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the honest shopper (UK)

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Suki Tea Apple Loves Mint Loose Fruit Tea 80 g
Suki Tea Apple Loves Mint Loose Fruit Tea 80 g
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and Tasty, 26 Oct 2014
Delicious! This is so refreshing and flavoursome. It feels such a treat to have this.
It makes a light and very uplifting afternoon cuppa.
No need for sugar or honey as it is so naturally flavoursome and it looks beautiful too (nice in clear teapots)

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) [DVD]
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tilda Swinton
Price: £5.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy subject well executed (pun intended), 26 Oct 2014
This is slow, it isn't action packed, it is not a horror, although the storyline is based on the horrific actions of a deeply disturbed child.
I have the impression that people expect jam packed action and gratuitous gore from all movies these days, I am glad this film didn't give into that, it kept its depth and subtleties giving the characters and mother/son relationship the attention it deserves. Although it is based around acts of extreme violence, its focus is not on the violence itself, but the relationship between a mother and son, and the nature and development of psychopathy.
The pain of trying to connect and continue a strained relationship was very well portrayed. I enjoyed the way the scenes jumped from past to present day, it added complexity to it and the outcome unfolded slowly.
Unlike some reviewers I enjoyed the re occurring use of 'redness'. It portrays the nature of trauma, how everything becomes tainted by one event, how reminders of it are everywhere and it highlighted the implication of the parent being responsible for the actions of the child- having blood on their hands.
I liked that the mother was completely un likeable at times and how a child can be so unloveable, both were infuriating and it questions the reality and expectations of motherhood and the sacrifices people make (or don't). The back and forth between time jumps shows the constant questioning a parent must go through when thinking 'Where did it all go wrong?' It shows all the points that a parent might look back at with hindsight and say 'did I do the right thing?' 'Was I to blame?'.
Tilda Swinton's performance is outstanding as usual and the casting of the son and his performance was very good indeed as were the child actors, which can be hard to find.
I did not enjoy the actor playing the father so much, purely because I've only seen him in comedy roles before and as his character was so under developed (albeit necessary) I wasn't able to see past that, he didn't add anything to the role because the role was so limited.
It was slow, dragged out, which gave you a sense of that painful, drawn out existence a person lives in after such an event: existence without living.
Whether some of the techniques used are perceived as cliched or not, it worked and I'm glad they didn't over do the gore, that would have been tacky and disrespectful towards those who have experienced such tragedies in real life.
It is a painful story, it doesn't make for easy viewing and it isn't one I'd watch again, but it is captivating and made me think about the nature of love, maternal bonds and psychopathy.

Satya Nag Champa Enlightenment Masala Incense, 15 Sticks x 12 Packs
Satya Nag Champa Enlightenment Masala Incense, 15 Sticks x 12 Packs
Price: £12.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely joss with nice after burn scent!, 26 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are very refreshing, they leave a lovely after smell, almost like a masculine musky aftershave scent.
They burn well and I keep the big box in a drawer, to keep my clothes smelling fresh!
They make a good scent for all day use, great for freshening up a room.

Stamford Masala Incense Sticks - Divine 37263
Stamford Masala Incense Sticks - Divine 37263
Offered by LotusandLime
Price: £15.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, fresh, good deal!, 26 Oct 2014
I adore the scent of these! They are very refreshing. They make a good day time scent, they are the first kind I light in the morning and they burn nicely. As it's a nice big box I use one pack at a time and use the rest like a drawer freshener, they keep my clothes smelling nice!

Satya Nag Champa Super Hit Incense, 15 Sticks x 12 Packs
Satya Nag Champa Super Hit Incense, 15 Sticks x 12 Packs
Offered by EazyDeal
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Stronger than most, 26 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very powerful scent, thick smoke, very relaxing and great for a cosy night.

Miserable Aunt Bertha
Miserable Aunt Bertha
by Fay Maschler
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Groovy!, 26 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Miserable Aunt Bertha (Hardcover)
Great book!
I had this book as a kid and it still stands as a funny little tale to be enjoyed by kids and adults.
The illustrations are amazingly bright, detailed and very, very retro. They are what make the book a real pleasure to read and explore!

Instructions for a Heatwave
Instructions for a Heatwave
by Maggie O'Farrell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best work, 26 Oct 2014
I adore Maggie O'Farrell's writing style and have enjoyed her previous novels so I was really looking forward to savouring this book, but this was disappointing.
The big family secret was distinctly underwhelming, I guess you have to remind yourself that in that era, that sort of thing mattered. But there was a few bits where the setting felt timeless, which I don't think added anything. Perhaps this was a deliberate tactic that just didn't quite make the intended impact.
The ending was so abrupt I was really surprised. (also because there are several pages at the back with photos and a Q&A which padded it out, I thought I had a few chapters left when it just ended!)
Of course it is fine to have loose ends and implied outcomes without resolution but it would have been good to hear some dialogue or explanation from the missing father.
None of the characters were that likeable, which is okay, but it did make it a bit difficult to care about their stories at times. The relationship between the brother and younger sister was endearing and the little girls antics were very much needed to add some joy and light to the various interactions.
She does paint a good picture of an Irish matriarch and the complex dynamics within families and I do love books based around families, especially Irish ones.
But the whole thing is sluggish, hazy, perhaps the author was the one most affected by the heat!

Skylight Confessions
Skylight Confessions
by Alice Hoffman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully tragic, 7 Jun 2014
This review is from: Skylight Confessions (Hardcover)
This was my first Alice Hoffman novel and I was blown away by it (I wasn't expecting much, having picked it up at a charity book drive and it looked like the best of a bad bunch!)
I loved the elements of other-wordliness, intertwined with the very real tragedies of this complex family. The portrayal of addiction was particularly heartbreaking and true to life.
She writes about love in simple but beautiful prose. A captivating read.

Purple Rose LED Fairy Lights By Flowerglow
Purple Rose LED Fairy Lights By Flowerglow
Offered by Flowerglow

3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty but not very bright, 24 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lights are very pretty and nicely made, they are a lovely purple. Unfortunately they are not bright at all and barely add to the ambiance. They might work better next to a mirror or displayed in a glass bowl or vase but not ideal for just the wall or wrapped round a frame.

The Buddha, Geoff and Me:  A Modern Story
The Buddha, Geoff and Me: A Modern Story
by Edward Canfor-Dumas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, masculine, 24 Sep 2013
Glad I got this for pennies at a charity sale. The writer's credentials made it look promising but I was sorely disappointed.
This book was extremely dull and I really struggled to reach the half way point. I usually try to make it to the end in the hope that I'll be pleasantly surprised but I just had to give up on it.
It is very badly written, the characters are not particularly likeable, the dialogue is just cringe worthy. It reminded me very much of a soap opera script, when you can tell that the upper class writer's are trying to get down with the locals lingo. Or a public health ad, trying to reach out to average Joe to remind him to check his balls once in a while. That sort of false, dumbing down language and stereotyping. It was embarrassing.
It would work well as a Buddhism for dummies type book, if the target audience are macho lads with no prior understanding of spirituality or living out-with their ego but it was just a horrible read for me. Buddha Da by Anne Donovan was a much better read and of similar vein. The cover of which is eerily similar although it was published before this drivel...

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