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K. Blackwell

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Milestone Camping AC240V/140W AC Electric Air Pump inflator/deflator for airbeds paddling pools & toys. Universal valves. 3 pin UK plug. Black
Milestone Camping AC240V/140W AC Electric Air Pump inflator/deflator for airbeds paddling pools & toys. Universal valves. 3 pin UK plug. Black
Price: £9.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Sept. 2015
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Worked absolutely fine, no issues.

Inflatable Deluxe Lounge Lounger 1 Person Chair With Ottoman Foot Stool Rest- Pouffe - Seat Relaxer Single Couch
Inflatable Deluxe Lounge Lounger 1 Person Chair With Ottoman Foot Stool Rest- Pouffe - Seat Relaxer Single Couch
Offered by Saving world
Price: £17.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Was a godsend after all our furniture went into storage ..., 16 Sept. 2015
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Was a godsend after all our furniture went into storage and then selling our house was delayed by 2 weeks.

The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones (Canons)
The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones (Canons)
by Stanley Booth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Stanley Booth nailed it. A very enjoyable read., 2 Feb. 2013
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Loved Stanley Booth's book because it captured, through the Stones, my own remembrance of the band when I was growing up.

I have to admit I've never been a much of a fan of their music, but they are very important from a cultural perspective in the 60's: the newsreels bear that out (Pathe News in the UK), so I have read a few books about them. Whereas The Beatles were seen as lovable, the Stones were the devil incarnate and always in the news for the wrong reasons. So, there's something of a nostalgia trip going on.

I first remember them in 1964 when I was twelve and how different they looked. But it was the outrage of my parents generation and older that struck me the most. The mother of a friend of mine was almost foaming at the mouth in anger about them and how they should be locked up. She was not alone.

I liked the way Booth wove his story culminating in the Altamont disaster at the end of 1969, but introducing a history of the band's progression from the early 60's with more emphasis on Brian Jones than the usual offerings. I also liked the fact that he introduced Shirley Arnold's musings (as a fan) into the story.

Annie's review is very good. However, the idolisation / stereotyping of black musicians is understandable when looked at in the context of where blacks were in the 60's. They were mostly a distinct underclass and many of them in the Deep South were still struggling to get the vote. It was the `British Invasion' of the 60's that created an understanding of the Blues for many American kids who were oblivious to some great musicians who had provided the ideas that helped create rock music. As Keith Richards once said "I stole every lick I ever learned from Chuck Berry". Add to that BB King, Muddy Waters et al and the reader may better understand where Booth was coming from in bigging them up.

A very enjoyable read and my favourite book on the Stones.

At Fillmore East
At Fillmore East
Price: £5.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Live 'Rock' Album Ever, 24 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: At Fillmore East (Audio CD)
Having seen various bands live over the years I've been generally disappointed with live albums. Not so with this. Certain times in your life you wish you could have been there for legendary performances: Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie playing at the Massey Hall in 1953; John Coltrane playing My Favourite Things at Newport in 1963; a fly on the wall for the Kind of Blue sessions; Tim Buckley singing Venice Beach.

'Live at the Fillmore East' is right up there and for me is the greatest live rock album ever, nothing else comes near for me. Even on a stellar recording like this, 'In Memory of Elizabeth Reed' and 'Whipping Post' are astonishing. They were not just a rock/blues band, there are elements of Jazz and even Santana on parts of Elizabeth Reed. The musicians: Duane Allman is up there with the very best, but Dickie Betts is wonderful also and the interplay between the two is telepathic; Berry Oakley's bass playing is as good as it gets (you need the album because hearing him on Youtube drown his playing); Greg Allman has a wonderful blues voice; Butch Trucks and Jamoe perfectly compliment the overall sound.

Cycling is My Life
Cycling is My Life
by Tom Simpson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Major Tom, 30 Aug. 2009
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This review is from: Cycling is My Life (Paperback)
I first have to qualify the 4 star rating. For those of my ilk who came into cycling through the exploits of Tom Simpson, the book is 5 star necessity, the writing of it more like 3 stars. His life story and death is handled much better in my opinion by Tom's nephew Chris Sidwell and Bill Fotheringham in their respective books.

I started taking an interest in the sport initially because I thought racing bikes a thing of beauty and artistic. I knew of Simpson because he was the BBC Sport Personality of the Year in 1965. About 18 months after the award he was dead. My knowledge about the sport basically started on 14 July 1967 when reading the headlines on my paper round. The thirst became an obsession that led to joining a club and racing. This interest has never left me. I first read this book as a 15 year old in my local library and never thought I would get the chance to read it again.

Simpson's death has been reported upon 'ad nauseam' with a polarity of opinion. Those who discount his results due to drug taking and those who recognise that the drugs was an integral part of the day job. So, if we take his results on face value, then by common consent he was and remains our greatest road cyclist. San Remo, Flanders, Lombardy, World Champion besides other races firmly places him as one of the top riders of his day.

The book itself is the usual sporting biog as told by the man himself and follows a well worn path. Being Simpson there are some funnies in there, but what strikes me is how incredibly poignant it all is. Particularly the section when he refers to his avoidance of National Service when he said he hoped he wouldn't be marched over a parade ground when he was 40. How quickly fate intervened.

He's been dead 42 years now. A young man of 29 years. But there's no more fitting a momument than the memorial to him on Mont Ventoux. A monumental place for someone who took wings like Icarus to fly away and pay the ultimate price.

Not a great book, but a must have for anyone who remembers him from those days. What the book doesn't tell can be seen on film. He had great charisma. Road racing as a sport in the UK has never fully recovered from his death.

Tomorrow, We Ride
Tomorrow, We Ride
by Jean Bobet
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.05

4.0 out of 5 stars Jean Bobet, 30 Aug. 2009
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This review is from: Tomorrow, We Ride (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book a great deal. I also echo G Daniels' review of the book.

Louison Bobet was a champion in the golden age of cycling from after the War up to Coppi's death in 1960. There was a changing of the guard thereafter. Coppi, Bartali, Kubler, Koblet, Van Steenbergen and Bobet. All capable of winning in the grand manner in the era pre television. We get a history of these rivalries that existed, but equally enjoyable for me was the explanantion of the sheer enjoyment of cycling itself.

Anyone who has raced or been a club rider will understand these sentiments of riding a bike. There are those days when we feel tired to start with and end up flying; and the opposite when we feel great but end up grovelling with tiredness or the bonk (hunger knock). This book helps to bring that out.

A nicely relaxed read.

The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography
The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography
by Matt Rendell
Edition: Paperback

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks a sense of proportion, 30 Aug. 2009
I have to say I found this book a bit depressing, albeit a vast improvement on Ronchi's book on Pantani.

Where this falls down for me is a lack of proportionality. To the uninitiated you would consider that Pantani was in a minority of one in the same way that Tom Simpson was castigated for drug use. What we have in reality, since the beginning of this sport at the beginning of the 20th century is wholesale drug use; only the drugs of choice change over the generations; amphetamines after the war and up to the late 80's; then the more sinister and systematic and organised used of EPO.

As has been proven time and again, most of those we considered clean eventually got caught, the others were too smart or lucky. What we get from this book is effectively a lecture in Pantani's drug use without taking a wider view of the systematic use in cycling, and as we have found, in most other sports. Whoever thought we would here of track and field sprinters taking EPO!!!

This book would have been better if had concentrated a great deal more on the circumstances behind the failed test at Madonna Del Campiglio because effectively that was the beginning of the end of Pantani's life, his death warrant. What transpired was his awful spiral into oblivion.

I think every right minded person want to see clean sport. Pantani was a cheat, but it's patently obvious that almost eveyone else he competed against was also compromised. Consequently, we should criticise the use of drugs by Pantani, but also appreciate his ability in context to the sport. Rendall misses this in my opinion.

Rugby's Great Split: Class, Culture and the Origins of Rugby League Football (Sport in the Global Society)
Rugby's Great Split: Class, Culture and the Origins of Rugby League Football (Sport in the Global Society)
by Tony Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £35.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book and an education, 30 Aug. 2009
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I enjoyed this book enormously for a number of reasons.

I learned more in this book about Rugby League - the sport I was brought up with - than with anything I've read before. From being a kid, the read was the Rugby Leaguer, which in hindsight was more an unquestioning fanzine of the sport. This later morphed into a bit of higher education with Harry Edgar's unstinting effort to expand people's understanding with a more thought provoking analysis of the game with Open Rugby and which morphed on from there to his excellent Rugby League Journal for us older readers who would like to go back to Rugby League before the de facto abolition of meaningful scrums and the 10 yard rule; and of course a nostalgia trip.

The love of the game from a young age is usually unquestioning. What Tony Collins does with this book is to weave a social history of the 1895 split engineered by the top brass at Twickenham to keep out the great unwashed from their game. However, this amateur ethos appears to have have encompassed a wider context to maintain amateurism for sport in general (the Olympics etc), i.e., sport for 'gentlemen'. To some in the Union hierachy it was a heartfelt wish to keep the game strictly amateur, to others a cynical game of social engineering due to the dominance of the Northern clubs. What transpired, before the split, was a game that had ascendancy over football (soccer), but which meandered into a sporting backwater, and which managed also to damage Rugby League through the media. In addition, something that took an even more sinister twist with the abolition of Rugby League in the Vichy government of occupied France.

This is an excellent read for anyone who takes an interest in the development of League and Union.

Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi
Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi
by William Fotheringham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fotheringham's finest hour, 30 Aug. 2009
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Bill Fotherigham writes very well on cycling and I always look forward to his latest offering. For me this his best effort to date by some distance and also the best cycling biog I've read.

The reason for this is that, in this book, he avoids the usual formula of the racing and results and a potted history of the person. Insofar as the results are concerned, cycling is hamstrung by the palmares of Eddy Merckx, which is like like comparing the batting averages of Don Bradman against everyone else. There is no comparison: the gulf is too large. What he has done instead is weave a multi faceted story: the rags to riches story of the poor boy made good; the complex rivalry between himself and Gino Bartali; and of course his 'interesting' domestic life that polarised Italy. All this is interspersed against the historical, social and political upheaval of the war and after, and the social mores of Italy moving from the control of the church to a secular society. Ultimately, the story of the man is more interesting than the career.

Coppi and Bartali were two of Italy's greatest ever sports stars and the various photos that turn up in this book and elsewhere are iconic. They attained film star status with the media attention they attracted. And it makes me wonder what results they would have achieved but for the intervention of the War. Fotheringham also did a good thing in managing to get Raphael Geminiani onside as it's apparent he's good for a quote and very opinionated; and, quick to take umbrage like he did with Paul Howard's book on Jacques Anquetil.

I would recommend this book to any sports fan, not just to those interested in cycling because the sporting angle becomes subsumed in the life story, which makes it all the more worthy.
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