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Hiro "Tokyoite" (West Hampstead, London)

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Mosquito Coils
Mosquito Coils
Offered by Selectric London Limited
Price: £7.11

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 4 July 2009
This review is from: Mosquito Coils (Misc.)
We live next to a huge park which has a pond, so mosquitoes are regular visitors to our house. Yes, you do have to be careful when separating the coils as they can break. But these coils deter mosquitoes quite effectively. Since I started to use Sainsburys after sun lotion with mild insect repellent and these coils, I have not got bitten even once.

And this seller sells coils at the cheapest price on Amazon (be careful about other sellers which charge a lot for postage! - some charges more than the price of the product itself. This seller charged me only £1 for 5 packs when other seller may charge whopping £14.25 for the very same products. Very honest.

But make sure you keep the windows wide open if you want to use the coil indoors as the smoke can give you a headache.


Ella And Louis Again
Ella And Louis Again
Price: £6.62

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even just to listen to ..., 28 May 2009
This review is from: Ella And Louis Again (Audio CD)
This CD is worth buying only to listen to their "Stompin' at Savoy" - You can truly feel how much they were enjoying singing together. As a matter of fact, it was a rehearsal, but the performance was so outstanding, it made it to the album.

Ella always sounds her best when she sings with Louis. This is not surprising at all - Pops (Louis) was Ella's hero even before she started to sing professionally. And this romantic tone matches beautifully with the voice of Louis, which is a tad rough.

In Japan, we had an even better restored version of "Ella and Louis" (no longer available... It was released to mark Ella's 75th birthday. What a cruel world). And if you listen carefully enough, you can tell that they are sharing one microphone. Because of her deep respect to Louis, Ella stands a little further to the microphone, and when it is her turn to sing, Louis gently pushes her closer to the microphone (so her voice starts a little remote at the beginning of her turns). I love Ella's modesty like this. And she was already a big star at the time of recording! What a wonderful lady she was...

No wonder Frank Sinatra was heard to say " Ella Fitzgerald is as good a musician and vocalist as anyone is going to hear for the next one hundred years"


Kitchen Craft Butane Gas Lighter
Kitchen Craft Butane Gas Lighter
Offered by ALL IN ONE HOUSEHOLD
Price: £3.82

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not this one!!, 18 Dec. 2008
I got this from John Lewis. This is an okay lighter but if your hand is recently wet or moisturised it is extremely difficult to push the trigger!!


My Favourite Ingredients
My Favourite Ingredients
by Skye Gyngell
Edition: Hardcover

22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another beautiful book from Skye, 4 Sept. 2008
Another beautiful book has arrived from Petersham Nurseries.

When I read her first book 'A Year in My Kitchen', I felt like I was not reading a mere cook book, but it felt like it was a book with a story to tell...

I do take some people's comments that the ingredients listed in her books are hard to get, and her recipes seems sometimes a little complex. Yes, her books are not like Nigella's nor Delia's (both of whom I adore). Just think about it, both Nigella and Delia publicly say that they are not a chef, but a cook. Whereas, Skye is a well known chef working in a well-established restaurant, Petersham Nurseries.

I am a seasoned cook (who has been cooking for more than 30 years), but I have to confess one thing to you - I have never made anything from her books! I tend to rely on the books by the said great cooks when I have to fix dinner for my family quickly and easily.

Having said that don't we all have enough "easy" cook books on our shelves? I think it is nice to ring a change and read a cook book written by a great professional chef who does not appear on terry. Her recipes may not be as straightforward as some other recipes that we come across often, but it by no means entails she is snobbish or looking down on you from above. Completely opposite. She is trying her best to communicate what she knows best in layman's term to you. It just that what she is trying to communicate is not a mere "cheese on toast", but some beautifully seasonal professional dishes!

I nearly always reach for Skye's book when I have a quiet afternoon when I can indulge myself in reading some calming books on a sofa ... I hope you will agree that nothing soothes you like her books. I feel most contented when I am reading her books near a bright open window on a quiet Saturday afternoon..


Feast: Food that Celebrates Life
Feast: Food that Celebrates Life
by Nigella Lawson
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars DVD is now available !!!!!, 25 Mar. 2008
I very recently found out, from Nigella's official page, that "Nigella - Feast. Food That Celebrates Life" became available on DVD in Australia in March 2008.

I got them shipped to me. The style of this programme is in line with "Nigella Bites" - she goes out for shopping, cooks a fabulous meal and serves it to her friends. However, this series was originally created for the American market, and you can tell by watching it. I did find it a little odd that Nigella shops in NY and goes back to her Eaton Square home in London to cook a supper... And the vibe, the music and the lighting are not as sophisticated as the previous two TV programmes for some unknown reason... This programme slightly lacks the intimacy and the relaxed mood that only Nigella provides.

Having said that I am still delighted with the DVD - the two DVDs contain the entire episodes - over 360 minutes of incomparable Nigella!!

If you have a multi-regional DVD player, you can enjoy the DVDs. As a matter of fact, I can play them on my computer. But it is safer to have a multi-regional DVD player, I guess.

Have a great watch!


Bach - Motetten BWV 225-230
Bach - Motetten BWV 225-230
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.71

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The music from the Above, 25 Mar. 2008
This is one of the perfected forms of music ever written and performed, the music from Heaven.

Johann Sebastian Bach's music is always flooded with the purity and the brilliance. And the incomparable Hilliard Ensemble express this purity and brilliance without any trace of flaw.

Comparing to "Morimur" (by J. S. Bach and Hilliard Ensemble, the same fabulous combination), this CD features the chorus of Hilliard Ensemble more heavily. Once someone told me that the leader of the group used to sing as the lead in St Paul's. And Sir Christopher Wren who built the Cathedral said 'Nothing is more beautiful than the light'. It is interesting that the chorus of Hilliard Ensemble is flooded with light.

I like listening to this CD on my own in a darkened room with my eyes closed. It just washes any impurity from your mind. I think you will meet yourself in the music.

- Well I have become over-dramatic as I was listing to this CD while I was writing ! -


Delia's How to Cheat at Cooking
Delia's How to Cheat at Cooking
by Delia Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

40 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the answer to our fast-paced modern life, 15 Feb. 2008
Delia is back. The fact that this book has swiftly become the best-seller tells how many people were waiting for her new book (at the moment, ranked as the no 1 in Amazon).

I am a great fun of Delia - I have read "How to Cook 1-3" cover to cover, her biography (twice) and I even read her "Journey into God". So I am a bit sad to say that this "How to Cheat at Cooking" is not one of her best books to date...

Yes, it is also a little puzzling: she insisted on using whole spices in a pestle and mortar in her previous "How to Cook". But she now asks us to use tinned meat in our dishes. I got the same impression when Rick did his "French Odyssey" where he highly praised French cuisine and by contrast sometimes slugged off Britain and its food culture. I was a little surprised as this came right after his "Food Heroes in Britain" sesries where he had praised British produce and producers.

However, in real life, we appreciate both French and traditional British cuisine at the same time, don't we? You really cannot say which is better than the other as they both have their own charm. What could possibly be better than having a wonderful British Pub lunch on a sunny Sunday afternoon that is followed by a strong French coffee in a cafe with Sunday papers? We mix the very best of theses two different cuisines to enjoy life.

In the similar vein, even though I love cooking and spend hours in the kitchen at weekends to prepare supper, I can't possibly face the same process after work during the weekdays. So I throw a handful of rice into a tinned soup to make risotto.

Delia's "How to Cheat at Cooking" is the answer to our fast-paced modern life. Use this book when you have to hit the kitchen running, but when you don't want to be succumbed to take-away food. Open her "How to cook" when you have time to inhabit in your kitchen - when you want to appreciate the whole process of cooking and eating.

And whichever you choose, we all know her recipes always work.


Flower Of Chivalry - Tranquil Medieval Music
Flower Of Chivalry - Tranquil Medieval Music
Price: £8.96

41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful compilation of beautifully serene music, 6 Feb. 2008
This is a wonderful wonderful compilation of stunningly serene songs and instrumental music by Henry VIII, Guillaume Dufay and Martin Codax from the medieval time, sung by Hilliard Ensemble.

I normally do not like compilation albums in the slightest. Except for some rare exceptions, the purpose of making compilations just seems to appeal to the mass market and sell the CDs for a quick cash (specially around Christmas time..), and I find it such a great offense and insult to any kind of music.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find this CD has an extremely good selection of beautiful music.

It is rather clear to see that the person who put the CD together has profound knowledge of and love for the medieval music. The passion of the compiler seeps through the way this CD is assembled.

Such a serene album to listen to when you want to contemplate or relax. Highly recommended.


Ella In Berlin
Ella In Berlin
Price: £5.56

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The very best CD of all her live CDs, 3 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Ella In Berlin (Audio CD)
This is the very best of her live CDs.

You can easily tell she is enormously enjoying the whole process - I love the way she giggles after singing 'The Lady is a tramp'. She sings and swings.

While Ella was singing "Mack the Knife", she forgot the lyrics, and she just made it up - so they say. But I am pretty sure that she had prepared this version. She was eager to please the audience! Anyway, it was so wonderful that she got the 1961 Grammy Award for the Best Female Vocal Performance for this.

Also the scat she did on "How High the Moon" is regarded as the best performance ever in Jazz history. No wonder Frank Sinatra was heard to say " Ella Fitzgerald is as good a musician and vocalist as anyone is going to hear for the next one hundred years"

If you want just three CDs by the incomparable the First Lady of Songs ... then it should be "Gold - All Her Greatest Hits" and "Ella & Louis Together" and this "Ella in Berlin [Live] - Mack The Knife".

What a dynamic, delicate and beautiful performance!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 31, 2010 7:31 AM BST


Ella & Louis Together
Ella & Louis Together
Offered by tunesonline
Price: £7.75

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if you want just one or two CDs by Ella..., 3 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Ella & Louis Together (Audio CD)
If you want just one or two of Ella's CDs... then it should be "Gold - All Her Greatest Hits" and this "Ella and Louis Together" (and if you can have the third, please make it "The Complete Ella In Berlin: Mack The Knife" [Live album])

I have most of her CDs, and I can tell that the person who assembled "Gold - All her Greatest Hits" and this "Ella and Louis Together" loves Ella so profoundly. The songs he picked and the song order are of an absolute perfection. If you are after compilation CDs of Ella, look no further!

Only small shame (not the fault of the compiler) is that the first voice of Loius sounds a tiny bit distorted, but, hey, this is an old recording. Having said that the restoring job was done beautifully throughtout the CD.

On this CD, Ella sounds so happy, mellow and feminine. This is not surprising at all - Pops (Louis) was Ella's hero even before she started to sing professionally. And this romantic tone matches beautifully with the voice of Louis, which is a tad rough. This CD kicks off in an up-lifting tempo, but the atmosphere turns rather amorous after "April in Paris" towards the end.

In Japan, we had an even better restored version of "Ella and Louis" (no longer available... It was released to mark Ella's 75th birthday. What a cruel world). And if you listen carefully enough, you can tell that they are sharing one microphone. Because of her deep respect to Louis, Ella stands a little further to the microphone, and when it is her turn to sing, Louis gently pushes her closer to the microphone (so her voice starts a little remote at the beginning of her turns). I love Ella's modesty like this. And she was already a big star at the time of recording! What a wonderful lady she was... No wonder Frank Sinatra was heard to say " Ella Fitzgerald is as good a musician and vocalist as anyone is going to hear for the next one hundred years"

Perfect with a glass of chilled rose wine in the warm summer night under the sky full of shining sliver stars.


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