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Douglas Walker (Scotland)

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Fjallraven Men's Keb Trousers Long, Black, 48
Fjallraven Men's Keb Trousers Long, Black, 48
Price: £152.23

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourites., 19 Dec. 2015
I have two pairs of keb trousers and they are the best outdoor trousers I have ever had, eclipsing even my beloved haglofs rugged fjell pants. They are robust, hard wearing and extremely comfortable to wear thanks to the stretch material, cleverly positioned everywhere there is a human joint. The hard wearing G1000 fabric down the front of the legs is tough and well articulated at the knees. It's also present on the backside area where it is welcome when taking a well earned rest. Big pockets on the thighs enable a wallet and phone to be carried without restricting movement. These are great for year round use in the Scottish mountains. Two venting zips on each leg (outer thigh and clad area) provide welcome cooling in the summer. The fit is comfortable without being baggy and I find they will easily accommodate some merino short johns for use in the winter. They have a hook under the hem at the front of the leg ending so they can be attached to a boot like a gaiter. Studded closure at the leg end enables you to fit them more tightly to a boot for extra protection from sheep or deer ticks for example. My mate bought some and loves them too. Some think they are pricey. I see them as an investment as they will last for years. You wouldn't think twice about spending this kind of money on an outdoor jacket so why quibble with regard to your other main outer layer? I have the keb jacket too as you have probably gathered. Simply the best. A typically quality and well thought out Fjällräven garment.

Riceboy Sleeps
Riceboy Sleeps
Price: £5.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of it's kind, 20 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Riceboy Sleeps (MP3 Download)
You need to buy this. This music is more relaxing than Eno's "Music for Airports" (Daniell in the Sea) more beautiful than the "Agnus Dei" from Faure's Requiem (Boy 1904). It's all here. Strings. Glitch. Tenderness. Choirs. Longing. Reverb. Piano. Crackles. Love. Feedback. Chimes. The layers of sound wash over each other. Sonething creeps in as another fades out. Constantly moving and breathing. Surrounding you in it's ebb and flow. Breath with it. Recline into it and allow yourself to be carried along. It's fluid and interesting, lacking in form yet perfectly constructed. It has been a treasure to me and always brought me back when I've been feeling stressed at work. Thank you Jonsi. Thank you Alex. You are beautiful people.

Perfume - The Story of a Murderer [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Perfume - The Story of a Murderer [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

5.0 out of 5 stars A thing of beauty, 23 Oct. 2010
I watched this film a couple of years ago now and would rate it as 6 or 7 out of 10.

The soundtrack on the other hand is a solid 10 out of 10. Yes, there are a few pieces that don't really do it for me however for the following tracks only it is worth getting the whole album and listen to the whole album all the way through:

1. Prologue - The Highest Point
2. Streets of Paris
3. The Girl with the Plums
9. Meeting Laura
15. The Perfume
16. The Crowd Embrace

OK these are just 6 tracks on a 19-track album so why the 5 star rating? It's not that the other 13 tracks aren't good - at least half of them would probably be standout tracks on most other soundtrack albums featuring full orchestra and choir. That's the strength of the 6 tracks I've listed above.

The swirling uplifting themes are like a deep inhalation of your favourtite scent, a reminder of the person and place you love most in this world, they lift you up, transport you and fill you with such a deep sense of longing, need and desire.

The tone and colour of this music goes superbly well with the cinematography; deep and warm, dark and sinister, bright and innocent.

Buy these 6 tracks and it will give you the main themes at their best, but there's enough interest in the variations of these themes found on the other tracks that it's well worth buying it in it's entirity.

I will never tire of this music.

I Will Not Be Sad in This World
I Will Not Be Sad in This World

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music that takes you somewhere, 29 Oct. 2004
It's early afternoon and I'm standing near the stalls of the Arab market on the outside of the old city wall in Avignon, France, where I spent a couple of wonderful summers with the lovely Severine Monnet and her kind and generous family.
As soon as I hear the opening notes of this album that's where I am. I guess the reason is that this album is like a meeting of east and west, understandable when you consider it's origin is Armenia.
Aremenia is located on the relatively thin strip of land between the Black and Caspian Seas - this has been a route of frequent passage for several armies in the past, from the Holy Roman Empire to the Ottoman Turks, and as a result the history of Armenia is a story of enforced change, pain and hope.
These you can hear in the music and Gasparyan's melodic performance.
I first became aware of the Duduk or "Nay" on the album "More Music from Gladiator" where the opening track "Duduk of the North" showcases Djivan Gasparyan. Ever since hearing it's haunting tones I've wanted more and "I Will Not Be Sad in This World" certainly gave me what I was looking for.
Gasparyan plays the melodies and the sole accompanying "drone" or bass note (the "dam" part) is held by Vachagan Avakian.
This sparse orchestration gives the music a light, open and airy feel as it glides and flutters intermittently through it's Arabesques.
All the tracks are fairly slow and melodious, and it sounds like at times some of the intevals between notes come down to a quarter note rather than the whole or half tone intevals that are more familiar to western listeners.
If you're interested in the music of the Middle East and/or Eastern Europe then I'd recommend this album.

Price: £9.99

5 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 5 Feb. 2004
This review is from: WAKE (Audio CD)
Having first heard Lisa Gerrard's vocals showcased on the Gladiator soundtrack, I hoped this was going to be more of the same but it isn't really. Tracks like "The host of Seraphim" (featured in the film Baraka, which IS worth a look) and Yulunga are enjoyable, however many of the tracks solely feature the vocals of Brendan Perry which I found to be uninspiring although I'm sure there's an audience out there that appreciates his style. In my opinion, many of the synth sounds are a little outdated and in some cases thin sounding, certainly not as rich as Hans Zimmer's Gladiator orchestration and instrumentation.
All this said, I don't have an album out so who am I to criticise. However, I feel I'm due my opinion as I've spent my hard earned cash on it, so I'll just finish by saying that on first listening, I'm not entirely sure I should have.

Power: Get It, Use It, Keep It (Illuminations)
Power: Get It, Use It, Keep It (Illuminations)
by Machiavelli
Edition: Paperback

15 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars surviving power, 26 Jun. 2002
For so many historical figures, attaining power has led to their downfall. Macchiavellis little book on power contains ideas from lessons learned from his life under the patronage of the de Medici family in 1500s Florence. We have all heard the phrase "The end justifies the means", well, this guy coined it and followed it to the letter. The fact that he survived a torrid part of history in a cloak and dagger profession perhaps validates this seemingly calous statement. For more thoughts from this great survivalists mind, buy this book.

The Essential Chuang Tzu
The Essential Chuang Tzu
by Sam Hamill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.27

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey within the journey., 8 Jun. 2002
The only Taoist text I had read prior to reading this book was Stephen Mitchell's translation of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, and perhaps due to this fact I found the initial section to be a little slow. The Tao Te Ching set things out concisely and was more definite whereas this book seemed to wander aimlessly. It was not too long though before I became more accustomed with the writing style and form the opinion of it's being more colourful, and at times lucid and beautiful. At times obscure, at others piercing, at times almost shocking in its simplicity and directness of thought, at others eccentrically humourous, The Essential Chuang Tzu was a pleasure to have chanced upon, its insights are truly timeless. All is change, all is relalive. East and west define each other and rely on each other. They only exist because they can be compared to one another, this is the same with good and bad, life and death. I found it helpful to have had a simpler introduction to Taoism, but this book took me further. I wonder where I'll wander next...?

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