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Puffin (UK)

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Coffin Road
Coffin Road
by Peter May
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Puffins in September!, 29 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Coffin Road (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down. Like his other books about the Hebrides, I have no doubt that Peter May did his research thoroughly and visited the Flannan Isles for the background detail. However.... as a birder one inaccuracy grated with me and is the sole reason I have not rated the book as 5*. Clearly the author visited the Flannans in May or June, at the height of the seabird breeding season and, at that time, the description in Chapter Seven of the central character's arrival on the island after he had lost his memory would have been accurate: "...puffins huddled in cracks and crevices, gannets and guillemots circling close to my head..." BUT - the novel is set in September, by which time the breeding puffins and guillemots would have long finished their breeding and be back out at sea, and not on the cliffs. Gannets nest on Roaiream and not, as far as I am aware, on Eilean Mòr, so it is unlikely in any event that they would have been flying "close" to the man's head as he climbed up from the landing.

Maybe this is somewhat pedantic, but attention to detail and thorough research is what I have come to expect from Peter May in relation at least to his novels set in the Western Isles.

Mains Battery Charger for Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5, DMC-TS5, DMC-TZ37, DMC-TZ40, DMC-TZ41, DMC-TZ60, DMC-TZ70, DMC-ZS27 and DMC-ZS30 Digital Cameras - Replacement for Panasonic Charger DE-A50 / DE-A50B for DMW-BCM13, DMW-BCM13E, DMW-BCM13PP Battery - AAA Products®
Mains Battery Charger for Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5, DMC-TS5, DMC-TZ37, DMC-TZ40, DMC-TZ41, DMC-TZ60, DMC-TZ70, DMC-ZS27 and DMC-ZS30 Digital Cameras - Replacement for Panasonic Charger DE-A50 / DE-A50B for DMW-BCM13, DMW-BCM13E, DMW-BCM13PP Battery - AAA Products®
Price: £12.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does what it is meant to do, 7 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not liking the 'in camera' method of recharging the battery in my new TZ60, I bought this so I could continue to charge one battery while being able to still use the camera with a second battery. It does what it is meant to!

Panasonic DMC-TZ60EB-K Lumix Compact Digital Camera (18.1 MP, 30x Optical Zoom, High Sensitivity MOS Sensor) 3 inch LCD (New for 2014) - Black
Panasonic DMC-TZ60EB-K Lumix Compact Digital Camera (18.1 MP, 30x Optical Zoom, High Sensitivity MOS Sensor) 3 inch LCD (New for 2014) - Black
Offered by Pearls Books
Price: £243.70

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too clever for its own good?, 7 Oct. 2015
I bought this recently to replace my TZ6 on which the zoom was intermittently sticking so am largely comparing the two. As I purchased from a high street retailer, once I had opened the box I was unable to return it just because I didn't like it, but rest assured, had I been able to, I would have done! First impressions after 'playing' with the new camera at a local beauty spot were not favourable.
In general, I do not like the 'in-camera' battery charging but that was easily resolved by purchasing a separate compatible charger and lead and I also bought a spare battery.
On the 'intelligent auto' setting I immediately disliked the way the camera decided on my behalf when a scene was 'backlit' and took several shots - the final result was of poor quality and I was not impressed. However, this feature can be turned off and any adjustments made later on the PC.
I was also unimpressed with the results of using the 'panorama' setting - again, a poor quality result. I shall continue to take separate pictures and use a panorama-maker programme on the computer.
The internal memory is useless - it will only take (if I'm lucky!) one shot before the memory is full.
I miss the 'note' facility of the TZ6 which I found useful (for example) when I wanted to replicate a photo from a book and was able to easily refer to the exact positioning etc. on the picture I had saved for reference on the notebook setting.
The flash is in a really silly position and I just KNOW when I use it my fingers will obscure it, however careful I am being in trying to perfect the art of holding the camera and keeping my fingers out of the way- maybe this is a particular problem with having small hands?
My biggest disappointment so far has to be the way, on a wide-angle setting, the edges of the picture are out of focus. This was not the case with my TZ6.
The video seems pretty good (as it was with the TZ6) and I do like being able to switch to video via the little red button on top of the camera instead of having to change the settings on the control ring. This used to mean I often 'missed' something while I was fiddling with the controls. I also rather like the ability to take a still photo while video-ing: although the results are not top quality they are acceptable and when filming a band, for example, mean I can capture a 'still' of a particular gesture or interaction I would otherwise have missed.
I do like the big, clear rear screen on the camera and it seems to perform well in low light conditions where before I would have needed to use flash. It is also fairly quick to react in comparison with its predecessor.
I have found that when I am trying to review a photo in a hurry, I am liable to catch the wifi button by accident, which is a minor nuisance - I am unlikely to ever use this and feel the button could have been better located away from the thumb-rest.
Do I still wish I hadn't bought this? Mmmm - less so than at the start but in all honesty I cannot give it more than 3 stars. Perhaps I was expecting too much after being pleased with my TZ6 for several years; perhaps Panasonic are trying too hard to put too many gadgets and gizmos in to their products. There are certainly many features I know I will never use!

Red & Gold
Red & Gold
Price: £7.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Star on the Rise..., 27 April 2015
This review is from: Red & Gold (MP3 Download)
This is Hattie's début album and it is very, very good indeed! She is an extremely talented songwriter and musician and in her live performances accompanies herself on guitar and keyboard (not at the same time!). This album is a mix of new songs and some older ones which have been re-worked and the whole is beautifully produced and with guest musicians providing the instrumental backing to Hattie's vocals.
The single release from the album, "A Beautiful Mind", is a tribute to the late Pete Seeger inspired by the words of his sister Peggy at the BBC Folk Awards in 2014 (at which Hattie was a nominee for Young Folk Singer of the Year).
"Old Eyes" reminisces about the now elderly dog Panda who Hattie grew up with: I particularly like the memory of how he got 'lost' at the seaside once and was found in the ice-cream queue!
"Fields of Gold" is a rare cover: Hattie has long admired Eva Cassidy's version of this Sting song and Hattie's own version is the best I have heard. The fact that Eva's brother Dan Cassidy has co-produced the album version and plays a violin solo on the track is surely endorsement enough!

From busking in her home town in the Cotswolds, through supporting Seth Lakeman at the Monmouth Festival last year and her current nationwide tour with Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakemen to now with the release of this album, Hattie Briggs is a rising star in the folk/roots genre and you will be hearing a lot more from her. Start with this album - you won't regret it. I purchased the 'hard copy' CD at one of the first gigs on the tour. As well as the three tracks mentioned above, I also really like "Share Your Heart", "Pull Me Down", "All About Love", "Still with Hope..." - in fact, I like all the tracks, there isn't a duff one on the album!

Scilly Birding: Joining the Madding Crowd
Scilly Birding: Joining the Madding Crowd
by Amanda Davey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good account spoiled by inaccuracies, 16 Dec. 2014
I too was there (for some of the time), which was really what attracted me to this book in the first place - a large dose of nostalgia for the "good old days" before mobile phones, pagers and digital photography when portable CB radios were the "must have" technology for birding Scilly in the autumn! An enjoyable trip down Memory Lane, bringing back for me recollections of some of the "characters" sadly no longer with us - birders and boatmen alike.

However.... as in so many cases these days, the book was spoiled for me by sloppy proof-reading (and/or reliance on a spell-checker which recognises spelling but not context and thus selects the wrong word.) While I appreciate this was the author's first visit to Scilly, I feel it would have been polite to ensure that he checked the accuracy of his descriptions: for example (p28), the Garrison Arch is NOT the Sally Port - that is a pedestrian-only access between the houses above Porthcressa; Tresco has Old Grimsby and New Grimsby, NOT 'Great' and 'Little'! Such inaccuracies are careless to say the least and insulting to the (mostly) birder-welcoming Scillonians and their truly stunning archipelago.

Tales That They Tell
Tales That They Tell
Price: £29.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Deserve to be much more widely heard!, 17 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Tales That They Tell (Audio CD)
A superb album from this exciting and lively English West Country folk/rock band. The catchy songs (except for the arrangement of the traditional song 'Dublin City') are all written by the multi-talented musician Nick Gibbs, whose earthy voice suits his compositions so well. The themes are to some extent those of "traditional" folk songs yet also topical and meaningful to many of us in England today: the superficial aspects of a society that looks no deeper than a person's age, gender or race before judging them ('The Tales that they Tell'); the dire consequences of building on our flood plains when excess rainwater has nowhere to go but devastatingly straight through people's lives and homes ('The Days That the Rains Came Down'); the heritage of the slave trade out of Bristol which, despite laws passed over two centuries ago still continues today, albeit in a different form ('Hope and Glory'). There is also the love song, 'Gypsy Rain' and the beautiful 'Seeds of Freedom' which I found myself singing quietly (and badly!) to myself as I walked alone through fields of ripening barley on a farm near the Northumberland coast early one morning back in the summer. In all there are 10 tracks with Nick playing his trademark Union Flag fiddle as well as providing the main vocals, supported by the guitar and vocals of Bryn Williams and backed by the voices of the drummer and percussionist.

Listen to the words and let the music carry you. Don't be at all surprised to find yourself "chair-dancing" and "table drumming" along!

If you have the chance to see Folklaw playing live, either as a duo or full band, then GO!!!! You will not be disappointed.

Shaded woodland shady Area Grass & Lawn Seed 20 Sq Me 800 grams. MeadowMania. Covers up to 20 square metres
Shaded woodland shady Area Grass & Lawn Seed 20 Sq Me 800 grams. MeadowMania. Covers up to 20 square metres
Offered by MeadowMania
Price: £8.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 5 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ordered this [from Meadow Mania] for several small areas of the garden which had hitherto been all plants (no lawn at all!) which after a couple of decades I now want to return to grass to make for (potentially) easier maintenance. As the area is shaded by mature/semi-mature trees which I want to keep I chose this mixture rather than a general purpose mix. My order arrived very quickly by Royal Mail, the seed safely packed in double sealed plastic bags within a padded envelope. The seed I sowed in the first two small areas (early September) germinated within 2 weeks and the last area (late September) in just one week: it seems to be growing well although I may not have sowed it thickly enough... never mind, I have enough seed left over to patch up and fill in come the Spring if necessary. I am now contemplating turning part of the front garden back to grass too so may well be ordering more seed next year - this will be the company I will be buying it from. Very satisfied. Off to ask Father Christmas for a lawn mower!!

EDIT - April 2015
I am more than happy with the results from sowing this product and now have the desired green grass lawns which tolerate both sun and shade.

Dead Man's Time (Roy Grace)
Dead Man's Time (Roy Grace)
by Peter James
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 4 Oct. 2013
Having read all the previous Roy Grace books I had looked forward to this one and bought it from a local supermarket on the day of publication. However, I was disappointed as in my view it was not up to the standard of the earlier stories. Gavin Daly was at the very least implausible, and acted as if he were 20 years younger than his given age. I accept that a (very) few men of 95 are still active physically and mentally but somehow the whole character didn't feel at all believable. Of course, he had to be that old for the first-hand links to the Mafia gangs of 1920s New York to work. I might just have given the book 4 stars had the author not added that final silly chapter. For me, it took away any credibility there might have been to the whole story although by the end I disliked most of the characters and couldn't believe that any UK Police Force would (or could afford to!) send officers off to America! At least the Sandy situation appears to have been more or less resolved insofar as she is not stalking him and Cleo any more....
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2014 10:40 PM BST

Dead Water (Shetland Series 5)
Dead Water (Shetland Series 5)
by Ann Cleeves
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad to have Perez back!, 28 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I reviewed 'Blue Lightning' I hoped we had not heard the last of Jimmy Perez and was delighted to learn that there was a new 'Shetland' book on the horizon, in spite of Amazon's rather odd description of it as "Shetland Quartet 5"! At least neither the author nor the publishers referred to it thus! I was even more thrilled when the book arrived to find a sticker on the dust-jacket informing me of a new BBC TV series, "Shetland", based on these books. Today I saw a trailer for the series, which starts within the next couple of weeks, and the location scenery as well as the accurate descriptions of the Shetland landscape in this quintet of books can only be good news for the additional tourism they will bring to boost the economy of the Northern Isles.

In 'Dead Water' we see Jimmy slowly coming to terms with his situation and step by step returning to work as his mind can't but help taking an interest and involving him in the latest investigation. His knowledge of the local people and their customs and history help the new detective, Willow Reeves, to the successful conclusion of her first major case and as she left the Islands I found myself hoping that somehow she will be sent back, or volunteer to return, and we may see a developing relationship (work and/or romantic, perhaps?) between her character and Jimmy.

As ever, a well written mystery and I thought I'd figured it out by about three quarters of the way through.... wrong! (Again!) In fact, I was kept guessing right to the end which came out of the blue: at least, I certainly hadn't seen it coming!

As other reviewers have said, it may be better to read the Shetland books in order, as through them the reader reaches an understanding of how Jimmy has reached the point he is at when this latest story opens.

I just hope that Ann Cleeves can continue writing her 'Vera' and 'Shetland' novels without being pressured by her publishers to churn out too many books, too often, so that they end up deteriorating in quality and content, as has happened with a number of other authors' detective-type work in recent years.

Evil for Evil (DI Marjory Fleming)
Evil for Evil (DI Marjory Fleming)
by Aline Templeton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good apart from annoying proof-reading errors again!, 13 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is actually an excellent and eerily topical story which leads the reader in page-turning, if somewhat disquieting, suspense to its conclusion: I thought I had more or less figured things out but there was at least one twist I'd missed completely! Difficult to put down and well-written but once again a couple of irritating examples of poor proof-reading which tended for me (a grammar and spelling correctness freak!) to detract: on two separate occasions the pub licensee, who we were introduced to as Georgia Stanley, was referred to as "Georgia Tindall", the surname of another character completely! However, don't let this relatively minor niggle put you off - if you have enjoyed the previous Marjory Fleming books, you will enjoy this too. I can't wait for the next one if only to learn how Marjory's family are getting on.

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