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symbolman (UK)

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Confessions of a Hostie: True Stories of an International Flight Attendant
Confessions of a Hostie: True Stories of an International Flight Attendant
Price: £2.87

4.0 out of 5 stars True Confessions, 22 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was an enjoyable read.
I think the title is slightly misleading in that there aren't that many raunchy tales.
But its well written, honest and paints a really good picture of life an air hostess.
Its not that long and I got it through it quickly, but it was definitely an entertaining read.

White Lilies Island
White Lilies Island
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £2.74

5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece, 25 Aug. 2012
This review is from: White Lilies Island (Audio CD)
Just over ten years since its release, and the brilliance of this album never fades. The melodies are sublime, but what's really interesting is the lyrics that on most of the songs reveal Natalie's mental turmoil, which she spoke about at the time. Butterflies is the best example of this. It says "swallow purple terror candy" and of course the main hook "cut the stomach out and hand it over...butterflies...butterflies" That song is every bit as good as anything Tori Amos has done. And while I agree with a previous reviewer about That Day not being a good choice for a single, the lyrics show her fragility.

I've always thought this album is a total hidden gem. Its complex, and rich, and ten years on I never tire of it.
I really recommend coming to this with an open mind. This is nothing like a typical pop album from an ex soap star. I am very happy to compare this to Janis Ian - Between The Lines for example.
If you like a confessional pop album with strong melodies, you will love this.

Hello Cruel World
Hello Cruel World
Price: £9.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Work Of Art, 13 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Hello Cruel World (Audio CD)
It's possibly become a cliche to say that someone is at the height of their powers, but in this case it's entirely appropriate. Hello Cruel World is Gretchen Peter's masterpiece. It's introspective and deep, but balanced by beautiful imagery and stunning melodies.
I hesitate to pick a stand out track, because the whole album is superb. But Idlewild had the most amazing effect on me, on the first play of the album. I'm almost embarrassed to say that I had to fight back the tears. It's an incredibly powerful song that takes us from Gretchen as a girl in a car in a mixed up family, to the assassination of JFK, and to a swipe at American life. And its all done over a haunting melody that casts a strong emotional pull - simply an amazing song.
One of Gretchen's most famous songs is On A Bus To St Cloud. That's so powerful because of the images created as we imagine the bus trip, and with Hello Cruel World that's present in each of the eleven songs. Even when you think you've got a softer song in the last track - Little World - she throws in a lyrical surprise "two spoons in a kitchen drawer, two shadows move behind a darkened door, only a fool would wish for more"
I now have that lovely feeling you get, when you have an album that you will love forever.
Five stars of course - and the only negative is technical. Some of the tracks could have done with a closer microphone, and a slight backing off in the mix of the instruments. But even that can't spoil what is a perfect album.

Norwegian Wood
Norwegian Wood
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Piece Of Work, 16 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Norwegian Wood (Paperback)
This is an absolutely amazing novel. I have never been to Japan, but I felt like I was there throughout, such is the sense of place. But its the way Murakami manages to create a pace that is both languid and intense. Love triangles dominate in this book. One between two boys and a girl in the first place set up the later love triangle between two girls and a boy. But when I say love triangles, they are far from conventional. The first is adolescent, barely defined and ends in tragedy. The second involves alienation, mental illness, desperation and not to mention weirdness.
If you enjoy reading about flawed characters, and equally enjoy those with quirks, then you will love the way this novel develops.
Just about no other book for me has managed to make me feel so involved with the characters. Murakami's writing weaves a spell of darkness and light that touches you deep inside.
I have just re-read this in advance of seeing the film, and here's the thing... it brought a tear to my eye just like a scene from a film. No book has ever done that to me before. And what amazed me is that the reaction didn't come during the final few pages. Instead it came during a crucial scene in the last third of the book...all through a beautifully constructed moment with a killer line which summed up a central theme.
Do yourself a favour...if you are thoughtful and this will stay with you forever.

Offered by SweetBuzzards
Price: £2.40

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Grower, 19 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Endlessly (Audio CD)
I was very doubtful about this album after reading it was a flop, and by the choice of Well Well Well as the single. So, I had a good listen to it on Spotify for two or three plays before buying it here on Amazon.
Firstly, Duffy's record company made the wrong decision with Well Well Well. Its one of the weaker tracks on the album. I can see what they were doing because its the closest to Mercy in structure, but that still doesn't make it a good choice.
But I do genuinely like this album. I think the Rockferry was cleverer as the songs sounded sixties influenced, but were not pastiches. These generally are pastiches, but here's the thing - they are good pastiches. Therefore, I find them very catchy and a good listen. I tend to like most of my music with some intensity, but every so often an album like this is a pleasant diversion.
It could have been stronger if they'd used the last track - Hard For The Heart - as the template. But if you want something a bit different to Rockferry I would recommend this.
I fear Duffy hasn't pulled off the difficult second album trick. Its going to be an uphill task to recover lost ground with number three.Endlessly

Airbus Collection: Long Haul (PC DVD)
Airbus Collection: Long Haul (PC DVD)
Price: £23.49

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The right level, 26 May 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This is from the f lite range, which I find just perfect. There is a good level of detail, but its not so complex that you spend ages just trying to get going.
The 3D cabin is very good, and there are plenty of liveries to choose from.
I was also delighted to find there is an excellent audio call system for when you are landing ("200 above, retard, retard" etc)
There is no effect on framerates.
This is the only airbus collection I have found that works properly. Sadly I have learnt by duff purchases. Wilco was detailed, but was a disaster for frame rates. Abacus was not good. 3D cabins were difficult to set up a view point in, and they're hard to land
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2010 6:44 PM BST

Traffic X (PC DVD)
Traffic X (PC DVD)

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It Makes Simulator Fly, 21 Nov. 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Traffic X (PC DVD) (Video Game)
This is a good and worthwhile add on. I am very impressed that it does not lead to a big drop in frame rates. Do the adjustments recommended, and the difference is negligible.
There's a wide range of aircraft, and they line up as they should at airports. For me a key point was - would they get London City right? That was hopeless with the standard game. With Traffic X - its spot on.

But two negatives - it would have benefited from an integrated programme to stop too many go arounds on landing. And it would have been nice to have the arrival and destination boards, as originally promised.
But to the developers well done - you've created a good product. Its definitely worth the money.

What Was Lost
What Was Lost
by Catherine O'Flynn
Edition: Paperback

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional piece of work, 18 Aug. 2007
This review is from: What Was Lost (Paperback)
This is an exceptional piece of work. Catherine O Flynn doesn't put a foot wrong through the whole novel. It starts with the childhood of loner child Kate. She beautifully evokes the feelings of childhood, but moves the plot forward to the point of Kate's disappearance. It then centres the lives of workers and customers at a shopping centre. The author skilfully manages to evoke the quiet desperation of these places( there's a terrific bit where she pinpoints how people end up trawling around them miserably because they have nothing else to do) She also is exceptional in the way that she can take small examples of things people do - to draw the characters so well (achieved in one case through someone's choice of lunch).
It has clever narrative structure, and many twists and turns. I don't want to give anything away, except to say I have rarely read a book that pulls a plot together so well.
This novel was a joy from start to finish. It's deserving of awards, and I hope we hear a lot more of Catherine O Flynn.

Magic Box Imp Wi-Fi Internet Radio & Media Player
Magic Box Imp Wi-Fi Internet Radio & Media Player

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mini radio revolution, 3 July 2007
I am really very pleased with my Imp. It has a very good sound quality. The choice of stations is simply stunning. I am enjoying taking a sound trip around the world, as well in the UK where I live.

However, a word of warning. It was quite complicated to set up with my Netgear Router. You have to know what you are doing. I am quite computer literate, but not an expert.

Basically, it was straightforward if you remove the security settings from the router (but not something you would want to do for long) But it proved a lot more tricky with the WEP key.

However, I praise the makers. They provide a cheap helpline number, and one call sorted my problems.

So, if you are ok with a PC and router, go ahead and get this - it is a fantastic piece of kit.

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