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Richard Batty (Bury Cambridgeshire GB)

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The Call of God
The Call of God
Price: £3.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Coming out of the Church? This may help, 17 Jun. 2013
This review is from: The Call of God (Kindle Edition)
I read this book with interest as an ex worship leader in an evangelical church in UK. I found myself nodding in agreement with a lot of the scenarios in the book. I needed affirmation that the experience I went through was not unique. The questioning (albeit with concern) of Christians, the 'not really saved' argument (which in my case could not be levied against me) and the old 'tempted by the Devil' argument.
If you have 'come out' and reclaimed your brain then this may help you to see the thought process your church will be going through. The last thing on their mind is that it was their fault.
I enjoyed the testimony of others quoted in the book but would like (and this may be a UK/USA language difference) to see some of the spelling errors sorted out for the first revision.
All in all a good little book, just long enough to make the points it needs to make and short enough to read quickly. Recommended


Brief Encounter [DVD]
Brief Encounter [DVD]
Dvd ~ Richard Burton

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars In Brief, an Encounter to miss, 23 May 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Brief Encounter [DVD] (DVD)
After the gripping acting prowess of Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard in David Lean's superb production of the original Brief Encounter, one is simply left asking 'why'? on many counts.

First, if Richard Burton is regarded as one of the nations' greatest actors, why was he playing what amounts to be a tree, as he is so wooden. He grunts his way through what should be passionate dialogue like some cave man about to club Sophia Loren over the head and drag her back to his cave. Is it the Carlo Ponti Direction?, the poor script?. What must be the fault of direction and producton is the fact that he always looks like an undertaker in the dour dark suit with black tie and white shirt. Also the black hair dye just looks ridiculous

The next 'why' is why does a beautiful woman and superb actress that is Sophia Loren look like his laid out corpse (In particular at the closing scenes) with such terrible make up?. She is wasted in this part, and one only guesses that Carlo Ponti (her husband) gave her the job to keep it in the family.

One can only further assume that the re-make is not about attempting to improve the orginal (almost impossible to achieve) but about selling the new film on the old one's name. The sexual tension is no where near as great with the interplay between the characters showing little insight into the passion of an affair, which ends without consumation. Both characters are so dull as to be incapable of an affair it would seem.

That very point, however is the irony of the story. Whilst both characters view their respective partners as dull, they are no improvement themselves. Thus showing the age old truth that the other man's grass isn't actually any greener, and may be more bare than first appeared.

All in all, watch the original - far and away the best.


You look awfully like the Queen: Wit and Wisdom from the House of Windsor
You look awfully like the Queen: Wit and Wisdom from the House of Windsor
by Thomas Blaikie
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wit and Wisdom? - I didn't find either!, 12 Feb. 2008
I bought this book as a republican who wants to understand more of the Royal family, but also as one who has no grievance with the Windsors per se, but as one who has concern with the fact that they hold a privileged position without election.

It is a well presented little book which could sit comfortably on a coffee table and set up polite small talk and conversation with visitors. Mr Blaikie lays out the content well as one would expect from a journalist of his caliber, but as with any market stall, average quality goods can only really be displayed for what they really are. The title would lead us to believe that the Windsors are a funny, stimulating and deeply wise family. In reality the discovery is that the wit is sadly lacking and the wisdom no deeper than the shallow end of a child's paddling pool. Compared to the Wit and Wisdom of Oscar Wilde (another queen from a past generation) which abounds with both qualities in abundance, this book is only of real appeal to those who believe the Windsors to be close to deity and therefore above criticism. To the rest of us mere mortals it shows them to be a very ordinary family.

If you are a Royalist I commend the book to you as you will no doubt find it amusing. If however you come from the perspective of Royalty means unearned privilege of position you will find it a very tedious read that will not alter your perspective at all.


Blaikie's Guide to Modern Manners: From Eating to Greeting, Via Texts, Sex and Do I Bring a Bottle?
Blaikie's Guide to Modern Manners: From Eating to Greeting, Via Texts, Sex and Do I Bring a Bottle?
by Thomas Blaikie
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern Manners for today's living, 20 Jan. 2008
This concise book presents the correct way to tackle many of modern life's social questions, and does it so in a very readable style. Mr Blaikie introduces several example characters from a cross section of society who appear from time to time as a general portrayal of attitudes, and this works quite well. He deals with many modern issues such as broken relationships, sex manners and general social interaction. Whilst not fully agreeing with all that Mr Blaikie presents as acceptable, it is none the less a well written, witty and concise approach to a sadly dying notion that manners really matter, not just in the past but as an essential lubricant for social life to flourish. In summary, a good book which I recommend to anyone wanting to improve their manners


What Not to Say: Finding The Right Words At Difficult Moments
What Not to Say: Finding The Right Words At Difficult Moments
by Mark Vernon
Edition: Hardcover

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A dissapointment, 10 Dec. 2007
I bought this book to enlighten me as to some useful things to say at times of embarassing or difficult situations. I expected something of a good verbal manners book, as its title suggests. It turned out to be a philosophical journey through the author's favourite thinkers, and not offering a single phrase or group of words that might help.

I became aware of it after the Author was on Radio 4 recently where he was compared to the verbal equivalent of what Trinny and Susannah are to clothes - indeed even the title suggests this. The chapters and situations are clearly laid out, Love matters, family matters etc but never seem to give answers, only to pose questions to deeply ponder, supported by the thoughts of Nietzsche or Schopenhauer and the like.

Perhaps I bought this book expecting too little of it compared to what I received. I did not want nor did I expect a simple list of 'when in this situation say this' type of book. It is however for the serious student and would suit anyone wanting to study the philosphy and history of the right words at the right time as in that context it is a comprehensive tome.

If you simply want to console a bereaved friend without platitudes, or have a useful word to remove or lighten embarassment from a difficult situation then this is definitely not for you.


Lark Rise to Candleford
Lark Rise to Candleford
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £14.99

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic blast from the past!, 19 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Lark Rise to Candleford (Audio CD)
If like me you are a fan of electric folk music you will be familiar with Ashley Hutchins legendary status in the genre. His vast work with the Albion band has spanned over 4 decades. This work is a landmark in as much as it contains much traditional music interspersed with readings from Flora Thompson's wonderful account of Hamlet life in Oxfordshire in the years leading up to the First World War.

The music is treated with great respect, in spite of purists saying that an electric guitar and drum kit have no place in the world of Folk. Without such albums these wonderful tunes would in all probability die. The playing is of a high order, the vocals created in an authentic 'local' style and add such true original character to the songs. The end result is a sympathetically digitally remastered copy from the Late 1970's original.

This album has been out of print for years, and I have been trying without success to find a copy, so to discover this re-issue has truly been a pleasure.

If you enjoy folk music, this is an essential part of any collection.


The Done Thing
The Done Thing
by Simon Fanshawe
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Manners for the masses, not class driven behavior., 14 July 2006
This review is from: The Done Thing (Hardcover)
Simon Fanshawe's very easy to read book fills a gap between Debrett's and a myriad of American publications on the subject of modern manners, approaching the subject from the British perspective. He makes the point that most of us will never need to know the correct greeting for the son of a Baronet, so it is not included. What is included however is a potted history of the sociological reasoning and the social impact of manners. Importantly, he makes the point that the book is about real manners, not class separating anachrionisms that really exist for nothing but snobbery. Broadly paraphrased, he states that manners are our guide to the correct, painless and more pleasant way to negotiate our interaction with strangers in the street as well as friends and family.

One of the more disappointing elements of books such as these are that they are generally read by people who nod in agreement, and not by those who blast our ears with mundane and unnecessary mobile phone conversations on trains, or by those who sadly do not know how to use a toilet (visit any men's public toilet to know what I mean).

Mr Fanshawe presents a witty, but serious guide to modern living with style. Something very sadly lacking in our world where style is confused with designer names and the latest technology. Bad manners are always with us, but that is no excuse for not having good manners ourselves. If you need this book then I commend it to you to change they way you interract with your fellow humans. If you nod in agreement at every page, then again I commend it to reinforce your views.


Off the Cuff: The Essential Style Guide for Men and the Women Who Love Them
Off the Cuff: The Essential Style Guide for Men and the Women Who Love Them
by Carson Kressley
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very American Queer Eye, 1 Jun. 2006
If you are familiar with the TV series 'Queer eye for the straight guy' Carson Kressley will be no stranger to you. His irrepressable 'camper than a row of tents' attitude translates well to the page, and as ever contains some cutting edge fashion advice. As a British reader, it is important to point out that this is a very American approach to fashion, and some of the terminology may prove difficult to grasp. Also, one has to remember that he is slightly over the top generally for us brits, but in fairness to him he does say that some things are not for the faint hearted, such as slippers with a dinner suit - I don't think so!

None the less this is a good guide to style and good dress sense, and if you are reading this you are probably in to Carson's style of presentation.


Essential Manners for Men: What to Do, When to Do It, and Why (Emily Post)
Essential Manners for Men: What to Do, When to Do It, and Why (Emily Post)
by Emily Post
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.99

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It depends who is buying it!, 5 Feb. 2006
This book gives the modern man all he needs to know about interaction in society, and how to behave in a civilised manner. However, there is a big 'but' here. If you are buying this for your husband, partner or boyfiend (what the book refers to as 'your significant other') then you will have a different view to if you are a man purchasing it for yourself. The well written text gives reasons why we men should not urinate on the toilet seat, pass wind loudly and with mirth in public and not burp loudly. It has a good section on car usage and how to drive without shouting obscenities at your other road users. There are further good sections on behavior in public, meeting and greeting, and the good use of cellular telephone and other communication tools.
The difference is, any man who is employing these techniques as a matter of course will find this book an affirmation, and thus it will not bring any new ideas to the fore. If you do pee on seats, pass wind violently etc then you are hardly likely to be looking for a book on manners - but your significant other may be!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 8, 2008 1:22 PM BST


Steeleye Span: The 35th Anniversary World Tour 2004 [DVD] [2007]
Steeleye Span: The 35th Anniversary World Tour 2004 [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Steeleye Span
Price: £17.99

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great concert - poor recording, 17 Sept. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For those of us who saw the 35th Anniversary Tour this DVD should be a 'must have' purchase to relive the wonderful experience of great band reaching a commendable milestone.

What you get however is at best arborial camera work, totally amateur editing, and - worse of all - a terrible sound mix. The live concert sound was very good, but this recording sounds and looks at times like a it was recorded by camcorder held in the audience and does nothing to enrich the experience.

Traditionally, and by necessity Steeleye move from line up to line up, but this incarnation works as one of the best of late. Maddy's superb vocal, and in particular Ken Nicoll's fluid and lyrical guitar playing is well complimented with fine bass, imaginative drums and expressive violin.

As far as extra features go, they are very limited. The brief interviews add insight to the band and its relationship with each other and the music, but the film quality and editing is to amateur quality.

Come on Park Records, you have a great act here - why let them down with such an amateur production?

Band 5 stars, production 1 star - average 3 - but buy it for the band, not the production.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 14, 2008 1:38 PM BST


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