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Resol Palma Garden Chair - Green - Patio Outdoor Plastic Furniture (Pack of 4)
Resol Palma Garden Chair - Green - Patio Outdoor Plastic Furniture (Pack of 4)
Offered by Rinkit Ltd
Price: £130.00

2.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for, 11 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are nice looking green plastic garden chairs but they're a bit flimsy to say the least. One had broken in transit and a further 3 of the 8 I bought in May have now broken come October. The company replaced the first one immediately and gave very good service in respect of that. I've not asked them about the others. They were a very good price and I think you get what you pay for.


TomTom GO 510 5 inch Sat Nav with World Maps - Black
TomTom GO 510 5 inch Sat Nav with World Maps - Black
Price: £155.03

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't work with most iPhones - and TomTom know this and they're still selling it! Incredible., 17 Jun. 2015
The reason you'd buy this as opposed to the cheaper option (or even an old model) is live traffic and mobile camera alerts. For these features to work you need to hook it up to your smartphone. If you try to hook it up to an iPhone using IOS 8 (the latest software) it keeps disconnecting. It works fine with IOS 7 - thank God my wife didn't update hers. I went on the TomTom forums and this has been a problem for a long time. I called support and they said that they know it doesn't work but that it's Apple's fault. They are waiting for Apple to fix it. Well, it may be Apple's fault but don't TomTom have a responsibility to their customers to point out that their second most expensive product doesn't work with the world's most popular smartphone?

Further to this review being published TomTom contacted me and tried to resolve it (see comments below) but I can assure you that the situation is as I described.

The TomTom GO 510/610 does not work for live traffic and speed cameras if you use an iPhone loaded with the latest Apple software.

So beware if this is something that is important to you because TomTom don't think it is their responsibility to point this out to you.
Comment Comments (21) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 19, 2015 10:48 PM GMT


The Deeply Vale Box Set
The Deeply Vale Box Set
Price: £102.80

4.0 out of 5 stars What a superb trip down Memory Lane, the likes of which we will never ever witness again., 6 Jan. 2015
This review is from: The Deeply Vale Box Set (Audio CD)
“We originally got permission to hold a party for 10 friends – and 300 people turned up to the first one along with 15 bands."

So said Chris Hewitt, the man behind this unique set of free festivals held in the late 70's in the hills north of the Lancashire mill towns of Bury and Rochdale. It started out in 1976 with a load of hippy bands and ended up in 1979 with 20,000 people enjoying a brilliant mix of punk and hippiness. Nik Turner's teepee people meet Mark Smith's early Fall.

I only went to one of them, the1978 gig. Chris had very kindly provided the stage for the Northern Carnival Against The Nazis held in Alexandra Park, Manchester which I was involved with organising for Rock Against Racism (RAR) and he used the same stage and some of the same bands at Deeply a week later on a punk and RAR weekend. The iconic Tony Wilson introduced The Fall, Vinnie Reilly's Durutti Column, Alternative TV led by the Sniffin' Glue fanzine's Mark Perry on the Saturday afternoon. The RAR Sunday featured The Risk, The Out, China Street, The Ruts and their Southall neighbours, Misty in Roots. The Fall actually met their future producer, Grant Showbiz (also The Smiths and Billy Bragg's) at the festival when he was Here and Now's soundman.

I really don't have a clue how we found the place. There were no sat navs in 1978 and Deeply Vale wasn't marked on any maps. I guess we must have just followed the VW Campervans and the smell of joss sticks and other aromas. Despite its romantic name, Deeply Vale was set in an old industrial site with loads of ponds locally called "lodges" which were superb for skinny dipping and a quick wash. There were no facilities whatsoever unless you include some sunken oil drums used as toilets and the Rochdale Civil Aid providing rudimentary medical services in a portable polling booth.

I'd never been to a festival before, never mind a free festival. For an ex-skinhead turned punk fan, I was at first intimidated by the free flowing lifestyle of the hippies but we're all the same under the skin, and soon we were all mixing marvellously helped along by the plentiful supply of stimulants. Chris reckons that this was the first time that punks and hippies had got along so well and he's probably right.

The big draws in 1978 were Here and Now and Steve Hillage but there were also great little local bands like Sister Ray ("That's sacrilege that" said Mick Hucknall when he first heard the band named after the seminal Velvet Underground song), Crispy Ambulance (Tony Wilson reckoned that was the worse band name in the world in 24 Hour Party People), early Graham (808 State) Massey band, Danny and the Dressmakers along with a couple of bands called Oasis and Nirvana but as Noel and Kurt were both 11 years old at the time, it's a safe bet that these weren't the ones we love and cherish.

However, all good things must come to an end and by 1979 the authorities weren't nearly as benign as before, the landowner was under pressure to withdraw his permission, the water authority refused to open its standpipe, the organisers were more stoned and the scaffolding and tarpaulin suppliers' kit wasn't returned. Deeply Vale was no longer.

The book is just about Deeply itself but about the counter cultural head scene in the northern mill towns whose mills had gone elsewhere. "Foreman says these jobs are going boy, and they ain't coming back," as Springsteen wrote in My Hometown.

The book has many crazy tales of crazy people but the funniest for me was that of Pete Ridley, a backstage bouncer at the RAR Carnival the previous week.

"I was on the backstage compound gate and a woman came up to me and said she urgently needed to see Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks.
I said, "Sorry love, if you haven't got a pass and you're not on the list, you can't come in."
She said, "but I'm his mother."
I said, "I don't care if you're the Queen, if you haven't got a pass you can't come in" and she turned to go away disheartened. She then produced this Tupperware container out of her bag and said,
"I'm Pete Shelley's mother and I have to see him because I have brought his sandwiches and he left without having anything to eat this morning."
I had a word with Bernie Wilcox and we went and found a rather embarrassed looking Pete Shelley and united him with his sandwiches and his mother!"

Punks, eh!

At this price, the package is quite an investment but given that you also get 6 CDs of the bands of the time including some never before released early live tracks of bands like The Fall and a huge amount of great colour photos, not to mention the joss sticks, it's well worth it.

This is a coffee table book with a difference and a superb birthday or Christmas present for all those old heads and punks who you love so well.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 26, 2015 1:41 PM GMT


Cablesson Basics 3m (3 Meter) High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet - (Latest 2.0/1.4a Version, 21Gbps) Gold HDMI Cable with ETHERNET Compatibility, PS4, SKY HD,FULL HD, 1080P, 2160p, LCD, PLASMA & LED TVs, 4K Ultra HD , 3D TVS, Supports Dolby TrueHDs
Cablesson Basics 3m (3 Meter) High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet - (Latest 2.0/1.4a Version, 21Gbps) Gold HDMI Cable with ETHERNET Compatibility, PS4, SKY HD,FULL HD, 1080P, 2160p, LCD, PLASMA & LED TVs, 4K Ultra HD , 3D TVS, Supports Dolby TrueHDs
Offered by HDCentral
Price: £8.95


Betron JRS40 Pop Up Portable Mini Travel II Capsule Rechargeable 40mm Speaker For Iphone, iPod, Ipad, Tablets and MP3 Players - Black
Betron JRS40 Pop Up Portable Mini Travel II Capsule Rechargeable 40mm Speaker For Iphone, iPod, Ipad, Tablets and MP3 Players - Black
Offered by Betron Limited ( VAT Registered)
Price: £29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great little speakers, 13 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just the job, good sound and very small. They're not big enough for a party but great for travelling light


Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star
Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star
by Tracey Thorn
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real honest pop biography. Very refreshing., 5 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Summer 1985 and I'm driving from Manchester to Hull to catch the ferry to Rotterdam. I've got Eden on the tape player, just released and eagerly awaited after Tracey's guest appearances on the Style Council's Café Blue and Working Week's Working Nights albums some months earlier. It's the new British jazz/pop sound which has caught us all so firmly and I'm loving it.

In those days, 30 years ago when drivers stopped for hitch hikers, I picked up a couple who were going to Hull who were also EBTG fans. They explained that the band got their unusual name from a furniture store in Hull that had it as a sort of strap line and took me past it to have a look.

Pre-Wiki, I simply didn't realise that Ben and Tracey didn't actually come from Hull and that they were juggling being minor pop stars with their university studies. Perhaps I should have read the NME a bit more, but I'd got to an age when that stuff was all getting a bit tedious.

Tracey's book is a superb read. I got it for Christmas and finished it by January 4th despite having loads of guests down for the period. It filled in a lot of the blanks for me. Contrary to her and Ben's reputation for being private she opens up her worries and insecurities for us all to see and it's a much better book for that instead of the usual music biog nonsense. There's also a really refreshing look into how her record collection was built up and how punk was over before she even bought her first punk record. No wonder she covered the old Rod song. She actually admits to liking Atlantic Crossing which no self respecting music fan, never mind musician would do. The fact that she actually knows what she bought when is revealing in itself - Tracey's a mad keeper of diaries and records to rival Bill Wyman.

There's one or two iffy bits. Thinking that the mums at school don't know who she really is until George Michael passes, stops, winds down the window and yells out "Tracey, how are you" much to the shock of the mums at the school gate. Yeah come on Trace. You ain't that naive surely?

It's also a shame she didn't explain where the EBTG name came from herself and the story behind it and it would have been nice to delve into her superb lyrics and get her point on them. For instance, although most people interpret Missing as a love song, I've always thought it was about a teenage leader of the gang that she hero-worshipped. It could have been a girl. Note that she says that WE'D walk behind as you would run.

Could you be dead?
You always were two steps ahead of everyone
We'd walk behind while you would run

If you're not an EBTG fan I doubt that the book will resonate with you but if you are, it'll be one of those books that you keep on the shelf after you've read it rather than putting it in the Oxfam pile.

Ask your loved one to buy it you for your birthday and if they won't or your birthday's too far away, treat yourself. You won't be disappointed.


How to Make a Million ??? Slowly: My guiding principles from a lifetime of successful investing (Financial Times Series)
How to Make a Million ??? Slowly: My guiding principles from a lifetime of successful investing (Financial Times Series)
Price: £12.95

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb investment book for the experienced private investor as well as a great intro for the beginner, 18 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was an avid reader of John Lee's weekly My Portfolio column in the FT for nearly 15 years and I was very upset when the paper discontinued it. This book is a mixture of some very sage investment advice from Lee at the same time as him analysing some of those previous FT columns with the benefit of hindsight and looking where and why he got things right and more importantly, where and why he got things wrong. His style is very self-depreciating and he seems to be absolutely devoid of any ego which I find to be very refreshing in the investment sector.

At a time when the internet gives us private investors access to endless up-to-the-minute information that we could only have dreamt about 20 years ago it's tempting to forget the basic principals of great investing as championed by people like Warren Buffett and John Lee - find a good share at a reasonable price and hold onto it.

Lee's book is a superb reminder to us experienced private investors of what we should always be looking for in building our portfolio at the same time as recognising those warning signs that we have all ignored to our peril in the past and being decisive in deciding when to sell.

I particularly liked the section on family-owned public companies and why these are sometimes such a good investment - there are lots of family pressures from maiden aunts etc to keep the dividends flowing steadily at the same time as the family directors have a sense of duty to future generations to safeguard the family firm and not to make any stupid, rash decisions that could endanger it. I'd always steered clear of them in the past thinking they were all stuck in the dark ages but I will certainly look a little closer now.

At the same time as being a great reminder to the more experienced of us, it is also a wonderfully simple guide for the beginner in how to invest directly in shares as opposed to trusting other people (such as fund managers) to do that for you. Far too many of us (I know because I was one of them) think that direct share investing is too risky and too time consuming but John Lee demonstrates that anyone can do this for themselves with much better returns than the so called professionals.

He explains everything one needs to know in a superbly understandable manner without at any time seeming the least bit patronising. He clearly explains what he believes are the key factors you should take into account and deciphers financial jargon in a very easy manner.

My only criticisms of the print edition of this superb book is that the font is a tad small but the Kindle edition resolves that easily.

It's a great Christmas or birthday present and if someone you love doesn't buy it for you, do yourself a favour and treat yourself.


The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It
The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It
Price: £3.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very different viewpoint, 2 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Dr Kendrick has come up with a compelling argument for us all to chuck our statins in the bin and be less stressed instead. My GP is not the sort to have a medical discussion with a patient and so I tried out the thesis on a GP friend and was surprised that he had very little knowledge of the subject other than the standard advice that you can get on any website. I then tried in on a pharmacist friend with similar results. Hmmm. These are the guys who are pushing us all to be on statins and yet know little about them or their effects or whether or not they are useful in preventing heart disease. Worrying.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 14, 2014 11:49 PM GMT


The Gaffer: The Trials and Tribulations of a Football Manager
The Gaffer: The Trials and Tribulations of a Football Manager
Price: £5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit boring in parts, 26 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like me, you'd probably think that a book by Niel Warnock would be brilliant because he's such a great media personality. The problem is with it is that it's very detailed about his time and tribulations at various lower level clubs and whilst this can't have been great fun for Neil, it's not for us either, unless you happen to be a supporter of one of those clubs that is. I'd have like to have read a load of funny anecdotes but although Neil must have so many in his armoury, he doesn't part with them. That's a shame, but I really do wish Neil all the very best in his semi-retirement.


Marianne Faithfull: As Years Go By
Marianne Faithfull: As Years Go By
Price: £10.02

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a superb chronicle of a crazy and wasted life., 17 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like many other people, I never took much serious notice of Marianne Faithful until she released her absolutely brilliant Broken English album in 1979. Until then, I always looked upon her as Mick Jagger's former girlfriend and a one-hit-wonder with As Tears Go By. However, no matter how good Broken English was I could never see me reading her biography.

What changed was reading author, Mark Hodkinson's other work in particular his novel, The Last Mad Surge of Youth which was simply superb. Until I had read it I hadn't realised that he's a famous football author whose many books I had already read over the years, a chronicler of both Queen and Simply Red and a columnist for The Times. What a talented bloke!

The book itself is a really well-researched journal of Marianne's crazy life. She's obviously got a superb personality to be able to keep so many superstar friends for so long (and for them to provide her with her keep) but Jesus Christ almighty, she's frustrating. If I have a criticism of this book it's that Hodkinson doesn't ever explore what drives her to constant self-destruction.

Quite a lot of the book understandably focuses on the Swinging Sixties in general and the Stones in particular. As the author points out, Marianne was somebody indelibly associated with that period but was only 24 years old at the end of the decade. Everybody who was anyone was absolutely besotted with her and it seems that she went to bed with most of them. The Hollies wrote their great hit Carrie Anne about her but Graham Nash was too shy to write Marianne and so changed the name. Allan Clarke was having an affair with her on tour at the time.

When The Hollies sang, "Then you played with older boys and prefects" it all makes sense now but probably wouldn't be too appropriate in these post-Saville times.

McCartney looks back on the time and quite rightly points out that although people like him, Marianne and Jagger were enjoying a hugely Bohemian existence, the average Joe and Joan had a blow out at the weekend but didn't ever join in as such.

Hodkinson writes a lot about The Stones because Marianne was inevitably tied up with them and their lives having had dalliances with Brian Jones and Keef before and after taking up with Jagger. Of course, her arrest by the Drug Squad at Richard's house dressed only in a fur rug led to the single most famous, if untrue, thing about her and, in the days before Anne Summers shops on every high street, boosted the sales of Mars Bars for a long time afterwards.

As the sixties turned into the seventies Marianne went into a downward spiral and seemed determined to be a street heroin addict - making it for quite some time actually living on the streets and in squats before being bailed out by yet more friends. By the end of the decade however she was about to make one of the best albums of all time. It didn't seem so to many at the time when it peaked at number 57 but the word was out on the post-punk streets and those in the know all had it and played it incessantly. I lived in Holland at the time and every bar you walked into had it on the turntable all night. You somehow couldn't imagine Marianne's contemporaries, Cilla Black, Pet Clarke, Sandie Shaw or Dusty Springfield ever making an album 15 years after their pomp which had the respect of kids in their late teens, but Marianne managed it in trumps. Of course, Lulu did do a song with Take That (what do you call a dog with five dicks?) but it wasn't quite the same was it?

Why D'Ya Do It?, the most shocking song on the album was something I just assumed that Marianne had written herself but was in fact written by an old Etonian poet for Tina Turner to sing. Raunchy as Tina was, I just couldn't see her doing it justice but Marianne brought it to life and really sounded like she was the wronged woman herself. Marianne's ability to turn a dull song into a masterpiece is best illustrated by her version of Dr Hook's The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan and she also did a moving version of Lennon's Working Class Hero as well as a bunch of great songs written by her and her band. Stevie Winwood's involvement in the project was the cream on the cake.

It began Maranne's involvement (musically and business-wise) with Island Records' Chris Blackwell which continued for years and years during which time Marianne didn't really repay the faith Blackwell had placed in her ever again. What's also for certain is that she never repaid the money that he put behind her either, instantly blowing record advances on drugs and clothes in that order. As I alluded earlier, this is my frustration with this book. It's a superb chronicle of Marianne's extremely interesting life, but never gets to "Why D'Ya Do It?"

Would I recommend that you buy it? 100% and whilst you're at it, get "The Last Mad Surge of Youth" which is even better.

By the way, don't confuse it with another biography that the same author wrote about Marianne some years ago called As TEARS (not YEARS) Go By and that it seems he's not really happy with.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 11, 2013 7:49 AM BST


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