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The P45 Diaries
The P45 Diaries
Price: £3.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cuts close to home, 9 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The P45 Diaries (Kindle Edition)
Ben Hatch has hinted at his employment history, pre-journalism, in his earlier books (Are We Nearly There Yet and Road to Rouen). Here it is laid bare, albeit in fictional form. I defy anyone who has not been a teenage boy trying to find his ideal job not to sympathise with Jay Golden. Ben does a superb job giving us an insight into the mind of the teenage boy as he struggles to find his place in the world. At times sad, funny, irritating... There are times you want to knock Jay into the middle of next week (and then catch yourself, thinking "but wasn't I like that?").


Sony NT1 Smart Tag Kit with 4 Xperia NFC Smart Tags for Android (colours may vary)
Sony NT1 Smart Tag Kit with 4 Xperia NFC Smart Tags for Android (colours may vary)
Price: £12.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tasker's little brother, 16 Oct 2012
There's an Android App called Tasker - give it a set of conditions and it will do things to your phone, change wifi settings, switch Bluetooth on or off, launch the music player, etc. That's what these tags do, only the tag itself is the condition.

I've got one of these by the back door - called it "In or Out". Swipe the phone near it as I go through the door and on the way out it switches Bluetooth on, mobile data on, wifi off, starts the media player. Reverses those settings on the way back in. Yes, you've got to remember to use the tag but that's not too hard. That's how it's programmed on my phone, my wife uses different settings.

Now. These are official Sony tags and came bundled with my wife's Xperia phone but work perfectly using their "Smart Connect" app (free in the Android store) and my Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Under £10 for 4 of these? I wish I'd found them sooner.


Cyfi Bluetooth Wireless Sports Speaker - Black/ Red
Cyfi Bluetooth Wireless Sports Speaker - Black/ Red

5.0 out of 5 stars Your own personal soundtrack, 27 Mar 2012
I received this as a birthday gift and it's excellent.

Charging? Quick. But... It didn't come with a UK power supply. Fortunately, the adaptor we use for the kids' DS chargers fit.
Setup? Bluetooth connection to the mobile was fast and easy. Connecting to the bike an absolute doddle with the supplied mounts. Must've taken all of 30 seconds to get it done. And that includes opening the packing!
Sound quality? Excellent. Tried it in the charging cradle first and it sounded superb in the kitchen. On the bike it really is like having your own personal soundtrack playing as you go. Noise from the wind and the road doesn't affect the sound you hear very much as it's mounted with the speakers aimed at the rider.
Haven't had a chance to test battery life yet or the phone aspect of it - no-one called as I was riding to work! Haven't tried the controls yet, either.

All told, so far, an excellent piece of kit. Riding through the countryside with The Bad Shepherds blasting out was very, very cool indeed.


Are We Nearly There Yet?: A Family's 8,000-Mile Car Journey Around Britain
Are We Nearly There Yet?: A Family's 8,000-Mile Car Journey Around Britain
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brave man indeed., 8 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've taken my kids on holiday. I know what it's like, finding things to do, places to stay, visiting relatives along the way. Ben Hatch takes that experience and pushes it to an almost suicidal extreme. 2 kids, 2 adults, never 2 nights in the same place, and all over 2 months!

Anyone who has taken their kids on holiday will empathise, sympathise and recognise what he's put himself and his wife through. Anyone thinking of taking their kids on holiday for the first time should read this so they know what they're in for.

I laughed, winced, giggled and cried my way through this book. Like Bill Bryson, it's not one to read in public - not unless you want to explain yourself. Again.

And the "Draft Copy for Guidebook" notes? Brilliant. Very reminiscent of "Humphrey Lyttleton's Guide to Britain"


Déjà Vu (The Saskia Brandt Series Book One)
Déjà Vu (The Saskia Brandt Series Book One)

5.0 out of 5 stars Came for the techno, stayed for the thriller, 2 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like other reviewers, I bought this for a train journey. 70p to fill a few hours? Worth a punt.

With technothrillers it's all to easy for the tech to overwhelm and become the whole point of being there. Not in this case. The tech is unobtrusive, in the background, just getting on with stuff (sometimes all by itself) and enhancing the story rather than standing front and centre, blocking your view.

The main characters and locations are well realised (and the locations include many of my old stomping grounds). When following the different threads of the story it's obvious who you're following.

When you get to the reveal, there's a sense of completion, pieces of the puzzle that have been just out of reach fall into place.

A very satisfying and fast-paced read. Looking forward to the next in the series.


Writing Therapy
Writing Therapy
Price: £2.05

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book about writing a book about..., 13 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Writing Therapy (Kindle Edition)
I read this book cold. I had no preconceptions on the subject matter, it did not come onto my radar through my usual "you may also like..." channels. But I am very, very glad that I bought it.

This book is a journey. It's one of those journeys that picks you up and carries you along. You don't want to stop, you need to find out where you're going. And when you get there, you've enjoyed the whole process. As with all journeys, there are bits you find uncomfortable, bits that make you think, bits that make you laugh out loud, but the whole journey is one you'll remember. The journey the main character takes is a profound one, a moving one and - ultimately - one that makes you look hard at yourself. Would I have done anything differently? How would that affect me?

Tim's style of writing is a pleasure to read, it flows from the screen, almost reading itself.

And the final words? Perfect.


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