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Meg22 (Somerset, UK)

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Finding Happiness: Monastic Steps For A Fulfilling Life
Finding Happiness: Monastic Steps For A Fulfilling Life
by Christopher Jamison
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Naming the demons makes it possible to exorcise them., 30 May 2014
What a revelation this book has been to me! I wish I had known the names and identities of the 8 thoughts (or demons) much sooner as, to be perhaps unwisely honest, they have stolen quite a bit of my life before I read this.
The demons are Pride, Vanity, Acedia (spiritual neglect), Greed, Sadness, Anger, Gluttony and Lust. Fr Christopher is not in the least bit preachy, but illustrates how the false happiness offered by submitting to these demons which ultimately turns sour, can be replaced with the true happiness of their opposite virtues which are harder but lead us deeper and deeper into God's presence.
And no demon can withstand the power of God.

Finding Sanctuary: Monastic steps for Everyday Life
Finding Sanctuary: Monastic steps for Everyday Life
by Christopher Jamison
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

5.0 out of 5 stars The impact of this book grows bigger as time goes by., 30 May 2014
Whilst a lot of "self-help" books offer quick fixes which prove hollow after a while, this is more of a slow fix which gradually rings true in more and more areas of my life as the years go by.
The Rule of Benedict has not endured as it has for nothing. It gives guidance on the whole of life, and while "Sanctuary" may imply refuge it is actually about living a Godly life in the real world.
Here Christopher Jamison gives an excellent, readable, thoughtful, comprehensive and useful translation of Benedict's monastic rule suitable for anyone whether religious and well-read or not.

Price: £12.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't need a second listen to get into., 18 April 2014
This review is from: BROTHER (Audio CD)
I went to the Shepherds Bush concert by Morten in July which was amazing, and featured mostly songs from this album. Morten is even better live than on CD!
I took my daughter who was not a fan of Morten, 80s music or Aha at all and she was bowled over too.
I prefer Morten's solo albums to the later Aha as they grab you straight away, whereas the later Aha sometimes takes a few listens to get into.
(Updated 1st November 2014).

Ed: The Milibands and the making of a Labour leader
Ed: The Milibands and the making of a Labour leader
by Mehdi Hasan
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much needed book, 11 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ed gets very little media coverage indeed, except a daily dose of sneering and denegration from his opponents and many journalists.
However, when a glimpse of the real Ed breaks through this media wall (eg his stand over the Leveson inquiry, his One Nation speech, his Syria stand) polls show the public like what they see.
Sadly many seem to swallow the daily poison whole but for those who want to actually look at Ed, this book is a superb start.
The first striking thing in the book is the profound, deep impact of his family on him.
To most families in Britain politics is a bit of an irrelevance, but the Milibands lived and breathed it.
With both parents refugees from the Nazis, most of their extended family dead in the holocaust, and Ralph and Marion coming from the type of non-religious Jewish background to whom politics has more or less become their religion it was hard-wired into them.
Whilst Ralph was a highly respected left wing intellectual with global political connections, Marion was (and is) a community based political campaigner and activist with warm, sociable instincts and great cooking skills.
It appears that the mind-blowing array of global political figures with whom Ed and his brother got the chance to debate from a young age was actually more down to Marion's skills than Ralph's!
At least on the personality front, Ed seems a lot like his mother in the book and David more like his father, although they both inherit traits from both parents.
The authors set the warmth, loyalty and emotional intelligence usually displayed by Ed against the leadership challenge to David which many see as markedly lacking in these qualities.
But it is quite easy to understand when put together with Ed as a passionate campaigner and thinker, who also comes across strongly in the book.
The second thing which comes across is Ed's high all round intellectual ability. As well as being a bit of a mathematical prodigy (of which his alleged amazing rubic cube skill is one example!) he also did English A level and acheived a high grade, and had unusually good essay writing skills at Oxford. A rare and valuable combination.
Throughout the book there are many valuable illustrations of Ed's political views and convictions. The amount of flack Ed and, in particular, David took from their mother over many New Labour policies is amusing.
She regularly berated them with Why Oh Why is Labour doing this or that.
The biography could do with updating as there is now a huge amount of new data about Ed's political roadmap from his speeches and actions since 2010 (despite what people who never listen to him say!)
Perhaps most importantly the seemingly miraculous degree of unity he has managed to maintain throughout the Labour movement during the momentously trying times since the election of the coalition in 2010.
His assertion in many interviews that he believes a more equal society is better, and would take this into account in his policies as Prime Minister. What an about-turn on the politics of the last 35 years in Britain!
And his commitment to broadening democracy which is illustrated by his support for AV and his TUC speech on 10th Sept 2013. But above all in his eagerness to listen to people and engage with them rather than demonising his opponents like the Labour party of the past and the current coalition.
The superb way he was able to engage with the riot victims in 2011 as compared to the reception (or lack thereof!) for Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg is just one good example of this.
His radical actions to reform the funding of the Labour party.
And the courtesy and good grace with which he deals with the unceasing tirade of abuse from the government and the media.
As well as Leveson, One Nation and Syria which I mention above.
For anyone wanting to look more deeply at Ed's thoughts I would recommend reading his speeches, and also The Labour Tradion And The Politics Of Paradox which can be read online as a free e-book. It has been dubbed "Blue Labour", with excellent papers by John Cruddas, Maurice Glasman and Marc Stears all of whom are very close to Miliband, as well as some others.
Ralph Miliband's books are also well worth a look. They are surprisingly accessible and easy to read for an intellectual and whilst he is always at pains to point out that his political views do not represent those of his sons, they are quite revealing about Ed's political influences.
Thank-you to the authors for giving people the opportunity to look at Ed in an unbiased light.
I look forward to the British public getting many more such glimpses through the current political and media wall!

Gator Stretchy Keyboard Cover Fits 88-Note Keyboards
Gator Stretchy Keyboard Cover Fits 88-Note Keyboards
Price: £17.82

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple but perfect., 17 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great stretchy cover, even goes round the music stand with ease. The adjustable elastic secures it well keeping dust and grime off the keyboard.
A bit pricey for what it is, but it ends up being worth paying for the neatness and convenience of it.

Memorial Beach
Memorial Beach
Price: £9.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aha Sings The Blues., 12 July 2013
This review is from: Memorial Beach (Audio CD)
Morten was working as a Blues singer in Norway at the time he got together with Magne and Pal to form Aha. He has said this was more of an acquired taste than a natural style for him at the time, but he mastered it by the time he quit.
You can hear the start of a Blues influence in East Of The Sun, but they really go to town with it on this album with great, gritty vocals from Morten.
The album was produced by David Z Paisley with never more than two takes for each song. So while there is high tech involved in the production, these are more or less live performances showing just what a quality outfit Aha was. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at the recording sessions!
Angel In The Snow was written by Pal in lieu of a speech for his wedding, as speeches aren't his forte luckily for us.
Absolutely fantastic in every way from start to finish, like all Aha's early stuff.

TP-LINK PA411KIT AV500 500 Mbps Powerline Adapter Starter Kit- Twin Pack
TP-LINK PA411KIT AV500 500 Mbps Powerline Adapter Starter Kit- Twin Pack
Price: £24.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't be easier!, 24 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Plugged one of these in upstairs with the lead going to the EE Brightbox, the other downstairs going to the internet connectible blu-ray player and got internet TV straight away with excellent signal. Much easier than I expected.
And the signal has to go through a long extension lead and at least one circuit breaker (possibly two or three).

How to Play the Piano despite Years of Lessons: What Music is and How to Make it at Home. Rev. Ed.
How to Play the Piano despite Years of Lessons: What Music is and How to Make it at Home. Rev. Ed.
by Ward Cannel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best piano tutor ever., 28 Dec. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"this book...will tell you how to take a tune, a melody, and turn it into a whole lot of music by knowing what you are doing and why you are doing it". (From the introduction)
And that is exactly what it does.
The authors describe it as "a subversive book" as it bypasses the mainstream methods of teaching music and cuts straight to the chase of what most people, both beginners and more advanced musicians, actually want to learn!
The style of writing is an absolute joy compared to most piano tutors. Humorous, interesting and designed to boost your confidence. Also very clear, concise and to the point with brief "in a nutshell" sections at the end of each chapter.
It makes you think about music and the piano in a new way. "The piano is a miniature orchestra" as it says.
By giving you accompaniment devices (basic skeleton, moving the layers around, listening to textures in music for arrangements, arpeggios, etc etc) you find yourself making music on your own much more quickly than you would have thought possible!
Having tried out many piano tutors over many years this is the one which had the quickest and most dramatic, and also the most profound and long-lasting effect on my playing.
My one criticism is that it should put much more emphasis on starting with your ears, picking out bass notes and counter melodies yourself and recreating what you hear with the book as a background help. Many years of struggling with piano tutors has taught me this is the only way not to get disheartened and bogged down in details! (Even with a book as superb as this one!)
As it is, the book does not mention this and instead implies the use of given chords and fake books which, to me, are musical passion-killers.
It is only a small question of emphasis as the book actually gives you all the information you need to work entirely from your own ears and then some! But it has made a big difference to me so I mention it in case it helps anybody else.
With a good pair of ears, some music to listen to and the information in this book, you don't need anything else to make wonderful music on the piano!

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