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Venyhamin "venyhamin"

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Songs Of Separation
Songs Of Separation
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning female folk, 29 Jan. 2016
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This review is from: Songs Of Separation (Audio CD)
This has to be a strong contender for not only Folk Album of the year but also Album of the year. Stunning harmonies and instrument playing by an all female group with songs that are not only just about separation but also connection. Totally sublime.


Pointless Quiz
Pointless Quiz
Price: £1.49

2.0 out of 5 stars Keeps crashing, 15 Jan. 2016
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This review is from: Pointless Quiz (App)
It was fine to begin with but now it keeps crashing as it attempts to load.


Guardian & Observer daily edition
Guardian & Observer daily edition
Price: £0.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Shoddy, 15 Jan. 2016
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This is not an app as you can only download a limited version of the daiily printed edition. It doesn't update and you cannot comnent on or share articles and its quite shocking that The Guardian should be charging the amount it is for it. I would have happily paid the asking price if it was the same app I have on my phone but I have turned off the renewal option. This is extremely poor and disappointing from The Guardian.


Traveller
Traveller
Offered by MediaMine
Price: £9.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Bob Harris is emptying my bank balance!, 30 Oct. 2015
This review is from: Traveller (Audio CD)
A fantastic album that ranks up there with some of the best of recent Americana such as Israel Nash and is more than just country as it also has blues, rock and soul influences. However is it just me or does the music to 'Tennessee Whiskey' owe a rather large debt to 'I'd Rather Go Blind' even possibly to the point of plagiarism?


Tracks
Tracks
by Robyn Davidson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Making good tracks, 14 July 2014
This review is from: Tracks (Paperback)
‘Tracks’ is an inspirational book of how one young woman walked from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean in 1977 accompanied by three camels and a dog. She is rightly indignant at the treatment of the Aboriginals since the first Europeans landed to how they continued to be treated during her travels. Sadly my own experience of being in outback Western Australia in 2001 confirms that for some those attitudes have not changed. The late seventies however was a period of change as the idealism of the sixties and early seventies gave way to a harsher pragmatism. There is a great line early on in the book about how many of the world’s angriest feminists have hailed from Australia who left as soon as they were able to.

The book also goes into much more detail than the recent film which inevitably jettisoned some incidents and of course authorial inner insights are also lost in order to tell a more simplified and linear story. The complex relationship between the author and the photographer from ‘National Geographic’ who sponsored the trip is also much more drawn out than in the film. Where the book really excels and what the film hinted at in some of its more memorable images is in how something as simple as walking, albeit in one of the most beautiful and harshest landscapes in the world, can be transmogrified into an experience as the author herself says akin to the Dreamtime. ‘Tracks’ is an affirmation that life is much more about doing what is expected of us and finding the time to follow a passion whatever that might be. ‘Camel trips do not begin or end, they merely change form’.


Tracks [DVD] [2013]
Tracks [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Mia Wasikowska
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: £5.42

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning film full of mysticism., 3 July 2014
This review is from: Tracks [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
On way back from Kinema in the Woods after watching 'Tracks', which was a stunning film full of just beautiful cinematography and imbued with the same sort of mysticism of the great 1970s Australian films such as 'Walkabout' and 'Picnic at Hanging Rock', in which the landscape itself becomes an integral part of the story. Wonderful central performance by the young actress Mia Wasikowska, whose character appeared to be a bit of an outsider and she seemed to be using the journey to exorcise a few demons. Although the early part was interesting enough the film was much better once she had begun her epic trek.

I've not read the book, which I will now, so I don't know how much has been changed to provide some dramatic conflict but the film could have been bolder by dropping a couple of scenes with the annoying National Geographic photographer. It also suffered from an incessant and intrusive soundtrack when it would have been so much more effective to let the natural sounds of the Outback provide the score.

Those caveats aside I think that 'Tracks' is going to be a contender for one of my films of the year and I'm surprised it's taken this long for it to be brought to the screen.


God's Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England
God's Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England
by Jessie Childs
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.40

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly engaging historical narrative, 29 May 2014
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God’s Traitors’ by Jessie Childs tells the story of Catholic recusancy in the Elizabethan and early Jacobean periods through the prism of the Vaux family. Ever since the break from Rome during Henry VIII’s reign Catholics were faced with swearing a dual loyalty to their monarch and the Pope with many unable to swear the former. The execution of Protestants during the country’s brief swing back to Catholicism under Mary I did not help their cause under the long reign of Elizabeth I. During that time and following Elizabeth’s excommunication by the Pope Catholics also faced ever increasing hefty fines and punishments for refusing to attend Anglican services. The beginnings of the Jesuit mission and various abortive plots meant that Catholics came under immense pressure to conform and anyone found to be harbouring priests in the ingeniously devised Nicholas Owen hides could expect severe penalties including the ultimate sanction.

How complicit the leader of the Jesuit mission, Henry Garnet, was in the Gunpowder Plot will probably never be fully known but Childs makes a good case for him to be aware of it if somewhat naive in his equivocation although he was bound by the confessional. Childs has written a highly intelligent and readable historical narrative that gives a real flavour of how it must have felt to be living in those times. It was an age when tolerance was an anathema to the authorities as there could only be one true religion. Discovery and disclosure was an ever present danger with people prepared to go to extremes in order to protect their threatened religion. In her epilogue Childs without overstating the case makes the allusion to how religion and politics are still mixed up with fundamentalism, persecution, martyrdom and fanaticism and how plots and conspiracies still abound. After the Gunpowder Plot was discovered Robert Wintour told Guy Fawkes about a dream that tormented him of a “scarred city with steeples blown ‘awry’ and charred, disfigured faces.”


Small Town Heroes
Small Town Heroes
Price: £8.27

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic slice of modern day Americana, 5 April 2014
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This review is from: Small Town Heroes (Audio CD)
Uncut has led me to another great modern day Americana album, along with Simone Felice's latest album (I am hoping The Delines album also matches up to the one track I've heard so far). Small Town Heroes features some sublime playing, instrumentation (especially on fiddle and harmonica) and harmony singing. There's a great twist on the murder ballad genre with the lyrics exploring how women are usually the victims in these songs. This surely has to be a contender for quite a few music prizes come the end of the year.


Running Free: A Runner's Journey Back to Nature
Running Free: A Runner's Journey Back to Nature
by Richard Askwith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Preaching to the almost converted!, 13 Mar. 2014
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As someone who came relatively late to running (my early thirties) and is a decade younger than the author (I also spent ten years living in London, where I began my running, before moving to the Lincolnshire seaside) I think I have progressed fairly rapidly through what Richard Askwith describes as the Seven Ages of Running and I am now into the fifth. That is like him I don't wear a watch let alone any kind of high tech measuring device anymore whilst out on a solo training run or listen to music. Instead like the author I prefer to enjoy my natural surroundings and let my body and environment dictate the run and consequently unless I am doing a set route have no real idea of time or distance. Having said that I do still try to push myself on organised runs or on club nights as it is still pleasurable to gain a pb. However I am now at a stage of life where I may gain some improvement for a few years before it starts slipping back again but I am certainly not going to be challenging for any medals. Like Askwith I am also enjoying runs that go off the beaten track a bit more and like him I am lucky to live in a part of the country with it on my doorstep (in my case a coastal nature reserve).

In his enjoyable book which has a slightly more meandering air than the more tightly focused, `Feet in the Clouds', Askwith argues the case for a return to simply enjoying running in its basest form rather than succumbing to the demands of what he calls, `Big Running'. Whilst I agree with his philosophy to a certain degree especially when the over-commercialisation of the London Marathon and Great Run series is considered I still think there is scope to enjoy different forms of running. We are not all lucky enough to have instant access to the country seeing as the majority of the population live in urban areas. I have enjoyed the 24 Hour Adidas Thunder Run as although it is a commercial enterprise it brings a community of runners together. As you are running laps at various parts of the day the course can change with the weather and temperature and each lap can be very different. Some of the most enjoyable runs I have done have been organised through the club I belong to such as long distance relays and our own version of a `Hound and Hares'. These have involved club runners of all abilities and have been more about the taking part than achieving times. Many local clubs in Lincolnshire put on some good inexpensive races over a variety of distances and terrains, which I would rather take part in and support than many of the commercially organised ones.

I also disagree with the author when it comes to barefoot running. Again its very much `horses for courses' as I had a lengthy lay off with a knee injury before being prescribed running shoes to correct over-pronation and I also use corrective inserts in my everyday shoes. Since then, touch wood, I have not a serious injury that has required a long recovery. Where I do agree very much with Askwith is in trying to enjoy the moment of running rather than the outcome. Again that maybe is because I feel I am moving into the fifth age of running that he describes where pb's seem increasingly less important as does the use of recording devices, using social media to share my every run and shelling out vast amounts of money on kit when I am not going to improve by any significant amount. Although he touched on it a bit when describing what brought him to running, a chapter on what inspires people to start running (wanting to get fitter, depression, escape etc) would have been instructive.

'Running Free' is an interesting and thought-provoking book containing much that I agree with and some that I don't. I also suspect that younger runners or city dwellers may disagree with even more of it. Perhaps at the rate I am going it will not be long before I join him in the sixth age of running which as he says is rediscovering the simple carefree childish joys of running or running free.


Hidden Seam
Hidden Seam
Price: £10.47

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radio 2 Folk Awards brought me here, 23 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Hidden Seam (Audio CD)
The Radio 2 Folk Awards fortunately happened near my birthday so I've treated myself to a few albums that impressed me from them. I hadn't heard anything by Lisa Knapp before but after listening to 'The Shipping Song' I was mesmerised. I didn't think someone could make singing the shipping areas of the British Isles sound hauntingly beautiful but Lisa Knapp has managed it. There are elements of Bjork and Kate Bush but she has enough unique idiosyncrasy to be completely her own artist. Highly atmospheric and for someone who lives on the coast and loves the sea it conjures up the elements, the seasons and raw nature. It also shows that folk can encompasses many different facets and is one of the most innovative and interesting music genres to be involved and interested in and long may it continue to be so.


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