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Known to Social Services
Known to Social Services
by Freya Barrington
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but cardboard characters., 26 Mar. 2015
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This is an excellent book, well written, and the author has tackled the various "threads" of the story very well, I found it easy to follow where the story was up to on each person.

My only complaint is that the book reads very much as an advert for social services. Throughout the book, if the social worker wants to take an action and can't, for whatever reason, they will be proved to have been right. Any hunch the social worker has? 100% right.

In fact, right through the book, social services make no mistakes, they are just frustrated by everyone else on the planet.

The book is enjoyable for all that, but I felt that I was reading a children's story, one where the main characters are either black or white, angels or demons, and they all serve merely to illustrate how wonderful social workers really are.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 3, 2015 3:05 PM BST

When love is not enough
When love is not enough
Price: £2.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The fight to get help for a child with problems., 9 Feb. 2015
The story of an adoption that failed, mainly due to the lack of support provided by the authorities.

The author says that the law has changed, now social services have to share information about the child with their adoptive parents. It is amazing that Social Services ever felt it OK not to do so.

Does the fact the law has changed make this a book that is no longer relevant? I don't believe so, many of the events that happened in the book are still happening to families today. The books talks about the way that Social Services find a problem very important while it is "the parent's problem", but it suddenly is not a major problem when they should be dealing with it; the way schools try to force parents to "discipline" their "difficult" children by using public humiliation as a tool; the way innocent sounding meetings suddenly turn into an attack on the parents.

It also talks about the way that a child that is "different" in their behaviour can mean exclusion from a whole community.

I found it a book that I could not put down, it makes you want to keep reading it.

The book would have benefited from a proofreader, there are a few sentences that don't make sense, some interesting punctuation, etc, but it does not detract from the ability of the story to "pull you in", to find out what happens in the end.

Of course the "end" is still being lived now, and is unlikely to end well - support needs to be given to children as young as possible, and the cost to our society of not having provided help when the child was a toddler are enormous, both in actual costs, and the lost cost of the contribution this child could have made to our society if she had been helped. In that sense, it is a story of missed opportunities.

Deadly 60 3D Anatomical Model Red Knee Tarantula
Deadly 60 3D Anatomical Model Red Knee Tarantula

2.0 out of 5 stars Badly made, and not much information., 3 Feb. 2015
This was very difficult to put together, my 16 year old daughter could not put the legs on as they were so stiff, and the instructions are awful, a single black and white sheet of paper.

Given that most of us don't know much about the inside of a spider, I feel that this model is let down by the lack of information about what the parts represent. I ended up using various websites, and trying to match the pictures to the model, a simple booklet that kept to the same colour code would have been a lot easier.

I love the idea, but the kit needs to be better made so that the legs actually fit, and more information about what the various bits are would be appreciated.

6 x OSRAM 40W BC B22 Clear Standard Classic GLS Light Bulbs, Bayonet Cap, Incandescent Lamps, 410 Lumen, Mains 240V, Globes
6 x OSRAM 40W BC B22 Clear Standard Classic GLS Light Bulbs, Bayonet Cap, Incandescent Lamps, 410 Lumen, Mains 240V, Globes

5.0 out of 5 stars They light up the room., 12 Jan. 2015
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I bought these because we needed light bulbs.You know how it is, you turn the light on, every evening, taking these round globes of glass for granted, and then, one day. you realise that the room is not as bright as it was.

I am not sure what gave me the idea of getting more light bulbs, but the idea occurred to me as a was flat on the floor, nose embedded in the tiles, having just tripped over the invisible cat. I also realised that we needed our first aid box topping up with plasters about the same time.

Anyway, I ordered these, as they look like the bulbs that were in those light in the first place, they even have the same magic numbers and letters on them, which I assume are the instructions to the electricity. As the electricity did the right thing with the old bulbs, that struck me like an excellent idea.

When they arrived, I could have played snap with these, they matched the old bulbs so well, other than the old bulbs were black, and has loose bits of filament in them.

So, I put them in the light fitting, and then turned the switch on, and they gave out light. Suddenly, the cat is once again visible, and the floor is not rushing up to meet my face. Given that is what I wanted, that was good.

These have now been in place, and forgotten, for 4 months. I switch the light on, and the light comes on, and I can totally forget that we ever needed new light bulbs.

These are recommended for anyone who prefers sitting in the light.

Fitness-Mad Fitness-Mad 40cm Adjustable Wobble Board - Black
Fitness-Mad Fitness-Mad 40cm Adjustable Wobble Board - Black
Offered by Martin Berrill Sports
Price: £18.75

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more fun than it looks., 11 Jan. 2015
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Maybe before I start I should own up to being overweight, unfit, and the sort of person who can fall over a shadow. So, you are not going to see me in the Olympics any time soon, however, A&E, having fallen off the one step outside the back door, is almost a certainty.

I find this brilliant fun. So far, I have not managed to fall off it, the plastic base gives a reasonable amount of grip, even when I am wearing socks. Neither is the angle with the floor large enough to make it impossible to stand on, which is useful, because I spend most of the time with one of the edges on the floor.

Still, it gave the children a good laugh, and I am feeling very proud of myself, as I am now finally managing two seconds of balance before the rim hits the floor. As we have hard floors, it does so with a noticeable click, and that us starting to get complaints from the children, as the constant noise of mum failing to balance is irritating. Maybe I need to get a doughnut shaped piece of rubber to cushion the noise?

As a muscle workout, it is great. I am building up abdominal muscles from laughing, and leg muscles from attempting to balance. Not yet noticed anything on the back muscles, but I am sure that they will join in the general complaining of other muscles soon.

I certainly recommend this as a beginners fitness tool, I keep it in front of the tv, and it is surprising how much exercise I get while watching tv.

Crap CVs
Crap CVs
by Jenny Crompton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.26

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent present for my husband, 9 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Crap CVs (Paperback)
I bought this as a present for my husband, who did not seem that pleased with it. However, it was on the sofa, he had taken all his other books upstairs, so he started reading.

My husband does not normally laugh out loud when reading a book. I have also never known him want to read bits of a book to me. I just went to read the book, only to find that he has taken it to work, for use at lunchtime.

Quite frankly, if I could give more than 5 stars, I would, my husband does not normally find books funny, and any book that appeals must therefore be special. A book that is an excellent present for a man who is involved in recruitment, or interviewing, as they are likely to have stories to add as well.

Lamaze Push Along Peanut the Elephant
Lamaze Push Along Peanut the Elephant
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very lovable little elephant, 6 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is marked as from 9 months, but it has black and white patterns on that would work with the youngest baby. It has rattling wheels, crinkly ears, a squeak - it is a toy that has a lot to explore, and it will last. Of course he is also a nice cuddly friend, even with the wheels, and that trunk is just made for pulling.

I would recommend it as a gift for a younger baby if you don't know what else they might be given - it is designed for an older child, but has value from the very start, even when it is merely an ornament for baby to practise focussing on.

Pets in a Pickle (Prospect House 1)
Pets in a Pickle (Prospect House 1)
by Malcolm D. Welshman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Too much information about the author, not enough about the animals, 6 Jan. 2015
I suppose James Herriot was always going to be a hard act to follow, and normally I would feel it unfair to compare, but in this case, given that the author is seeking the James Herriot connection - sorry, he does not come close.

James Herriot comes over as warm, caring, and I wanted to know that he was OK, but this author did not make a connection with me. I really don't care where he has private time with his women, or how many decibels are produced, and don't expect that sort of information in a book that looks, from the cover, like the sort of book one might happily give to a teenager.

The actual vet stories were interesting, but I felt there was too much of the authors fantasies and personal life - and I mean very personal life, not details about his pets.

Not recommended, to me the constant references to the authors fantasy life spoiled the book.

Dwarf Orange Tree 40cm
Dwarf Orange Tree 40cm
Offered by Fletching Glasshouses
Price: £25.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific little plant, very healthy and very even., 6 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Dwarf Orange Tree 40cm
This arrived in a massive box, looking more like the real thing, not at all a miniature. Unwrapping it showed a very well wrapped small tree, a lovely regular shape with lots of small oranges.

I was impressed with the care that had been taken with this little tree, and it showed, despite having been shipped in December it was happy when it got here, and carried on growing on the windowsill.

I would certainly recommend this, and the actual plant is a lot nicer than the one in the photograph, more bushy, more oranges, and more even.

Applaws Cat Food Pot Multipack Chicken Selection, 8x60g(pack of 2)
Applaws Cat Food Pot Multipack Chicken Selection, 8x60g(pack of 2)
Price: £16.77

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The cats' favourite food!, 5 Jan. 2015
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My cats think these are great. I like the fact that they are small portions, so they eat (pretty much) the whole lot, there is not much waste when feeding these. I also like the fact that there are no meaty plates to clean up, so I feel that feeding these is a treat for me as well.

They are a little watery, but I feel that is an advantage, as I find that cats are not great at drinking,and it is a sneaky way of getting some liquid into them. The food looks better than the sandwich filling in many cafés, it is possible to see that the ingredients really are as stated.

If I let the furry gang choose, they would eat only these.

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