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Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain)
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Exiles: An Outsider Anthology
Exiles: An Outsider Anthology
Price: £1.64

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A intriguing blend of fantasy, noir and bleak reality, 21 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Exiles starts with an essay, a personal reflection on feelings of isolation abroad – a theme which is echoed throughout the anthology. It’s not the most attention-grabbing preamble, to be honest; the first fiction which follows, ‘Eating The Dream’ would have made a much more compelling opening salvo. This story deftly weaves an ancient mythological monster into the modern environment, with adroit observations on human society, like how people don’t care as much for their livers as they should (an important concern when you perceive people as ‘dinner’!)

One of the delights with this anthology is that it abruptly changes pace, style and setting with each new story. One moment you’re in the company of the supernatural: legends thought long dead which still stalk the modern world in isolated secrecy, and the next you’re grounded in cold, hard and bittersweet reality as a naive traveller comes an all too human cropper in a foreign land. Some of the writers seem to have drawn extensively on personal experience to relate the overwhelming confusion and cultural misperceptions of a tired mind in a strange situation.
Some of the most entertaining stories are the fantastical ‘what if?’ tales. These are delightful moments where sadness and loneliness are transformed into wonder (as in We Are All Special Cases), or where the unreal is barely defined and hard to grasp. That’s the case with the surreal neo-noir of ‘Agent Ramiel Gets The Call’ where something semi-seen lurks in the psychological shadows.
But some of the most chilling tales are the real-world insights when a strange location and stressful circumstances reveal the gulf between couples or friends, when we find strangers where there should be someone familiar. There are also poignant moments where exiles reach out from their isolation to try to make contact with the rest of the world, chillingly less than successful in some cases…
Inevitably, a couple of the stories didn’t ring my bells – but this is an extensive anthology, not a whistlestop tour. Exiles allows many different voices to express their interpretation of the theme, and I’d say that I enjoyed at least 20 of them. Exiles is a substantial collection, one offering an array of entertainment and thought-provoking concepts. It’s well edited, too, with very few of the typos and typesetting errors that abound in so many ebooks.

At the end of this anthology it’s worth going back to the beginning. The introduction speaks the ultimate truth: no matter how close you come in life to any other person, in truth we are all isolated. Alone. Exiles in our own existence.
9/10


Microbiology For Dummies
Microbiology For Dummies
by Jennifer Stearns
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful textbook for Y1/Y2 students, 21 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an extremely useful and accessible reference book. I’m using it as a back-up for my Open Uni studies, and wish it had been available a couple of years ago before I hit Level 2.
The text is accessible and broken up into small chunks. It’s exactly the same in style as any other ‘Dummies’ presentation, with crucial info highlighted, and ‘added extras’ in sidebars so you can choose to absorb more or skip on to the next part depending on your interest.

I’m studying Health Sciences, and the material in here covers a broad range of relevant topics. I’d say it’s especially useful as a primer for OU courses SK294 (cellular biology) and SK320 (infectious diseases). I’ve very it very helpful to have an alternative explanation of the core concepts, so if I get stuck with part of the course materials then I can swap to a different explanation, which often provides clarity or helps to resolve confusion.
If you’ve not studied any biology or chemistry at degree level then I suspect you’d need to refer to a good glossary / wiki to understand many of the technical terms in here. But it is presented so that anyone with A-level equivalent sciences should be able to grasp the subject.
One downside is that it’s mainly written by and for Americans, so some of the technical terms used are different to those in the UK.
Also, some people may find the very short segments, illustrations and boxouts somewhat distracting. I don’t think this would be ideal as a central point of study, to be read from front to back, but it’s very handy as an additional extra which I can dip in and out of.
The online materials are also useful – and the index is particularly helpful when I want to track down one single troublesome subject.

Overall, this is a very handy reference work for first / second year biology students. if you’re just reading for fun / personal development, then I suspect something with more narrative might present a more involving perspective on the subject.
8/10


Minotaur - Limited Edition [DVD]
Minotaur - Limited Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tom Hardy
Price: £15.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Low budget mythical monster movie, 1 Feb. 2015
Although obviously made on a (very) low budget, this mythical monster movie is a pretty decent Saturday night film, best consumed with a takeaway and a six-pack. The majority of the plot consists of the tributes, a group of young people, being picked off one by one in the minotaur's labyrinth - a kind of bronze-age Aliens, if you like.
Although Rutguer Hauer's name is big on the credits, he only appears in a couple of scenes right at the beginning. Most of the film is given over to a very young Tom Hardy. TBH, if Hardy had carried on making movies like this one then we wouldn't at all familiar with him today - it hardly stretches his acting ability. But he does a good turn, running and yelping in dark caves; searching for his lost love who was offered to the beast the previous year.
The SFX are minimal but acceptable. Tony Todd puts in a sterling turn as the bull-worshipping, power-crazed, incestuous kingling. And the writers did find a few plots twists and turns to stretch the story to 80 minutes without it dragging or being too repetitive.
So this is the kind of film which if you come to it with low expectations and s sense of humour then you'll probably find it quite entertaining. There's plenty of bloody death and screeching gurlies, for folk who like that kinda thing.
The 'special features' are a bit limited, which is entirely in keeping with the rest of the film.
6/10


Dorset Cereals Tasty Toasted Spelt Flakes Muesli 690g
Dorset Cereals Tasty Toasted Spelt Flakes Muesli 690g
Offered by Best4Deals
Price: £7.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Substantial, tasty and healthy breakfast cereal, 31 Jan. 2015
Spelt is a grain which is related to wheat; it's easier to digest and has become pretty fashionable. It has a lighter, crunchy and almost nutty flavour which makes this variety very tasty (not sure if that's just down to the spelt, or because of the other ingredients!)
Since we first discovered Dorset Cereals about three or four years ago, we've become complete converts to the brand. On the rare occasions when we do eat other cereals, they are feeble by comparison! We rate Dorsets really highly for flavour, keeping us full all morning even when active, and for using unrefined ingredients and very little salt. You can buy Dorset Cereals in some supermarkets, although very often not the more interesting flavours. If you haven't tried them before, then you might need to know a little more about them, so hopefully this info will help you...

The Dorset range started with basic but VERY hearty muesli. These are often extremely chewy and filling; you really don't need a big portion to keep you going until lunchtime. In recent years they have added extra varieties and different types; we eat their light-flakes, granola, crunch, and porridges as well as the original mueslis. The individual flavours and styles of cereal can be quite different, so it's worth checking that you've chosen a type to match your tastes and situation. For instance, the high-fibre muesli is *really* chewy and dense, and most of the Dorset mueslis have a high ratio of fruit and nuts to cereals. So they take quite a long time to eat and digest - the are low-to-medium glycaemic index, for anyone who is interested in that kind of thing -- but they are also quite calorific. (Nuts and dried fruit tend to be full of energy). So if you are looking to maintain stable blood sugar levels then their mueslis are ideal - just be careful not to overload the portion size.
If you prefer to eat something less chewy, and maybe aren't particularly active, then the `light flakes' generally have more cereals and less fruit. They digest faster so you may feel a little empty if you're on the go, but a bowl of light flakes with milk can be around 200-250 calories, while it's easy for a bowl of the mueslis to rack up 400-500 cals. The flakes are also a bit easier on the teeth; the nuts and fruit mueslis can give your jaws a serious workout!
You may also find Dorset Cereals a bit bland at first if you are switching from very commercial, heavily sweetened and salted cereals. Give it a couple of weeks for your tastes to adjust - we now find mainstream cornflakes and the like to be far too sweet and far too lightweight. Most supermarket cereals are scarily packed with salt, too; some varieties of Dorsets can be a little heavy on saturated fat (because there's a lot of fat in most types of nuts), but in general this is useful, monounsaturated fat in its natural state - not the awful processed transfats that do so much harm.
The low level of salt in Dorset Cereals also makes them very helpful for people with high blood pressure and heart conditions. Ditto the whole grains and oats, which can help to lower cholesterol.

Although this flavour is not marketed as being 'high fibre', it actually is about 7.4% fibre which is pretty high; more than twice as much as in Alpen.
The spelt variety contains toasted and malted barley, spelt and oat flakes, dates (11%), sultanas (9%), Chilean flame raisins (7%), sweetened dried pineapple (6%) (sugar, pineapple, citric acid, sulphur dioxide), pumpkin seeds (4%), whole roasted hazelnuts (4%), flaked almonds (4%).
This is one of the cereals which is always in our kitchen cupboard. It comes in a smaller box size than the usual 750g, but is VERY filling. My husband usually finishes a box in 10 days, but it takes me about three weeks to eat one. So bear that in mind if the price feels expensive: I discovered that I eat around half a much Dorset Cereals as I do other brands, so although they cost more to purchase, they have proved to be much better value for me.
Obviously, this product contains nuts, so really isn't suitable for anyone with a nut allergy.
8/10


Dorset Cereals Spelt Flakes 690g
Dorset Cereals Spelt Flakes 690g
Offered by Leading Brands Worldwide
Price: £7.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tasty / healthy and substantial breakfast cereal, 31 Jan. 2015
Spelt is a grain which is related to wheat; it's easier to digest and has become pretty fashionable. It has a lighter, crunchy and almost nutty flavour which makes this variety very tasty (not sure if that's just down to the spelt, or because of the other ingredients!)
Since we first discovered Dorset Cereals about three or four years ago, we've become complete converts to the brand. On the rare occasions when we do eat other cereals, they are feeble by comparison! We rate Dorsets really highly for flavour, keeping us full all morning even when active, and for using unrefined ingredients and very little salt. You can buy Dorset Cereals in some supermarkets, although very often not the more interesting flavours. If you haven't tried them before, then you might need to know a little more about them, so hopefully this info will help you...

The Dorset range started with basic but VERY hearty muesli. These are often extremely chewy and filling; you really don't need a big portion to keep you going until lunchtime. In recent years they have added extra varieties and different types; we eat their light-flakes, granola, crunch, and porridges as well as the original mueslis. The individual flavours and styles of cereal can be quite different, so it's worth checking that you've chosen a type to match your tastes and situation. For instance, the high-fibre muesli is *really* chewy and dense, and most of the Dorset mueslis have a high ratio of fruit and nuts to cereals. So they take quite a long time to eat and digest - the are low-to-medium glycaemic index, for anyone who is interested in that kind of thing -- but they are also quite calorific. (Nuts and dried fruit tend to be full of energy). So if you are looking to maintain stable blood sugar levels then their mueslis are ideal - just be careful not to overload the portion size.
If you prefer to eat something less chewy, and maybe aren't particularly active, then the `light flakes' generally have more cereals and less fruit. They digest faster so you may feel a little empty if you're on the go, but a bowl of light flakes with milk can be around 200-250 calories, while it's easy for a bowl of the mueslis to rack up 400-500 cals. The flakes are also a bit easier on the teeth; the nuts and fruit mueslis can give your jaws a serious workout!
You may also find Dorset Cereals a bit bland at first if you are switching from very commercial, heavily sweetened and salted cereals. Give it a couple of weeks for your tastes to adjust - we now find mainstream cornflakes and the like to be far too sweet and far too lightweight. Most supermarket cereals are scarily packed with salt, too; some varieties of Dorsets can be a little heavy on saturated fat (because there's a lot of fat in most types of nuts), but in general this is useful, monounsaturated fat in its natural state - not the awful processed transfats that do so much harm.
The low level of salt in Dorset Cereals also makes them very helpful for people with high blood pressure and heart conditions. Ditto the whole grains and oats, which can help to lower cholesterol.

Although this flavour is not marketed as being 'high fibre', it actually is about 7.4% fibre which is pretty high; more than twice as much as in Alpen.
The spelt variety contains toasted and malted barley, spelt and oat flakes, dates (11%), sultanas (9%), Chilean flame raisins (7%), sweetened dried pineapple (6%) (sugar, pineapple, citric acid, sulphur dioxide), pumpkin seeds (4%), whole roasted hazelnuts (4%), flaked almonds (4%).
This is one of the cereals which is always in our kitchen cupboard. It comes in a smaller box size than the usual 750g, but is VERY filling. My husband usually finishes a box in 10 days, but it takes me about three weeks to eat one. So bear that in mind if the price feels expensive: I discovered that I eat around half a much Dorset Cereals as I do other brands, so although they cost more to purchase, they have proved to be much better value for me.
Obviously, this product contains nuts, so really isn't suitable for anyone with a nut allergy.
8/10


Shut Your Eyes Tight by Verdon, John (2012)
Shut Your Eyes Tight by Verdon, John (2012)
by John Verdon
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder mystery in a traditional style, 31 Jan. 2015
The Dave Gurney detective stories are marketed with gory titles and flashy fonts, as if they are short, stabbing serial-killer-thriller porn, and they're not. This is the second in the series featuring an older detective and a `locked room' type mystery. There's a dense, convoluted plot to untangle, a killer to reveal and more than one mystery to solve, but my affection for this series comes from its mature consideration, careful character development and steady pacing.
As with all the best crime fiction, `Shut Your Eyes Tight' delivers on many levels. The investigation is interesting in itself - but much of my enjoyment comes from the author's observations of a retired professional man, trying to shore up his self-worth without a professional persona to prop him up. The interactions between Gurney and his wife are beautifully observed, likewise the understanding that Gurney is only truly happy when he has a bone to gnaw... although his involvement in criminal investigations might unravel his marriage and even threaten his life.

`Shut Your Eyes Tight' wasn't quite as satisfying for me as the first book: there's a whole subplot which felt pretty contrived and was wrapped up without much ado in the end. Maybe it'll pop up in a later book, but it felt as if it had been added as an afterthought to ramp up the `personal peril' aspect. However, overall I really enjoyed digging in to a meaty, well written murder-mystery - one set in present day America but which owes a lot to old-fashioned detective tales of yore.
7/10


FamilyMall(TM) 16GB Novelty Cartoon Lovely Blue Dolphin USB Flash Key Pen Drive Memory Stick
FamilyMall(TM) 16GB Novelty Cartoon Lovely Blue Dolphin USB Flash Key Pen Drive Memory Stick
Offered by FamilyMall(8-23 shipping days)
Price: £6.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute and useful USB stick, 31 Jan. 2015
This is a really useful memory stick available in several storage sizes (from 2GB through to 16GB). The 2GB one is OK for text files and small pics, but you may want to opt for the bigger capacity if you want to back up a big chunk of data. It's also worth double-checking the prices because you can sometimes find the 4GB and 8GB ones for only a couple of quid more than the smallest one - so you can get the extra storage space for very little extra cost.
It's a bit of fun too -- cute, and instantly recognisable.
I do suggest that you shop around: choosing the supplier carefully means you can often get the bigger capacity versions for the same price (or even less) than the 2GB ones. The prices seem to change all the time.

The Dolphin is made of flexi but solid rubber, which makes this more robust than many memory sticks; easy to chuck in a pocket or attach to a keyring. It's also a very recognisable shape and colour, which makes it less likely to get lost and easier to find in a pile of gubbins (yes... we lose mem sticks all the time!)
The only downside to the shape is that this makes the Dolphin quite wide, so you can't plug it in to a USB port if the port alongside is already occupied, so we have to remove other USB cables to fit this in.
We use our Dolphin to transfer and back-up files on PCs -- using various versions of Windows (Win7, Vista and even XP). Have had no problems whatsoever.

This would be a five-star product, but it IS a fair bit more expensive than a `plain' USB stick; you can buy cheaper ones... but few are more fun!
8/10


8GB Dolphin Flash Drive (Black)
8GB Dolphin Flash Drive (Black)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute and useful USB stick, 31 Jan. 2015
This is a really useful memory stick available in several storage sizes (from 2GB through to 16GB). The 2GB one is OK for text files and small pics, but you may want to opt for the bigger capacity if you want to back up a big chunk of data. It's also worth double-checking the prices because you can sometimes find the 4GB and 8GB ones for only a couple of quid more than the smallest one - so you can get the extra storage space for very little extra cost.
It's a bit of fun too -- cute, and instantly recognisable.
I do suggest that you shop around: choosing the supplier carefully means you can often get the bigger capacity versions for the same price (or even less) than the 2GB ones. The prices seem to change all the time.

The Dolphin is made of flexi but solid rubber, which makes this more robust than many memory sticks; easy to chuck in a pocket or attach to a keyring. It's also a very recognisable shape and colour, which makes it less likely to get lost and easier to find in a pile of gubbins (yes... we lose mem sticks all the time!)
The only downside to the shape is that this makes the Dolphin quite wide, so you can't plug it in to a USB port if the port alongside is already occupied, so we have to remove other USB cables to fit this in.
We use our Dolphin to transfer and back-up files on PCs -- using various versions of Windows (Win7, Vista and even XP). Have had no problems whatsoever.

This would be a five-star product, but it IS a fair bit more expensive than a `plain' USB stick; you can buy cheaper ones... but few are more fun!
8/10


Dylon Machine Dye 200g ALL COLOURS - FREE P&P - BULK DISCOUNTS! (1, Burlesque Red)
Dylon Machine Dye 200g ALL COLOURS - FREE P&P - BULK DISCOUNTS! (1, Burlesque Red)
Offered by The Quilted Bear Ltd
Price: £6.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Home dye; easy to use (colour more purple than red...), 31 Jan. 2015
This colour came out to be a very rich, dark burgundy, almost purple, in fact.
I dyed a large double duvet cover and used two packets of dye to make sure that the colour was really rich and vivid. It's a really simple process; took an afternoon to do.
I've used Dylon products quite a bit to get the colours I want, so am familiar with them. You do need to follow the instructions carefully; make sure you use the right amount of salt, and if dyeing large items you may need to make use two dye packets (only one helping of salt needed, even if you use more than one pack of dye). You also need to make sure there's plenty of room in the washing machine for the material to move around freely; if it clumps together than that will cause 'tie-dye' type effects.
You do NOT need to use Dylon's own salt; just any old table salt will do the job just fine.
Have found Dylon to be really useful for getting the right shade of bed linen or bath towels, which often are sold in creams and whites and not quite my kinda colours. It's also useful for covering up long-term stains or very faded areas on favourite clothes. Transforms tired underwear, too!
Worth noting: Dylon only works on natural fibres, so if you have polyester thread then it will stay the original colour! On my duvet cover, it did use poly threads on some seams, so they stayed the original cream colour. Actually, looks quite nice.
Also, home dyed products do fade quite badly in strong sunlight. So it is worth using extra dye to get a very rich colour, or dry items out of sunlight, or be prepared for them to fade. A sofa cover which I did a couple of year ago, and which lives in a conservatory in direct sunlight, has faded to extremes... be warned!
Within those parameters, this is an excellent product, and one I'll happily use again.
PRICE INFO: it really is worth browsing the different listings and suppliers of Dylon products on Amazon. There are quite a few different stockists, and you can often buy multipacks cheaply, or save a bit on delivery by choosing the supplier carefully. They don't all list the same prices...

8/10


Machine Use Burlesque Red
Machine Use Burlesque Red
Offered by The Quilted Bear Ltd
Price: £5.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deep burgundy colured home dye, 31 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Machine Use Burlesque Red
This colour came out to be a very rich, dark burgundy, almost purple, in fact.
I dyed a large double duvet cover and used two packets of dye to make sure that the colour was really rich and vivid. It's a really simple process; took an afternoon to do.
I've used Dylon products quite a bit to get the colours I want, so am familiar with them. You do need to follow the instructions carefully; make sure you use the right amount of salt, and if dyeing large items you may need to make use two dye packets (only one helping of salt needed, even if you use more than one pack of dye). You also need to make sure there's plenty of room in the washing machine for the material to move around freely; if it clumps together than that will cause 'tie-dye' type effects.
You do NOT need to use Dylon's own salt; just any old table salt will do the job just fine.
Have found Dylon to be really useful for getting the right shade of bed linen or bath towels, which often are sold in creams and whites and not quite my kinda colours. It's also useful for covering up long-term stains or very faded areas on favourite clothes. Transforms tired underwear, too!
Worth noting: Dylon only works on natural fibres, so if you have polyester thread then it will stay the original colour! On my duvet cover, it did use poly threads on some seams, so they stayed the original cream colour. Actually, looks quite nice.
Also, home dyed products do fade quite badly in strong sunlight. So it is worth using extra dye to get a very rich colour, or dry items out of sunlight, or be prepared for them to fade. A sofa cover which I did a couple of year ago, and which lives in a conservatory in direct sunlight, has faded to extremes... be warned!

Within those parameters, this is an excellent product, and one I'll happily use again.
PRICE INFO: it really is worth browsing the different listings and suppliers of Dylon products on Amazon. There are quite a few different stockists, and you can often buy multipacks cheaply, or save a bit on delivery by choosing the supplier carefully. They don't all list the same prices...
8/10


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