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Peter Lee (Manchester ,United Kingdom)
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The Most Beautiful: My Life With Prince
The Most Beautiful: My Life With Prince
by Mayte Garcia
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.19

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly touching read, 3 May 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. As a huge Prince fan, I was a little apprehensive about reading it as I was worried it might be something of a trashy "tell all" cash-in affair, but it isn't anything of the sort. It's a well written (ghostwritten - the acknowledgements give this away) memoir of the time Mayte Garcia spent with Prince as his first wife.

The first two chapters are a little slow. She begins by talking of her childhood and her love of belly-dancing, then one day in 1990 her sister - a Prince fan - invites her to accompany her to one of his concerts. Her parents tag along as chaperones, and after Mayte catches Prince's eye and her parents hear hints of Arabian music in "Thieves in the Temple", they encourage her to send him some videos of her dancing. From then on, their relationship grows, first as penfriends, then joining Prince and the band on tour, until she finally moves to Minneapolis and eventually becomes his wife. Later, after the tragic loss of their first child, and a subsequent miscarriage, their relationship sours and they separate.

Parts of the book are difficult to read as they're so emotionally charged, and from time to time my opinion of Prince changed a little. The book contains transcripts of letters he sent to her, and two sections of photos (mainly of Mayte, not so many of Prince). Ultimately, although their relationship ended Mayte still loves and respects Prince, and the book shows this throughout. A surprisingly good, and very touching book.


Bosch ALR Electric Lawn Raker, 900 W
Bosch ALR Electric Lawn Raker, 900 W
Price: £134.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Good bit of kit, 19 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My old Flymo lawn raker suddenly decided to stop working a few weeks ago, so it was time to buy a new one. I'm a fan of Bosch electrical products and this one had good reviews, so I took the plunge.

When you open the box the raker requires assembly. You don't need any tools, and all you have to do is attach the lower part of the black handle to the body of the raker (two bolts, which are provided), and then the upper part fastens to the lower part (two more bolts, which again are provided.) The bolts are fastened with large plastic wing-nuts. The collection box is made of two halves, one of which fits inside the other for storage, so you separate these and snap them together in the correct way. Once you've got it built, which takes about five minutes, you're ready to go.

Two red handles at the front of the raker allow you to change the height. If you're collecting leaves you probably want the raker to be on the highest setting, whereas if you're scarifying your lawn and removing moss and thatch you'll want it to be lower. In operation the Bosch is noisy, but not much more than a lawnmower. It's easy to operate, and the box is simple to remove, empty and refit. I got lots of moss and thatch out of my lawn, and afterwards it looked a state - all brown, patchy and forlorn - but I know that it will look lots better soon.

For storage, you can leave the Bosch as it is, or you can loosen the four red wing-nuts and the handle will concertina down onto the body of the unit. If you remove the grass box, separate the two halves and invert them (back to the way the unit was shipped) you can put the reassembled box over the top of the Bosch and it now takes up much less room in your shed or garage.

All in all, I'm delighted with my Bosch. Sure, I'll only use it a handful of times a year, but it's a good piece of kit to have if like me you have a lawn, a house which is surrounded by trees, and want your garden to look decent.


Bosch Oven Lamp Cover Removal Tool
Bosch Oven Lamp Cover Removal Tool
Offered by bartyspares
Price: £5.16

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful tool, 19 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I needed to replace the bulb in the main compartment of my Bosch fan oven. After repeated attempts to remove the glass cover I admitted defeat and ordered this removal tool. It's basically a plastic cup with a ridge along the back, and it fits over the lamp cover, allowing you to get more leverage on it to help you get it off more easily. When I tried it was still stuck fast, but a squirt of WD-40 around the area where the lamp glass met the oven roof helped, and after that I had replaced the bulb in a matter of seconds. Is this something you'll use a lot? Probably not, but it's a handy thing to have stored in a drawer somewhere for the times when you need to replace the bulb.


Picturing Prince: An Intimate Portrait
Picturing Prince: An Intimate Portrait
by Steve Parke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 19 April 2017
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm not really one for coffee table books of arty photographs. They're the sort of thing you look through once, put on a shelf, and then rarely turn to again. I'm also not some sort of fanatical completist who wants to see every possible variation of an album cover's photoshoot. When I heard that Steve Parke, a former photographer and designer for Prince, was releasing this book I was a little concerned that it would be just page after page of photos, or collections of similar shots as in the latter scenario. Thankfully it's much, much better than that.

The book is a nice size - taller than a standard hardback but not by much, and a little squarer, and it feels like a quality product from the start. Even a quick flick through the pages reveals something I wasn't expecting, which was text! Yes, there are a lot of photos, but there's also a decent amount to read here - it's not a biography (you could read this in an evening) but there's more text than I'd anticipated. After a touching introduction by Sheila E, the main text tells the story of Steve Parke's time working for Prince, and the friendship they shared. It's fascinating reading the inside story of what it was like working in Paisley Park for the man himself, and some of the stories here are just great. I can imagine myself reading them again and again.

The pictures of course are the main event, and they're fantastic. Sure, some are from album promotions, but all the pictures are different, and the vast majority haven't been seen before. They're all staged of course, but they're great to look at, and many are accompanied by stories explaining what was happening at the time, where they were taken, and so on.

For a Prince fan this is an absolute must. Far, far better than I'd expected it to be.


Wonderland
Wonderland
Offered by FLASH
Price: £9.85

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very poor, and a huge disappointment, 10 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wonderland (Audio CD)
My wife has been a fan of Take That since their early days, and since I took her to see them on their first comeback tour I've counted myself as a bit of a fan too. Great entertainers, and lots of really enjoyable songs which truly stand the test of time.

Since their comeback things have changed a little. We both loved the "Beautiful World" and "The Circus" albums and tours (especially the latter - one of the best concerts I've ever seen) but we were underwhelmed by "Progress" (too much of a Robbie Williams ft Take That album for our liking, in terms of its sound and the balance of the performances, and we didn't enjoy the tour much either for the same reason), and although we enjoyed the "III" tour we found the album was better than "Progress" but was largely forgettable. Hopefully "Wonderland" would be an improvement.

It didn't bode well at the start. "Giants" was a bit of a disappointing single, and although it grew on us a little it didn't wow us like some of the other lead-off tracks have done. When the deluxe edition of "Wonderland" arrived the packaging was also a let-down. It comes in a stiff cardboard case, a bit like a hardback book, but once opened there are two pockets, one containing the CD and the other a fold-out which is a poster on one side and lyrics / credits on the other. We expected it to be a book of some sort, with the lyrics on pages. Oh well.

The album starts in a strange way. The title track begins with lots of strange instrumentation and a bit of a Middle-Eastern feel in a way, but after a minute or two of this a synthesised, electronic track lurches to the foreground and the song itself has begun. It's a forgettable opener, a cheesy "music makes me feel good, get on your feet" chorus ending with the slightly nonsensical "everybody's feeling wonderland". This is followed by "Giants", and I'm afraid to say that after listening to the whole album "Giants" is by far the best thing on it.

"New Day" tries hard to sound like the slightly stompy, marching band opening of "Shine" but never really takes off. "Lucky Stars" is back to the cheesy tone of "Wonderland". "And The Band Plays" feels as though it will be a key part of the live show, but on album is rather messy. "Superstar", sung by Mark, is lyrically a bit of an "I'm famous and it can only be downhill from here" affair, and doesn't really seem to work. "Hope" is a big ballad, sung by Gary, and again I expect this will be a big moment in the live show as "Flaws" was on the "III" tour. "River" is a poppy but forgettable number sung by Mark. "The Last Poet", sung by Gary, is a pleasant song which sounds like it may have worked better on "Beautiful World" as it feels slightly out of place here. Howard gets lumbered with "Every Revolution", the weakest track on the album, before Gary strains his vocal chords with "It's All For You" at the end, which sounds like a cast-off from one of his musicals, and the change of tone at the end feels bolted on. The five bonus tracks are weak, and include the "Cry" single by Sigma ft Take That.

Considering it's a short album it feels very, very long, and after the tour - which we're going to - I can't imagine the band singing many tracks from this album in the future, possibly as with "Progress" where only "The Flood" still seems to be played today and the rest appears to have been swept under the carpet. Maybe the songs will come to life when they play them on tour, who knows? After listening to the album my wife has said she doesn't want to listen to it again, and has also lost enthusiasm for seeing the tour too. Far from their best work, close to their worst in our opinion, and hopefully it's a mis-step in their career. Some people clearly love it judging by the reviews, but these two fans don't.


Alan Partridge: Nomad
Alan Partridge: Nomad
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, 18 Jan. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm not the biggest Alan Partridge fan. I enjoyed the first series of "I'm Alan Partridge", didn't like the second, and since then he's fallen off my radar a bit. When the first Partridge book was released I bought it and thought it was well done in that it "sounded" like him on paper, but I didn't find it at all funny. Would "Nomad" be any better?

The premise is simple. Alan decides to set off on a walk from Norwich to Dungeness nuclear power station, where his father once failed to get a job, following in his footsteps in an attempt to learn more about the man. The storyline is really just there to hang lots of jokes and set-pieces off, and thankfully they work very well. This time around I found myself laughing quite a lot - not huge guffaws, but quiet laughter all the same - and I read the whole thing quickly. There are footnotes, and you really should read them as there are some great gags in there.

Hugely entertaining all round then!


USB Type C Car Charger, Spigen [Rapid] [5.4 Amp Dual Output Cord] [Compatible with akk 12~18V DC Input] Type C Car Charger For Galaxy S8/S8 Plus, Google Pixel/Pixel XL, LG G6/G5, Apple MacBook, Lumia 950/950XL,Nokia N1,Nexus 5X,Nexus 6P,OnePlus 2/3, Huawei P10/P10 Plus/P8/P9 and More, USB C Charger - F25QC
USB Type C Car Charger, Spigen [Rapid] [5.4 Amp Dual Output Cord] [Compatible with akk 12~18V DC Input] Type C Car Charger For Galaxy S8/S8 Plus, Google Pixel/Pixel XL, LG G6/G5, Apple MacBook, Lumia 950/950XL,Nokia N1,Nexus 5X,Nexus 6P,OnePlus 2/3, Huawei P10/P10 Plus/P8/P9 and More, USB C Charger - F25QC
Offered by Spigen
Price: £21.99

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works well with my Nexus 5X, 18 Jan. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you've got a device with a USB C connector and want to charge it in your car, this is a handy thing to have. It's a tiny adapter, well made, and the cable is permanently attached. Once you've plugged it into your car the socket on the top glows blue to indicate that it has power, and you can plug the cable into your device to charge it up. It works perfectly with my Nexus 5X and charges it rapidly (so the screen on the phone tells me.)

The socket on the top is a "normal" USB connector, so if you have any devices which can be charged via USB and have a suitable lead they can be plugged into the top. Frustratingly my iPod Classic doesn't seem to charge itself when I plug its cable into this, but that may be down to the iPod or a faulty cable (other USB devices charge from it just fine) but as I bought this for my phone and it works well I'm happy enough.


As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely enjoyable, 18 Jan. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"The Princess Bride" is a hugely enjoyable book and film, and I confess I've only seen and read them both once. I was interested in reading this book due to its positive reviews, and because it was written by the film's leading actor, so it offered a view from the inside.

From start to finish the book was a joy. Everyone involved in the film seems to have a deep love of the story itself and of the movie they produced, and this really comes across from the start, including their disappointment when it failed at the box office which turned into joy when it found its audience after it was released on video. The book tells the story from the beginning, with Elwes winning the part, meeting his fellow cast members, and follows the production right the way through to its release and beyond. It's written in a charmingly enthusiastic style, and the text is peppered with boxed-out comments from cast and crew members, and a small selection of pictures is included at the end of the Kindle edition.

If you're looking for an academic text on the art of storytelling and film making, this book may disappoint. If on the other hand you're looking for a hugely entertaining book about a film you love or have previously enjoyed, and that will make you want to watch it all over again, this is definitely for you.


APPS2CAR Toyota Lexus Handsfree Bluetooth Music AUX USB Car Integration System Kit Module Radio Adapter Interface with Mic Phone / control box for 4Runner Avalon Avensis Auris Camry Celica Matrix Sequoia / LX 570 ES 300/330 GX 470 IS 220/250/300/350 xA xB tC
APPS2CAR Toyota Lexus Handsfree Bluetooth Music AUX USB Car Integration System Kit Module Radio Adapter Interface with Mic Phone / control box for 4Runner Avalon Avensis Auris Camry Celica Matrix Sequoia / LX 570 ES 300/330 GX 470 IS 220/250/300/350 xA xB tC

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A few niggles, but generally OK, 12 Nov. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For years I've used an FM transmitter to send music from my iPod to my car stereo, and it's always worked but the results have been variable. In some areas there has been unbearable interference, and sometimes the sound quality goes a little fuzzy, but generally it's been OK. I was a little jealous that my wife's car had USB and AUX ports when mine had neither. Buying a new car seemed a bit extreme, so I decided to buy this gizmo instead.

Fitting it in my 2008 Toyota Auris was pretty easy. Once the two silver grey plastic strips which run down the sides of the central console were prised away I removed the top air vents (push two yellow clips and the unit lifts away) and then used a small socket to remove the four bolts on the stereo, then the unit pulled out. My car doesn't have a CD changer, so the changer port on the back of the stereo was available already. Plug the connector from the Bluetooth adapter into this socket and before I fitted everything once again I tested it out.

There's an annoying little voice cue which can't be turned off, and if you have nothing plugged into the adapter a voice says in English (with a slight Chinese accent) "Bluetooth" through your speakers. Connect the aux cable (supplied in the box) and "line in" comes through the speakers. Nothing is said if you connect a USB device. For Bluetooth, the device shows on your phone as "apps-2-car" and my phone connected first time. The box comes complete with a clip-on microphone and a small remote control, which plug into the rear of the adapter. Personally I doubt I'll be using these as I wanted to use it for playing music. The aux connector works fine, allowing any device with a 3.5mm headphone jack to be connected, but obviously you can't control the device - next track, for example - from your steering wheel. The big disappointment for me was my iPod classic. When I connected my iPod to the adapter via the iPod cable it simply charged the iPod, and I couldn't play music from it. I tried it a few times but it just refused to play. If I ever succeed I'll update this review with how I did it.

Once I'd tested it I decided to put the adapter in the bottom glove compartment, and I found that I could thread the cable through the top of the box and into the void behind the stereo, so I wouldn't have to drill any holes anywhere. A much tidier solution. All I had to do then was put the stereo back into the dashboard, replace the air vent, and finally the two pieces of grey trim.

All in all I'm fairly happy with this adapter in that I can play music via aux or Bluetooth, but I wish I could have got my iPod working, and that I could turn those irritating voice prompts off somehow.

UPDATE 7/3/2017 - I've been using this for a while now and I'm still happy with it. My one complaint though is the Bluetooth volume level seems very low. If I'm playing music from my phone with the phone volume at its highest, I have to turn the car stereo volume way up to 40 or above to hear it at a decent level (by which I mean the same volume I'd listen to the radio at, which is usually 25-30 or so according to the Auris radio display). This isn't a problem until you switch back to radio for some reason and deafen yourself!

Still haven't managed to get the iPod to play via USB though. Oh well. I'm sticking with playing music from my phone via Bluetooth.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 3, 2017 9:29 AM GMT


Qualtex Motor Filter For Dyson DC14 Vacuum Cleaners (184)
Qualtex Motor Filter For Dyson DC14 Vacuum Cleaners (184)
Offered by First4Spares
Price: £4.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great replacement filter, 12 Nov. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In the past I've cleaned the filter in my Dyson DC14 vacuum but the seemingly endless drying time has always been frustrating. This time I decided to buy a replacement filter instead. The product arrived in a plastic bag and looks just like the old filter in my DC14, consisting of the spongy inner and plastic outer filter as seen in the product image. Fitting is simple - just remove the old filter from the top of the dust bin of your Dyson, and put the new one in its place, and the process takes about five second at most. My Dyson instantly seemed better than it has for a long time and suction has improved already. Very pleased with this purchase.


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