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S. Owen

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Tomodachi Life (Nintendo 3DS)
Tomodachi Life (Nintendo 3DS)
Price: £24.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Very addictive little game, 29 July 2015
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This is such an absorbing game! I'm quite ashamed to admit to ordering it for myself as I'm sure I'm not the target age! My teen daughter has been playing it for almost a year now and it seemed like a mini soap opera; she was constantly telling me that someone had married/ split up with/ starting dating someone else etc. I got intrigued and she said I would like it. I have now been playing it for 4 months almost daily.

In a nutshell, you look after an island which starts with just one inhabitant, and you have to create this one, and others. After you get going with a few islanders the game seems to take on a life of its own, with inhabitants dating, marrying and creating little versions of themselves, in a way which is fascinating from a genetic point of view, if nothing else. The islanders have a wealth of issues for you to sort out, from fights with other islanders to wanting new outfits. It becomes like your own personal soap opera, and though it does get a bit repetitive eventually, it takes a lot of playing for this to happen.

If you've ever played Animal Crossing, I'd say you'll like this.


Master Class Non-Stick 15cm Round Deep Cake Pan With Loose Base
Master Class Non-Stick 15cm Round Deep Cake Pan With Loose Base
Price: £6.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice quality cake tin, 29 July 2015
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Beautiful high quality cake tin, much better than anything I have seen in the shops even for much more money. I have to bake a lot as I have a dairy and soya allergic daughter and I find this 6 inch size good for everyday large cakes.The tin is heavy and the non stick seems to be high quality. It's stood up to frequent, almost daily use for a couple of months now and it still looks brand new. I've had quite a few family members order one for themselves upon seeing it. I would look for this make again.


Memory Foam Off-cut 40" x 27" x2" multiple uses, dog pet bed,sun lounger,camping,caravan
Memory Foam Off-cut 40" x 27" x2" multiple uses, dog pet bed,sun lounger,camping,caravan
Offered by Efoam
Price: £22.03

5.0 out of 5 stars Makes a very good dog bed, 29 July 2015
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I bought this for a dog bed for our oldest dog who is 13 now and getting very stiff in the mornings. It's a huge sheet of foam - I'd read the measurements but still underestimated how big it was! Because it's not terribly thick, I cut it in half and placed one half on top of the other. I've wrapped the whole thing in a cheap fleece blanket and hey presto, I have a lovely comfy washable dog bed for a fraction of the price of memory foam beds in well known pet stores.
The dog looked at it very suspiciously at first and insisted on sleeping on the floor beside it; I suspect because it didn't look like a bed as he knew it. However, after being lifted on it a couple of times he now loves it and is noticeably less stiff and arthritic. A good buy.


Remington HC5015 Apprentice Hair Clipper
Remington HC5015 Apprentice Hair Clipper
Offered by Dealsdirect247
Price: £15.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Good value inexpensive clipper which cuts just fine, 29 July 2015
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This was an inexpensive hair clipper to replace a much higher spec Remington which we'd had for years. This one is mains operated, not rechargeable. I've found that as long as you can sit fairly near a power source (it's not a particularly long lead) that's not a problem; in fact it saves an aging battery from chewing up the hair you are cutting.
The attachments are flimsier than my original clippers but seem to work every bit as well. There is less choice of attachment, but I personally tend to use a number 3 on my other half and nothing else anyway, so this isn't an issue for me.
I'd say this was a very good buy. I've used it very successfully for a few haircuts now and see no reason why it won't last for a very good time to come.


Music Theory for Young Children Book Two
Music Theory for Young Children Book Two
by Ying Ying Ng
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.50

5.0 out of 5 stars A gentle introduction to music theory, 29 July 2015
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I love this series. For anyone under the age of about 9, I start them on these books instead of Grade 1 theory. They build up very gradually over four books to Grade 1 standard. This second book, having covered the most basic concepts in the first, takes treble and bass clef notes to an octave each and introduces quavers, rests and the working out of simple time signatures. The middle is full of stickers to add to various pages and there are lots of fun activities with plenty of colouring. My pupils always beg to do this book each lesson. Better than others I have tried for this age group. I've used it very successfully from ages 5 - 8 ish. But to be honest,if I had to learn theory from scratch I'd be happy to work it myself!


Music Theory for Young Children Book One, Second Edition
Music Theory for Young Children Book One, Second Edition
by Ying Ying Ng
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant theory book for young children., 29 July 2015
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I love this series. For anyone under the age of about 9, I start them on these books instead of Grade 1 theory. They build up very gradually over four books to Grade 1 standard, with this first book being accessible from the very first music lessons. The middle is full of stickers to add to various pages and there are lots of fun activities with plenty of colouring. My pupils always beg to do this book each lesson. Better than others I have tried for this age group. I've used it very successfully from ages 5 - 8 ish. But to be honest,if I had to learn theory from scratch I'd be happy to work it myself!


Staedtler Noris Club 144 50NC24 Erasable Colouring Pencils - Assorted Colours (Pack of 24)
Staedtler Noris Club 144 50NC24 Erasable Colouring Pencils - Assorted Colours (Pack of 24)
Price: £8.08

5.0 out of 5 stars They really do erase!, 29 July 2015
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Nice bright colours and they really do erase!

I bought these for a strange reason. I teach piano and I am constantly copying off pages of music so I can highlight aspects in colour for students. I find this works much better for students than everything in black. However, I'm never sure that pupils should go into exams with books covered in coloured markings. After one pupil found it hard to play the piece when we switched from the colour page to the plain music, I thought it would be brilliant if you could rub out colours in the way you can pencil. And so I found these. They make good strong markings on the page as long as they are sharp. I can't comment on colouring in, I'm afraid, as I've only used them for writing in colour.

I'm being brave now and writing over all sorts of things in colour on the assumption I can rub it out later. So far, so good!


Colour Therapy (Creative Colouring for Grown-Ups)
Colour Therapy (Creative Colouring for Grown-Ups)
by Cindy Wilde
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful quality book but pre coloured sections put me off a bit, 29 July 2015
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Firstly, this feels like a proper book, not just a colouring book. There is a really sturdy hard cover on it and the pages are thick and high quality. The result is that you feel as though you are opening a beautiful coffee table book.
For me, that is part of its problem. I'm a little intimidated by it. Now, I'm sure this wasn't what the author meant, in fact they are at pains to point out that there are no rules and many pages are left partly blank for you to doodle. However, each page is mostly started off for you and I'm really not an artist so I tend to look at it and think "I can't do that."

Finally I was brave enough to give it a go and was pleasantly surprised. I chose a picture of an Egyptian temple type building. Once archway had beautiful patterns on it and the other was blank. The blank fazed me a bit but I started by colouring the patterned side and then had a go at the doodling side. I have to say, I was surprised at how easy it was to make it look good. I was a total art failure at school, thrown out of the class well before O level years never to darken their doors again - but this really is do-able. Having said that, I was drawn back to my colour-by-numbers safety zone fairly quickly; but I will return to this book.

The one thing I am in two minds about - which for me reduces it to four stars (I realise it would not do so for everyone) is that the book focuses on colours which are on the opposite sides of the colour wheel, for example, blue and orange or red and green. This is informative for an art numpty like me and does make for a very striking and dramatic look. I don't personally like the effect much, but you can't escape it because almost all pages are part coloured in already in those colours. I was desperately trying to find, for example, a red page to which I could add pinks or yellows, or a blue page to which I could add lilacs or greens, but this was not possible because the blue pages, for example, almost all had orange pre-coloured in.

When I look at the lion on the front I feel as though I could make more of this book than I am. However, you definitely need a bit of confidence for this and maybe an eye for colour if you are to deviate from the blue/orange, red/green schemes prescribed by the book.


Staedtler Noris colour 185 C24 Colouring Pencil - Assorted
Staedtler Noris colour 185 C24 Colouring Pencil - Assorted
Price: £3.25

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bargain price, feel good quality but a bit hard for colouring, 28 July 2015
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I paid well under a fiver for this pack of 24 pencils, so I feel I have to review based partly on that. It would be churlish to expect them to perform as or judge them alongside the two polychromos I bought (at nearly £2 per pencil).
I had an adult colouring magazine which recommended these as perfect for the job. I'm not so sure. They are quite hard and scratchy and they don't really blend, so the colours look fairly washed out.
On the positive side, they feel very nice in the hand, being made of some kind of weighted material, and they look an attractive pencil. They also seem to sharpen evenly without breaking - despite the fact that the postman pretty much threw them through the letterbox onto our hard floor (as an aside, I do wish Amazon would put "fragile" on pencil packs as this isn't the first time this has happened). The range of colours is also pretty good.
My teen daughter uses coloured pencils more for drawing with and she is getting on really well with these as you can get some really well defined lines with them.
But for adult colouring, if you only want to pay around this price I'd look at Crayola or WHSmith Artist's colouring pencils - both of which I'd say do the job better.


Gilbert & Sullivan for Singers: Sopranos (Vocal Library) (The Vocal Library)
Gilbert & Sullivan for Singers: Sopranos (Vocal Library) (The Vocal Library)
by William S. Gilbert
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A very nice selection, 28 July 2015
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I'm very pleased with this book. I teach singing and it has a good range for soprano voice. There are plenty of songs in here; some familiar songs such as "Poor wand'ring one" and some less well known ones too. It also comes with a very useful accompaniment CD which frees you from playing all the time (and is brilliant if you are buying this to work on alone). It has clear music with two piano clefs and a vocal line. If you want to expand your repertoire of Gilbert and Sullivan, I'd recommend this.
Song list :
Happy Young Heart, The Sun Whose Rays, A Lady Fair of Lineage High, Love is a Plaintive Song, I Built Upon a Rock, Sorry Her Lot, If Somebody There Chanced to be, How Would I Play this Part, Poor Wand'ring One, I cannot tell, Oh Goddess Wise, When He is Here, So Ends My Dream, This done! I Am a Bride, A Simple Sailor Lowly Born


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