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Stuart

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A Handbook of Water Plants
A Handbook of Water Plants
by Eva M. Bursche
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 15 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Dated but quirky little book worth buying for its superb illustrations


Braun Oral-B Advanced Power 400 Battery-Operated Toothbrush (Colour Varies)
Braun Oral-B Advanced Power 400 Battery-Operated Toothbrush (Colour Varies)
Offered by Activecare Online
Price: £8.35

4.0 out of 5 stars Apart from that is is fine. Just what I wanted, 31 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Invitation to review came through just a month after purchase so cannot comment on longevity, which I see is the main source of low ratings on this product. Apart from that is is fine. Just what I wanted. A low-priced battery-operated toothbrush (who has sockets in the bathroom?) which takes the most commonly available heads. If it's still performing in two years as the last one was an unequivocal five stars.


BBB Fuel Tank XL Water Bottle Holder
BBB Fuel Tank XL Water Bottle Holder
Offered by MBH-Shop
Price: £20.67

4.0 out of 5 stars perfectly satisfactory, 15 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Sound. Bought it for touring in a hot country thinking it would take disposable 1.5l plastic bottles and therefore save me money. Worked fine, though was disappointed to find that the folk of Romania and Hungary tended to drink out of 2l bottles. It takes these too, so there is plenty of flexibility, but at this size the rack is at full stretch and the neck clip loses something of its easy-release. Hardly a problem for touring with panniers.

A bottle cage isn't rocket science, lets face it. Unless you are competing in the Olympic Games, can I encourage you to buy something sensibly-priced? Give the balance to something or someone who needs it!


Collins Bird Guide
Collins Bird Guide
by Lars Svensson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Even non-English speakers think it's fantastic, 15 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Collins Bird Guide (Paperback)
Sent a (paperback) copy to the children of someone who had put me up whilst travelling. They couldn't understand a word of the text but their delight at the pictures was wonderful to see.


Nature Made Ridiculously Simple; or How to Identify Absolutely Everything
Nature Made Ridiculously Simple; or How to Identify Absolutely Everything
by Miles Kington
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars laughed until I cried, 29 Aug. 2013
Yes, I loved this one too. Amongst my favourites were 'stinking sea vegetable' and the one you had to identify by passing a lawnmower over it. Also 'Millsand Boonstone' and the tongue-in-cheek homophobic bush section.


M-Wave Ottawa Waterproof Handlebar Bag - Black
M-Wave Ottawa Waterproof Handlebar Bag - Black
Price: £35.30

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars survived 1400km test-run, 9 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As described; easy to fit; pleasing that the cost is a quarter of the Ortlieb product. Bought with some trepidation for a cycle tour of Romania and Hungary.

Road testing now complete - 1400km from Budapest to the Black Sea. Roads in that part of the world not good: unmade tracks, plenty of potholes and - something nobody warns you of - older Romanian backroads on hills are actually COBBLED. Bag held up perfectly. Clip mechanism sound, remained easy to remove, and bag fully waterproof. If anything seems likely to give, in my opinion, it will be the velcro on the closure and map pocket, though at the time of writing these are still fine.

Would recommend unhesitatingly, although I do wonder whether the problem with cheaper versions of classic brands is their consistency? Someone has an off-day and the stitching falls out. This might account for the mixed reviews that products of this sort get.


Under Armour ColdGear Liner Men's Gloves - Black, S/M
Under Armour ColdGear Liner Men's Gloves - Black, S/M

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best combo out there for warmth and dexterity, 18 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I see these get mixed ratings overall, although on average positive.

I lost a pair, but had found them so good that I spent ages trying to get the exact replacement.

A nirvana for many is a pair of gloves which are warm, but sufficiently thin to allow you to do things like fiddle with pens, maps and binoculars. I have tried several types but found these the best combination. It is perfectly possible to write legibly with these gloves on, for example - a must for field surveyors such as myself. It is true they are not as warm as a ski-glove, but ski gloves are rubbish for just about anything except skiing. They keep my hands warm in temperatures at or slightly below zero, and when things get colder you can just put your hands in your pockets. Impossible with ski-gloves.


Complete Romanian: Teach Yourself (Book/CD Pack)
Complete Romanian: Teach Yourself (Book/CD Pack)
by Dennis Deletant
Edition: Paperback
Price: £39.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone?, 20 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having used this book now for nearly six months, I thought I'd post a review.

The book will probably be acceptable to anyone for whom Romanian is not their first foreign language. But Romanian is not easy, and if it is your first foray outside of English the book's style and production may put you off foreign languages forever.

The small size of this book belies its content. If you plough through it you will emerge at something like 'A' level standard. A less ambitious approach might have made the vocabulary lists that precede each chapter a bit less daunting.

Unlike French and Italian Romanian has noun declension, and has some difficult vowel sounds like Russian. I can see that tables, with their connotations of learning by rote, are unfashionable, but appendices with these declensions would be a valuable reference; they are not included. I have also spotted a few minor errors that perhaps stem from incomplete proof-reading of amended earlier additions, though these undermine confidence rather than mislead. Unforgiveably however, several of the exercises require language that is not introduced until later chapters. At first I thought this was a deliberate strategy to fire-up a generally able audience, but I now realise these mistakes simply stem from sloppy editing.

There is also a slightly dated feel about the book, a shame as this ought to be easily rectified by the authors. 'Mobile', 'internet' and even 'computer' appear to fail to make it into the texts or the index, although 'cash machine' does. 'Apartment block', 'teacake', 'telegram' and 'bathing costume' do feature, however. For me this imparts an old-world allure that certainly gets me booking my train tickets, but it may put others off. I shall be interested to find out when I visit just how useful the advice is on p4, that "It is customary for a man to kiss the hand of a lady when introduced to her". One gets the feel of a book which has had its cover made-over but not its contents.

For context, I've got GCSEs in Italian and Russian, though I've forgotten almost all of both. In summary - OK if you're an old hand at languages; anyone else - start with French or buy a much slimmer Romanian Phrasebook.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 4, 2016 11:33 PM BST


Celestron LCD Digital C/W Screen Microscope
Celestron LCD Digital C/W Screen Microscope

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great general entry-level scope, but some limitations, 21 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I a keen natural historian who is just getting into the study of mosses, and bought this scope hoping it would help me identify an increased range of species. I had read good reviews from varied users.

The plus points of the scope are its price, and the ability to easily store images. I am getting pretty good images of leaf structure, cells and spores in mosses and was able to make a transparent acetate overlay with a scale on for the screen to help me measure small dimensions - a bonus. In this respect it has fulfilled my wishes. Unexpectedly, I was able to use the scope to look at protozoa from my pond. For this group of very small animals and plants, I was able to make identifications to genus level. Videoing these tiny things was an unexpected delight and the vids posted on facebook elicited a surprisingly large and enthusiastic amount of feedback.
The down-side is that it does not replace the requirement for a dissecting binocular microscope for specimen preparation (using it has brought home how critical a good slide preparation is for even a half-serious student). In addition, I suspect that the optics are not as good as a decent compound microscope. One design fault is its lack of sturdiness (easily knocked over), which in combination with the digital shutter button (a bit temperamental) means that camera shake can spoil some images. Another is the fact that the stage has a relatively limited amount of movement, and both the stage control screws are on one side, so you can't move up and down at the same time (ie like an etch-a-sketch) - useful when chasing protozoa across the screen. Also, the above-stage illumination is pretty useless for something as 3-dimensional as a small plant, as very little of the subject can be brought into focus, even on the smallest magnification (x40). It would be fine for 2-d things though, like stamps.

I am going to have to buy at least a dissecting microscope to take my studies forward, and may one day also trade this in for a good compound scope. However, it has really catalysed my interest in microscopy again (those videos of protozoa are fantastic!), and is a superb purchase for kids / families / GCSE. If you get it for this reason, don't forget to get a pack of slides and a pack of coverslips too to make your own slides. You'll get fed up of the sample provided in under 5 minutes.


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