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El Loro "El Pinarillo Books" (London, England)

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NOCO BLSOLAR5 Solar Battery Charger
NOCO BLSOLAR5 Solar Battery Charger
Price: £24.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smashing but..., 19 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a nice piece of kit with some room for improvement.

It's in three straightforward parts and easy to set up and use.

The main component is the solar panel about a foot square (0.1 m2 or so in new money). There are holes drilled in each corner of the frame for fixed mounting although a stand like you get on photo frames would have been good.

The connector from the frame connects to crocodile clips and a lighter plug. So far so good for trickle charging batteries.

What it doesn't have is the leads for connecting directly to 12v kit like water pumps, phone chargers etc. The male/female connectors on the leads mean there's some improvising to be done which will invalidate any warranty. A pity, because there is a market for cheap, effective solar panels out here.


A Man Called Ove
A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

5.0 out of 5 stars One to pass around your friends, 19 Jun 2014
This review is from: A Man Called Ove (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a marvellously emotive read.

Ove is a grumpy old man, an extreme version of the grumpy old men we all know, the kind of grumpy old man we can all become. His world has ossified after his wife's death and, as the novel progresses, we discover that there is a vibrant living joyous soul within.

Its not the kind of mawkish nonsense you'd expect from a less able British or American writer; it's heartfelt like the best European cinema.

Its the kind of you book you regret finishing, the kind of book you'll want to share.


Yepp Kids Maxi Easyfit Childseat and Carrier - Silver, One Size
Yepp Kids Maxi Easyfit Childseat and Carrier - Silver, One Size
Price: £87.48

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Make sure it's the one for you before you order it., 28 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The little one is now rising four and rapidly outgrowing the Wee Ride, so it's time for a rear mounted seat.

This is a handsome enough beast with an ingenious fitting which not only puts the weight on the seat tube but allows the child seat to be quickly and easily removed. It rides as well as other rear mounted seats but...

...it's not suitable for a lot of bikes.

It's not suitable for mountain bikes or bikes with rear suspension,

It's not suitable for bikes with carbon frames (although it would be like using a Ferrari to tow a trailer)

It's not suitable for my number one bike, a mid range fairly run of the mill but absolutely lovely Claude Butler hybrid. The frame is the right size but, because of the way the crossbar meets the seat tube, there is not enough room to fit the Yepp and clear the back wheel.

It's not suitable for my number two bike, a fairly cheap Apollo hybrid, because of the way cable runs to the front derailleur. Not unless I buy an adaptor.

It does fit my number three, The Pig, normally reserved for emergencies and the filthiest weather. Look up bog-standard in the big book of cheap bikes and there's a picture of it.

So, by all means consider this seat. It is lovely. But make sure if's the right seat for your bike before you order it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2014 5:35 PM BST


Scholl Velvet Smooth Pedicure Intense Foot Serum 30 ml
Scholl Velvet Smooth Pedicure Intense Foot Serum 30 ml
Offered by HealthXpress
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A metaphor for modern living, 28 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What do you do when you have too much money and not enough to worry about beyond an instutionalised sense of personal inadequacy?

You pamper yourself.

You spend a fiver or so on 30ml of what is essentially a moisturiser based, as all moisturisers are, on hydrobase which costs around £20 a litre retail.

You watch naff TV programmes punctuated by adverts, all adding to your insecurity, while you apply this hugely overpriced stuff to your feet,

The next day, you cram your lovely and smooth feet into inadequate shoes where nobody can see them. Not only that, but chances are the shoes are causing a degree of musculoskeletal problems.

Still, at least you have bought your way into living the dream and you are looking good and feeling good, eh?


Yepp Kids Maxi Child Bike Seat - Black
Yepp Kids Maxi Child Bike Seat - Black
Offered by expert-shops
Price: £98.03

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I like this but..., 28 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The little one is now rising four and rapidly outgrowing the Wee Ride, so it's time for a rear mounted seat.

This is a handsome enough beast with an ingenious fitting which not only puts the weight on the seat tube but allows the child seat to be quickly and easily removed. It rides as well as other rear mounted seats but...

...it's not suitable for a lot of bikes.

It's not suitable for mountain bikes or bikes with rear suspension,

It's not suitable for bikes with carbon frames (although it would be like using a Ferrari to tow a trailer)

It's not suitable for my number one bike, a mid range fairly run of the mill but absolutely lovely Claude Butler hybrid. The frame is the right size but, because of the way the crossbar meets the seat tube, there is not enough room to fit the Yepp and clear the back wheel.

It's not suitable for my number two bike, a fairly cheap Apollo hybrid, because of the way cable runs to the front derailleur. Not unless I buy an adaptor.

It does fit my number three, The Pig, normally reserved for emergencies and the filthiest weather. Look up bog-standard in the big book of cheap bikes and there's a picture of it.

So, by all means consider this seat. It is lovely. But make sure if's the right seat for your bike before you order it.


Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me (Penguin Modern Classics)
Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Javier Marķas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Great, even in translation., 24 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Marias, like many other Hispanic writers, is very different in the original. Nevertheless, this is a great novel impressively translated by Margaret Jull Costa.

It comes from a writer and a culture and a time where the past is compromised and has to be approached obliquely. Instead of tackling the past and the present head on, Marias writes about the dead and the living, something both very public and very intimate in Spain until the 80s.

True, the writing may seem daunting at times but, compared to the late Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "Autumn of the Patriarch", it' a doddle!


Intermission
Intermission
by Owen Martell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Evocative but less than convincing., 24 April 2014
This review is from: Intermission (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is, all in all, an impressive read.

It evokes the jazz scene in early 60s New York well, particularly to a reader with little prior knowledge. The layers of detail are impressive.

However, the style - perhaps as a nod to theme - is obtuse at times and takes some getting used to.

As a literary experiment, it's worth five stars. As a general read, it falls short.


Mrs. Hemingway
Mrs. Hemingway
by Naomi Wood
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite Gatsby, 17 April 2014
This review is from: Mrs. Hemingway (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although born of the same time and place as the Great Gatsby, this is a much more human story.

Where F Scott Fitgerald's critique of 1920s superficiality moved to Long Island and left itself open to misinterpretation, this stays in France and focuses on the undeniable personal impact of Ernest Hemingway on the women around him.

Naomi Wood's simple style belies the emotional depth of the story making it both easy and satisfying to read.


There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra
There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra
by Chinua Achebe
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars An escape from the Anglo-American bubble., 17 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
One of the sad truths about reading in Britain is our narrow focus on British and American writers. Where the rest of the world is used to literature (and cinema) in translation, we tend to consider foreign writers - even foreign writers in English - as highbrow.

What is even sadder is our neglect of writers like Achebe, who combine accessible narratives with a powerful message of great significance.

This book, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez's recent autobiography, reminds us not only of the brilliant writing out there but of the bloody post-colonial mess that runs through much of it like a bass note.

It's not comfortable reading but, if you like post-colonial literature or foreign writing in general, it's an important book,


This is the Life
This is the Life
by Alex Shearer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Such is life, 17 April 2014
This review is from: This is the Life (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a novel based on the death of the author's brother. Unlike the weekend-supplement public spectacle kind of writing so popular ten years ago, this is makes few claims to truth.

One hand, it allows the author some personal distance but, as Sebastian Faulks managed in Birdsong, that distance allows for a much more considered, much more controlled narrative.

This succeeds where so many have failed because it evokes the many different emotions that come with the waning and passing of a loved on, without mawkishness, and ends up as a celebration of life.


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