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Stampy (England)

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ASICS PATRIOT 6 Running Shoes - 10
ASICS PATRIOT 6 Running Shoes - 10
Offered by Eggcatcher Rugby (UK)
Price: £42.03

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Running patriot, 17 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I started running at the end of 2011 and didn't really contemplate how invested in running I would get so didn't really think about the importance of a good running trainer. The trainers I bought were a previous version of these and lasted me through 5 half marathons, 18 10ks and many many training runs in-between so after being told off by my friends for running on probably a damaged trainer, I decided to buy a new pair. A recommendation was simply stick to what you know, so I have.
This upgraded version are very comfy, fit snugly and are a good combat style trainer, designed for all kind of runs not specialising in speed, trail or distance, more of a neutral playing field and that fits me perfectly.
They are strong and stable. I ran my furthest distance in them this morning just shy of 5 miles and across ice and mud they were safe enough. I think they look great though after my first run I instantly started scrubbing the mud off as I didn't want my new white trainers muddy haha!
Perhaps this is expected but I'm still adjusting after using other trainers for 2 years and the build quality perhaps isn't as strong. The Asics logo on the yellow sole inside the trainer is already wearing off and I have only worn them 5/6 times. This doesn't affect performance obviously and there is no damage visible on the outside.
The delivery was very prompt and well packaged from sportshoes.com.
Overall very happy and hopefully more runs to come.
For £35 this is a good investment to those starting running and looking at running 10K maybe half marathon distances.
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Brilliant Personal Development: Your Essential Guide to an All-Round Successful Life (Brilliant Lifeskills)
Brilliant Personal Development: Your Essential Guide to an All-Round Successful Life (Brilliant Lifeskills)
by Max Eggert
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant step to a brighter future, 30 May 2014
This book compiles a great range of strategies to help the reader dive into their past, take part in action plans and to discover who they are and ways in which the reader can boost their confidence in a social situations, work issues and significantly, within themselves.

I took this book out wanting to boost my confidence in a social context and for personal reasons for low self-esteem and am delighted to say this book denotes the makings of one of the most helpful books I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

There is a great opening to the book about getting started, outlining what the purpose of the book is for and how the book will cover a range of topics with various methods of personal development.

Chapters include: achieving self-esteem, assertiveness, stress management and building networks.
Whatever the reader wants from a personal development book, it will certainly be covered in this Max Eggert book. The approach is well thought out by outlining baby steps to begin with and understanding the process of making changes and understanding who you are, without the waffle of over complex psychological jargon.

The book is made useful by being very practical. It is encouraging to make changes in your life by adapting a few useful traits in your daily routine, such as keeping a log book, a self-esteem guide of compliments people have given you and a chart mapping out highs and lows. It may seem strange but the chart aspect actually is really useful and you can pinpoint where things may have gotten out of hand and changed going from a high point to a low point.

The book pushes you to discover who you are, what your values are and what you want from life and through this method you can move forward in life once you know who you are and what you want. It encourages the read to make goals, weekly, monthly and in various aspects and looks at the benefits of little treats for overcoming obstacles.

The unique selling point is highly valuable in overcoming past problems but personally, I found the practical approaches in keeping a self-esteem log book more beneficial, just for a general pick me up and writing goals which are tailored to values are also extremely helpful.

This is a great book for anyone wishing to find an area in their life they wish to improve and or overcome. The practical nature allows you to feel really involved in the process and as a result you will start to feel, brilliant. : )


Catfish [DVD]
Catfish [DVD]
Dvd ~ Henry Joost
Price: £3.86

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Realsim online?, 29 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Catfish [DVD] (DVD)
Catfish follows the story of Yaniv Schulman (Nev) who agrees to be the centrepiece of a documentary for his two friends who track his online friendship with Abby, a young painter who sends him paintings. Soon however he is introduced to her family online and Nev starts to build a strong online friendship with Abby's sister Megan, only something is amiss.

This documentary is something many people can relate to in this modern age of social networking. Managing and building contacts online, forming friendships and relationships and sometimes everything works out great, and sometimes there are surprises, and this 2010 film brings about many surprises for Nev and his friends.

The technical marvel of this film shows the scary nature of what the average individual can accomplish online. Through searching through people's friends on Facebook to analysing people's own recorded songs to those that have been implemented from other websites, but more so the ability to simply use other people's photographs for your own personal use is something quite scary, and yet people do it for their own personal reasons, and in the essence of this picture, we are watching people's emotions tested in this marvel of online story telling.

There are many boards and forums depicting the true nature of this documentary, whether it is faked, scripted etc. Whilst the realism of the whole story is quite shocking and maybe difficult to comprehend, I myself have used online dating/friendship sites and can testify that not everything is as rosy as it appears on screen.

But Catfish isn't necessarily about whether it's fake or not. It's about the story and the very real aspect of our current online mastery. And this film depicts that through the use of Facebook, through the questionable phone calls and all technical aspects that make the internet such a phenomenon. And through this Catfish is a very entertaining story that depicts the technical age through some wonderful and varied editing, picking up on Google, Sat Navs, Facebook etc and is quite different from anything that's been done before.

This film spurned a TV show in which Nev and his brother travel across America to meet people and to give them help in meeting their online romance, which for the record is shorter and usually more interesting than simply watching Nev and his hairy chest for over an hour.

Nevertheless this is unique and if you've done the whole online thing, it makes it quite interesting to see someone else go through it to.


Insurgent (Divergent, Book 2)
Insurgent (Divergent, Book 2)
Price: £3.79

3.0 out of 5 stars Action packed sequel, 20 Aug. 2013
The sequel to the critically acclaimed "Divergent" by Veronica Roth continues Tris' Prior's story in the world of factions. The consequences of the simulation and the impact on her family means Tris is now seeking answers, and as the factions start to merge and the Divergent are targeted, there are more questions than answers as Tris and friends seek to find a way to stop a war.

Veronica Roth's debut novel brought about a wonderful dystopian novel full of energy and categorising its characters into factions: Amity, Erudite, Abnegation, Dauntless and Candor.

This categorisation allowed the author to expand on common beliefs and set her characters in various roles and the conclusion brought about a thoroughly entertaining novel, and this sequel continues with a strong dynamic with Tris and others looking to end an upcoming war between these factions.

One of the upsides of Divergent was its diverse settings revolving around the characters faction. This allowed for a flowing consistency to Roth's novel that was tight, intriguing and made you feel right there in the heart of that cave with Tris. Insurgent feels more flamboyant, as the characters are travelling around to various dangerous locations, there is more surprise in store, and this has its ups and downs.

From getting kidnapped and stuck in simulations to fighting off cloudy poison and the factionless, Insurgent is more of a hard hitting drama than its predecessor and these are the pages you want to turn that you want to know what happens. It's the fluffy lovey drama and overhyped drama you want to skip, and Insurgent carries on that feeling from Divergent.

Perhaps its wrong to compare books but you feel as though chapters come straight out of Twilight or the Hunger Games with the last ditch love me save me situations. But these are only part of the inconsistency. There is simply minimal hook in this novel. It just feels long and mundane and the scenes mentioned before are great, expertly written, but the in between chapters, the talking over contemplations about actions and the upcoming bloodshed seem to drag.

Overall this is a good sequel to Divergent the characters are full of energy and the scene setting Roth manages to project is visually imaginative but sadly the weight of 500 + pages is too long and doesn't generate that same excitement the first one had.
Nevertheless the ending is exciting and bring on the next instalement!


In a Strange Room
In a Strange Room
by Damon Galgut
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars The dramas of travelling, 29 Jun. 2013
This review is from: In a Strange Room (Paperback)
`In a strange room' tells the story of a man travelling across the world and the adventures he has with the people he encounters.

There are times when we've all thought this is rubbish I'm going to travel the world, go exploring, meet interesting people and travel. Not to go anywhere, just to see where the moment takes me. And this book dives right into the heart of such adult thoughts and is often tantalising and engaging with the unexpected turn of events, the practical monetary side of travelling and the mental stability of being with friends and being isolated.

Perhaps this is what makes `In a strange room' quite special. Galgut has crafted this story based on the real feelings of travel and how one action affects another and how others make your decisions and the people you can meet have various challenges against your strength, from walking tremendous distances to being a guardian to an unstable youth.
And in essence, there is an underlining feeling of the destination of the journey, as if there isn't one. And this is quite a nice feeling, living to travel the world. But, as the author refers to `He' and `I' you can see Galgut's personality shining through and how travelling and living in different cultures with different people can affect the soul.

Damon Galgut's Man Booker Prize nominated drama packs an interesting punch that rattles the core of the human spirit. With the story written in an unusual format from an onlooker's perspective then reverting to first person often in the same sentence, this book wavers from the heat of the journey to the strange observation and the consistency of the story feels hindered because of it. And so as the reader you feel quite left out, to the side and uninterested in what happens next.

The first two parts contained some interesting insights into the notions of travel. To be brutal, the first two parts of this story are quite forgettable. Whilst the ideas behind them are excellent and important to a story of this nature there is no joy or excitement and the people he meets are all aloof and feel rather transparent.

However, the big however, is the final third part. What a fantastic piece of emotional writing and gripping heart stopping drama from Galgut. Involving an out of control youth, corporate law, hospital procedures, friendships, betrayals, sharp insults to unfair accusations and damaging characteristics, I flew through this part in an hour when the first two took many nights (the novel itself is only 180 pages long). I would not like to spoil this for anyone, but despite the wayward writing style and frequent lacklustre beginnings, hang in there for a fantastic emotional final part because, this is worth hanging on for.
7/10


Chronicles Of A Fallen Love
Chronicles Of A Fallen Love

5.0 out of 5 stars Flowing and energetic masterclass, 17 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had not heard any songs by the Bloody Beetroots before and stumbled across this song when I was flicking through the music channels on TV.

The video for this song caught my attention before the song did, a young couple out and about with bags over their heads and enjoying life before seeing each other's faces, and this video is a rare moment of perfectly capturing a song's attitude and feel.

Honestly, this song with its electronic rhythm flows beautifully into a world of past fun, of innocence and care free times where you enjoyed life with somebody.

The heart touching soft female vocals open in a soft delicate touch of sweetness as "watching me fall" leads into the wordless chorus which snaps you right out of your senses, a dynamic fast paced adrenaline surge that is worthy of head nodding and fist pumping in any club or car.

The rhythm is hard to describe, pure dance/electro almost sounding as if there's a collection of backing vocals to emphasise the power.

The lyrics aside compliment the feeling of nostalgia "I remember the way you used to dance" and whilst it's ultimately about past experiences there is a great upbeat feeling, it's like a travel song, from the past but moving forward.

As a side note I downloaded this with Amazon, perfectly fine through their downloader. Bought as MP3 and works on all devices, really quick with the one click method and for any song that makes you smile, it is worth every penny.


In Darkness
In Darkness
by Nick Lake
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Into the light comes a dramatic and very hard drama, 17 Jun. 2013
This review is from: In Darkness (Paperback)
Author Nick Lake tells the story of a young man trapped in darkness not knowing where he is and uncertain of what is happening around him and he invites us into his tale, a story of gang life, of sibling separation and a dynamic overview of political war whilst the foundation of Haiti is being lain down by Toussaint L'Overture, a rebel forming a slavery rebellion.

What is most striking about this novel is the ideas and attitude behind it doesn't necessarily mean it is a young person's novel. This is grown up and more appropriate for an older audience as it delves into the world of Haiti and travelling back and forth in time to the formation and destructive revolution of key historical figures and the central teenage boy, trapped in darkness recapping to the reader how he arrived in a desolate hospital.

And the structure to this award winning novel is key to the development of the settings and lifestyle of central character Shorty, a young man who was separated from his sister, who had a difficult upbringing and becoming involved in gang life. Balancing his story alongside the slow build up of Haiti's history and Toussaint L'Overture, a rebel who fought for slave freedom brings along a remarkable novel of deep political history with heavy family drama, death and national angst.

As a teenage/young adult novel I was struck by the violent broadness of Nick Lake's story, it is staggeringly brutal and unafraid to skirt around drug intakes and deals, political death threats and bloody imagery. It is quite startling also to read a swear word practically on every page. So if you're planning on using this to teach or read with your teenage son or daughter, be wary this is a heavy drama.

However the central character is well established as a teenager with his gangster attitude, his friends and often Nick Lake inserts references to modern rappers which some may find funny and others might find ridiculous. As if the use of slang, race and imagery generate would be classed as stereotypical.

The stand out feature to this 2012 novel is Shorty's moving reflection towards his family. With regards to his lost sister Nick Lake writes in a beautiful way that only a sibling could really appreciate. He generates a feeling of a connection with writing from the point of view of Shorty and scripting some heart rendering statements about his sister's outlook on life, how she was, how she cared, what she looked like and now, what little he can remember. It may generate a tear or two.

If your history knowledge is as small as mine then fear not as when this book gets into its groove there is some strong scene setting from Nick Lake and detailed history to entice and intrigue. The problem with this is that it can feel long winded and by being dragged into a deep meaningful history lesson, `In Darkness' can lose some of the intensity that the characters can brilliantly generate. And perhaps that's a key when this book gets going.

It's intense and violent and mentally strong and you feel, an important novel given the history of Haiti. The structure of the book works well, going from the present to the past and back allows the author to tell two stories at once and this works having a break in between the heavy and the light side of life. But as a result the flow of the story is corrupted and it is challenging to recapture that feeling of being right there in the heart of war to being in the hospital.

In Darkness therefore is quite a unique book to place on a shelf. It feels important, and it is, and at the same time despite the wonderful drama and detailed historical overview, it is quite a challenging read.


Divergent (Divergent, Book 1)
Divergent (Divergent, Book 1)
by Veronica Roth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Quite a nice surprise, 17 Jun. 2013
In a world of factions and beliefs Beatrice must decide her future. She must look deep to see what she believes in, regardless of what her family wants. And when she makes her choice, a whole new world opens to her and her life becomes more adventurous than she could ever have imagined.

Divergent by Veronica Roth is a very surprising novel. The blurb on the back talks about being drawn to a strange boy and finding out where you truly belong. But those fearing a Twilight rip off get ready because this novel opens up a whole world of adventurous and exciting action and drama and has no blood sucking monsters.

Instead this 2011 novel brings a whole new range of emotive writing. This is a novel that opens up a door to a world of factions, of people who believe to live in a certain way that their way is best and so society dictates that people approaching the age of sixteen must make a choice as to where to spend the rest of their lives.

And this is where the book begins, no nonsense straight into Beatrice's mind as we gather all the information from her on the structured civilisation she is currently living in and now, she must make the biggest choice of her life. What makes this book so deep is the ground Roth has covered to spice up rivalries between the factions and creating almost set rules as to what each faction live by. One faction Abnegation for example lives by selflessness. Roth creates a genuine consistency through the novel of always playing on the different faction's values. And because of this she has built up a strong base for the reader to appreciate the divided society and therefore we as readers can simply sit back and turn the page on an emotionally violently charged drama.

And again this is incredibly surprising and the unexpected nature of the fist fights, jumping off buildings, mind controlling people with guns is what makes this quite different and an exciting read.

Whilst the Hunger Games blew everyone away with its political driven death feast, Divergent is equally strong with its imaginative turns of action and the sequences involving fear simulations are beautifully imaginative.

But comparing this to Suzanne Collins' novel isn't really fair because they are vastly different (despite both being politically driven with futuristic dystopia settings and a young female lead) because the emotive underlining and base behind Divergent, feels stronger. Roth relies on Beatrice's surroundings in the world and dictates the pace and proceedings based upon Beatrice's faction.

The faction Beatrice chooses is open and we follow her as she tackles new obstacles, meets new people and starts to see a different world. Despite the heavy emotions of faction belief's Beatrice thankfully isn't an overly soppy character. She tells a story rather than telling us how she is constantly feeling. There are many moments of analytical adolescent contemplation which can feel strained but overall Beatrice doesn't feel repetitive and is easier to go along with rather than Bella Swan.

Small drawbacks include the typical silent yet strong male stereotype (who is actually a great character, but the presence and inevitability of his position are predictable) and a sense of plot holes, certain events, like the ending, seem over too quickly and as the reader you may raise an eyebrow now and again.

But minor faults aside this is an emotional head dive into a contrasting society of deep values and rivalry that is certainly worth having a look at.

As the first part of a trilogy the base is set to open up and Insurgent, the second instalment, looks set to be another tantalising novel.

8/10


Secret Diary of a Call Girl - Series 1-4 Complete [DVD] [2011]
Secret Diary of a Call Girl - Series 1-4 Complete [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Billie Piper
Price: £16.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dive into the secret seductive world and be mesmerised, 1 May 2013
Secret diary of a call girl

It's a topic we all talk about. A subject that we're afraid to talk about. A taboo, a unique idea that we all think about but often feel unable to talk about.

Based on Belle De Jour's novels, Secret diary of a call girl is a full blown intimate and sexcapade that is quite honestly, brilliant.

Forget your 50 shades of Grey, this British programme brought about a whole new wave of sex and the boundaries which we cover and don't cover and will open your eyes into lives that you had heard about, never fully believed, but will blow your mind with every episode.

Billie Piper portrays Belle De Jour, a high class London call girl, living the high life with the nice apartment, the trendy attire and when it comes down to business, she is well equipped and professional to go toe to toe with the strangers of the night.

For those already presuming this is going to be sleazy and cheap with plenty of sex, nudity and general degrading remarks and one liners, my friend, you have no idea.

Released in 2007 and finishing in 2011 this 4 season hit compiles the intimate, dramatic and frequently funny accounts of Belle, a confident professional wrapped deeply in her job as a call girl, battling the ever demanding pressures of keeping secrets from friends and family, working professionally despite personal dramas and as ever, often meeting a certain man who makes her feel that little bit different.

Piper gives Belle a wonderful confidence that shines right through to the viewers at home, the male viewers won't be complaining too much. It's not simply the skimpy clothes and raunchy seductive sex scenes, but the confidence of the character, the idea of her being special is always there and Piper never wavers. Her story is wonderfully told and we get an insight into her character through her camera facing turns, giving us her insights into the business and into her emotional connections.

Whilst each season has a serious guy in Belle's life and this can feel slightly mundane at points, its the dirty little secrets of the business you'll be hooked to, exploring the client's fantasises, seeing how the money changes hands, how call girls interact with one another and the fun they have with their clients and the drama that goes alongside the demanding profession.

Some great moments include wrestling turn-ons, movie portrayals, book scripting, fancy dress parties and exploration of various fantasies (fantastic James Bond montage)

The diversity of the show is constantly shifting from simple location shots to exploring America to the darkness of clubs and the seedy realism of the human spirit is frequently mesmerizing. The fact the camera shifts from Belle in her moment to her facing the camera and giving us some cheeky quote or divulging some intriguing business information, this invites us right into the story.

But the bottom line is that this is a programme about sex. A programme that does not shy away from the nature of what it is, what we desire, how we tackle it in relationships, how we deceive others and how we crave that erotic fantasy and a feeling of freedom from reality.

There is no nonsense, any question you have will be answered and portrayed here. There is a lot of nudity, a lot of flirting and innuendos, and graphic bedroom scenes that justify the nature of the industry and indeed, life. Always enjoyable and frequently jaw dropping, Secret diary will invite you into the secret world of an industry and will open your eyes to those ideas and possibilities you were always uncertain about.


Mockingjay (part III of The Hunger Games Trilogy)
Mockingjay (part III of The Hunger Games Trilogy)
by Suzanne Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.60

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic final part to a great series, 8 Feb. 2013
In the final instalment of the Hunger Games trilogy Katniss is recovering from the events of the Quarter Quell and is now living in a world where the districts are forming an uprising where everyone is looking up to her to be their Mockingjay, their symbol of hope in overturning President Snow's and the Capitol's control.

The final third of Catching Fire was fantastic and it was only a matter of time before I picked up Mockingjay to see how the final events unfolded. The cliffhanger leads nicely into Mockingjay and sets up a great prospect for the final piece of the games.

Mockingjay, like the previous two novels, is told from the point of view of Katniss as we follow her on her journey to bring down the Capitol and President Snow's rule over Panem. Over the three books we have seen her character grow and the strength she holds within herself. This final instalment sees her tested to the full as the stakes are raised for her friends and family.

The format to this book is similar to the previous two where the first half of the book deals in the drama, the questioning and character developing. The second half, and in particular the final third of the book has more action with the tension being quicker and author Suzanne Collins brilliantly picks up the pace in all of the right places, combining dramatic family scenarios with adrenaline fuelled assassinations.

Katniss again tells the story and through her eyes we see how District 13 is developing and how her life once again, has changed. This book feels more personal, there seems to be more going on around Katniss. Other characters now have their own agendas and we are able to see them develop as well, making the whole book deeper. With the wars raging and with people rebelling there is a stronger and serious meaning to the story. And this works in the book's favour. From the unknown Games in book one to the character developing book 2 everything has risen up to a strong and powerful background where we know and feel the characters, know their environment and can engage more deeply, making this a more personal read.

There are times when the story feels repetitive, particularly in the first third of the book as through Katniss, Collins explains what is happening and what District 13 means. There is very little action and more drama that can hinder development. There have been various reviews questioning the ending. Personally I thought it was ok, a bit unusual but like with so many popular franchises its best to read and decide for yourself!

Overall Mockingjay has proved a great end to a great trilogy. The action and drama are well balanced and with Collins' in depth detailed writing provides a great entertaining reading experience that I thoroughly recommend.


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