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Profile for Ms. B. Harper > Reviews

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Ms. B. Harper "Bry" (Flackwell Heath, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom)

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CamelBak Octane XCT Hydration Pack-Blue Fuchsia
CamelBak Octane XCT Hydration Pack-Blue Fuchsia

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, 10 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've owned a few Camelbak bags over the years for cycling and running, but my big niggle was that they always bounced up and down on my back as I ran. Training for a marathon in Australia, I knew that I needed some serious hydration, so I ended up buying this pack. My initial thoughts are how far Camelbak has come over the years - the bladder is so easy to get in/out of the bag, so filling and cleaning it is easy. The hose now detaches from the bladder, which makes cleaning even easier. It has some handy plastic arms, which kind of hold the bag open to let it dry properly too, which is brilliant. Mine always end up looking stained and mouldy, so hopefully I'll manage to clean and dry this one properly!
The reason I chose this particular bag is for the lumber straps, which stop it banging around on my back. It fits really well (I'm 5 ft 6, female, 10 stone). I tried the Camelbak Octane LR, but I just couldn't adjust it small enough to make it comfortable. This one fits brilliantly - I've only run with it once and with the bladder only half full, but it was lightweight, comfortable and to be honest, I forgot I was wearing it.
It's brilliant! The pockets in the lumber straps are brilliant for gels and the back of the back is big enough that should you want this for cycling or hiking, you could get a good deal of stuff in there - phone, wallet, pack-a-mac etc.

A Beginner's Guide To Acting English
A Beginner's Guide To Acting English
by Shappi Khorsandi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant - I couldn't put it down!, 7 July 2009
I'm often a little wary of books written by comedians, they don't always tend to be very good at it. This is a total exception though. Shappi perfectly captures the voice of her child self and you find yourself looking upon her world through a 6 year olds eyes. Her story is touching and funny, but also incredibly accessible. A must read for anyone.

My Name is Daphne Fairfax: A Memoir
My Name is Daphne Fairfax: A Memoir
by Arthur Smith
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Wonderful, 18 May 2009
The memoirs of one Daphne Fairfax are both moving and funny; I know that this is said about every autobiography, but in this instance, it's true. Arthur tells his story with flair and compassion - the reader almost instantly understands his family ties and the excitement of being part of the alternative comedy boom in the 1980s. There is the recognisable trademark humour throughout the whole story (particularly through footnotes and afterthoughts), but perhaps where you are most aware of Arthur's skills as a nuanced writer is through his retelling of Malcom Hardee's funeral. He does not try and make jokes at the expense of worst points of his life or anyone elses come to that, he merely highlights natural humour in a situation. One feels that there is a delicate balance with enough information for the reader to gain a personal insight into the author, but stories and anecdotes are short and succinct (and interesting!)
A must have - I couldn't put this book down!

Paul Merton: Live At The Palladium [VHS] [1994]
Paul Merton: Live At The Palladium [VHS] [1994]

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly alternative variety show, 8 Feb. 2009
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Paul Merton, Lee Simpson and Richard Vranch create and perform a truly unique and alternative variety performance. Throughout the show you'll see stand up, a murder mystery, ice skating, mind reading panto, song and dance, and not like you've seen it before. Paul's surreal humour coupled with his deadpan delivery is immediately transparent throughout the show, particularly in the stand up. This might be the only time you see the infamous Torville and Dean routine performed without any ice, but with a pool table and a baseball bat. After seeing this show, you will never see Cinderella (or the sparsely dressed Richard Vranch) in the same light again! The three comedians create unusual situations and performances, but they always make you laugh (even if it is out of shear wonder and bemusement!) Richard Vranch links the works together with fabulous piano playing (even if the rabbits needed to take a break) and Lee Simpson is a fabulous straight man to Paul in some of the sketches. Although the show very obviously has "Paul Merton" stamped all the way through it, Simpson and Vranch are not just there to set him up for the punchlines; their performances are also outstanding. Perhaps the most memorable is Lee singing I Will Survive in fake Russian, whilst dressed as a chicken!
As half of the Comedy Store Players, these masters of improvisation blend a well scripted, planned show with improvisation. They often stop what they are meant to be doing to go off script, which often creates the funniest moments. They have worked together for years and are not afraid to mercilessly tease one another for a laugh and it is this friendship that makes the show special. When Lee can't play dead because Richard is unrelentingly poking him, Paul spots the perfect opportunity for a joke. Likewise, dressing Richard up as Cinderella creates a huge lapse in concentration from both Lee and Paul.
If you like the Comedy Store Players, then this show is as close as a scripted gig will allow. If you like Paul on Have I Got News For You, then you can already begin to imagine his idea of a variety performance. I'd much rather watch this than a real variety performance!

Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Complete Series 1 And 2 [DVD]
Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Complete Series 1 And 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Clive Anderson

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great trip down memory lane!, 13 Jan. 2009
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If you are used to watching the American remake of this show, be warned! This dvd isn't like that; Clive Anderson doesn't insist on joining in every game (in fact, he resists it at one point), the audience don't laugh on cue - they judge the performers and they laugh when it's funny and the episodes aren't dominated by the same performers all the way through. By not having Ryan, Colin and Wayne (or 3 others) as constant performers, the shows are constantly different as different people work together. At this time the show was still in it's infancy and with John Sessions as a regular, it was less populist and more intellectual, but don't let that put you off! He was a fine mimic and could perform in any theatre style, the show simply moved in another direction.
This dvd encapsulates a journey from the humble beginnings of the show; in the pilot episode and a lot of the first series you can see the producers playing about putting different games in to see what would work and what wouldn't. This is the same with performers - when they found some comics who worked exceptionally well together, they used this to the best of it's ability; such as Paul Merton and Josie Lawrence (who already worked together onstage) or Mike McShane and Sandi Toksvig.
With a fine list of regulars including John Sessions, Paul Merton, Josie Lawrence, Tony Slattery, Sandi Toksvig, Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops and Mike McShane and an enviable list of guests including Griff Rhys Jones, Arthur Smith, Neil Mullarkey, Peter Cook and Stephen Fry the dvd set offers a huge amount of variety. Whilst some episodes are not as fluent or consistently funny as others, it is more than made up for in other episodes.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 30, 2009 7:14 PM GMT

Sony Walkman NWZ-S639FB 16GB Drag & Drop MP4 Video Player with FM Tuner - Black
Sony Walkman NWZ-S639FB 16GB Drag & Drop MP4 Video Player with FM Tuner - Black

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Little mp3 Player!, 30 Dec. 2008
I have had an old, battered Sony Walkman for about four years and knew it desperately needed replacing, but I was loathed to replace when everything was much more expensive and frankly, not as good. I had the Sony NWA1000V 6 GB HDD Walkman - Violet and for ages they didn't offer anything that had more memory that wasn't phenomenally expensive. However, when Sony re-released this Walkman without the battery-eating and useless Bluetooth function (why create a walkman with immaculate sound to lose it all through wireless headphones?!) I jumped at the chance and bought it.
Stylistically, it is great - it's not bold and flashy, but is simple and classy. It is tiny and wafer thin, which scares me a little (I'm a big oaf!) but I know from my past Walkman that Sony make long lasting equipment. It is equally as stylish once you've turned it on - with attractive screensavers and wallpapers, it feels like a nice piece of kit.
Practically, this is a hundred times easier to use than any of Sony's past endeavours; we no longer need SonicStage! You can add files to the player in so many different ways. I've struggled to edit the albums and artists if you just drag and drop the files, but you can do that in Windows Media Player anyway. Thankfully, Sony has stopped insisting on converting all of your music files to ATRAC or .omg to stop you being able to do anything else with your music, which was a real pain if you connected your walkman to more than one PC. I was over the moon that Sony seem to have given up on their flawed software and concentrated on what they do best - amazing technology and equipment.
There is no way that I use this player to the best of it's ability - I'm a bit of a technophobe and wouldn't know where to start when altering any sound quality on it. I use the player for mostly music, but also a number of spoken radio shows, many of which are old and poor quality recordings. The musical quality is obviously phenomenal, but so is the quality of the old radio shows - it's so much clearer on the Walkman than it is on my laptop or PC.
It would have been nice for Sony to bundle a few more bits; specifically, a mains charger. But Sony accessories are a lot easier to come across these days and you can buy a plug adapter thing for under £10 on Amazon. The bundled earphones are absolutely fantastic - they even make my friends Ipod sound good!
Overall, I'm really pleased with my new bit of kit - it's so easy to use and so nice to listen to. I didn't expect to use the video function on it simply because it's not why I wanted it, but it is actually easy to do and good to watch.

Bullet Points
Bullet Points
by Mark Watson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, thought provoking and extremely enjoyable., 24 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Bullet Points (Paperback)
I purchased this book off the back of all the good reviews it has got, and as rarely happens in this case, it did not disappoint!
The reader can instantly relate to Peter (the narrator) and the relationship built between him and the reader as the novel progresses is a fascinating one. Essentially, he talks the reader through his childhood (briefly) and his subsequent life, pinpointing certain cases in his career. The ending is a shocker, but it is not wholly unexpected as any other ending would have been totally wrong for the characterisation of Peter. By ending the novel with a note from Richard, Watson leaves the reader questioning who was correct - the narrator who we have trusted throughout the book, or his friend who outshone him at every opportunity.
If I had read this without knowing the author, I would never have guessed it was a (then) 23 year old comedian! It is a hundred times more accomplished than most could ever hope for, let alone in a first book!

Dara O'Briain - Live [DVD] [2006]
Dara O'Briain - Live [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Dara O'Briain
Price: £2.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best stand up DVD in my collection, 25 Oct. 2008
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I bought this dvd simply because I'm a big comedy fan and love a lot of stand up. Having seen Dara on a plethora of tv programmes including Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You, I knew very little about his actual stand up, but went for it. His performance is absolutely mind blowing, from start to finish there is barely a weak moment. He moves from theme to theme with ease and barely a join. Add to this, a barrage of strongly written, brilliantly performed material and an amazing ability to improvise and chat to the audience and you're beginning to scratch the surface of this DVD!! If you only buy one dvd, buy this one :)

Bodies : The Complete BBC Collection Box Set [2004] [DVD]
Bodies : The Complete BBC Collection Box Set [2004] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Max Beesley

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, shocking, addictive!, 20 Mar. 2008
I'm sure I could do a better job than the BBC execs who decided to axe this show. It makes Holby City/Casualty look like a game; Bodies is a gripping and dark representation of NHS hospitals today. The cast are fantastic and make this programme what it is; Neve Macintosh, Max Beesley, Patrick Baladi, Keith Allen and Tamzin Malleson complement and work off one another perfectly. I cannot fault this programme, you will find it shocking and disturbing, but at the same time, you will not be able to turn it off. As the second series progresses, the focus shifts as the hospital grows. However, this progression is handled well and seems entirely natural; the finale also works pretty well seeing as there was a fairly big gap between the filming of series 2 and the finale. On first viewing of the finale, you are left feeling slightly dissatisfied, but this is on purpose and entirely fitting with the programme.

Green Wing: Special [DVD] [2006]
Green Wing: Special [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Tamsin Greig
Price: £16.25

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I haven't watched this since I bought it., 3 Dec. 2007
I watched this on tv (and had already ordered the DVD). Then I had to watch it again because I felt I was being unfair to judge it entirely on one viewing. It is brilliantly funny as ever, but essentially the storyline is flawed. They spent so long playing around with who Caroline loved that by this point I thought if she doesn't know, then she doesn't really love either of them!! You lost all compassion and empathy for Caroline as it became apparent that there was no real turmoil in her head, just no feelings. They couldn't please everyone with the ending, but by doing what they did, they have pleased very few people. If I had to watch this again, I would only watch it with the alternative ending. But still, spend your money on something else instead - Spaced, Darkplace or The Boosh.

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