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Anna Quay (Middle of England)

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In Search of England: Journeys into the English Past
In Search of England: Journeys into the English Past
by Michael Wood
Edition: Paperback

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book that takes its time to impress but does, 14 July 2008
Weaving is an overused metaphor but for this book feels appropriate. It is a series of disparate pieces the full effect of which doesn't really make itself apparent until you've read it all. It starts off quite normally for a book about Olde Englande - Alfred, Aethelstan, the Normans, moderately interesting but nothing extraordinary - but then by focussing in on small specifics - a psalter, a chapel and some woods, a farm house - he achieves something I've never seen before in the same way, giving a real sense of how persistant and pervasive the material past is (have a map or Google Earth handy, it's fascinating).

At the end he brings it round full circle, writing about a group of people whose roots are in both Norman England and in Africa, via centuries in the Carribean, showing that the heritage of Olde Englande isn't only about the narrow vision that includes stone Norman knights in churches, and that in turn stone normans belong as much to those African - Carribean Norman descendants as to white english ones who more commonly claim them and in whose stories and identity they are so significant.

Freecom Digital TV DVB-T USB Stick Freeview receiver, black
Freecom Digital TV DVB-T USB Stick Freeview receiver, black

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We never stop hoping for a happy ending..., 2 July 2006
I was struck by how many people have written reviews for this product, and how many have read those reviews, judging by the amount of feedback left. Perhaps this reflects a perenial optimism that things will work out okay if you prod and tweak them, plus it's a cool looking gadget. Well that's me to a tee - sucker for cute widgets plus I did what I guess most people did and think 'oh those ones who couldn't get it to work very well, they were probably just unlucky'. Thirty quid didn't seem like very much money when it would almost certainly work for me, me being reasonably techy-savvy.

Well. As seems to be standard, the initial scan with the supplied aerial produced nothing, but forewarned I plugged it in to the house aerial, and the scan produced a list of about thirty channels. Note, I had to stand in front of my tv set to do this, where there is, er.. not a great need for another tv, but I digress.

I initially struggled to reorder the channels in the set up box, but with a little perseverance I did. Then I tried them out.

BBC1 & BBC2 & CBBC fine

Sky Sports News & Sky 3 fine

E4 fine

Shopping channels

that's it

Now there are many more channels listed, many of them called things like '302', but I have no idea what these are. Click on them and Nothing happens. Can't find ITV or C4 at all.

The Quality of the picture and sound is really good, no complaints there, but to be honest I wouldn't have bought it if I'd known I'd be able to get two channels I want at the price of having an extension cable resting on the head of the people watching the real telly in the living room.

If I want to record something on BBC1 or 2 I'll probably be very pleased.

Other comments: the remote has to be very close to the usb stick to work; the stick heats up to the point where I wouldn't want it touching anything else or to be left plugged in while I wasn't in the room as I suspect it could be a hazard if forgotten; the software is not intuitive to use and exhibits selective behaviour, where sporadically only parts of it will function (not a lack of resources as pc is quite powerful). It isn't impossible but it doesn't make the job easy.

So should you buy it? Well you might be one of the lucky ones - some people obviously do fine judging from many of the reviews -

but I think you have to be realistic, it's just a straight gamble..

Have to say that thirty quid seems like quite a lot now!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 21, 2007 5:03 AM GMT

Complete Poems
Complete Poems
by Emily Dickinson
Edition: Paperback

54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated intensity, lyrical, kind.., 15 Dec. 2005
This review is from: Complete Poems (Paperback)
I came across ED when I was an angstful teenager, and loved her for the fact she could say in three and a half lines whatever profound thing I had recently come to realise. As I grew older I noticed her poems came with me - now she was taking to task the earlier self absorption, mocking it but saying new things that were profound in their turn. In the thirty years since, I've loved her poems for the fact they point to so many aspects of life we experience but don't always find voiced, or because she voices more familiar moments with originality, brevity, or style.
If you don't know her poems then a first glance might find them off-putting - there are so many, they are numbered not named, they are impossible to read in a straight line because of all the hyphens. But don't be put off by these things. They are not just not a major problem, once you 'get your eye in' they are actually good points! For example, she fits, by virtue of those initially - irritating - hyphens - things that ordinary sentences can't (like meaning several things at once). The huge number of poems mean she covers a huge range of life's moments, the numbers instead of titles mean come to them without any preconceptions of what they are about.
Her complete works are like a kind of journey, so wide ranging and varied that there is something for every person you are likely to be. Suitable (and comforting, thought provoking, satisfying) for reflective humans of every age, not just the teenage.

The Seven Daughters Of Eve
The Seven Daughters Of Eve
by Bryan Sykes
Edition: Paperback

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For a book about genetics it's a real page turner!, 22 Aug. 2003
The blurb goes on about it being passionate and bubbly and whatever, but don't be put off.. it really is good! It's a rare example of a science book which is hard to put down in the way a 'good read' should be, but is more informative than many pop science books come near.
In brief the book covers what he looked for (identifiable patterns in mitochondrial DNA); what he found (they exist, and are special because they only pass from mother to child); and what that means (he could prove not only that we're all related but how, when and where). He talks about his excitement at the 'we're all related' factor, and although I started out cynical, or rather apathetic, I was excited too by the end of the book. If you're a 'Helena', then you descend from the same great.... grandmother as anyone else with that marker, which could be your bloke, your dad (as well as your mum), your girlfriend, the bloke selling the big issue on the corner, the confused-looking people on the telly in some Baghdad hospital... when you start thinking about the implications, it gives you a rather funny feeling, and that is what Sykes says is the whole point of the work he does.
And even if fluffy we-are-all-one feelings are not for you, I bet you'd be fascinated by the information the book contains!
Oh - and as a painless primer in pre-history it's not half bad either.

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