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Dymphna (England)

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The Abbess of Crewe
The Abbess of Crewe
by Muriel Spark
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Sly, playful - vintage Spark, 18 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Abbess of Crewe (Hardcover)
I love this sly, crafty, incisive little book. It is extremely enjoyable to read, and not just because of it's comic moments (which are plentiful). A lot of the enjoyment is just pure glee at Spark's imagination and creativity with language. She is writing at a moment in history (post-Watergate) when the possibilities of electronic surveillance are in the public mind. So she fuses this subject with the ultimate surveillancer: God. Or rather, His representatives at Crewe Abbey. At the same time (1974), the hippie era had come to an end, and Peace and Free Love had not proved to be 'all you need'. So Spark also draws this theme into this novella.

This is not a parody of 'real' religious communities, as I see it. It's definitely not an anti-religious book. It's a book very much about people: their parochial concerns; power corrupted, ego-driven, snobbish and high-handed.

One community is in schism: a popular young nun has gathered around her a clique under her banner of Free Love. So popular is she becoming that the recently open position of Abbess of the convent is feared to be within her grasp. So her main competitor (and her superior in several senses) decides to enlist the aid of electronic surveillance equipment - made in the Abbey's admired workshops - to listen in to all the nuns' conversations...

This book is as mildly surreal and somewhat Gothic as it sounds - there is a magical realism at play here years before that form became a cause celebre. But it is not so surreal as to be hallucinatory or ridiculous. Spark is very clever at keeping everything just within the bounds of feasibility, so that you just marvel at her originality and playfulness.

If you enjoyed Hilary Mantel's 'Fludd' you will definitely enjoy this book.


Lupercal
Lupercal
by Ted Hughes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.92

5.0 out of 5 stars It's Hughes. So buy it, 18 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Lupercal (Paperback)
It's by TED HUGHES. It's a few quid. It's pretty much guaranteed to be a million times better than anything else you read this year. There's nothing I can write here in a review that can describe the earthiness, the wholeness, the flesh-and-bone-and-dirt-ness, of his poetry. This is a collection trying to express an idea of human integration, early integration with nature, which has since been etiolated or enervated or technologised out of existence. But these arent angry protest poems, Hughes isnt an eco-warrior. He is a Nature poet who avoids the simpering, cutesy daffodils-and-bunny-wabbits stuff of the Victorians (I know thats an unfair generalisation, but you know what I mean) but whose animals look you square in the eye, are more than just 'red in tooth and claw' - they are on a different plane, one that is higher and lower at the same time. This collection range from nature poems so intense that you can smell the country air and feel the black soil beneath your feet - to Classical-allusion poems that are complex and are clearly trying to get at the connection between ourselves, our ancestors, and the ties and interdependencies between human and animals.

Of course when you're trying to describe poetry, you always come off worst. Because the poet has already put it best, first - in the Poems. So I will say again. It's Ted Hughes. It's a few quid. Just buy it.


The Folklore of Shropshire
The Folklore of Shropshire
by Roy Palmer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.47

5.0 out of 5 stars A Shropshire Lass Likes, 18 Sep 2014
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This is a really comprehensive volume! I was sort of expecting it to be a padded-out local community tourist info pamphlet, but it is a proper book, and the author has a proper authorial, personal voice in his treatment of Shropshire's folklore. I havent had time yet to read it cover to cover, but I suspect it's going to always be a 'dipping in and out' sort of book - good for the bedside table, when you only want half an hours worth of light reading. Though some of the crime/supernatural stories are a bit chilling for that!

There is enough local history and background here to convince you of the authors credentials, and so you are happy to trust him to lead you through lots of colourful local voices through history. There are plenty of references and reports to give historical context and empirical information. My only criticism would be a very partisan point: coming from North Shropshire, I would love to have seen much more about the borders, the Welsh Marches borderlands at the north and north-west of Shropshire. However, I am only too aware that the borderlands are always throughout history the more lawless and ungovernable regions and so often lack the same volume of written, civil data that other towns accrue. So while I know that's not Roy Palmers fault, it necessarily means some of the book is of less visceral interest than perhaps it should be. It'd be great if someone would write such an exhaustive and warmly human history of each Shropshire town in turn.


Gold TV Coax Aerial Cable ~ Lead ~ Wire (M-M) with Female to Female Adapter (F-F) 5m 16 ft
Gold TV Coax Aerial Cable ~ Lead ~ Wire (M-M) with Female to Female Adapter (F-F) 5m 16 ft
Offered by CDL Micro
Price: £3.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday's back - but still no Dog :-(, 18 Sep 2014
Arrived quickly enough, a bit cheap and cheerful but then what do you expect for a couple of quid! Was hoping it would improve reception a little bit, and it has on a couple of Freeview channels, but of course most of the problem is with the aerial. Worth the cost though, especially as one of the channels was my favourite Yesterday channel (hooray now I can rewatch Time Team! and History Cold case!) However (sob!) still no Pick channel though - Dog the Bounty Hunter is one of my guiltiest pleasures..


Lynx Dry Apollo Aerosol Anti-Perspirant Deodorant 200 ml
Lynx Dry Apollo Aerosol Anti-Perspirant Deodorant 200 ml
Offered by Greens Pharmacy
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars smells nice according to my teenage lad, 18 Sep 2014
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No1 Son loved it. Thats good enough for me! (he is incredibly fussy and usually only likes 'smart' ie expensive brands)


25cm (10") Large White Bagasse Plate - Fully Biodegradable & Compostable (Pack of 50)
25cm (10") Large White Bagasse Plate - Fully Biodegradable & Compostable (Pack of 50)
Offered by Cater For You Ltd
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good size strong plates for parties, work, and teenage boys, 18 Sep 2014
This is a handy little buy - I have a student son who is forever having mates round, taking food etc up to his room, and I have arthritis so cannot get upstairs to retreive all the crockery etc! - so I now have a new rule. Anything that goes upstairs food-wise must be on disposables. I keep a pack of disposable plates, bowls and cutlery so I dont have to fret about my good china festering upstairs whilst he is away at Uni! (pick your battles - even when they are so-called Grown up!)

These are great because they are reusable, unlike cheap paper party plates. They are big enough for a sane-sized pizza (tho not for those outrageous great flying saucer sized things they deliver these days!) And they are tough enough to withstand the microwave. For butties etc, they'll do a few uses, if kept tidy by a piece of kitchen roll! A bit expensive, but its worth paying in my case to have piece of mind that my nice plates aren't turning into petri dishes full of microbes under his bed...


Milk of Magnesia
Milk of Magnesia
Price: £3.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Milk of Mag - Best for IBS, 18 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Milk of Magnesia (Personal Care)
Couldnt manage without Milk of Mag. If you have IBS as I do, I am sure you will know what I mean!

A small dose cures heartburn and indigestion even when nothing else will work.
A larger dose cures constipation with no 'unpleasantness' (c.f. psyllium husk, senna, stimulants, etc etc)

Such a simple little medicine - such a lifesaver, and in this mint flavour, not nasty to take either. I always have a bottle in use and a bottle in spare as it simply wouldnt do for me to run out!


Hoppa folding lightweight shopping trolley shopping bag on wheels (Black Polka Dot)
Hoppa folding lightweight shopping trolley shopping bag on wheels (Black Polka Dot)
Offered by Luggage Travel Bags Ltd
Price: £26.99

5.0 out of 5 stars My second purchase of this great little trolley, 18 Sep 2014
Yes I have bought another one!

My other review is for the plain black one which I stupidly overloaded then allowed a taxi driver to dump it down onto the pavement, causing one of the wheels to break off. This was after a good year or more of continual use, so I dont feel it was a manufacturing/quality issue - it was my own fault. So I immediately sent off for its replacement. I had wanted to get a brightly coloured one this time but my nerve failed me and I went for black and white polka dots.

Arrived next day (with Prime delivery). Wheels just click on and then its ready to go! It looks really smart with polka dots - much smarter than the plain black which looked a bit dusty and dowdy after a while.

I already know how useful this little trolley is: I couldnt manage any shopping without it. It holds my weekly shop as a single person, but as I have found out, be careful overloading it with big heavy bottles of water or pop, or lots of tins. I would still like a umbrella/walking stick holder, and a velcro tab to hold down the flap at the front. But those are minor issues really. Its an incredibly useful, affordable item and great for keeping a bit of independence even when arthritis has set in.


Clinell Bedbath Wipes, Pack of 8 Moisturising Bathing Wipes, TRIPLE PACK
Clinell Bedbath Wipes, Pack of 8 Moisturising Bathing Wipes, TRIPLE PACK
Offered by Glebe Healthcare & Mobility
Price: £5.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product for temporary use - too expensive to use long-term, 18 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These really are different from other wet wipes or baby wipe products. Firstly they are very much larger, not just a couple of centimetres bigger. Second, they are very much wetter, and that wetness has a stronger cleaning capacity - they seem mildly astringent, so they cut through oiliness and sweat - they are very refreshing on a hot day. The skin smells and feels fresh and clean after use and they dont leave a nasty greasy feeling or any residue. Each packet contains 8 large wipes, enough for a really good thorough 'bath', or as packet is resealable, you can use 4 wipes for a 'freshen up', and make them last longer.
Yes they are quite expensive, and probably arent the long-term answer because the cost would just mount up. But for a temporary period of sickness or disability they are a very useful product to turn to for a convenient way to keep clean and tidy.


GALPHARM Loperamide 2mg Capsules 6's
GALPHARM Loperamide 2mg Capsules 6's
Offered by Galpharm Healthcare Online
Price: £2.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Good as the expensive named brand and arrived very fast, 18 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These arrived in very short time - within 48 hours! - and they are every bit as effective as their brand name counterpart, as they contain the same active ingredient, Loperamide. Got them for my sons first aid kit as he is off on yet another trip abroad and they are a must-have item!


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