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Mark P C (Manchester)

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Golds Gym Adjustable Nylon Ankle/Wrist Weights
Golds Gym Adjustable Nylon Ankle/Wrist Weights

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, sturdy ankle weights- superb value for money!, 24 Sep 2009
I just got these weights last week, and use them only on my ankles whilst walking (as opposed to exercise). I also own a pair by Nike (now discontinued), but they weight just 1.1kg which is too light! Anyway, I saw these on Amazon weighing 2.5kg each at under £15, and must say they're fantastic.

At first I thought they were a bit of a hassle to put on in the morning, as you need to thread the velcro strap through the buckle and fasten it (rather like a bag strap). You need to do this twice for each weight as there's 2 x straps/buckles. You soon realise this design is absolutely necessary to fasten these heavy weights securely in place- and most importantly- hold them there! In my experience, the weights do not slip to any noticeable extent, but having said that, I'll only be using them for walking, and not excercise which requires lots of movement.

I've already noticed that my legs feel stronger, and dare I say slightly more muscular in less than a week (I've always had skinny legs- hence the reason for buying!). As the outer material is made from nylon (similar the that of a cagoule/rain jacket I'd say), it means that sweat is easily absorbed, and won't make the weights feel wet and uncomfortable against your legs. And you WILL sweat because these weights give your legs a damn good workout!

It's also worth mentioning two other features of the product, which aren't relevant to me personally: a) You can take out the 'inserts' from the weight. These weigh 0.5kg each, so you can make them lighter if you wish (I think the maximum 2.5kg is great for walking). b) The manufacturer markets them for wrist wear ASWELL as legs- though I've no need to workout my arms. My legs need all the help they can get!

Overall, a fantastic purchase for a product that's very effective, comfortable to wear, and so robust I think they'll last me a very long time (touchwood). Great value for money at less than £15 including P&P.....


Wannabe a Writer? (Secrets to Success)
Wannabe a Writer? (Secrets to Success)
by Katie Fforde
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

60 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not all that..., 31 May 2008
First off, credit where credit's due. The first third of the book (around 100 pages) that deals with planning, motivation, how to generate ideas, and that feeling all beginners get of "where the hell do I start?" is excellent. Indeed, it is very comforting to discover that many writers (even accomplished ones) are in the same boat when it comes to dealing with the dreaded writers block, finding things to write about, research, and a myriad of other problems that a writer must overcome to succeed. The author does a good job in making you realise this.

However...

Once you move into the middle part, the book seems to take on a whole new agenda. The author develops a penchant for RELENTLESSLY plugging her other books at every given opportunity. I guess this is fairly amusing for the first few instances, until it becomes apparent that she frequently makes reference to almost everything she's ever written, why you should read it, and where it is available to purchase etc.

You also get the impression that her relationship with the books external contributors (i.e. friends, fellow writers, agents, publishers, and general contacts) amounts to nothing more than a matey (I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine') love-in that becomes increasingly nauseating from the readers point of view. It's as if the author has agreed to advertise work of these contributors in exchange for their (often not so enlightening) tips and advice, whilst singing their praises from the rafters and telling the reader what great work he/she has accomplished (followed by the inevitable plugging of their books, magazine columns and websites etc).

She contradicts herself when advising that a writer shouldn't harbour any notion of having a `proper job', yet towards the end changes tack to declare (something along the lines of) that writing is a mugs game, there's only a very slim chance of making a living from it, and it's probably best to stick to the day job. This is fine if the author is being honest and realistic- but why divulge the former advice in the first place? Isn't this going against the purpose of the book? Such advice could prove be very discouraging and disheartening (not to myself I must add) to anyone just starting out who `wannabe a writer'.

All of the above distracts from the main purpose of the book- how to become a writer. You also really begin to question the motives of the author, who in the first part of the book appears to be so genuine and full of helpful advice, but then seems become more self-indulgent and concerned with stoking the egos of her buddies in the publishing world.

This is a shame...

In summing up, I would recommend this book, for the sole reason that it's one of the few books (on the subject of creative writing) that's written in a humorous witty manner, to which the aspiring writer can identify. However, I cannot attribute anymore than the 3 stars given due to the reasons I've specified, together with the fact that other forms of creative writing (other than the novel) are sparsely covered, and meant to inject more humour into the proceedings as opposed to being helpful in any way (see TV/film scripts, plays, short stories and memoir sections for example).

If I was to recommend a book which I consider to be the `bible' on the subject of creative writing (and believe me I've read quite a few of them!), it would have to be `On Writing' by Stephen King, which I've just finished.
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