Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now New Album - Zara Larsson Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's
Profile for N P Richardson > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by N P Richardson
Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,620
Helpful Votes: 567

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
N P Richardson (London)
(VINE VOICE)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Ultrasport Unisex Exercise Ball, Red, 25.59 in
Ultrasport Unisex Exercise Ball, Red, 25.59 in
Price: £12.49

4.0 out of 5 stars A great physiotherapy tool, as well as a keep fit aid, over the longer term, 21 Mar. 2017
This review is from: Ultrasport Exercise Ball (Sports)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
On receiving this item, I was intially surprised by how heavy it was in its box. It's a shame, as I wanted to take it on holiday with me in summer. Might weigh my suitcase down a bit, although compact enough to pack.

This is a wonderful exercise item. I have needed phsyiotherapy once or twice because of a pulled shoulder muscle, or a foot and ankle strain, making it painful to walk. I was given rubber strips to exercise with, and they really worked. That is why I am confident that this ball, which comes with a sheet of different exercise for various parts of the body, will be a great physiotherapy tool, as well as a keep fit aid, over the longer term.

It does take up space, so you might want to consider whether you have the room to exercise freely with it, or the space to store it without having to deflate it.


Mia & Mimi Women's Elody Trouser, Black, 38
Mia & Mimi Women's Elody Trouser, Black, 38
Price: £16.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Smart, stylish, great summer fashion, 21 Mar. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a nice item for summer fashion. I am not size-10, so couldn't actually try them on. However, I held it against my waist and was immediately struck by how smart they look, especially the tie at the front. The waistband is slightly elasticated, so no fumbling with buttons or zip.

I am quite tall, with longish legs and I feared this would barely scrape past my knees, so was pleasantly surprised to see they are a fair length - just past the calf (as in the photo)..

I am not usually that keen on cut-off legs on trousers (or sleeves,in blouses), but these are so stylish; 'culottes' seem to be back in vogue, so I have changed my mind in this case.

They are smart enough as work clothes, or suitable for any social event.

It's a shame I am not size 10.


Scholl Light Legs Compression Tights 20, Den Black, Large
Scholl Light Legs Compression Tights 20, Den Black, Large
Price: £14.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not for those above average height. Only reached half way up my legs., 21 Mar. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Only reached half way up my thighs. I know I am long-legged, but I do get fed up of tights that do not fit. It's as if manufacturers only cater for those of height 5'4" only. Come on Scholl: you're a well-respected brand name. It is not as if you need to be mean with your material. It can't be beyond you to cater to all women. I am only 5'9" with slim-medium legs. That's hardly unusual. I should add I usually buy XL for that reason. Perhaps the next size up would be better, yet I worry it's still be short at the crutch but wrinkled around the ankle.

I do have M&S tights that have lasted years and fit beautifully, so it can be done, Scholl!

Still, there is a silver lining - I can give them to my mum, who is quite small, and has had varicose veins in the past, and loves the Scholl brand.


Boys in Zinc (Penguin Modern Classics)
Boys in Zinc (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Svetlana Alexievich
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic and fluent, beautiful to read. A graphic collection of interviews with Soviet soldiers, mothers, medics in Afghanistan., 19 Mar. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was initially wary of reading this book. The opening pages introduced the horror of what was to come: a mother speaking about her shell-shocked son returning from war and murdering a local person with an axe. I had little idea what the book was about - I thought it was fiction - and then I realised it is a journalistic account, based on a collection of interviews with soldiers, mothers, artillery men, commanders recounting their experiences as Soviets in Afghanistan. Despite the early graphic descriptions of death and mutilation (and the mass zinc coffins gleaming in the sun) and fearing this would be a far too depressing book for my sensibilities, after a few pages, I was absolutely hooked.

The account of Soviet involvement in Afghanistan in the 1980's had me riveted. This conflict was to mark the end of the Soviet Union, as it then was. Svetlana Alexievich wrote the book in Russian in 1989, for which it won the Nobel Prize for literature, but this version has only just been translated into English.

Her style is poetic and fluent, beautiful to read. I worried I might have trouble finishing it, given her immaculate attention to detail. However, deeply absorbed, I had soon read 63 pages,of 229. We have a limited time in which to review books, so I have not finished it yet. I flicked through to the end, and noted with interest that some of the persons and relatives Alexievich interviewed had sued her, as they did not like they way they believed their loved ones had been portrayed as soulless robotic death machines. I didn't get this sense at all. They came across as ordinary every day people. The details of the court case by way of documents take up the remaining 75 pages.

Who would this book appeal to? Those who enjoy biography and reading about the lives of others, those interested in Soviet history, the military, or even good old-fashioned investigative journalism. Or just incredibly good incisive literature.


Conversations with God Book 4: Awaken the Species - A New and Unexpected Dialogue
Conversations with God Book 4: Awaken the Species - A New and Unexpected Dialogue
by Neale Donald Walsch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Cayce, being channeled by a higher being, which he labels, 'God'., 18 Mar. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I read this in one sitting. At 250 pages, there were not that many words to a page - no bad thing! - so, easy to read. The first 130 or so pages didn't really hold my attention and I found myself speed-reading. Then he began to talk of Highly Evolved Beings From Another Dimenison (HEBFAD) and this caught my interest. It is similar to Terence McKenna and Edgar Alan Cayce, in that different content mater notwithstanding, it focuses on where we, as the human race, are heading and evolving into. Walsch likens our current evolutionary stage to time 11:45 on the clock.

When one realises that not so long ago, people barely had electricity, gas or running water, never mind hand-held calculators or laptops, in our most recent lifetime, we have have had a digital and electronic explosion. Few use landline phones any more, or typewriters, or huge mainframe computers.

It could be said that as a civilisation, we have a more collective consciousness than ever before, and Walsch delves into this boldly. His narrative is in the form of teacher-pupil in the Socratic dialectal method, of question and answer, which works surprisingly well.

Walsch offers guidance on how to achieve the state of HEBFAD and is essentIally, another book on 'discipleship', except he only mentions Jesus within the context of Buddha and Lao Tzu, and thus implies Jesus is merely a HEBFAD, which some may find contentious.

The latter part of the book is quite inspiring and has plenty of food for thought. However, some of his phraseology jars. His, 'I'm getting it, I'm getting it' and, 'I'm listening, I'm listening', put me in mind of the scouse-accented, 'I'm learning, I'm learning', and found myself saying, 'Chicken in a backpack' to get into scouse-accent character.

Also he rather spoils it by mentioning Lemuria and Atlantis, out of the blue, with no context. So, he sees himself as another Cayce, being channeled by a higher being, which he labels, 'God'.

For those who like spiritual guidancetype books, I can recommend Bonhoeffers 'On Discipleship', from a Christian perspective.The Cost of Discipleship (SCM Classics)


Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil, Orange Flavour, 150ml
Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil, Orange Flavour, 150ml
Price: £3.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cod liver oil has always been good for growing children - helps good bone formation., 16 Mar. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Pleasant taste. Cod liver oil has always been good for growing children - helps good bone formation - helps prevent rickets (or, rather the Vitamin D does. The Omega oils from fish is a 'good' saturated fat, beneficial to the brain, vision and heart *ceteris paribus".

This is in liquid form - a creamy fluid - and designed for children, or those who might have difficulty swallowing pills.

I already take Calcium tablets, which also includes Vit D, so have dropped a star in case it means I am taking too much of it.


Hallmark Mother's Day Card "Fun Filled" - Medium
Hallmark Mother's Day Card "Fun Filled" - Medium
Price: £2.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Cheerful enough - lots of pink, 16 Mar. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Cheerful enough - lots of pink and lettering likening Mom to a cherry filled cup cake. Not one I would choose personally.


BIC Evolution HB Pencil - Black (Pack of 4)
BIC Evolution HB Pencil - Black (Pack of 4)
Price: £1.57

5.0 out of 5 stars The synthetic material looks exactly like wood. Had no problem sharpening them., 15 Mar. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Impressed with this. The synthetic material looks exactly like wood. Had no problem sharpening them. Smart looking pencils. Nice sharp point.


The Fix: How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World's Most Important Number
The Fix: How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World's Most Important Number
by Liam Vaughan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How one man worked the system - or was it a systemic failure? Written in a straightforward journalistic style., 15 Mar. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Written in a straightforward journalistic style, and structured like a novel, Vaughan has produced a highly readable, well-researched book providing the reader with a rare insight into the banking world, and how traders 'fixed' the LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) and even the TIBOR (the Tokyo version).

We are introduced to the main protagonistThomas Hayes - an aspergers type who sleeps in a Superheroes duvet and supports QPR (so not all bad, then <g>) - who works his way into the elite world of privately educated investment bankers, traders, brokers, movers and shakers. We meet his colleagues, whom he tries to influence to nudge the LIBOR up or down, depending on his trading book, with each hundredth of a decimal point often worth £100's of '000's on his portfolio.

We follow him as he moves between London and Tokyo and the contacts he meet along the way, from ICAP, UBS, RBS, HSBC, JP Morgan, etc as he leans heavily in them to rig the rates for his own ends. A modern day Nick Leeson, if you like.

Leeson put all of his rogue profits into a '9999' suspense account, with bosses only noticing when an enormous sink hole opened up causing his bank to go into liquidation.

Hayes is more sophisticated. He deals in SWAPS, so-called, because it enabled those on fixed rate loans, to swop with a corresponding corporation who wanted a variable rate. The interest rates for the swaps were pegged to LIBOR - merely a self-declared position of a panel of 15 - 16 banks, who manipulated their rates for various reason, for example, so as not to send the 'wrong signal' to the market, or a desire not to be seen as outliers.

Vaughan explains all of this in plain simple English. I had to study derivatives, swaps, forwards, options and other financial instruments in depth for my P3 CIMA strategy exams, one really had to draw up pro-forma templates to even begin to calculate gains and losses and how best to hedge against an adverse movement. All credit to Vaughan for summing up potentially complex transaction so plainly and simply.

We are then introduced to Vince McGonagle, an American-educated lawyer who works for a corporate financial fraud prosecutor.

The black void propping up the subprime mortgage scandal came to light with the collapse of Bear Stearn, up to then a solid 75 year old US investment bank.

Suddenly the realisation began to hit that the LIBOR rates the lenders and borrowers relied on, were actually not at all accurate and soon seams were appearing like widening cracks in a road without proper foundations.

Enter the detectives, as the net draws in around Hayes and his rogue colleagues.

Is Hayes like Leeson, simply a scapegoat for a whole systemic banking failure, or did he really mange to influence so many traders, dealers, bankers, brokers, banks to do his bidding single-handed, and without any controls or compliance red flags? Especially given the Leeson scandal.

Read the book and find out for yourself. At 170 pages, it is not overly long and nor is it glib, despite the 'thriller' format.

This will be of special interest to those involved in banking, derivatives, internal controls, accountancy, financial fraud, or those who simply enjoy a good read.

I will say that swaps was dropped from the syllabus as a professional accountancy examinable subject - although one was still expected to understand how it worked - for the simple reason, they have become completely uneconomical since the 2008 recession, which saw numerous large corporations stuck with high fixed interest rate loans, when the variable rate has been 0.5% for years. It is a no-brainer as to which is better for a borrower.


Hallmark Forever Friends Like A Mum Mother's Day Card "Thank You" - Medium
Hallmark Forever Friends Like A Mum Mother's Day Card "Thank You" - Medium
Price: £1.85

3.0 out of 5 stars The sentiment is admirable: 'You are ***like*** a Mum to me". Forever Friends bears., 11 Mar. 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The sentiment is admirable: 'You are ***like*** a Mum to Me" ['thank you for being you', inside].

The graphics are kinda dull. Block pink card with chunky Forever Friend bears. A little old-fashioned and dated. Might appeal to someone of the older generation who remembers when the Forever Bears was trendy.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20