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DrLMK "LMK79" (United Kingdom)

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Cambridge Blue: The astonishing murder mystery debut
Cambridge Blue: The astonishing murder mystery debut
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
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
Offered by All Mall Shop
Price: £12.34

12 of 20 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 Lilylisa
Price: £10.99

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.

CalmingBreath Folding Meditation Stool in Walnut
CalmingBreath Folding Meditation Stool in Walnut

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully crafted product, 8 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been looking everywhere for the perfect kneeling stool after finding that I could sit still for over an hour without getting at all uncomfortable, and without having to fidget or move around, when I used one on a retreat. I'd been looking for over a year before I heard about 'Calming Breath'.

After reading all the 5* reviews on Amazon I was persuaded to buy the 'Calming Breath Folding Meditation Stool.' I chose the walnut finish but it comes in other woods too, such as oak.

The product has really exceeded my expectations. It is high quality, beautifully crafted and with real attention to detail. The designer has clearly put a lot of thought in and obviously takes pride in producing quality work. The stool even comes with a little leaflet showing you the correct way to use it. I can now sit for ages without pain/numbness/tingling/discomfort/fidgeting. It has enhanced my prayer/meditation experience no end because I find myself growing still and centered very quickly and easily, and I remain that way for as long as I choose.

The fact that the stool legs fold away makes it practical and easy to store/transport. I'm going on retreat again in a week and I shall take the 'Calming Breath' meditation stool with me in my travel bag, and spread the word.

I'm so happy with the quality of this product that I'm going to save up for another one to give to my mum.

Black Shuck: The Devil's Dog
Black Shuck: The Devil's Dog
by Piers Warren
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Dark matter, 27 Feb. 2012
I grew up in the Glaven Valley and have spent a few long and cold winter nights in the Watch House myself, so I was really keen to read this re-imagining of our local Black Shuck legend.

Assuming, from the cover art, that it was a children's book I was totally unprepared for just how scary and gripping the story became. The sense of the supernatural made chillingly real and tangible reminded me of 'Dark Matter' by Michelle Paver, which terrified me in a similar way. Both are ghost stories, and both share a sense of remote isolation heightened by a cold, bleak Northern landscape.

Perhaps because of my own experience of being snowed-in at the Watch House during a freezing week in February, and of shivering infront of the driftwood fire trying to dry my sopping wet snow-covered clothes, the story was a bit too real!

The Dawn Herald (The Three Worlds Saga Book 1)
The Dawn Herald (The Three Worlds Saga Book 1)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like entering another world, 7 Feb. 2012
Picking up 'The Dawn Herald' is to enter another world (or three), and to stay immersed in a compelling saga that sweeps the reader through time and space, through generations of blood ties and blood feuds, and through epic battles between good and evil.

The story begins with a child quite unlike other children; the mysterious Charis. Why do the other children call Charis' mother, Isolde, a witch? Why does Charis' body glow in the dark? And what is the meaning of her strange crescent moon shaped birthmark? One day Isolde begins to tell her daughter a tale that will answer the question of Charis' true identity, and explain her fate. But Charis' fate, like her mother's before her, is bound to that of the Three Worlds. Only by accepting their fates can Charis and Isolde alter the destiny of their world; only they can access power that will stop the forces of darkness and evil.

Charis learns that her mother, a Princess in the land of Gerena in the Tertiary World, has been chosen for a special office, that of The Dawn Herald: Princess Isolde must sing as dawn breaks across the Tertiary World. Without the Herald's song the sky will crack and darkness will reign. But Isolde is brutally betrayed by those closest to her, another usurps her place and the sky falls. Isolde flees the only land she has known and must gather together an army prepared to fight for all they hold dear.

'The Dawn Herald' is an impressive literary debut which creates a world as convincing and as detailed as Gormenghast or Narnia. Indeed, comparisons may well be made to Mervyn Peake, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling in terms of the intensity of the author's imaginative vision, philosophical and theological breadth and scope, and easy narrative flow, but for all that L.B. Mara is an utterly new and original voice.

'The Dawn Herald' will enthrall children and adults alike, and will take its reader on an unforgettable flight of imagination and suspense.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars A classic from perfumier Jacques Cavallier, 3 Nov. 2011
Created in 2001 under the creative direction of Tom Ford, Nu was launched with little fuss but instantly became a hit with top critics who hailed it a classic. It is a woman's fragrance, and a complex and intelligent woman's at that. Therefore Nu failed to appeal to the mass-market and did not shift massive units on the high street (which some might see as a blessing), although it became a cult hit with those in the know. Short-sightedly, YSL discontinued Nu and Nu has since been selling online at vastly inflated prices.

If Nu was a fictional character it would be Pushkin's Tatyana: introverted, mysterious,bookish, complex, prone to hanging out amongst the birch trees and gazing at the dusky sunset. If Nu were edible, it would be Lapsang Souchong tea: woody, smoky, distinctive. If Nu were a star sign, it would be Cancerian: sea deep, moony and moody, soft inside but hard on the outside. The packaging beautifully reflects this aspect of its character.

I prefer the stronger Eau de Parfum to the watered down Eau de Toilette, thought that is always a matter of personal taste. The EdP comes out strong and dark, but lasts all day (a sign of a good perfume), gradually retiring and changing as it warms on the skin. The name 'Nu' would imply 'nude' and there is certainly something intimate and basic about this fragrance. Base notes last and develop intimately whilst the top notes disappear over the first hour or so.

This perfume is for a woman who reveals herself slowly, who knows who she is but likes to let others guess. She has a dark side, but a warmth too. Her femininity is strong and earthy, not sweetly floral. She is introverted but sure of herself, intelligent and deep.

As of writing this review (3.11.11) I heard rumours that 'Nu' was relaunched by YSL and is currently on sale at Harrods, though the rumours have yet to be confirmed. If true, it would be excellent news because Jacques Cavallier created a classic when he made Nu for YSL.

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