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Dr Nick (Camborne, Cornwall)

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The Grand Budapest Hotel [Blu-ray]
The Grand Budapest Hotel [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Ralph Fiennes
Price: £14.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A multi-layered masterpiece., 20 July 2014
Witty, funny, clever and engaging, and yet with an undercurrent of tragedy and loss that is achingly poignant in places. This film tells the story of the unlikely friendship between a young Lobby Boy and his mentor, the hotel concierge, played to perfection by Ralph Fiennes as Monsieur Gustav H. The story is told in multiple flashback from the present (?) to the 1930's, like peeling back the layers of an onion and centres on the story of his induction into the Grand Hotel Budapest as told by an aged Zero (the Lobby Boy) to an author in the late 1960's. He recounts his adventures with M. Gustav during the early 1930's, in a fictional eastern European republic, when the Grand Hotel, still clinging to a ghost of its turn-of-the Century heyday, is run by the almost bi-polar M. Gustav (poetry-reading Victorian prim one second, swearing like a trooper the next) who likes to see to his lady guests 'every' need, no matter how old they are.

Murder, mayhem, mystery and prison ensue, with a host of marvellous supporting actors, while M.Gustav, ably assisted by Zero, remains unflappable and downright funny to boot. Despite all the comedy, there is no fairy-tale ending. The spectre of 1930's dictatorships and war hovers at the edges of the story and the sadness and loss, not just of friends and loved ones, but of a whole way of life and 'how it used to be' in the words of the aged Zero, is palpable and very touching without detracting at all from the comedy that went before it.

A great film with great actors, that works on so many levels. Definitely one to buy and watch again.


Lee Neutral Density Grad Hard Set (100x150mm Resin)
Lee Neutral Density Grad Hard Set (100x150mm Resin)

5.0 out of 5 stars The Rolls Royce of Filters, 20 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lee Filters are simply the best filters I have ever used. The quality of these hand made filters is outstanding and they are an invaluable addition to good quality lenses. The graduated ND sets (hard and soft grads) are something I use almost every time I take my camera out as I'm particularly interested in landscape photography. The filter dimensions are large enough that you can also use them as straight ND filters for the whole frame on many lenses.

Lee equipment is very expensive compared to the competition, but if you can make the investment you won't be disappointed. The ND filters are stunning; well made, tough with no colour cast or aberrations. Highly recommended.


CORRALEJO Anejo Tequila 70cl Bottle
CORRALEJO Anejo Tequila 70cl Bottle
Offered by WhiskyXXL
Price: £31.14

5.0 out of 5 stars A fine Anejo Tequila, 20 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I must admit to being a fan of Corralejo tequilas; as a brand they are becoming more well known, thanks partly to their distinctive bottles. The anejo is the longer aged cousin to the the silky smooth (and my personal favourite) reposado. It's a very smooth tequila with a slightly bitter flavour and a lingering vanilla aftertaste. This is a very pleasurable sipping drink for lovers of the agave; you can obviously use it for mixing and cocktails, but that seems a little sacriligeous (and at pretty much £50 a bottle you want to get the most from it) to me; there are obvious blander, cheaper, alternatives if you want to mask the flavour with grenadine and orange juice, etc.

I was very happy with the purchase; the bottle came very well wrapped and protected. I'll certainly consider buying via Amazon again; I just wish they sold the full Corralejo range!


Bloodfire Quest: Book 2 of The Dark Legacy of Shannara
Bloodfire Quest: Book 2 of The Dark Legacy of Shannara
by Terry Brooks
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.91

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Feeling short-changed by this series., 20 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I began to read Terry Brooks in 1977 with The Sword of Shannara and have bought pretty much every book he's written since. The early Shannara books (Sword, Wishsong and Scions) remain some of my favourite fantasy books, but it seems I'm not alone in noticing a decline in the standard of Brooks' writing. It's not that the Dark Legacy series is poor storytelling, despite the retreading of earlier books, it simply feels like the sketch outline of the novel Brooks should have written. Compared to earlier works the characters, good and 'bad', lack detail and fleshing out. This leaves me not caring too much about the Ohmsford heroes of the story and not understanding the motivations of Edinja Orle, the magic-wielding newly promoted Federation Prime Minister, in her campaign against the druids and the elves. Even the demons seem lacklustre this time around and petty in their ambitions (give me what I want and I'll happily march back into the forbidding and stay there). Gone is the grand panorama Brooks painted last time the forbidding came down, with what seemed a cross between Tolkein's Last Alliance and the Spartans at Thermopylae; this time the elves half-heartedly send a few blokes to see if anything is happening.....

Aside from feeling like a plot outline, the books are very short (something of a trend developing from 'Armageddons Children' onwards) and my cynical side feels that all three installments could easily have been published as one book, but this way the publishers, etc, make three times the money; okay if you're dealing with something like the Scions series, but with this Shannara-lite set I'm feeling short changed. I'll almost certainly buy the last instalment to see where this story goes, but will think long and hard about investing in future books if this decline continues.


DeTomaso Men's Watch San Remo Solar Professional Grün DT1039-D
DeTomaso Men's Watch San Remo Solar Professional Grün DT1039-D
Price: £151.14

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great watch, 21 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My favourite colours are royal blue and gold and I wanted a watch to match those. I wasn't about to pay 5 grand for a Rolex Submariner, but when I saw this watch I was hooked and ordered it straight away.

I've had the watch for a few months now, so how does it perform beyond its cosmetic attractions? The answer is very well. It keeps perfect time, which is all you can ask of a watch. It's robust, easy to read and pleasant on the eye. The strap and catch mechanism are fine. I can't fault it at all. This is a great watch in every respect and even a Rolex won't keep better time. If it's your style then treat yourself, you won't regret it.


Classical Music and Popular Songs
Classical Music and Popular Songs

5.0 out of 5 stars Martin Orford's masterpiece, 21 Jan 2013
Martin Orford should be a national treasure and it's frankly criminal that he isn't. In this age of plastic, manufactured, lip-synching, talentless wannabee's he's an anomaly - he can write, play and sing his own music. A multi-instrumentalist, he's best known for his work with IQ (themselves a band that should be so much better known than they are) as a keyboardist, but on this album he turns his hands to vocals and guitar in addition to the piano and electronic keyboards.

This collection is an ecletic mix of classical-inspired piano pieces (the beautiful and Wakemanesque 'Quilmes' and the wonderful orchestral 'Tatras'), English folk music ('The Picnic') to rock ('A Part of Me', which sounds like Asia should done) to a mixture of all three, with a nod to Genesis and Camel along the way. It's these tracks which are the showcase for Martin's vocals and provide some amazing music. 'The Field of Fallen Angels' is a multi-layered opus that brings bagpipes to the fore with a stomping bass line and a drum sound that would do Phil Collins proud. 'The Days of Our Lives' is a wonderful soulful ballad that seques into a floyd-esque sax and guitar solo that David Gilmour would be proud of. 'Fusion' (with IQ's guitar maestro Mike Holmes) is a corking rock instrumental. 'The Final Solution is Martin's 'Ballad of Big'; big bass, big guitars and keys. Martin's vocals on this are fantastic. 'The Overload' is a stunning slow-burner with IQ's Peter Nicholls on vocals. The album closes with the gorgeous and evocative 'Evensong', which builds from a quiet flute intro, through piano into a breathtaking guitar that soars away. It's simply one of the most beautiful pieces I've ever heard.

This album is fantastic start to finish; the quality of the music and the musicianship are stunning, so it's hard to fathom why this album is so hard to find (believe me, it is) or how talent like this can go under the national radar when so much dross does not. Persevere and seek this album out, you won't be disappointed; Widge has done us proud.


No Title Available

1.0 out of 5 stars Not a book about Mapinfo Professional, 12 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book expecting an introduction about how to use Mapinfo software; this is not what this book is. Only pages 5 to 9 (out of 130) talk about the program; a brief article on the history of its development and part of its file format. The rest of the book consists of articles (from Wikipedia) about the history of Microsoft, Windows, Macintosh and C programming language.

The books title is completely misleading and the whole thing is a fraud and a COMPLETE waste of money. This is one to AVOID at all costs.


Break The Silence [Jewelcase]
Break The Silence [Jewelcase]
Price: £4.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GUN. All Killer - no filler., 12 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Being a dyed-in-the-wool GUN fan of their first incarnation with Mark Rankin on vocals, I put this CD in the player with no little trepidation and anticipation. How would they sound after all this time? I needn't have worried; from the blistering drum intro on 'Butcher Man' the feet were tapping and in no time my head was nodding to the beat. GUN are back and firing on all cylinders!

I was surprised to find Dante on vocals, expecting Toby Jepson, but he does a fine job throughout and has quite a vocal range which he uses well to emote the various tempos on this CD. The band has the characteristic driving rhythm of Jools' guitar (bass is handled by Derek Brown with Paul McManus on drums and Johnny McGlynn on guitar), but on a number of tracks they supplement this with strings and piano to create an even bigger sound. The use of a backing vocalist adds a nice counterpoint to Dante's voice and really contributes to the depth of the sound.

So, what about the music? It's wonderful, it's anthemic and it's 100% GUN. The songs are all in the 3-4 minute range and range from the full-on rock rhythm of the title track, to the slower paced 'Innocent Thieves'. I had a smile on my face all through the first playing; this is the GUN I remember brought through to the 21st Century and what an album - every track a winner. Well done guys; I can't wait to see these songs played live.


Buffalo Ministation 1TB USB 2.0 Slimline Portable External Hard Drive - Black
Buffalo Ministation 1TB USB 2.0 Slimline Portable External Hard Drive - Black

1.0 out of 5 stars Only good as a paperweight........, 24 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've had this drive for less than eight months to use as a full-system backup and a backup for critical files that need updating every so often. I've probably used the drive no more than a dozen times so far; the rest of the time it's been kept in a padded secure case in a locked drawer. Imagine my surprise this morning when I plugged it in to be greeted by repetitive clunking and whirring and repeated messages every few seconds to format the drive before it can be used - clicking this tells you that you cannot format the drive as it is unrecognised by Windows.

Needless to say I am underwhelmed by this turn of events and the racket being created by the previously near-silent drive for no apparent reason. Reading other reviews it seems mine is not an uncommon experience. I now have critical data to back up and an expensive paperweight to do it on. I am completely unimpressed with this drive, avoid at all costs, spend your money on something reliable.


Fly From Here
Fly From Here
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.49

5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An opportunity missed, 4 July 2011
This review is from: Fly From Here (Audio CD)
As a long time Yes fan I was expecting potentially great things from the first Yes album in nearly a decade; surely the guys had a stock of killer tunes just waiting to make it onto the new CD? It seems not. We know what great musicians Steve, Chris and Alan are (I have to say I'm not a fan of Geoff Downes' playing and think they should have stuck with Oliver Wakeman)and I have to admit Benoit David has a great voice, but this album is limp and insipid and frankly dull.

There are some flashes of brilliance, with some great short guitar and bass runs, but the overall feel is of pipe-and-slippers background music shoehorned out to raise some cash; Drama part two this isn't - no Into the lens or Tempus Fugit here; more Yes meets Val Doonican. The highlights are really Fly from here part 1, which allows Benoit to shine, and Steve Howe's acoustic Solitaire which he delivers with customary skill, but these are not enough to raise the whole out of the lacklustre bracket.

Yes have traded on their magnificent 70's catalogue for, well, nearly 40 years, but seem incapable, despite a huge reserve of talent (and a good new vocalist) of recapturing their glory days. This effort represents a real missed opportunity to prove that they still have the potential to create new music on a par with their classics.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 12, 2011 2:56 AM BST


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