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A. Rose (UK)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There Was A Tear In History That Needed Mending, 29 Sept. 2014
This is an excellent thrilling story spanning three generations, several families and a smattering of Greek mythology. The prologue starts nearing the end of the second world war when two young loves, Michaelis and Marianna, have their lives lost and torn apart in a most appalling way by the treachery and deception of one of Michaelis's relatives. This deep seated deceit and need for retribution has been harboured by the families of Chania on the island of Crete for over sixty years and grown into a murderous revenge. Kirsty, from Scotland runs a bar in the village of Chania and who has nothing to do with any of this, is suddenly central to the story when she meets and befriends Eleni and Patrick ostensibly on holiday in Crete. Eleni is a descendant of Michaelis and Marianna and all the old wounds and revenge of the village surfaces with Kirsty receiving much of the fallout.

Without giving more of the story away, I would say that this is gripping and interesting all the way through with a touch of romance, sex, violence, suspense and tenderness. Parts are written so beautifully, almost poetic, that when I read “This had to happen. There was a tear in history that needed mending before the future could continue with any chance of purity.” I had a tear in my eye.

Grimmett is a talented writer and has over eighty short stories published worldwide and has won numerous awards. The book is well written and you won't find masses of typos and poor layout of the e-book version, which is always a pleasant bonus. I would certainly recommend this book to my friends, especially those who love Greece and it's mythology.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2014 5:59 PM BST

Delicious. Love to Cook: 140 Irresistible Recipes to Revitalise Your Cooking
Delicious. Love to Cook: 140 Irresistible Recipes to Revitalise Your Cooking
by Valli Little
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.48

5.0 out of 5 stars It's Not Called Delicious For Nothing, 29 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really inspiring cookbook. I've got loads of all the big named chef and TV programme recipe books and mostly I use a couple of favourite recipes from each and don't bother with the rest of the book. This one however has lots of ideas and flavours to mess around with. There are several great chicken recipes and with just a few adjustments or remove/swap a couple of ingredients you can change a more complicated and time consuming roast recipe into a midweek quick roast or pan fry chicken breasts with similar ingredients – two for the price of one with just a bit of thought. Living where I do, I have a cheap abundance of crabs and the Bloody Mary Crab Pasta on page 148 in this book is excellent.

Many of the recipes have a lot of ingredients, some of which may be difficult to find depending on where you live and what your supermarket or deli stocks but most, given time and moderate kitchen skills are achievable. I've created many of the Delicious recipes from the Delicious magazine and one thing about them is that they work and give impressive flavour results – presentation is up to you.

I usually only make deserts when friends or family are round for a meal and now I have a few more to offer – Sticky Toffee Ginger Pudding, easiest desert ever, Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake using my favourite Amaretto, Peanut Butter Cheesecake and the Crumbly Olive Oil, Rosemary and Pear Cake served with Mascarpone is scrumptious. I've even been inspired to make my own Lemon Curd, I just need to adjust it myself now to turn it into Ginger Curd.

The book is well set out and sectioned, there's even a festive Christmas section, and lovely full page photos show how the finished dishes should look.

This recipe book would grace any kitchen and would be doubly loved by any foodie friends receiving it as a present.

Hawaiian Tropic Protective SPF8 Sun Lotion Spray
Hawaiian Tropic Protective SPF8 Sun Lotion Spray
Offered by BeautiFunk
Price: £4.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Rubs In Easily, Smells Lovely, 25 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I use other Hawaiian Tropic sunscreens, both cream and spray - factor 8 and 15, as well as this particular one which, at times, are far cheaper than buying in the shops. The smell is lovely, not overpowering, slightly coconutty and easily rubs in without feeling too greasy. The spray one is really handy, a lotion rather than cream, and the cream ones seems to last all day. My favourite sunscreen and would recommend to my friends.

Simon Swipe    Electronic Game
Simon Swipe Electronic Game
Offered by a1 Toys
Price: £16.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1970's Copy Cat, 23 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Simon Swipe Electronic Game (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This brought back great memories of the original 1970's Simon and before passing it to the intended 'little people' I had a go myself. The unit comes with batteries so you can start using it straight away – 3 x AA batteries. The first thing I noticed is the way you have to hold it so as not to touch any of the colours during play. I found it best placed on a table or floor for the children. After turning it on and reducing the volume – it's quite loud – I had a couple of goes at the original Simon copy game and I must say I became bored so quickly with it. The recommended age for use is from 8 so I let our two little ones (5 and 7) have a go. The 5 year old didn't last long (she just wanted to make noises with it) so the age recommendation is probably about right. The 7 year old, after getting the hang of holding it properly, played quite well.

The Classic game is basically for 1 player copying the single or double lights (tap once or swipe), the levels game is a little more difficult having 16 levels becoming increasingly difficult to remember with extra swipe and u-turn moves. The Extreme game is mental so we haven't played that one too much. There is also a Party game so 2 or more players do their stuff before passing it on to the next person – a good way of making siblings share and take turns with it.

A Marker to Measure Drift
A Marker to Measure Drift
by Alexander Maksik
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.34

4.0 out of 5 stars The Mediterranean Is Not Tidal !, 19 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This story, like Maksik's first novel, You Deserve Nothing, dips into a life and abruptly leaves it. This might be a bit off-putting to those who like a true beginning, middle and end, but with both books I like the anonymity of reading about a life that we, the reader, are privileged to enter for a short while and leave to let the character, in this case Jacqueline, live the rest of her life in privacy.

We first meet Jacqueline in a hot tourist town on the point of fainting through lack of nourishment and dehydration. We quickly learn that she is some sort of illegal immigrant and lives on the beach as a vagrant. She has few possessions and earns just enough money by giving foot massages on the beach to buy tomatoes and cheese. We learn through Jacqueline's memories that she is the daughter of a Government official of war torn Liberia, was schooled in Cheltenham and told by her mother, for the best of reasons, never to return to her homeland. Jacqueline's diction and politeness are impeccable and her slow calm exterior reflects a well mannered young lady rather than a scared homeless itinerant. Much of the book is written of memory to fill in Jacqueline's background and not until the end do we learn the full horrors of what she has seen and had happen to her family.

Maksik is an excellent and fluid writer, almost poetic, but this is a work of art rather than a gripping story. I'm not saying it is a poor story, on the contrary it is a very strong story, but slower than most modern books, almost moody, and beautifully written. However, there are glaring mistakes referring to the tide - rising tide, the tide was high/low, tidal pools - the Mediterranean is not tidal, or at least not where this book was set, on the island of Santorini in the Aegean.

The Planner
The Planner
by Tom Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Grass Is Always Greener . . ., 14 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Planner (Paperback)
This, Tom Campbell's second novel, is as witty, clever and enjoyable as his first, Fold. The story follows James, who feels he's stuck in a hum-drum job in the public sector with not enough money and status to attract women and live life to the full in London. James is in a dilemma of whether to stay in London living in a flat with mates and getting nowhere fast or to accept a promotion with higher pay in provincial Nottingham. James meets Felix who sets about re-modelling James' life and introduces him to all the good and expensive things on offer in London which he thinks James should experience and enjoy - including private sex clubs and drugs. This is going to end spectacularly well or devastatingly badly - you'll need to read it to find out which.

Campbell is a talented and clever writer with huge diction, giving us an inside view of public sector life and perspectives with a witty and cynical voice. His interesting and flowing style is of realistic people living normal and realistic lives so the whole book, whether you like where the story is heading or not, has a believable touch.

I found this a very enjoyable and humorous 'lad-lit' style book and would certainly recommend.

Philips GC4511/20 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 180g Steam Boost, 2400 Watt
Philips GC4511/20 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 180g Steam Boost, 2400 Watt
Price: £39.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Iron, 22 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm really impressed with this iron. It gives a good steady level of steam with each ironing stroke, glides smoothly and sits firmly and steadily on its bottom.

I've been using a Breville TECHnique iron for a couple of years and although not one of the most expensive, similarly priced to this iron, it is a very pleasant iron to use. This Philips is very similar in enjoyment of use (if it's possible to enjoy ironing) and am totally happy to swap for this one. The cable is a good length so you don't have to nearly pull the socket out of the wall to reach the end of the ironing board. It heats up quickly with a beep to let you know it's reach temperature. The temperature selection dial is of the old fashioned style of wheel with an arrow showing how far from Min to Max you are with one, two and three dots for silk, wool and cotton selection. I would prefer a little more fabric names to choose from as a guide but there are plenty of notches between the dots to have a lower or higher temperature for wool, say. The iron itself is a little weighty but I'm happy with that and have used quite a heavy iron for years, it saves having to press down. The iron sits upright quite firmly on its broad base and doesn't feel tipsy or ready to topple over at all. The only downside, as mentioned by another reviewer, is that the cord doesn't wrap around the iron after use.

It's a good little iron and I would be happy to recommend it to my friends.

Remington AC9096 Silk Dryer
Remington AC9096 Silk Dryer
Price: £40.79

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast & Furious !, 6 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love a hot hair dryer to style my thick heavy hair and this one is very hot. It comes boxed with three head attachments : a slim nozzle, a medium nozzle and a diffuser for those of you lucky enough to have curls. The cord is a good length which is a good plus point for me. The settings are easy to operate (there is an instruction booklet to give guidance but who bothers reading that for a simple hair dryer?) having two rocker style buttons giving three heat settings and two speed settings. In addition to that there is a turbo/cool button which gives an even greater blast of speed or cuts the heat if cool is selected.

I found this dryer very easy to handle, heavyish but not arm achingly so, and I think it dries my hair a little bit quicker than using my old dryer. I'm really pleased with it and would recommend to my friends.

IMEDEEN Tan Optimizer
IMEDEEN Tan Optimizer
Price: £30.00

4.0 out of 5 stars For The Dedicated Tanner, 3 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Like one or two other reviewers I was also sceptical about the claims of these tablets. I doubt that they would give a golden tan without any sunshine at all (I haven't tried that) but combined with exposure to the sun, whether that's intermittently in the UK or a full blown sunny holiday, they give a good colour and seem to make the tan more even. I cannot comment whether they hold off prickly heat as I have never suffered with it and similarly with burning, I always use sun lotion so rarely burn and I used sun lotion during the time I was taking these tablets. There is a difference in the skin tone, I usually go a dirty brown and when taking Emedeen tan tablets I thought I was less dirty and more golden. Also, I found that strappy shoulder marks weren't quite as obvious as the whiter bits quickly reached the same colour as surrounding areas after exposure to the sun.

The price of having an even looking tan with these tablets is quite high and you would probably get good results in the sun naturally anyway if you tend to tan easily. I doubt I will try them again but if you are the dedicated tanner you would probably be happy to pay for two months tablets (so long as you are exposed to the sun) rather than have two months of spray tans.

These tablets are not sun protectors, only clothing or sunblock does that, so shouldn't be relied on to stop you burning or protect you from the cancer causing UVA rays. Always use a relevant SPF with a four or five star UVA protection.

Smart Weigh CSB2KG Cuisine Digital Kitchen Scale with Removable Bowl 2000g x 0.1g - Black
Smart Weigh CSB2KG Cuisine Digital Kitchen Scale with Removable Bowl 2000g x 0.1g - Black
Offered by Five Star
Price: £13.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent But With One Tiny Niggle . . ., 24 July 2014
These compact scales arrive adequately packaged,with batteries provided and a 10 year limited warranty - yes, 10 years ! All you need to do to be ready for use is remove the plastic tag to allow the batteries to work.

There is a very handy plastic bowl inverted on the weighing plate which keeps the dust out of the bowl when not in use. Initially I thought the bowl was very small but it is very deceptive and actually holds quite a lot. I mainly measure ingredients for breadmaking and the bowl has no problem holding a large quantity of flour. If the bowl size is not adequate then just put another larger one on the weighing plate. There are four measurements to choose from : grams, ounces, troy ounces (ozt - used for weighing gold) and pennyweight (dwt - used for weighing silver). The scales are very accurate, therefore suitable for weighing silver and gold, and they can also be calibrated.

One good point to consider over other similar scales is that the buttons and display window are built out from the bowl area so that the bowl doesn't obscure the view. My one niggle with the measure display is that the ounces measures just that, not pounds and ounces. I barely know how many ounces are in a pound (I'm a grams girl) so when the recipe asks for 1lb 5oz I have to start looking up how many ounces that actually is.

Overall, I find this a very handy and practical kitchen scale and good value for money.

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