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Reviews Written by
The Navigator "thenavigator" (London, UK)

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Tower T13004 Coffee Grinder
Tower T13004 Coffee Grinder
Price: £20.98

5.0 out of 5 stars a kitchen essential, well designed and effective, 4 Sept. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This useful device is more or less a copy of the Braun equivalent, at least on the inside.

The works consists of a stainless bowl with a spinning blade which can grind coffee, of in my case other spices. As a coffee grinder it is limited by not being able to select the fine or coarseness of the grind. In practice you get a fine grind suitable for expresso, which personally i am happy to use in other devices too. If you need to control the size of the grind you need a more expensive burr grinder, but that is a limitation of this kind of machine and not a criticism of this particular machine.

I use it for spices, typically for Indian cookery and i've found it very effective - as good as the Braun version (and a considerable improvement on the very similar looking, but considerably less effective James Martin version.)

I like cooking by hand and have a limited use for gadgets and machines, but this one i regard as near essential


Salter Waterproof Electronic Kitchen Scales, Sleek Black Design, Easy to Keep Clean, Stylish Kitchen Accessory with Digital LED Display, Measure in Metric or Imprerial Weight and Volume for Liquids with Aquatronic Feature - Black
Salter Waterproof Electronic Kitchen Scales, Sleek Black Design, Easy to Keep Clean, Stylish Kitchen Accessory with Digital LED Display, Measure in Metric or Imprerial Weight and Volume for Liquids with Aquatronic Feature - Black
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A decent scale from a reliable maker, 4 Sept. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Salter has a well deserved reputation for electronic scales and this is another good machine.

It is waterproof - always useful in the kitchen, although to keep the battery compartment watertight you do have to remove four fiddly screws - but this is a once a year job.

Also useful is it changes easily to different units including measuring water in ml (though by now we should really all know 1ml is 1g)

Less likeable is the plastic finish which feels and looks cheap and which i would not expect on quite expensive scales. the scooped out top allows small quantities of things like nuts to be easily measured, though may make it more difficult to balance pans or larger items on the scale.

All in a ll a decent and useful scale from a reliable maker, but i confess i had hoped for a more polished product.


PaperPro - EPS8HD-220V-GB - PencilPro Office Electric Pencil Sharpener, Black
PaperPro - EPS8HD-220V-GB - PencilPro Office Electric Pencil Sharpener, Black
Price: £26.75

5.0 out of 5 stars A large heavy duty pencil sharpener. ideal for schools rather than individuals, 4 Sept. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a heavy duty pencil sharpener. It is large and heavy and plugs into the mains. I'd imagined a little thing to sit unobtrusively in the corner of my desk, and whilst such things exist, this is not it.

It would be ideal for a school or similar setting where a large number of pencils need sharpening, and the "thermal overload protector" suggests that this kind of " industrial " use is what it is intended for..

it sharpens reasonably quickly, but not exceptionally so: echoing another reviewer - sharpens 6 times faster than what? usefully it has a stop so that when the pencil is sharp it cannot be pushed in any further. thus not allowing my schoolboy entertainment of sharpening pencils until they disappear into shavings altogether. I was unable to test the claim of longlasting blades, but given the industrial nature of the beast i would certainly hope that was true


The Econocracy: On the Perils of Leaving Economics to the Experts
The Econocracy: On the Perils of Leaving Economics to the Experts
by Joe Earle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vital book for our times, 2 Aug. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"Economics is inherently bundled up with politics and ethics" say the authors in their final chapter, which might stand as a summary of their work.

This book is an important argument about the unthinking use of economics to determine public policy. It accuses economists of explaining the world through mathematical models which come from a particular (and often naive) viewpoint and which ignore the philosophies (which may be very partisan) that underpin them. It makes the point that qualitative measures as well as the usual quantative ones are necessary to get a full picture of the problem.

An example they use is of measuring "cost effectiveness" which may be done from a very blinkered point of view not taking into account the much wider societal contexts and wider effects of any particular policy. This is a charge one can particularly level against the current orthodoxy of neo-liberalism which says "there is no alternative" (copyright: M. Thatcher) when it is quite clearly only one of a number of ways of running an economy against a number of possible alternatives. We see that currently where "austerity" is the only acceptable way out of the present financial mess when there is p0lenty of evidence that less austere solutions would be less damaging to the economy and peoples lives and lead to faster recvery.

The authors are particularly interested to influence the way the next generation of economists is taught and they propose a curriculum to acheive these changes

A vital book for our times


Panasonic ER-GB52 Wet&Dry Beard and Body Trimmer (19x cutting lenghts, Body attachment)
Panasonic ER-GB52 Wet&Dry Beard and Body Trimmer (19x cutting lenghts, Body attachment)
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the business, 2 Aug. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Absolutely the business. I've recently acquired a beard and for the time being have been using a Wahl trimmer. There is simply no comparison with this one in terms of smoothness, adjustability and simplicity of use. it shaves nice and cleanly and doesn't jam (painfully!) in your beard as a competitor's does!

Plenty of use out of a single charge. Wouldn't use anything else now.


PaperPro - PS1-BLUE-EU - Twist-n-Sharp Manual Pencil Sharpener, Blue
PaperPro - PS1-BLUE-EU - Twist-n-Sharp Manual Pencil Sharpener, Blue
Price: £2.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely designed with useful features, 2 Aug. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
OK so its just a pencil sharpener, but its nicely designed and with a unique (i think) feature of offering you a sharp or a blunt point. Its certainly true that you don't always want a needle sharp point, so i think this will come in handy from time to time.
helpfully it is built into a container that stores the shavings and is easy and clean to empty.
So only a pencil sharpener, but a thoughtfully designed one


Sistema Hydrate Tritan Swift Bottle, 600 ml - Assorted Colours
Sistema Hydrate Tritan Swift Bottle, 600 ml - Assorted Colours
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars All you ever wanted in a water bottle., 10 July 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
this is a decent, straightforward, quality water bottle.

It holds 600 ml which is a sensible amount; a reasonable quantity but not too heavy.

Its easy-to-use and from my experience leakproof.

It's a nice clean design with all the bits you need and none of the bits you don't.


The Whitby Witches (Egmont Modern Classics)
The Whitby Witches (Egmont Modern Classics)
by Robin Jarvis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars a good gothic yarn, 11 Jun. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I enjoyed reading this book, though i am hardly of the age it is intended for.

The authentic whitby setting grounds the book in a real place and the nature of the place lends itself well to the gothic fantasy that evolves.

I enjoyed that the orphans are well looked after by their foster mother - too many books go for the evil step/foster parents cliche.

It is an enjoyable rollicking yarn which i am sure will appeal to young teenagers. in particular those who like a good long read: personallyh i found events move a little slowly (and i thought it was kids meant to have a short attention span)


Oklava: Recipes from a Turkish-Cypriot kitchen
Oklava: Recipes from a Turkish-Cypriot kitchen
by Selin Kiazim
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book of home cookery from an extraordinary part of the world, 6 Jun. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lovely book from a neglected cuisine of the world.

Turkish cookery is fantastic, but not respected or known in the way that other world cuisines are. Hopefully this book will go some way to redress that balance. More than just Turkish though, it is Cypriot, which is one of the great melting pots of the world with influences from northern Europe, Italy and Greece to name a few. This heritage is lightly worn: this is a book of essentially home cookery and relies on lots of fresh ingredients, particularly vegetables and salads. Neither is this complex cookery: its straightforward stuff which ie easy to do in your own home.

For some people access to the ingredients may be a problem: for me in south london, the turkish supermarkets will serve very well. What would improve the book is a glossary. i'm a great foodie, but some of these are unknown even to me. One salad for instance calls for "purslane" - sounds interesting, but I need to know more.


Islam: The Essentials (Pelican Introduction)
Islam: The Essentials (Pelican Introduction)
by Tariq Ramadan
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent overview, but limited analysis of current jihadist crisis, 6 Jun. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an excellent attempt by a leading Moslem academic to try to summarise the history and philosophies of Islam. It is well written and accessible by non- specialists and covers the territory very well.

My gripe with the book is that it doesn't discuss in any detail the current jihadist radicalism which delivered a terrorist attack to my doorstep last weekend. this is I suspect the reason may readers will want to read this book, Its almost as though the history of Christianity was seen from the viewpoint of the (estimable) Quakers and ignoring the many depredations of Christianity through the inquisition to the current murders of African children for crimes of witchcraft. One could perhaps argue that this is a separate book, and indeed it could be, but for many of us, understanding jihadism is the burning issue of the day


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