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Book Review: The Pagan Bard by Luna Hare

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Creativity, Nature, Paganism, ReviewsNo Comments

The Pagan Bard by Luna Hare is a book containing 55 poems about the seasons and other natural/spiritual poetry. They are spread over 76 pages and are beautifully presented along with images and swirls.

The poems have been written over 30 years and are wonderfully wholesome. I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and everyone of them. In each poem, Luns takes you on a deeply personal and spiritual journey.

This book is not only enlightening but also entertaining.

If you’re looking for a nature or pagan themed poetry book, this is the one for you.

Full disclosure: I helped to edit this book.

Review soon,

Antony

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Venue Review: Feast at the Mills

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, Life, ReviewsNo Comments

This is a review of the outdoor venue Feast at the Mills in Wigan. Last weekend, a lovely family (who have unofficially adopted me) and I headed to Feats at the Mills. It was a Sunday lunchtime. So we had the pleasure of seeing Back to the Future on their cinema-sized screen.

On entering Feasts we saw four food vendors, a cake vendor, a coffee vendor, a bar and plenty of space to relax. I would say that the set up is very bare bones at the moment. Woodchip makes up the counters that isn’t even painted in places and electric lighting is limited.

There is also lack of heaters in the outside venue. They’ve tried to make up for this with blankets dotted around the place. But I would recommend that when you visit, dress warmly – as afterall we are in the North of England.

It should be noted for you Cash is King people that the food vendors don’t accept cash, only card payments. The bar does accept cash, but they prefer card payments. They welcome pets, families and have toilets.

Both the family and I wanted coffee and had to ask for a member of staff on both occasions to staff the stall. Yet there were three staff behind the bar and an additional one milling about and generally looking disinterested and unhappy to be there. Given the cold weather that day, you’d think they’d have kept the coffee vendor staffed at all times, as people really weren’t after alcohol at that time in the day.

Now onto the food. For me, the main attraction at any venue. They had a Stake Shack, a pizza place, a chicken place and a Greek place. I ate from the Stake Shack, getting a stake, chips and peppercorn sauce which was delicious. For desert I got pancakes and ice cream which were both brilliant. The food and live music are what make this venue truly unique, however no live music is on till about 3PM on a Sunday, which was the time we had to leave. Therefore I can only speak about the food.

Overall it was a pleasant and enjoyable experience. It is the perfect place to meet up and catch up with family/friends. The food is excellent, but what made the experience special to me was spending good times with family.

Review soon,

Antony

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Book Review: The Poetic Prisoner (Breaking Free Vol. 1) by Taym Doraj

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments

Full Disclosure: I edited this book and contributed creatively to the cover design.

Here is how The Poetic Prisoner’s back cover describes the book:

Talented Poet, Taym Doraj takes you on an emotional adventure in The Poetic Prisoner (Breaking Free Vol. 1).

Taym shares poems about his time in prison, his battle with addictions, crime, mental health, broken and dysfunctional family ties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this book you’ll find poems about dark times, the desire to change, love, connection, hope and being inspired to transform his life. From life going all wrong, to a positive vibes mindset developed from God, yoga and meditation.

One of the reasons I love this book is because everyone of the poems are brilliant. Taym has a really engaging writer’s voice and tackles tough subjects well. He uses the imagery of dark and light throughout this book and shares how he transformed his life from negative to positive.

Taym hopes to use his life experiences and this book to inspire people to be healthier and happier. It’s a fantastic book that deserves your attention and is thoroughly enjoyable to read. Like most poetry books it is short at just 47 pages. But Taym is clever and doesn’t waste a single word.

The Poetic Prisoner (Breaking Free Vol. 1) by Taym Doraj is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,

Antony

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Tech Reviews: Upgrading My External Hard Drives to SSD

By Amazon, Reviews, Shopping, TechnologyNo Comments

I tend to keep my files (documents, photos, music & video) on WD external hard drives. I don’t use cloud storage, as I dislike subscription services and their ever increasing prices. Plus, I have a lot of files, so it gets expensive and relies too much on the internet. One of the pluses of external hard drives are that they are portable, so I can physically share larger files with family/friend easily.

But there are minuses with my current system. First transfers for larger files can be slow, second that there’s always a chance of hard drive failure – particularly with external hard drives that have moving parts, like the ones I’m currently using. So I decided that it was time to upgrade to SSD (solid state drives), which boast faster transfer speeds and no moving parts. Think of them as large capacity pen drives.

I opted for two different branded 4TB models, one a Samsung T7 Shield (4TB) and the other SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (4TB). The reason I opted for the Samsung drive is trust in the brand. The reason I opted for SanDisk was because of the colour.

It may sound odd, but different colours enable me to identify my drives more easily. I did try to get a Samsung T7 Shield in blue (in desperation I even considered beige) but both blue and beige 4TB models were out of stock everywhere.

Here’s my first impression of each model:

Samsung T7 Shield (4TB) first impressions:

  • It’s tiny. It literally fits in the palm of my hand, see image above.
  • It has this soft, ridged feel which makes it really nice to hold.
  • It feels like a quality product.
  • It comes with x2 USB cables. One is USB C to C and the other is USB C to B.
  • It gets warm, but nowhere near as hot as the Scan Disk.
  • It was easy to set up and use. It’s literally plug and play.
  • Its copy speed really varied. I can’t be sure if this is the new drive or due to my old one.
  • Had a cool blue blinking light to indicate that the drive is in use.
  • Good for multitasking.
  • I have complete confidence in the Samsung brand.
  • There are a range of cases you can purchase to keep it in.

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (4TB) first impressions:

  • It’s tiny. It literally fits in the palm of my hand, see image above.
  • Its firmware was up-to-date. This was a nightmare to check, SanDisk’s website is easy enough to find to check. But seeing the tiny serial number on the back of the device I found difficult.
  • It feels nice in the hand and has a hole for attaching to backpacks, not that I’ll ever use this feature.
  • It was easy to set up.
  • It gets very hot during use.
  • It is much faster than my previous hard drive.
  • I am concerned about failure or data loss as I found this video online when looking for reviews of the product, after I bought the product and was waiting delivery. I probably wouldn’t have bought this product had I have known this information prior to purchase:

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  • I decided based on this video to use this drive up as a back up one, rather than a main drive as originally intended.
  • It is USB C but comes with a USB B adapter for those that might require it.
  • Practically silent operation.
  • Very good when multitasking.
  • There are a range of cases you purchase to keep the device in.

Blog soon,

Antony

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