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Neusu Large Vacuum Storage Bags - Heavy Duty 110 Micron Quality Compression - 5 Pack 80cm x 60cm Space Saving Bags
Neusu Large Vacuum Storage Bags - Heavy Duty 110 Micron Quality Compression - 5 Pack 80cm x 60cm Space Saving Bags

5.0 out of 5 stars I love these bags, 13 Oct. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love these bags, which are just the right size. Far superior to a similar product which I bought at TK Maxx (£10 for only 2) which do not stay airtight. I have piled them on top of each other in the wardrobe, knowing that I can easily access them & see what is in each bag. I can sleep well at night knowing they are protected from moths (argh!) and damp. ;-) So much better than awkward, bulky plastic boxes which can easily crack, and that you need to dig through to find things. You do need to be careful how you seal the bags, and follow the instructions, but even if a little air were to get in, the clothes are still totally protected from nasty moths. Also, quite excellent customer service from an independent UK company.

Billy the Bus and the Great Tour of London
Billy the Bus and the Great Tour of London
by Trevor Hawes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars London for kids - through the eyes of a red double decker bus, 25 April 2014
Old Routemaster bus Billy saves the day with his knowledge of London landmarks. Along the lines of the classic ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ series (super popular in Japan), Billy the Bus is an appealing, colourful book aimed at children between the ages of two and six. Also available in English, French, Dutch, Italian and Spanish, this is a great introduction to London with a story that is interesting and relevant whether or not you are planning a visit. It’s a slim, easy-to-pack souvenir that parents will enjoy equally!

Strange Weather in Tokyo
Strange Weather in Tokyo
by Hiromi Kawakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally transfixing!, 19 Aug. 2013
Elegantly encapsulating an essence of `Japaneseness'; with all the elusive paradoxes that entails, this mesmerising book offers a read that is somehow light and breezy, yet possessing of literary depth. Nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2013, `Strange Weather in Tokyo' is so much more than a romance novel about two lonely people who find solace in each other's company.

Plain with the truth, the tone of the narrative is confessional. Bored, thirty-seven year old office worker Tsukiko gets to know Sensei, a man thirty year her senior. She recognises him from her own school days and they both enjoy drinking in a local bar. Socially awkward, she makes no bones about the fact that she goes there specifically to drink. Drink a lot. And eat. Socialising is incidental. A love of sake, beer and traditional Japanese dishes brings the two together, on and off throughout the year. As the seasons pass, the odd couple indulge their appetites, but restrain their feelings.

Alone, together, in the city, there is always a feeling of disconnection. Neither character seems quite three-dimensional. They reveal little to each other or to the reader. Only on jaunts into more natural settings, such as the mountains of Tochigi for mushroom hunting, does Tsukiko experience some sense of confused connection. `I found myself surrounded by such a plethora of living things, all of them buzzing about. What on earth was I doing, wandering around a place like this?' In contrast, Sensei remains comfortable, no matter how trippy and bizarre the situation becomes. When he opens up about his wife's experience with the poisonous `Big Laughing Gym Mushrooms', and we learn that she left him, but little else.

Hesitant to share too much, or to ask questions of each other, the Tsukiko and Sensei continue to communicate tersely, sparsely, all the while building a rich emotional connection that just doesn't bare close examination. Delicate observations are saved for practical things, such as food: `See how the octopus's translucent flesh turns white when you put it in hot water... But, just before, there's a moment when it appears ever so slightly pink, don't you see?' comments Sensei tenderly, on the couple's trip to a remote island.

The experience of reading this book is like peeling an onion. With each layer, like each chapter, you get deeper. Each layer is one of the same whole, yet separate. Some layers are paper thin; insubstantial; difficult to define. Others are more robust. Sharp, yet subtle, the tantalising flavour of this strange, dreamlike novel emerges gradually and will surely linger for a very long time. Universal themes of love, loneliness, and loss are woven together into a text that will be particularly appreciated by those with an affinity for Japanese cuisine and culture. For me, this was one of those books to truly savour. I had to discipline myself not to gorge on it all in one sitting!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2015 8:42 AM GMT

Sushi Slim
Sushi Slim
by Makiko Sano
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Virtuous Indulgence, 5 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Sushi Slim (Paperback)
Ok, so we all know that Japanese people are slim, thanks to their healthy diet (yes, sumo wrestlers are an exception). And Westerners have taken to sushi like a fish to, er, rice - sushi has been widely available in the UK for years. So, why are we looking ever more like sumos and less like the average trim Japanese person? Perhaps it's because we aren't sure how to include fresh sushi and other basic Japanese foods as an integral part of our daily food intake. A mini portion of M&S chill cabinet sushi alongside our lunchtime BLT just ain't gonna cut it. We need to get serious about our sushi, and Makiko Sano is here to show us how.

Sushi Slim has come into my life at exactly the right time. I've just recently had a bouncing baby boy, and then been on my summer hols in Portugal - the land of cheese, wine and bread. And those delicious little custard tarts. I've become accustomed to `treating' myself to combat lack of sleep and afternoon sugar slumps, and I am very short on time. Happily, sushi is, to my mind, a `treat' - even though it is healthy, quick and easy to prepare. Perfect. However, even though I've lived in Japan and enjoy cooking, I've always been a bit nervous of making sushi... isn't it complicated?

Well, NO, is the answer. A flick through Sushi Slim shows us Makiko is not out to wow us with complicated recipes or faddish taste sensations. This book is about getting the basics right, as well as understanding how eating Japanese style can help you to lose weight, and keep it off. Meal plans, tips, and convincing facts will get you onto the right path. Is the Sushi Slim diet sustainable? Absolutely - from nigiri, to nori-wrapped gunkan, to the ubiquitous hosomaki rolls, to hand rolls (ideal for sushi parties); the sheer variety of sushi is made clear and approachable. Soups, salads and handy lunchtime bento boxes are covered too, and Makiko even lets us in on a Japanese woman's secret weapon: `Collagen soup'!

If there's one thing I dislike, it's a cookbook without photos. No matter how good the recipe sounds, if I can't see it, I'm simply not inspired to create it. Worse still is the description of a technique with no photos. No need to fear with Sushi Slim, however, as each detail is shown clearly in photos with accompanying text. How to cut fish for sushi, how to make each type of sushi, and just how colourful and abundant your dinner table will look when you invite all your friends round for a sushi party: all beautifully illustrated.

Taking what we already know about food combining (i.e. `swerve dairy and meat'), and presenting Japanese eating in a way that makes sense, appeals to logic, and tickles our taste buds is what author Makiko excels at. What's more - seeing as our minds tend to class sushi as a `treat', the Sushi Slim way is not some boring limp lettuce-leaf of a diet. A readable, well-illustrated book, Sushi Slim deserves a prominent place in your cookery book collection... and life.

The Energy Glut: The Politics of Fatness in an Overheating World
The Energy Glut: The Politics of Fatness in an Overheating World
by Ian Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your 'must-read' for 2011!, 7 Jan. 2011
This compelling book is a very enjoyable read, even for those with no medical or scientific background. Author Ian Roberts offers the reader a veritable glut of 'AHA!' moments when, suddenly, the link of fossil fuel consumption to the problems of obesity and climate change become so clear and simple to understand. These hot issues are then placed firmly in the political, not personal, zone.

With his extensive background in the treatment/study of head trauma caused by road traffic accidents, the author knows painfully and intimately why we cannot allow our children to roam, play or walk to school as they once did, and why so adults many fear reclaiming the roads by cycling, jogging or walking as transport. He asserts that is not the individual's 'fault' that society has evolved to make even basic exercise a luxury. Nor is it the individual's 'fault' that densely calorific processed foods are so readily available and so cunningly marketed. The overall societal, global shift towards fatness shows an increasing waistline is NOT simply due to the bad 'habits' of a gluttonous, lazy individual.

Energy Glut is, however, certainly not all doom and gloom. Roberts goes on to offer solutions that will appeal to anyone trying to make a difference to their own health, and that of our planet. A valuable and timely book that should be read by everyone. Thank you, Ian.

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