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Brenig (Wales)

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Feast Days: Recipes from "The Spectator"
Feast Days: Recipes from "The Spectator"
by Jennifer Paterson
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious book written in Jennifer Paterson's distinctive exclamatory style. ..., 22 Mar. 2015
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Glorious book written in Jennifer Paterson's distinctive exclamatory style.
Many unusual recipes, many of which she reproduced on the TV for her Two Fat Ladies series.

The methods are written nearly as a narrative, which is again unusual and entertaining.

Duronic Hybrid Radio Wind Up Solar and Rechargeable AM/FM Radio with USB Charger Cable
Duronic Hybrid Radio Wind Up Solar and Rechargeable AM/FM Radio with USB Charger Cable
Price: £12.85

2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea - but the winding lever snapped., 22 Mar. 2015
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I was never expecting this to sound fantastic as it's a dinky thing, with limited output; it was satisfactory in that regard.
However the 'sturdy' winding lever at the back broke within a few months of having it; this meant the radio could not be used portably unless it was sunny outside for the solar panels.

The idea of a solar/clockwork hybrid radio is a winner, but the clockwork element didn't stand up to robust regular use in my case.

Clariel (The Old Kingdom)
Clariel (The Old Kingdom)
by Garth Nix
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.48

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A potent story, beautifully written, and at times unflinchingly sorrowful, 29 Oct. 2014
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The concept behind Clariel is a winner; it is a striking narrative about longing, loneliness, neglect, and how all these impact upon the choices made by the main character.
The imagined Old Kingdom really comes alive in minute detail, especially in the descriptions of the city (Belisaere) its fabric, rigid customs and corrupt society. It is into this world that Clariel is dragged against her will, and, in a way the whole story unfurls as a result of the adults in Clariel's life abrogating their responsibilities to her and to society in general.

I did not give the book five stars because the pacing can be languid at times. The endless descriptions of things like the guildmembers' robes (and suchlike) could have done with an editor's cut, and the end (which had the potential to be gripping) could have been related in more detail.
There was very little humour and a lack of repartee (so deliciously crafted in Sabriel, Lirael etc); I know the book is meant to be darker and melancholic, but a little more lightheartedness would not have been incongruous. Thank goodness for Mogget!

**Slightly spoilery**
For me the beauty of the book is in its profound sadness as we know what befalls in the future.
Garth Nix has done a beautiful job of showing how personality traits, choices, and other people drive decisions and outcomes.
In many ways Sabriel, Lirael and Clariel all have sadness and loss in their lives, but Sabriel and Lirael have others to help them, be they Touchstone, Mogget (at his most helpful), the wonderful Dog, Sameth etc. Both are also flexible and are not introspective characters.
Clariel has no-one; she is living in a decaying society where even the good guys have become careless and ambivalent.
Moreover she makes it worse for herself by being fixated on her goal (living in the forest) and by pushing helpful people (like Bel) away. The consequences are plain... and heartbreaking.

The Big Cheese Ultra Power Mouse Traps - Twin-Pack
The Big Cheese Ultra Power Mouse Traps - Twin-Pack
Price: £3.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot emphasize enough how excellent these traps are, 15 Feb. 2014
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As the title says, these traps are absolutely first rate.

They work because the bait is placed in a sunken part of the trap, so the mouse has to cross or step on the red trigger, which is very sensitive. I've had years of using traps where the mouse has seemingly danced on the trigger and even dislodged chunks of bait, without activating the trap. This never happens with these power traps.

As others have also said, removing the dead mouse is very easy, you just lift the levered handle and shake the mouse out - no more mess and manoeuvring those snappy metal-and-wood ones.

Effective and well-designed - just excellent.

Peelaway7 (750g)
Peelaway7 (750g)
Offered by Soil fertility solutions
Price: £14.80

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peelaway 1 is *much* better, 3 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Peelaway7 (750g) (Misc.)
I'm giving this product a 4 because the brand is good.

When starting to use Peelaway they advise you to experiment with trial patches of Peelaway 1 and Peelaway 7 to see "which is most suitable".

Fact is, Peelaway 7 is *useless* compared with Peelaway 1.
Peelaway 1 is more caustic, more reactive, and just *far* better at removing layers of paint.
Don't waste your time on No 7, just buy No 1.

The Little Book of Rayburn Tips (Little Books of Tips)
The Little Book of Rayburn Tips (Little Books of Tips)
by Richard Maggs
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stating the obvious, 8 Dec. 2012
Not really very helpful in terms of practical advice, especially for those with solid fuel rayburns who are after some basic training tips on how to keep it going and controlling it etc.

This is basically a rather middle class book, stating the obvious.

Yes, the rayburn has radiant heat, with which you can air clothes and heat things up. well... *everyone* knows that without needing a book!

No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They work really well - that's all you need to know, 10 Nov. 2012
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These traps divide opinion, and that's understandable.

The fact is, when you have a vermin infestation (mice) you are often driven to frustration by failing to catch them. To the point where you can hardly bear walking into your kitchen in the morning, having to face the mouse urine and faeces all over the work surfaces, and in your food supply.

I have tried mechanical and humane traps, and nothing is as effective as these glue traps. I spent a week working with mechanical traps, and I caught 1 mouse.
The glue trap caught 4 in 24 hours.

Ok it's sad and not very nice, but pest extermination is not very nice anyway, just deal with it.

Also, the more I am preached at by the bleating 'animal rights' brigade, the more likely I am to dig my heels in and re-order this product if I ever get mice again. So it's an epic fail by you folks, if you think you're going to dictate to me.

A Confusion of Princes
A Confusion of Princes
by Garth Nix
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A brisk foray into a new world - great writing, and we need more!, 14 Aug. 2012
This review is from: A Confusion of Princes (Paperback)
Will this be as good as Abhorsen is the question many readers have in mind, and in short, no it's not, but that was a high benchmark to excel really.

I really liked this book - it has all the usual great craftsmanship we expect from Garth Nix; convincing and instantly 'gettable' descriptions, even if they're about an alien world; a gloriously arrogant yet blundering and likeable main character in Prince Khemri; and the same quick witty dialogue which made Abhorsen such a glittering journey for readers.

Confusion of Princes has some great character development, and a series of space adventures, culminating in an end that I did not see coming. The skill involved in getting us to visualize and to understand the vast sci-fi world, with all its jargon was remarkable. There is also an element of sophistication in the 'evil' side. In Abhorsen the villains were perhaps a little 2D with no real desire other than to destroy for its own sake, but here we have more complex motives among the princes, and even the emperor, especially towards the end. So all-in-all it was well-worth reading.

Drawbacks? Well the book may suffer from having too few characters we can get close to. The 'servant class' of people/organisms are just drones. This is in contrast to Abhorsen where even the animals had anthropomorphic qualities and were human enough to mean a lot to us. The 1st person narrative in CoP is potent, but can be limiting at times.

Also if you notice the book's dedication page, it mentions how Nix has worked with software and video games programmers while the book was in progress. I have limited experience of videogames, but one can easily see how the different tasks and tests Khemri engages in correspond to zones or levels in a videogame. That is fine, and will likely make money, but it does sometimes show, making the 'tests' and adventures feel a little episodic perhaps? That may be wrong - it's just a feeling I got.

However, I am *so* glad Garth Nix has written another novel, and the bottom-line is that I raced through the book with the relish only a great writer like Nix gan fire up. A real recommended read!

Ab Circle Pro Abdominal Exerciser
Ab Circle Pro Abdominal Exerciser

35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A total con. Save your ££ and do sit-ups or crunches instead, 28 Aug. 2011
I knew the minute I started assembling this equipment that it was a waste of time. The workmanship is very poor - none of the bolts align with the holes properly, so you have to use a hammer to bash them out if you want to fold it away.

The whole thing feels flimsy and poorly constructed - it actually lifts of the floor when I swing from side to side.

The knee-cups are very uncomfortable - they are screwed in with big screws, covered by a very thin little foam disc. When you've been on it for over 2 minutes these screw-caps begin digging into your knees.

The handles one grips onto are flimsy and shaky, and have fallen off on more than one occasion.

In brief, a totally disastrous waste of money. I'd recommend doing sit ups or other ab exercises instead.

Bleak Expectations: The Complete Fourth Series (Bleak Expectations Complete Series)
Bleak Expectations: The Complete Fourth Series (Bleak Expectations Complete Series)
by Mark Evans
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £16.34

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fourth run - and still going strong. Funny and as absurd as ever!, 24 Aug. 2011
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Seriously absurd and absolutely hilarious. We start the series with a great subversion - evil Mr Gently Benevolent... has become GOOD! It doesn't last though, and he soon restarts his relentless campaign against Pip.

Cue a series of unlikely and bonkers scenarios, and the welcome return of David Mitchell as a kind of renegade vicar - the Rev Godly Fecund.

This series includes one of my favourite scenes ever; Ripely has joined the Gentlewomen's Cutlery Collectors' Society, and chastises Pip for not picking up his soup-spoon correctly -
Ripely: "Oh and now you haven't used the soup-spoon fork tongs tongs to pick up the soup-spoon fork tongs... and I don't suppose you ever even intended to use the soup-spoon fork tongs tongs server, let alone the soup-spoon fork tongs tongs server slice!!!!!"
Pip: "No... because it is ridiculous"

(and Sarah Hadland did well to get through that tongue twister, by the way!)

In brief then, a great series and well worth the purchase. Bleak Expectations has got to be the best thing that Radio 4's done in ages!

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