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LifeGoesOn (London, UK)

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Sony Xperia Z3 UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Black
Sony Xperia Z3 UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Black
Price: £461.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic phone/tablet - deserves to sell by the bucketload - don't be put-off by the Waterproof gimmickry., 19 Oct 2014
After nearly four years of an iPhone 4 (not even 4s), which provided solid service as a phone/text/email/web device, I looked at the iPhone 6 Plus, but thought it far too expensive. I'm not against Apple - I have had Apple devices over the years and have a MacBook Pro - undoubtedly quality products rolling-off the production line. However, a chance demo in an O2 store of the Z3 piqued my curiosity. Read reviews, had another look in store and thought the Z3 looked great. I was offered an excellent deal to renew my contract. Knowing that I could also expand the storage up to 128GB very cheaply (though 64GB will be plenty) compared to buying an iPhone 6 Plus 128GB at a ludicrous price, frankly, I was then sold on the Z3.

So about the Z3 after two weeks use :

o Aesthetics - I think it looks great. It's light, but not too light. Big, but not too big. Slim, fits in a trouser pocket and doesn't feel like a small brick. It feels great to hold.

o Build Quality - I think it looks first class, and it has solid build.

o Android KitKat - coming from an older version of iOS, I quickly got used to KitKat and it's absolutely fine. In fact I think it's great. I like the way notifications work. Will it get the Lollipop upgrade though ? This is an area where Apple seems to win - you can keep upgrading your phone to the latest iOS (albeit there are some issues with that, the older your phone is, and 8.01 has been buggy). Apple phones also have a far better resale value. Anyway ...

o Z3's Phone/text function - all works fine, works very well.

o Z3's Snapdragon Qualcomm 801 Processor speed - seems fast enough to me. Some Web page browsing is jerky - is that Android not optimised for the hardware, where Apple scores with its optimised OS/Hardware ? Whatever, not a showstopper for me anyway. Could be my Wifi, I don't know.

o Image quality - great detailed screen.

o Camera - haven't had time to shoot much but will return to this.

o Waterproof feature - to me this feels like a gimmick and Sony desperate to find a point-of-difference to Apple to market this phone. No way I'm swimming or bathing with this and taking photos - daft idea. Sony need another angle to sell this quality Xperia range, but they have a tough task against the marketing might of Apple. How do you mass sell this damned good phone, albeit another Android smartphone ?

Any misgivings? None, apart from a Xperia Z4 coming out within 6 months with a better spec.

I recommend the Roxfit Carbon case as protection - very little choice out there, but this is very nice quality if you want immediate protection.

Is an iPhone 6 better? I don't know, maybe it is, but I don't care right now (other than my Apple 'fangirl' wife haranguing me, and not being able to use the Apple Watch when it comes out, but that's £450 odd quid I'll not need to spend).

In conclusion, I think this is a lovely device and I'm thoroughly delighted with it. Speaking as someone who likes great quality products, the Z3 does not feel like a cheap compromise to Apple - it's a first class phone/tablet and should worry Apple, but it probably won't. If you want an Android smartphone, there are several contenders out there. I can only vouch that this is an excellent one.

All the best.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2014 12:23 PM BST


Roxfit Made for Xperia Slimline Standing Book Case for Xperia Z3 - Carbon Black
Roxfit Made for Xperia Slimline Standing Book Case for Xperia Z3 - Carbon Black
Offered by total digital stores
Price: £14.93

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely quality case for Z3., 18 Oct 2014
High quality case - slim and lightweight, lovely feel to it. Good protection for the gorgeous Z3. Not many cases out there for z3, but this is great. I would say worth the money over a 2 quid cheapy.


Ghost Stories
Ghost Stories
Price: £7.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My 13 year old loves it and I daren't say anything bad about Coldplay ..., 23 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ghost Stories (Audio CD)
My 13 year old loves this album and I really daren't say anything bad about Coldplay. What do you do ? Give your daughter a copy of 'Birds of Fire' by The Mahavishnu Orchestra and say 'Listen to this instead, this is proper music ?'

No. You go along with it. There's a lot worse than Coldplay that she could be into - and at 13, I'm quite pleased actually, that she's not following some druggy band. And anyway I don't have much time for your Guardian muso critic, or oh-so-cool Brit Muso-Press Coldplay-haters either.

I've actually quite enjoyed listening to Ghost Stories during my drive to work, and I like these laid-back tracks, particularly the cool rhythms of 'Midnight', and the uplifting 'Sky Full of Stars'. I think it's a very fair album and easy to listen to. Indeed the only criticism you can level at it is that it is easy-listening, and not earth shatteringly challenging musically - but often we need just 'really nice' and 'easy' in our lives. Must we all be into very obscure Indy bands ? That Coldplay's fan base includes middle-aged execs and what's his name from the SB arts show shouldn't prejudice one's views. Why is that uncool anyway ? Let's not be muso snobs hiding behind a veneer of fake sophistication.

If you're desperately wanting to be cool and different, tell your friends you're into Diamanda Callas, or Phillip Glass for example, or the aforementioned Mahavishnu Orchestra.


Born To Die - The Paradise Edition
Born To Die - The Paradise Edition
Price: £5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Laid back American seedy, indulgent melancholy - love it, 4 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Out of 23 tracks on this generous album, there's only two I don't get on with (Off to the Races, Lolita), so I'm very happy with £8 well spent. That's 21 tracks I can listen to, and amongst these some that are damned excellent, and after just one listen : Dark Paradise, Summertime Sadness, Lucky Ones, all got me straightaway. My favourite music of the moment, ticking my ok-to-be-melancholy box nicely.
I suppose I prefer the Lana that sounds a bit more grown-up than the one singing Off to the Races, but what a very talented soul in the world of 'pop music' - a term I hate, as it lumps her in the same category with stuff from those talentless artists just out to make a fast buck and become famous (they know who they are), all too often supported by the UK tabloid media, not remotely as good as this, but I suppose that's what this is, Pop ? Or should we call it 'Contemporary X' ? I don't know, just something, to distance it from the aforementioned.

Looking forward to chilling-out to UltraViolence next.


Nintendo Wii U Premium Pack with Mario Kart 8
Nintendo Wii U Premium Pack with Mario Kart 8
Price: £239.86

27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great console - don't get diverted by the hype around the other consoles, 8 Jun 2014
We thought carefully about which of the three gaming consoles to buy for a family situation and did a lot of reading of professional reviews and buyer's comments online. What initially appealed with the Wii U was the absence (largely) of the increasingly violent/ gory/horror titles pushed out for the other two consoles.

It seems on release back in 2011/12 Wii U was criticised for not having a 4th gen technical spec (i.e. more CPU/graphics power under the bonnet), and has been criticised ever since. The tiresome media machine constantly reports and whines about poor sales of the Wii U. But, ignore some of the so-called professional reviewers, who bang on about technical specs and the absence of the latest violent and 'cool' LA gang culture game on the Wii U. If you dig deeper to read what the owners are saying, a different story emerges, which is one of very satisfied ownership and great gameplay.

Having played Mario Kart 8 yesterday, for example, I could see no sign of an underpowered system. On the contrary the proverbial kitchen sink has been thrown at this game, with fantastic graphics, sound and gameplay. It appears that some third party software developers who have pompously declared they won't release their titles for the Wii U, just can't be bothered, or don't have the technical ability to code differently for an unusual system architecture. Well, never mind it's no great loss, and they may eat their words in time. There's enough software out there anyway for most gamers, with a lot more on the way.

Nintendo may not have marketed this console well, and may have spent less on advertising in comparison, but the Wii U deserves to succeed no less than the other two consoles that are just being pushed a lot harder. I'm glad I ignored the hype around the other two.

No problem in recommending this console, but perhaps it's not for the 24 hour hardcore gamer.

pluses
---------
+ price for the 32GB premium pack - compare this to the other two consoles
+ gamepad - great device (releases TV for TV viewing if required to keep everybody happy)
+ rock solid build quality
+ some 2013 software titles can be had for less than £10
+ backwards compatible with Wii software and controllers
+ new games on the rise in 2014/2015

minuses
-----------
- getting son to do revision for exams in between plays
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2014 8:43 AM BST


The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer
The Fast Diet: The Secret of Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer
by Michael Mosley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars It works, but ...., 8 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like all diets, you have to stick to it, and that's the darned hard part.

This diet absolutely works though : I was feeling pretty good about myself, having lost 7 kg (down from 100kg), in 6 months. The 'fast' days were challenging, mostly in the evening, but sticking to the restricted cal breakfast and skipping lunch completely was easier, quite manageable. Hunger pangs in the evening were tougher to deal with mentally, but I succeeded and once I'd got to bed, my mind shut down in that department, and I woke up feeling fine.

I got complacent after 6 months as I was doing so well, people commenting 'Have you lost weight?' etc. So before Christmas I 'fell off the wagon', and here I am 6 months on, having put back the 7kg I lost, in roughly the same space of time !!

So what to do ? Get back on again, and stay on, though the thought of yo-yo 'ing in weight concerns me. I'd like to get back on and stay on as a lifestyle thing. That's the challenge. Any advice gratefully received.

And good luck out there.


Nintendo Wii U Console, 32GB Premium Pack with Rayman Legends And LEGO City Undercover - Black
Nintendo Wii U Console, 32GB Premium Pack with Rayman Legends And LEGO City Undercover - Black
Price: £239.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great console - a bit of a mystery as to why it's been slated in the media, but ignore all that, it's nonsense., 5 Jun 2014
We thought carefully about which of the three gaming consoles to buy for a family situation and did a lot of reading of professional reviews and buyer's comments online. What initially appealed with the Wii U was the absence (largely) of the increasingly violent/ gory/horror titles pushed out for the other two consoles.

It seems on release back in 2012 Wii U was criticised for not having a 4th gen technical spec (i.e. more CPU/graphics power under the bonnet), and has been criticised ever since. The tiresome media machine constantly reports and whines about poor sales of the Wii U. But, ignore some of the so-called professional reviewers, who bang on about technical specs and the absence of the latest violent and 'cool' LA gang culture game on the Wii U. If you dig deeper to read what the owners are saying, a different story emerges, which is one of very satisfied ownership and great gameplay.

Having played Mario Kart 8 yesterday, for example, I could see no sign of an underpowered system. On the contrary the proverbial kitchen sink has been thrown at this game, with fantastic graphics, sound and gameplay. It appears that some third party software developers who have pompously declared they won't release their titles for the Wii U, just can't be bothered, or don't have the technical ability to code differently for an unusual system architecture. Well, never mind it's no great loss, and they may eat their words in time. There's enough software out there anyway for most gamers, with a lot more on the way.

Nintendo may not have marketed this console well, and may have spent less on advertising in comparison, but the Wii U deserves to succeed no less than the other two consoles that are just being pushed a lot harder. I'm glad I ignored the hype around the other two.

No problem in recommending this console, but perhaps it's not for the 24 hour hardcore gamer.

pluses
---------
+ price for the 32GB premium pack - compare this to the other two consoles
+ gamepad - great device (releases TV for TV viewing if required to keep everybody happy)
+ rock solid build quality
+ some 2013 software titles can be had for less than £10
+ backwards compatible with Wii software and controllers
+ new games on the rise in 2014/2015

minuses
-----------
- getting son to do revision for exams in between plays


Pergola Kit 10' x 10'
Pergola Kit 10' x 10'
Offered by Direct Garden Buildings
Price: £329.97

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pergola 10' x 10' - it's ok., 26 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pergola Kit 10' x 10'
Good points :
- Delivery was excellent.
- Price seems competitive when compared with the same product from other suppliers, and you have the backing of Amazon if things go wrong with supply/delivery (and they often can go wrong with 'online' if you don't know who you are dealing with but are lured-in by a good looking web-site).
- Looks good once erected.

Points for improvement :
The screws and brackets supplied need to be more substantial - far too flimsy. I used my own nuts and bolts to secure the frame and may add more brackets for the beams.

If you are erecting onto a patio, 4 bolt-down shoes and the masonry screws will set you back about £50 or so.

I would still buy from the supplier again because of reliability.


God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
by Christopher Hitchens
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Which religious belief is correct ?, 28 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The book has impact. It's important. Thoughts refuse to stop reverberating after reading it - in that, it is powerful. If you follow one of the big three monotheistic religions (or indeed any of the numerous lesser ones whether mono- or polytheistic), there may be little point in reading this book, as Hitchens, an atheist logically, does not accept the constructs of Faith, or Belief. Instead, it is about Evidence, Proof, Science, Philosophy, Truth. It is about Education, not Indoctrination. It might make you think for a moment if you have an unshakeable belief, and it certainly will if you don't. There are upsetting accounts of the inhumane things done in the *name* of religion over the centuries. This says more about human behaviour, than about religion, and one can follow Hitchens' line of thought that religion must be man made.
Perhaps a more balanced approach by Hitchens could have assessed the good output of religion, and where this has aided human development. For example, community/social aspects of religious organisation, a moral code. However, religion is not a pre-requisite for these things, the book argues.
I would have liked Hitchens to question why religious belief is still so very strong, amongst very poorly educated peoples, but more interestingly, among those very highly educated, and explore the underlying reasons for this. A scientific approach might look into the way the human brain has evolved, as far as religion is to do with what goes on in the mind. I think that the book should have looked at why it's not a simple matter for a religious believer to abandon their belief - family, community, culture, esteem, belonging, all built on century-upon-century, in exchange for the offer from Atheism - all these things matter, regardless of whether a believer silently questions rules and regulations specified by limited minds hundreds or thousands of years ago, or even minds behind newer religions.

Hitchens discusses the totalitarian aspects of some religions, and undoubtedly there is a grave threat to a free-thinking civilization and human advancement here. An exploration of religion being used as a political tool, for the retention and growth of a power base, would have been highly relevant.

Some discussion that, there is perhaps something special that puts homo-sapiens completely apart from other animals - is that all down to evolution? Along with this an exploration of how we are limited by our senses - what is beyond these senses that we cannot connect with ? With the tools we have, we can't dismiss the idea of something greater and purposeful beyond ourselves.

Finally, I'd have liked a discussion on why religion cannot explain the reason why an omnipotent, omnipresent deity, allows indiscriminate human suffering on a vast scale, to continue with no end in sight. I for one would be very happy if such a being did intervene to stop humans killing or doing very bad things to each other - children suffering in wars is really especially bad (e.g in Syria right now) - it just does not make any sense that a benevolent and powerful being can allow this, even if the suffering is negated in some after-life; in other words a discussion on the philosophical 'problem of evil'. A God that can look into the eyes of a child that is suffering and say, 'sorry, but I have my reasons' ........

It loses a star in my view for these omissions that would in my mind have made the book more complete, but nevertheless I'm glad to have read it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 11, 2013 8:00 PM GMT


FMD Dori Wall Shelf White WxHxD 60x60x19.5 cm
FMD Dori Wall Shelf White WxHxD 60x60x19.5 cm
Price: £29.04

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good item, 1 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very good for the money, but be careful and follow the simple instructions. In particular the wooden dowels must be :

a) carefully knocked-in as far as they can go
b) can easily snap if the item is handled incorrectly during construction - keep it all on the floor until completed

Luckily I salvaged what was a bad job on my part, and now the bookcase is solid and hanging in my son's bedroom - very pleased with the quality.

Will probably order another one.


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