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DrLMK "LMK79" (United Kingdom)

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Is It Just Me?
Is It Just Me?
by Miranda Hart
Edition: Audio CD

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What I call laugh out loud funny. Such Fun!, 6 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Is It Just Me? (Audio CD)
Well hello to you my dear review-reader chum hello please thanking you.
I would definitely recommend getting the audiobook because Miranda reads it so well -- it's like listening to a seven hour episode of 'Miranda'.
I should warn you though: if you're listening to it on your ipod on the train or at the gym, you *will* laugh out loud uncontrollably and people *will* look at you weirdly.

Inspired to Knit: Creating Exquisite Handknits
Inspired to Knit: Creating Exquisite Handknits
by Michele Rose Orne
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, 26 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I don't often buy pattern books because I so rarely like the majority of patterns in the book, but 'Inspired to Knit' is the exception. It is beautifully laid out, with just the right amount of text. It contains stunning pictures infused with the atmosphere and natural beauty of the author's home in Maine, New England. Everything about this book says 'quality', as fans of Interweave Press have come to appreciate.

It is divided into sections by the theme of the four seasons. "To me, the knitter's year begins in autumn", writes Michele Rose Orne, before giving her reader some breath-taking patterns for autumn cardigans in hues of gold and orangey browns. Out of the projects for each season, there are guaranteed to be one or two that you will want to knit. The stand-out projects for me are 'Shimmer Lace Shrug', 'Winter Wonderland Coat' (which has a popular following on Ravelry.com), 'Whisper Cuff Cardigan', 'Victorian Lace Blouse' and 'Wedding Ensemble'. There are just so many projects the reader will feel excited about knitting, and styles for every level of experience.

But the reader is not only given lots of patterns, she is also encouraged to start designing. In a series of 'design workshops' Michele Rose Orne leads the reader through her own creative process as a designer: "Most of my ideas come from nature, fashion, history, and art. I love to collect natural objects, pieces of vintage textiles, and loads of books ... I take walks in the woods and along the beach. I do all of this to gain inspiration." She recommends the reader to do the same: "Go outside and take a really close look at nature. Stroll along a beach and collect shells, rocks, sea glass, and driftwood. Take a walk in a forest, field, or garden and pay attention to the leaves, flowers, moss, and bark." Orne offers advice about choosing a colour palette, how to make a "creative swatch" where you can test your ideas out in yarn, and how to make a working pattern. This is all followed up with a good bibliography to help the knitter taking her first steps into the world of knitwear design.

I am so glad I bought this book and it will definitely be one of the most treasured and well-used in my knitting library. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book in particular, and Interweave Press in general, to other knitters.

Magnetic Pocket Wallet Chess Set
Magnetic Pocket Wallet Chess Set
Offered by Chess and Bridge
Price: £4.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for knowing it's there, not so great when using it, 26 Sept. 2012
I was looking for a travel set for emergencies, like when I'm on the London train and there's some inexplicable and unexpected delay. That's when I need a chess set to whip out and take my mind out of the situation. This is the set for those occasions.
This set is slim and slips easily into a pocket or my handbag, so I know it's always there. It's on the heavy side due to the weight of the magnets, which you only feel when it's added to the collective weight of a handbag rather than as an individual item. But personally I'd rather carry that extra weight in my bag and know it's there should I need it.
The pieces are magnetic discs that pop out of a card, and so are quite fiddly and easy to lose. They are about the size of a fingernail. Therein lies a word of warning to parents: I whipped my set out on a long train journey when I'd exhausted every other avenue with the kids: said kids were more fascinated by popping the discs in and out of the card than by the game itself. I only turned my head for a second and the kids had pinged the discs all over the train and other passengers, to be irrevocably lost.
It's not the kind of set I would choose to play with, and it's very fiddly, but it's good to know it's there.
When there are no kids around at least!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 19, 2015 10:20 PM GMT

Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son
Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son
by Martin Sheen
Edition: Hardcover

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An autobiography with a difference, 23 Jun. 2012
I was really surprised by what a great read this was. It's an autobiography with a difference. There's a lot of love, life and truth in the experiences of Martin Sheen (aka Ramon Estevez) and his son Emilio Estevez, from Martin Sheen's beginnings as a struggling actor with a young family to support to his adventures in the Phillipines on the set of Apocalypse Now. The story charts the ups and downs of family life, and of trying to find one's vocation and of defining one's true self within community. I was left feeling grateful to Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez for sharing their life lessons, which were ultimately enriching and spiritually uplifting. There were a lot of profound messages in the book, particularly in lieu of Sheen & Estevez's experiences filming Ghandhi in India. I was sad to finish the book and leave the Estevez clan behind. Both father and son came across as enlightened and sound individuals with enormous personal integrity, whom it would be a pleasure to meet. It was a pleasure to spend time in their company through this book.

Cambridge Blue
Cambridge Blue
by Alison Bruce
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thin and two-dimensional, 8 May 2012
This review is from: Cambridge Blue (Paperback)
I picked up 'Cambridge Blue' in a Cambridge bookshop and thought it looked like my cup of tea (I love a murder mystery, and even better if it's set in my home town) so bought a copy, and at £7.99 it wasn't cheap. The first 50 pages were quite good and I was gripped as the characters were introduced and the story got going. But then it fell flat; the characters didn't really go anywhere, they were a bit thin and two-dimensional, and I just wasn't interested in their fates. It's probably quite telling that I was so uninterested that I fell asleep twenty pages from the end, before the big reveal. To be honest, I got nothing from the book that I couldn't have got from a 45 minute TV episode - it was the same level of 'TV murder mystery lite'. I think DC Gary Goodhew would work well on telly but he's a bit of a cardboard cut-out on the page. In many ways, the Cambridge backdrop took centre stage, and it doesn't say much for character and plot that the scenery was more interesting!

I'm guessing that the reader is supposed to like the main detective, but I felt nothing for Gary Goodhew. He reminded me of my first boyfriend, who was smug, rigid in his views, and immature. That Goodhew is some kind of maverick is also ridiculous. I know nothing about police procedure, but even I can tell he would have been sacked on day one for going awol. Really, you just want to slap him.

I know that it doesn't matter much to modern readers these days and I'll probably get called 'elitist' for saying it, but there were spelling mistakes in the book. 'Definitely' was 'definately.' If it had happened only once you could dismiss it as a typo, but the mistake was repeated. It reflects badly on the author if she can't spell, and even worse on the editor and proof readers (shame on you Constable & Robinson publishers). Most people these days don't think spelling matters but I teach English literature and I'm shocked by the low level of basic literacy I encounter in my students' work. Standards are there to be upheld, especially by publishers and printers of the English language.
[NB. since publishing this review, the author commented so please read comment section too]

And what was the 'Soundtrack' list at the back all about? I don't care what pop songs the author was listening to as she wrote the book! It has no bearing on anything! A judicious editor would have curbed that self-indulgent instinct in an author and saved inconsequential information like that for the website, which more interested readers might then visit.

If Alison Bruce brings out a sequel to 'Cambridge Blue' I'm *definItely* getting it from the library, not wasting £8 of my hard-earned cash.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 3, 2013 10:43 PM BST

Bional Butchers Broom, Horse Chestnut and Vine 40 Capsules
Bional Butchers Broom, Horse Chestnut and Vine 40 Capsules
Price: £11.33

11 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effective relief from aching legs, 8 May 2012
I bought these capsules from a health food shop along with the Bional V-Nal cream for legs. I wasn't really sure what, if anything, it could do to help relieve my aching legs, and so put the box on my shelf and forgot about it for a while. But I was having a clear out and didn't want to throw the capsules away since they cost money, so resolved to use them instead. Since I've been taking them I have noticed a massive improvement in my legs. I can be on my feet for hours but the resulting leg ache, whilst not gone completely, is definitely reduced. I don't know how V-Nal works, whether it thins the blood or improves circulation or something, but it definitely works.

L'Oreal Paris Age Perfect Fortifying Day Cream 50ml
L'Oreal Paris Age Perfect Fortifying Day Cream 50ml
Offered by Gans concept
Price: £12.29

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for mature skin, 1 May 2012
I bought this as a treat for my Mum, as her 60th birthday approaches, but she was really offended (even though it cost me a small fortune!) so rather than waste all that money I decided to put the cream on my shelf in keeping for when my usual moisturiser ran out. The product has been developed for mature skin so I was a bit hesitant about using it since I'm only in my 30s, but I was really surprised when people started commenting on how great my skin was looking. Using this cream was the only thing I'd altered in my skincare routine. If my mum hadn't rejected it, I'd never have discovered it.

It has a rich texture - heavier than other creams I've used - but it disappears into the skin very quickly and doesn't leave any greasiness behind. It left my skin feeling smooth and deeply hydrated, and the effects lasted for hours.

Hopefully if I use it for the next 30 years of my life I'll end up looking like Jane Fonda! :-)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 16, 2013 5:46 PM GMT

John Dowland: Lachrimae (Remastered)
John Dowland: Lachrimae (Remastered)
Price: £5.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes 'new' doesn't necessarily mean 'better', 18 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I came across this 1958 recording of Dowland's 'Lachrimae' when going through my dad's vinyl records. It has a real warmth of tone. In some of the more recent recordings of 'Lachrimae' I find that the enhanced digital sound actually detracts from the overall sound because the tone of each individual instrument is thickened (if that makes sense) so that you miss the subtle interplay between all the instruments. In this recording with Thurston Dart & Philomusica of London each instrument has room to breathe, and the result is really beautiful.


5.0 out of 5 stars Genius Product., 8 Mar. 2012
I love Jiffy-7's; they are the perfect invention. Total genius.
They come flat packed, in a little cardboard box and all you do is soak them in water for a few minutes when - bingo! - they pop up to form the perfect little growing pod, all neatly contained and ready to go. They even have a small depression in the centre so you know exactly where to sow your seed and how deep.

For ease of use and efficiency the Jiffy-7 really can't be beaten, in my experience. They're easy to move around and don't make a mess. Kids love them too. You don't have to haul heavy bags of compost around, or do any pricking out.
I get a high germination rate when I use Jiffy 7's (as compared to seed trays). Last year I got 100% germination on the tomato and geranium seeds that I sowed in Jiffy-7s. I'm a total convert now and use them for pretty much everything except sweet-peas (for which I use deep root-trainers): I no longer bother with messy fiddly seed trays or individual little pots.

A few words of warning:
Sometimes the 'stocking' can obstruct a germinating sprout. I always make sure the stocking isn't obstructing any area at the top where the seed might sprout, and once the seed has germinated and formed roots I sometimes strip the stocking off entirely before potting on (which is easy because you just lift them, whole and entire, into the destination pot).
Also, if you use Jiffy-7's in plastic 'Sow & Grow' windowsill trays (I've seen them sold like this in a few garden centres) there is a greater risk of damping off, but it's nothing that a bit of Cheshunt Compound won't sort out in my experience.

Like I say, I'm a total convert now to Jiffy-7's and won't use anything else in the growing season.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2012 3:31 PM GMT

Panasonic ES2067 - Wet & Dry Shaver Triple Disc (Our ref: ES2067)
Panasonic ES2067 - Wet & Dry Shaver Triple Disc (Our ref: ES2067)

4.0 out of 5 stars It's good but I prefer Braun Silk-Epil, 8 Mar. 2012
I was given this epilator for Christmas and it was a bit of step up from my old Braun epilator. For a start, it's got two epilator heads and a shaver head. What's more, you can use it in the shower/bath. Infact you can use it wet or dry, your choice.
But for some reason I find it a tiny bit more painful than the Braun Silk-Epil (which now comes in wet & dry models too). It might be something to do with the triple rotating maw of death, which looks and feels a bit worse than a straightforward row of tweezers like you get on most epilators.

That said, I did manage to withstand using it on my face when I used the narrower 'facial head', which is something I *never* thought I would do with an electric epilator! It left the delicate and sensitive skin around my lips nicely smooth and blemish free.

It is quieter than other epilators I've used, which is good because there's nothing worse than nosy housemates coming to see what the noise is and finding you in the middle of de-fuzzing :-)

But I think that when its time comes I will probably replace it with a Braun Silk-Epil and not another Panasonic, just because of the pain factor.

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