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David Thorpe "Torchy" (London, UK)

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Kärcher K2 Compact Home Air-Cooled Pressure Washer
Kärcher K2 Compact Home Air-Cooled Pressure Washer
Price: £79.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 8 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Wow. Was worried about getting one so low down in the range in case it was feeble. This thing is awesome. I am just back at my desk after first use and I have cleaned my entire back yard (York stone) and wooden garden furniture with ease. And both were in a very sorry, moss and muck covered state before I started.

It cuts through pretty much everything with ease. In fact at one point I had to take care because I started to gouge out the cement between the slabs.

Only comment I would make is I'm not quite sure what the round patio brush brings to the equation. I found using the nozzles to be just as fast and in some respects much easier.

All in all this is amazing.

(BTW, my wife laughed at me when it arrived because it is really small and doesn't look like it would have the pressure to blow up a balloon. How wrong she was!).

The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer
The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer
by David A. Whitsett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Does The Job, 28 April 2009
At the age of 45 I decided I wanted to run the London Marathon for charity. It had been 25 years since any serious exercise and my attempts to run were a disaster. It took me four and a half years working with physiotherapists, podiatrists, personal trainers and other professionals to overcome fundamental injury problems (shin splints) such that I could run a 10K in the summer of 2008. Basking in the glory of that 10K I immediately applied, and was accepted for, a charity place in the April 2009 London Marathon. Within a week or so of receiving that confirmation I promptly damaged both of my Achilles tendons and had to stop running.

Still not running, and still having twice weekly physio I came across this guide and received it first week in January. The physio allowed me to start training one week late into the 16 week program - so essentially I started at week 2. I followed it religiously through week 11 when I picked up a knee injury and the rest of the 16 weeks was a pretty hit and miss affair.

On April 26th, the day after my 50th birthday, I completed the London Marathon in 4hrs and 38mins on a blistering hot day.

My point is this. As you will see I am most definitely NOT a natural runner. And yet even missing parts of the program (which I wouldn't recommend) this book gave me enough to get me through. Some of my thoughts:

1. It takes commitment. An April (London) marathon means training through the horrid winter months. Getting going at 5.30 a.m. in rain/frost/fog requires determination.

2. Each chapter has a physical section and a 'mental' section. I read the latter, but didn't really practice too much of the vision stuff the book talks about. I am a pretty determined person anyway and didn't need this. But I think if you don't have commitment and determination you really do need to focus on these parts of the book. As I found, there's a huge amount of mental energy required to pull this off, both in the training and in the run itself.

3. As they keep saying in the book, if you follow the program you will complete the marathon. End of story.

So, it definitely does the job. As the authors say themselves, this is not a book for getting a specific finish time, not a book for second or third time marathoners, but if you want to run a marathon, are prepared to put in three (generally) one hour sessions during the week and one longer session at the weekend, this book will get you through. Ignore the complex plans you'll find all over the web. This is simple, straightforward, practical and works.

Highly recommended.

Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Worn GPS Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor (discontinued by manufacturer)
Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Worn GPS Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor (discontinued by manufacturer)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - Can't Fault, 2 Nov. 2008
I started running about six months ago. Because of persistent injury problems it's important that I can very accurately track my pace. My iPod with Nike+ is pretty inaccurate (even after calibration) and doesn't provide constant data output. I therefore purchased a Forerunner 101 as my first GPS device. Alongside this I wore a Polar heart rate monitor. With my iPod as well, I almost clanked as I ran!

I have just upgraded to the 305 and what an absolute delight.

Advantages over the 101:

Much faster GPS locating. I live in London and sometimes with the 101 obtaining a fix was slow. It's near instantaneous with the 305.

Integrated heart rate monitor. Bye-bye Polar. One less gadget on my arm. (Now, if only it could play music).

Customisable display. I could have one custom screen with the 101. I have three with this. The unit captures a vast array of data and this allows you to have exactly what you need whilst you are running.

Re-chargeable Battery. Cheerio AAAs of the 101. Plus, don't even have to use the AC adapter. The USB cable supplies power.

Mac Support. I'm a Mac user. The upload facilities and included software (a) work! and (b) are great.

In short, I am totally loving this device. Be aware however that:

(a) You really should take time to read the full manual to get the best of it--the quick start guide will get you going, the manual really lets you tailor the forerunner and understand its capabilities.

(b) It doesn't make your legs move faster or further :-(

Nothing to Lose (Jack Reacher)
Nothing to Lose (Jack Reacher)
by Lee Child
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to Gain, 18 April 2008
I have read every single Reacher novel and eagerly await each new release. If this had been the first I'd ever read, it would have been the last.

Most Reacher novels have me really itching to turn the page; this did too, but only to take me nearer to the end. The story is repetitive (how many ways are there to describe a slow journey over the same piece of road, time and again?), the characters (apart from Reacher) totally forgettable and the denouement, frankly, plain ridiculous.

I hope this is an isolated glitch in the series.

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