situation itself-the Upstairs Downstairs scenario is a perfect vehicle for comedy affording the writers countless amusing situations and the chance to occasionally turn the humour sharp with Paul Shane’s butler portrayed as a servant whose contempt for his employers is only matched by the number of bottles of fine Claret he can steal from their cellars. Donald Hewlett is also excellent as the hypocritical Lord who preaches morality to his daughters whilst having his ‘sick’ mistress to stay overnight as often as possible. Special mention must also be made of Su Pollard who is excellent as the naive but willing maid and Jeffrey Holland whose strictness and loyalty are used to great comic effect. This series is also notable in the length of its episodes which at 50 minutes allow for a greater development of plot and character and undoubtedly produce a better end product. The production values are also higher than many sitcoms of this era with lavish sets and props. Although no extras are offered on this set, this remains a must buy for fans of classic comedy. One other tip: make sure you buy the box set of all four series as the story develops slowly over the course of the episodes. Recommended.


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