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rolandrat123

rolandrat123

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So long Dooyooo and now CIAO! Some of us are in a Facebook group if anyone wants to join us - 'friends from dooyoo and ciao'

Reviews written

since 23/03/2012

966

Lost In Space - Series 1 (Box Set) (DVD) 15/11/2017

Nostalgic series from 60s - simple stories - memorable tunes

Lost In Space - Series 1 (Box Set) (DVD) FILM ONLY REVIEW The Product Actors: Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Bill Mumy Writers: Irwin Allen Number of discs: 8 Classification: U Studio: Twentieth Century Fox DVD Release Date: 23 Feb. 2004 Run Time: 1423 minutes Cost Second hand on Amazon £22.61 plus £1.26 postage. Basic Premise This is all about a family ‘lost in space’. The series was set in the (then) distant future of 1997 and the family of five, together with a robot and an official pilot, were blasting off for a new life to discover a planet they could live on. However an unofficial stowaway, Dr Zachary Smith, who was trying to sabotage the mission, threw the craft off course with his added weight – and they had to crash land on an unknown planet. The stories in each episode involve their fight for survival in hostile territory, often not assisted by Dr Smith who is always trying to find a way to get back to Earth. This show was first aired in America in 1965 and it ran for three series until 1968 when it was unexpectedly cancelled, so the fate of the Robinson family was never satisfactorily resolved.. The show was shown in black and white for the first series and was produced by Irvin Allen. The character of Dr Zachary Smith was apparently more of an afterthought but his character was central to the Jupiter 2 going off course and afterwards he is the disruptive and troublesome character in most of the shows and provides comic relief with his companion the robot. Main ...

Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Varnish 10/11/2017

Vibrant colours and quick application - not that quick drying

Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Varnish The Product Rimmel of London 60 Second nail polish 8ml glass bottle Use within 30 months Made in Spain Has Union Jack image on lid Cost This seems to be selling for around the £2.99 mark at chemists and Superdrug but I picked mine up for £1 at the local factory outlet shop. My Opinion Why I Bought It I often tend to buy Avon nail polishes and they get delivered for me. However you have to be organised and I had forgotten I needed bright red for Halloween so popped into my local Factory shop to grab any red shade. I have always liked Rimmel as a well known and trusted brand so was amazed to see them selling lots for just £1. Also they had a gorgeous pillar box red shade called 'Red Steady Go...' which was just what I needed. The Application Being such a bright shade I first applied a clear coat. I was surprised at how nice and wide the brush was and it made it really easy to apply. The long straight screw top lid also works as a good handle and makes the brush easy to manage. The colour is good and strong and the varnish thick so one coat was all that was needed to give great coverage and a really glossy finish - I was most impressed. They are sold as 'one coat' on the back of the bottle and it is indeed what it states - a change from having to do maybe two coats to get a good colour. Quick Drying? Well I would not say it dried in 60 seconds but for me that is not a problem - it did not take that long to dry - probably the same as any of my other varnishes and I ...

The People of the Abyss - Jack London 07/11/2017

A thought-provoking read - makes you appreciate what you have

The People of the Abyss - Jack London The Product The People of the Abyss by Jack London, written in 1902. Paperback: 180 pages Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Ill edition (27 Feb. 2013) ISBN-13: 978-1482642964 Cost £4.99 new on Amazon or 49p for the illustrated Kindle version. You can get an un-illustrated Kindle book for free. There are also audio versions on Youtube of around 6 hours. Basic Story Jack London is an American author who went ‘under cover’ in London’s East End in 1902 to get a real experience of how the poor lived and existed. He then produced this first-hand account of the conditions that so many of the poor lived and died in. My Opinion Even though it was written so long ago and is written in a slightly stilted and antiquated style I found this book fascinating. Jack London was prepared to ignore his friends advice and bought old clothes and went about as a poor USA sailor, on hard times, and queued up for the night beds in the Workhouse, stayed at Dosshouses – where you only had a tiny box to sleep in among many other men. The true scale of the problem sounds immense. The poor, often hard working people who somehow found their means of survival removed maybe due to illness or accident. Once someone was unable to earn their meagre wages they were on the slippery slope down to the very bottom of society. With no money they could not pay rent – not even for a shared room. Those who could not afford anywhere, not even a shared bed where three people would ...

The Time Machine - H. G. Wells 03/11/2017

An interesting time-travel tale

The Time Machine - H. G. Wells The Product Paperback: 80 pages Publisher: Martino Fine Books (16 Nov. 2011) ISBN-13: 978-1614271970 Cost New edition is £3.50 but a second hand copy on Amazon goes for just 1p plus £2.80 postage. You can find a free copy online with Project Gutenberg and also there are free audio versions on Youtube which are only just over three hours. Basic Story A Victorian scientist living in Surrey makes a time machine and travels to the future. There he encounters two distinct races – will he be able to find his machine to get back to his own time? My Opinion This well-known novel, written by H.G.Wells, was published way back in 1895 is now well know from the film versions, even for those who have never read the book. This is a very short book of only 80 pages and three hours on audio. It is told in the form of a frame narrative, where one of the time traveller’s friends begins the story, setting the scene for when the un-named ‘time traveller’ enters the room and then commences his own story – we are thereafter listening to his tale as if were sitting down with him and hearing him recounting the whole adventure – ‘without interruption’. The book was first published in serial form. At the beginning of the novel we see the gentleman having his weekly dinner with some like-minded friends – while discussing time and the fourth dimension. The time traveller then produces a small machine which seems to disappear. Has he really made it go into the future – his guests are ...

Forbidden Planet 30/10/2017

One of the iconic science fiction films from the 50s

Forbidden Planet FILM ONLY REVIEW The Product Actors: Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly, Earl Holliman Walter Pidgeon Director: Fred McLeod Wilcox Classification: u Run Time: 98.00 minutes Cost £8.95 new on Amazon. Basic Story This is a 1956 USA science fiction film by MGM, produced by Nicholas Nayfack and directed by Fred Wilcox. This was a ground-breaking science fiction film that features a faster than light flying saucer. It was set entirely on another planet and features electronic music throughout. The flying saucer starship is sent out to rescue a mission that went there 20 years previously. Dr Morbius, the only survivor, is rather mysterious and warns them not to land. Why is he behaving this way and what is he trying to hide? Main Cast • Walter Pidgeon as Dr. Edward Morbius • Anne Francis as Altaira "Alta" Morbius • Leslie Nielsen as Commander John J. Adams • Robby the Robot as Himself • Warren Stevens as Lt. "Doc" Ostrow • Jack Kelly as Lt. Jerry Farman • Richard Anderson as Chief Quinn • Earl Holliman as Cook My Opinion I had never seen this film before and only heard about it while researching the Lost in Space 1960s TV series which apparently drew many of its features from this movie. I was lucky enough to find a free online upload in two segments on the Dailymotion website. For being filmed in 1955 and released in 1956 this film is rather ground-breaking. It is in colour and has the futuristic sort of electronic music ...

Do you still celebrate Halloween? 28/10/2017

Do you 'still celebrate Halloween? Some of us are just starting!

Do you still celebrate Halloween? Quite a weird title to this moth's topic. Halloween these days is getting bigger and bigger, being only second to Christmas now as a national celebration. So it means lots more things in the shops, from special sweets and cakes to more and more decorations and retailers outdoing each other to see what is the most disgusting outfit they can come up with. I know I have always lived in a rural area but we never did anything for Halloween - it was always Bonfire Night we looked forward too. Never any apply bobbing or dressing up etc. It was starting to sneak its way into our consciousness when my children were growing up - there was one or two parties - where they would dress in black and have a cloak made out of black dress - with Dracula make-up and maybe a bought devil's fork. No one ever visited our remote house doing trick or treating but one son went one year with a friend who lived on an estate - back in those days children would go round people they knew - not just all and sundry. A niece of mine has a daughter born on 31st October and she thinks it great fun when people all call on her birthday - she has huge tubs of sweets to hand out and it really makes her hay - she'll be six this year. So far form 'still' celebrating it I've never really celebrated Halloween at all - though this year was going to me my first. There is a Halloween party locally and I'd decided to dress up - bought a wig, got bright nail varnish and lipstick and made a Morticia dress out of ...

A Girl is a Half Formed Thing - Eimear McBride 19/10/2017

This book is half formed - and thats an exaggeration!

A Girl is a Half Formed Thing - Eimear McBride The Product A Girl is a Half Formed Thing by Eimear McBride Paperback: 224 pages Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (10 April 2014) Language: English ISBN-13: 978-0571317165 Cost £6.99 new on Amazon or £2.81 including postage for a second hand copy. Basic Story Apparently it took the author nine years to get anyone to publish this novel which she managed to write in just six months. The story is set around an Irish girl, unnamed throughout the book, about her upbringing with a single parent and her brother’s struggle with a brain tumour. My Opinion This was our latest offering at our local book group. It has very mixed reviews on Amazon – with about 50% singing its merits – well it is ‘award winning’ after all, while the other 50% call it all sorts of things – ‘pretentious crap’ and a ‘a half formed novel’ being some of them! Luckily this is a shortish book – it is just over 7 hours on audio and if that is the route you take it is narrated by the author. The first thing you notice about this novel is the way it is written – and I use the term loosely. It has hardly any punctuation – and not in the correct places - some sentences finishing with 'the' and some just being strings of unrelated words. It is written like a stream of random thoughts in some places, especially at the beginning. Towards the centre you might get a sentence or two – but you are never told who is saying what. The narrator is the daughter – and she is mostly speaking to her brother ...

Under the Eagle - Simon Scarrow 08/10/2017

Chalk and cheese - two soldiers in the Roman Army

Under the Eagle - Simon Scarrow The Product Historical novel written by Simon Scarrow. Paperback: 448 pages Publisher: Headline; paperback edition (7 Aug. 2008) ISBN-13: 978-0755349708 Cost Paperback version is 1p plus £2.80 postage on Amazon. A new copy would be £4.99. Basic Story This is an historical military novel and centres around two main characters in the Imperial Roman Army during 1st century AD under Emperor Claudius. This first book shows how Cato, one of the main characters, becomes a junior offer in the Roman Army under Centurian Macro – the other main character. Both figures are like chalk and chees – Cato, although he was once a slave, is educated and sensitive, while Macro is a soldier through and through and at the beginning of the book cannot even read and is uncultured. The two men forge a friendship during their adversities. This book is mostly set in Germany and features the struggle the military Romans had with the locals. The Series This is the first in a long series of historical books all featuring the two main characters Cato and Macro. 1. Under the Eagle (2000) 2. The Eagle's Conquest (2001) 3. When the Eagle Hunts (2002) 4. The Eagle and the Wolves (2003) 5. The Eagle's Prey (2004) 6. The Eagle's Prophecy (2005) 7. The Eagle in the Sand (2006) 8. Centurion (2008) 9. The Gladiator (2009) 10. The Legion (2010) Blood Debt (2009, short story) 11. Praetorian (2011) 12. The Blood Crows (2013) 13. Brothers in Blood (2014) 14. Britannia (2015) 15. Invictus ...

Without A Clue (DVD) 21/09/2017

Holmes and Watson - but not as you know them!

Without A Clue (DVD) Film Only Review The Product 1988 film – Without a Clue Starring Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley Director: Thom Eberhardt Writers: Gary Murphy, Larry Strawther Producers: Ben Moses, Diana Buckhantz, Marc Stirdivant Classification: Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment DVD Release Date: 10 Dec. 2001 Run Time: 102 minutes Cost £3.36 used on Amazon or £5.33 new. Basic Story A Sherlock Homes movie with a twist. This one is a comic take on the famous duo of Holmes and Watson. Here we see Ben Kingsley as Doctor Watson, here as the master detective, but he keeps this a secret and employs an out of work actor Reginald Kincaid, played by Michael Caine, to act the part of Sherlock Holmes the famous detective, while all the time feeding him clues to give to the police and press. The story itself is about stolen bank note presses and the printing and fake notes but the story is incidental to the comic interplay between Watson and Holmes. A comic detective film with some funny and light hearted interludes along the way. My Opinion This film I have watched before on TV and on DVD as I think my husband has it here somewhere but I have just re-watched it for free on Youtube. Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine are the perfect duo for this film. Both great actors, they really complement each other in this story. Here we have Watson as the clever and deductive one, while really Holmes is just his ‘front man’. However although Sherlock is an out of work actor and a bit of a ...

Engleby - Michael Maloney 20/09/2017

Unusual tale and although interesting, quite disturbing

Engleby - Michael Maloney The Product Listening Length: 11 hours and 17 minutes Audiobook of Sebastian Faulks’ novel Unabridged Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks Audible.co.uk Release Date: 6 Feb. 2008 ASIN: B002SQD0G0 Cost £12.25 on Amazon or one credit if you are with Audible. Basic Story This novel is an autobiography in a way and the narrator of the tale is Mike Engleby himself. It covers his troubled childhood, bullying, harsh conditions in a boarding school and goes on to cover his university years. The book then continues through his life to show how things have progressed. A lot of the book covers the 1970s student world, but all as seen from Engleby’s perspective. Through Mike’s revelations of the harsh upbringing he had we begin to feel empathy for him. He seems a rather unsociable and awkward individual, sort of living life on the side lines. However as the story progresses we see how he became infatuated with another student while at university, how much of the relationship is real or in his imagination? Also when this girl disappears we are left wondering – what really happened to her and was Engleby involved at all? Engleby sees everything from his own viewpoint (as well all do) and in his own mind he can justify all his actions. My Opinion I did not really know what to expect when I bought this audiobook and although I quite enjoyed it it was also rather disturbing in its own way. Sebastian Faulks’ character of Engley is one that we should hate and despise but Faulks ...

Under The Greenwood Tree (DVD) 18/09/2017

A year in a rural village - a quaint film of Thomas Hardy's novel

Under The Greenwood Tree (DVD) FILM ONLY REVIEW The Product TV adaptation of the Thomas Hardy novel. Actors: Keeley Hawes, James Murray, Ben Miles, Steve Pemberton Director: Nick Laughland Number of discs: 1 PG Studio: 2entertain DVD Release Date: 9 Jan. 2006 Time – 93 minutes. Cost £6 new or £4.95 second hand on Amazon. Main Cast Keeley Hawes as Fancy Day James Murray as Dick Dewy Steve Pemberton as Mr. Shinar Ben Miles as Parson Maybold Basic Story This is a TV adaptation of the Thomas Hardy story. The action takes place in a small village called Mellstock and has two strands to the story. One part features the choir of Mellstock which for generations has played and sung in the village church, will they be superseded by the new organ that the vicar has purchased? The other strand involves an attractive teacher who has come back to the village to nurse her sick father. The arrival of this attractive young lady causes her to attract the attention of three men – all from different strata of society – which one will win her favours? My Opinion As far as I can recollect this adaptation sticks pretty much to the original story as written by Thomas Hardy, though there is one or two little differences at the end, but nothing major. The book was originally written back in 1872 and the title is taken from a Shakespearian song in As You Like It. The film follows a whole year in the community of Mellstock – ‘under the greenwood tree’ – and the tree in the film is shown to reflect the ...

The House At Sea's End: A Case For Investigator Ruth Galloway - Elly Griffiths 09/09/2017

Detective/archaeology story - you never know who you can trust

The House At Sea's End: A Case For Investigator Ruth Galloway - Elly Griffiths The Product Paperback: 400 pages Publisher: Quercus (2 Jun. 2016) ISBN-13: 978-1786482136 Cost Second hand paperback from 1p plus £2.80 postage. £3.85 new on Amazon. The Series This is Book 3 in the Dr Ruth Galloway detective series – so far there have been nine books published: The Crossing Places The Janus Stone The House at Sea’s End A Room Full of Bones Ruth’s First Christmas Tree Dying Fall The Outcast Dead The Ghost Fields The Woman in Blue The Chalk Pit (2017) The Basic Story The Ruth Galloway mystery series is written by Elly Griffiths, the nom de plume of Domenica de Rosa. The premise of the whole series is the relationship and interplay between Dr Ruth Galloway, an archaeologist at a Norfolk university, and Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson. Ruth gets called in to help the police in each book as some mystery is unfolding. The series is set in the isolated and bleak Norfolk salt marshes. In this book six skeletons have been discovered on a remote beach after high tides – Ruth comes in to help date the bones and to test them for their geographic origins. However Nelson is involved as it soon becomes apparent that the people were shot and also tied together. Who were these six murdered people? What is the story behind their murders? And is it enough for someone to still continue killing? My Opinion This is now my fourth Ruth Galloway book, having read the newest one first – yes I know – a silly thing to do! The story continues from the ...

Alone in Berlin - Hans Fallada 05/09/2017

A novel showing how an average couple kept their integrity

Alone in Berlin - Hans Fallada The Product Book written in 1947 but translated into English in 2009. Paperback: 608 pages Publisher: Penguin Classics (28 Jan. 2010) Language: English ISBN-13: 978-0141189383 Cost Second hand on Amazon it is only £0.34 + £2.80 UK delivery or just £4.99 new and free p&p for orders over £10. Basic Story This is the first anti Nazi book to come out in Germany in 1947 and written by Hans Fallada. In Germany it was called ‘Every Man Dies Alone’ and featured an ordinary working man and his wife who decided to make a stand against the oppression during World War 2. It is based on a true story of a couple who decided to do their own little bit of Resistance by writing postcards. The real life couple, Otto and Elise Hampel, lived in Berlin and are not interested in current affairs or politics, but the death of her brother spurs them into action. In the book this is portrayed as the loss of their son. Their small from of Resistance is to write postcards urging people to resist the Nazis and to leave them in public places for people to find. The book contains images of the actual postcards distributed. The postcards were written in clumsy handwriting and they frightened the people who found them so much so that they were almost all handed over to the Gestapo immediately. The story reflects the mood of the time, where everyone distrusts everyone else and they are all living in fear of being denounced to the Gestapo, for maybe even the most innocent of deed or word. ...

The Janus Stone - Elly Griffiths 20/08/2017

'Every Changes - nothing perishes' an interesting detective novel

The Janus Stone - Elly Griffiths The Product The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths The second in the Ruth Galloway series. Paperback: 336 pages Publisher: Quercus (29 July 2010) ISBN-13: 978-1849162296 Cost Second hand paperback from 42p plus £2.80 postage. £7.99 new on Amazon. The Series This is Book 2 in the Dr Ruth Galloway detective series – so far there have been nine books published: The Crossing Places The Janus Stone The House at Sea’s End A Room Full of Bones Ruth’s First Christmas Tree Dying Fall The Outcast Dead The Ghost Fields The Woman in Blue The Chalk Pit (2017) Who Was Janus? Janus was the Roman god of gates, doorways, beginnings and ending – hense why he is depicted with two heads – one pointing in each direction – one to the future and oen to the past. The Basic Story The Galloway series is written by Elly Griffiths, the nom de plume of Domenica de Rosa. Again this novel is set in the remote salt marshes of Norfolk and it combines the archaeological skills of Ruth Galloway with the detective work of DCI Harry Nelson. Dr Ruth Galloway works in the archaeology dept. of the local university and her speciality is old bones. Again Ruth is called in to assist the police when bones are discovered – this time they are intrigued because the torsos are missing their skulls. This time builders demolishing an old house find a skeleton under to doorstep of the house, but minus its skull. A child once disappeared from the building when it was a children’s home – but is this her ...

Rebecca (DVD) 04/08/2017

Can you ever live up to the memory of a dead first wife??

Rebecca (DVD) FILM ONLY REVIEW The Product 1940 film in black and white. Actors: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson, Nigel Bruce Director: Alfred Hitchcock Classification: PG Studio: Fremantle DVD Release Date: 1 Jan. 2008 Run Time: 126 minutes Cost £4.99 used or new on Amazon. Basic Story This was Alfred Hitchcock’s first film in the US and stared Joan Fontaine who played a timid companion who is on holiday at Monte Carlo. It is based on Daphne Du Maurier’s book of the same name written in 1938. Here she falls head over heels for dashing but moody widower Laurence Olivier. After a quick marriage they both return to his country mansion in Cornwall, called Manderley. However life for the young and second Mrs De Winter is not all she expected as everywhere she turns in the large house she is confronted with reminders of Maxim’s first wife, the revered Rebecca. Can she get over this memory that hangs over everything, and what is the secret that is troubling Maxim so much? My Opinion This is a film I had watched many years ago and one that always lingered in my mind – after watching the movie how can you forget the name of ‘Mandaley’. Laurence Olivier plays the moody and broody Maxim De Winter very well – and had the right sort of superior attitude needed for someone in his position as owner of a country mansion. Joan Fontaine played the timid little mouse of a companion and the new Mrs De Winter almost too well. She comes over as so timid and ...
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