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Craft Book Review – Mini Knitted Ocean by author Sachiyo Ishii

Review of Mini Knitted Ocean is by guest reviewer and novice knitter, Kelly A from Pontyclun


I’m a fairly novice knitter, most of my accomplishments come in the form of scarves, so it was really nice to have a go at something different with this book. I love the quality of the book, the various projects within and the quirky theme of the ocean.
Whenever I start knitting I always forget how to cast on, so I’d hope I’d find simple instructions inside the book (because the projects are aimed at beginner, intermediate and advanced) but there were none so I headed over to youtube for a quick tutorial.
I’d opted for a beginner project, the ‘clown fish’, but I wanted to make it spooky (because it’s Halloween!) so I opted for red, black and green wool. Once I’d cast on it didn’t take long for me to gather momentum for the project! I have never really followed a detailed set of knitting instructions before, so it was great to have a reference at the front of the book for all the different abbreviations.
It took me probably six to eight hours in total to complete the fish, I’m sure it would be a much quicker project for the more advanced knitter, but as I say, I’ve never made anything quite so technical. I love how many different ideas are contained within the book as well as how Sachiyo Ishii has kept things very simple, from materials to techniques.
I really loved the tone of the book, very engaging and user friendly. I definitely think the images helped me gauge how well I was doing and give you an idea of the different stages as I worked through them.
I really enjoyed making our Halloween Clown Fish, and I agree that it’s perfect for a beginner. I think this book will become quite addictive now I’ve achieved one project, and I can’t wait to start the next one!


Stage Review: Paradise of the Assassins

This project/production is Arts Council England funded and the hand-outs received are actually a complete text in full book format which is unusual. ‘Unusual’ being the operative word for this evening. More about that to come.

Firstly, I must be clear about one thing, this old story is fascinating and it will draw you in spite of yourself. Break-neck and full of ferocity. A Muslim story, an ‘anti-parable’ if such a word exists.

In a Persian (Arabian) setting at a time when the Mongol Empire was still strong. Hussain (Asif Khan) and his love Zamurrud (Skye Hallam) are on their first Hajj. They’ve been walking for a long time and the mountains are stretching ahead, so they rest and Hussain tends to Zamurrud’s blistered feet. When they disagree on which trail to pick up, Zamurrud reveals her true reasons for coming to the valley. And we are suddenly engaged in her quest for the truth about what had happened to her brother on his past pilgrimage to Mecca.

So the story continues and it is full of purpose, but this stage adaption is hard work. Hard work for the actors who have to cram twice as many words into set pieces than is usual. Hard work for the onlooker who wants to pin a badge of credibility to the way the story is being played out, but is thinking there are tricks being missed along the way.

But how do you best portray characters, like Hussain, being one who does not trust what is going on yet he can’t seem to work things out? How do you develop the evilness of evil characters like Khurshah (Karl Seth)? How on earth do you devise the staging when it has to deal with scenes which include: the juxta positioning of a remote setting with an out-of-this-world setting, a sacred resting place; scenes of a religious worship and those of a sexual nature; murderous actions. You name it! And how does an ensemble player do all of that convincingly while coping with such densely packed dialogue?

Well however one handles all of this stuff, the drama was definitely weaving its magic, because, and despite a degree of negativity that I was experiencing, one really is compelled to return and see how the story concludes after the interval break .

I can report that in later scenes there is evidently more astuteness all round. Astuteness to the very flow of the text, to the stage management, and in the performances themselves. Incidents, both large and small, are better handled.

At the end of it all, this is an interesting play, which, and somewhat surprisingly for myself, will stick and for all the right reasons.

Featured Image: Asif Khan as HUSSAIN and Naveed Khan as SHAREEF ALI VUJOODI

Theatre Critic, Debra Hall attended press night of Paradise of the Assassins at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry on Thursday 13 October 2016. Repeated publication at Remotegoat Click here


A return to the Apollo Theatre for Peter Pan Goes Wrong 

Mischief Theatre’s smash-hit Peter Pan Goes Wrong returns to the Apollo Theatre London for a limited festive season.  Recently nominated for Best New Comedy at the 2016 Olivier Awards Theatre, TSS is sharing a review of this fabulous funny show by theatre critic, Debra Hall which was written during its 2015 touring run

Hall suggests that you fly on over to read it by clicking on the link below and then recommends that you catch Peter Pan Goes Wrong this festive season

Supporting a different cast to those members in the tour but who are deemed to be as equally talented! Peter Pan Goes Wrong is set to run at the West End from October 20th 2016 until January 29th 2017. You can book through Official Theatre

Source: Stage Review – Peter Pan Goes Wrong


Twitter Competition to win a pair of tickets to Lennon: Through A Glass Onion at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Attention Live Music fans in the Midlands UK!

On 21 and 22 October 2016 Lennon: Through a Glass Onion (a stage production celebrating the legend that is JOHN LENNON) rolls into THE BELGRADE THEATRE in Coventry

Inspired by the song “Glass Onion”, which was John Lennon’s postscript to The Beatles, this show peels away the layers of time and myth to offer insight into the life and astonishing talent of one of the world’s most treasured icons

Lennon: Through A Glass Onion features Liverpool actor Daniel Taylor in the lead role

For a chance to Win a pair of tickets participate in the #freebiefriday competition @TSSComms

1. The free draw is open to UK residents only and entrants must be over 18. By entering you are agreeing to the competition rules
2. To enter the free prize draw, entrants must have a Twitter account and are to Follow @LennonOnStage on Twitter and retweet a competition tweet.  A minimum participation threshold of 20 people participating must be met, if numbers do not match or exceed this the competition will be cancelled and the prize will not be released
3. Only one entry per person
4. The Competition will run from Friday 07 October 2016 and will close at Midnight on Sunday 09 October 2016. No entries will be accepted after this closing date
5. The prize is a pair of tickets to one of the two Coventry dates  Lennon: Through A Glass Onion at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry on either Friday 21st October (7.30pm), or Saturday 22nd October (choice of matinee or evening performances). There will be one winner
6. The prize draw will be random
7. Participants must agree to be part of any reasonable promotional activity surrounding the competition on social media outlets. Please note however, that the competition is not connected to Twitter and is hosted only by and so accepts no responsibility of prize fulfilment after the competition has closed. The competition is operated independently by Go Productions and their contact details will be exchanged with the confirmed winner on Monday 10 October
8. It is the responsibility of entrants to ensure their entry meets with entry requirements and is submitted online successfully
9. The winner will be announced @TSSComms on Twitter on Monday 10 0ct0ber, 2016
10. The winning tickets will be made available from collection from the box office at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry prior to the chosen performance, and though tickets will not be posted, the winner will be required to provide information such as a name and address after the competition has closed
11. It will not be possible to transfer or exchange this prize for any other touring date, or for any kind of alternative
12. The host reserves the right to exclude from the competition any entry that does not meet criteria, and also to change, suspend or terminate the promotion and entry period at any time. Disqualification of participants will be carried out if, for any reason, the promotion cannot be carried out fairly or if they suspect any person is manipulating entries or results, or who has acted unethically in any other way.

Enter via Twitter @TSSComms


Stage Review: DEAD SHEEP

Writer, Jonathan Maitland has recreated for stage the out of public view relationships between Mrs Thatcher and the most prominent politicians and advisers of the 80’s era. This is not an unfolding account as it concentrates on 1981 and 1989 particularly, and, for the sake of entertainment, skates over the political years in-between.

Steve Nallon (Mrs Thatcher)-Paul Bradley (Geoffrey Howe) Graham Seed (Ian Gow)- Carol Royale (Elspeth Howe)

Steve Nallon (Mrs Thatcher)-Paul Bradley (Geoffrey Howe) Graham Seed (Ian Gow)- Carol Royale (Elspeth Howe)

So the play opens in 1981, and, with the clever use of imagined dialogue and the stunning visual presence of Steve Nallon in character, it is a throwback setting that is something so consciously familiar for a lot of us. As the play develops it is only the smell of perspiring politicians in crisis that is missing!

The growing bug bear, was, of course, the government split over Europe. The play is also a true portrayal of the then Prime Minister’s divisive motivations and the strong hold she had over the men she chose to keep close.

On the flip side it is interestingly revealed, through her coolness and sarcastic behaviour when in the company of Elspeth Howe; wife of Geoffrey, that clearly demonstrates the insecurity Mrs T felt from having another strong woman in her midst. Elspeth and she were poles apart in manner and principle, and she thought Elspeth as a threat to the ‘family’ of men around her.

This it is not by any means a ‘see what happens when women take over’ story, but it does touch on the subject of sexual equality. The base of the play however, is allowing insight to the Prime Minister’s top dog motivations and the revealing of her potential to be unkind and insincere to those closest to her.

Paul Bradley (Geoffrey Howe)

Paul Bradley (Geoffrey Howe)

It’s a skilful piece, something about seeing those figures on stage telling the story is terrific. The jokes are well thought out and as you might well expect, there is lots of back stabbing and false sentiments expressed! Recommended!

Steve Nallon as Margaret Thatcher

Steve Nallon as Margaret Thatcher


Stage Review – OSTRICH BOYS

This play is a revelatory experience all in all. The first reveal is immense, and a great place to start, but there is much more to the story. The script writing and the drama techniques used in getting the story out is pretty ingenious

Four pals – four troubled young men (with Ross in a dislocated state at all times), each possessing very different personalities, yet all four from the friendship quartet are energetic jokers: passionate, heroic, hedonistic and vital, and under the surface, deep down, spirits are crushed somewhat; mind and thoughts restricted

Adapted for stage by Carl Miller, from the successful book of the same title by author, Keith Gray, it is plain that the content is not particularly original, nevertheless, the slow uncovering of storytelling layers and the revealing of the real truth at the play’s end is handled extraordinary well

 SHEA DAVIS-Ross, CARL AU-Sim, FAAIZ MBELIZI-Kenny, FRED HAIG-blake. In Ostrich Boys Photographer Robert-Day

Photographer Robert-Day

Four multi-talented cast members, who double-up (and triple-up sometimes) as other necessary characters that need to feature. Four strikingly gifted young actors which can really ‘put on a show’, displaying excellent interpretation, fabulous energy, good comic pacing, and the performance of dance moves that can be described as being ‘theatrical contemporary’

The stage installation is fairly unadorned, with a couple of moving components that are compliant for the management of changing scenes. Yet along with some clever props you can envisage the settings: the train station, the fairground, the bike riding etc. Also scenes involve the use of height for a bungee jump, and, in contrast, the set allows for a spot of low down scrambling for when characters access the tramp hotel!

Directed by Tony Graham, Ostrich Boys is showing at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre until Sat 24th September, this fantastic play kicking off the Autumn Season in B2 will have wide appeal. Recommended!


SHEA DAVIS (Ross)– Theatre credits include The Sound of Music and Macbeth,
Film: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
TV: BBC’s Casualty

FRED HAIG (Blake) – Theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Rent

CARL AU (Sim) -Theatre credits include A Christmas Carol, High School Musical
TV: The Lost Sitcoms – Till Death Us Do Part

FAAIZ MBELIZI (Kenny) – Theatre credits include Merchant of Venice and All My Sons

Photography by Robert Day

Theatre Critic, Debra Hall attended press night of Ostrich Boys at The Belgrade Theatre (B2) on Tuesday 13 Sept 8.00 pm. A repeat of this publication also appears at Remotegoat Stage

Cast members of Ostrich Boys Photography by Robert Day

Cast members of Ostrich Boys
Photography by Robert Day


Review: ‘Sully’ Is a Weirdly Good, and Original, Exploration of Heroism

From Jon Negroni, A Review of ‘Sully’ which Jon rates as an A Grade Film
Some movies are “based on a true story,” but it would be limiting to slot Sully, the latest film from Clint Eastwood, into such a broad, somewhat uninteresting category. When audiences …

Source: Review: ‘Sully’ Is a Weirdly Good, and Original, Exploration of Heroism


Chatsworth Country Fair on Saturday 03 September In Pictures (in the Rain)


The thirty fifth Chatsworth Country Fair was opened yesterday in a Grand Ring Opening ceremony (Friday 02 Sept) by the Country Fair President, Jessica Ennis-Hill, the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and Wholefood Warrior, Eva Humphries

Our choice to attend today (Saturday 03 Sept) turned out to be a folly on our part with the weather being the overriding thing. The same view shared by everyone else involved and attending this day, I’m sure. Bet the wellie boot and umbrella sellers made a killing!

These pictures really convey a damp few hours spent at an organised grand event in the English countryside. They have their own charm however, because of the inclement weather. Enjoy viewing them:



a shaking Water Scurry participant after a dip in the River Derwent 


IMG_4282 (1)

In the Cookery Theatre and out of the rain – a live cookery demonstration by Great British Bake Off judge, Mary Berry



in an avenue between eight long rows of trade stands people mingled and browsed



The Household Cavalry Musical Ride


The Life Guards



Display performance from The Imps Motorcycle Display Team


One finely balanced mini ‘Imp’ 

Three Saturday hours spent with:













from the Children’s Zone















UNILIN flooring

7 smart reasons why UNILIN is a Growth Company

What is a growth Company?

‘A growth company is any company whose business generates significant positive cash flows or earnings, which increase at significantly faster rates than the overall economy. A growth company tends to have very profitable reinvestment opportunities for its own retained earnings’ Source: Investopedia

Here follows 7 Reasons why UNILIN is one of these companies:

1. Because since first becoming established in Flanders, Belgium in 1960, UNILIN has developed into a world player and maintains a leadership position in the flooring industry with its famous brands Quick-Step (introduced in 1990) and Pergo. UNILIN also manufactures products such as roof elements, insulation panels and furniture panels

Mohawk industries

2. And because UNILIN has been part of corporate retailing giant Mohawk Industries Inc since 2005. The UNILIN acquisition established a strong European presence for MOHAWK,  as well as bringing about a leading laminate position. Aside from Europe, Mohawk Production units are situated in North and South America and Asia too


UNILIN division flooring produces laminate floors, engineered wood and vinyl flooring (Quick-Step and Pergo). The division also produces and distributes matching accessories

UNILIN Division Flooring, Wielsbeke, Belgium

3. and UNILIN is a strong growth business because it is internationally active. UNILIN has nine production sites in Belgium with Unilin ‘s headquarters located in Wielsbeke near Waregem, Three divisions: UNILIN, division flooring (pictured above) Laminate flooring producing those quality brands, and Wood departments: which produce engineered wood, with a variety of natural decors; and Vinyl departments producing practical multi-layer vinyl floors with a printed surface in a variety of colours; UNILIN, division panels wood-based panels (particleboard, MDF), decorative panels; UNILIN, division insulation– roofing and insulation. Many other production units operating across Europe as a whole, plus a growing market in China. UNILIN also active in Brazil, in Australia, and in Vietnam too. Amounting to 20 Productions units internationally

4. And UNILIN is also a strong growth Business because it is financially sound. Consolidated turnover of the UNILIN Group amounts to € 1,4 billion

Unilin’s CEO Bernard Thiers (pictured above with 5 graduates) joined Unilin in 1984 as a plant manager, he has and served in roles of increasing management significance since that time, including President.

Unilin’s CEO Bernard Thiers (pictured above (rear) chairing a meeting with five graduates) joined Unilin in 1984 as a plant manager, he has served in roles of increasing management significance since that time, including President Image Source. Mark Magazine 2014 – a subscription magazine for the practice and perception of architecture

5. UNILIN is driven by innovation, with the company’s culture characterised by investments in technology and human capital. Therefore, being an employer of 4.800 people, it stands out as being not only a growth company but a passionate and one! At every level, real entrepreneurs are at the heart of UNILIN’s success, with attractive salaries and additional incentives for those that bring creativity and dynamism to the table and then becoming intrapreneurs who thrive. UNILIN was awarded the Top Employer from the Top Employer Institute België/Belgique 2016 certification

renewed production line

hi-tech production line at UNILIN, division flooring

6. UNILIN is a growth company as it produces high quality products: Laminate flooring, composite parquet floors and luxury vinyl flooring under the brands Quick-Step and Pergo. Note: Next month, September 2016, UNILIN, division flooring will be launching a brand-new Quick-Step Majestic laminate. 


Quick Step Impressive laminate flooring – IMAGE our own – a bathroom refit project showcased at tssreviews (Autumn 2015)

7. And last but not least, with ‘Respect’ being the cornerstone of the UNILIN philosophy, means the company is committed to its employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and everyone they work with. Having respect for the environment, UNILIN achieves good balance between economic, social and environmental considerations – which is why the business is successful, and so that everyone associated with this growth company is benefiting from its promise of top quality and service

UNILIN is TSS Business of the Month for August 2016



HW K950 soundbar

The Samsung HW-K950 Soundbar – Product feature

Samsung Electronics have today announced that the HW-K950 is the latest addition to its premium soundbar portfolio and the industry’s first to be custom developed to deliver captivating sound with Dolby Atmos technology, is now available to buy in the UK.

The Samsung HW-K950 is the world’s first 5.1.4 playback system to offer next-generation home theatre sound sporting 15 speakers, including four upward-firing Dolby Atmos enabled speakers and two rear wireless speakers, delivering overhead and surround sound.

Soundbar HW-K950

Soundbar HW-K950

At just 2.1” high, the HW-K950’s slim and sleek design features 15 built-in speakers including three forward-facing and two upwards-facing units which produce a rich, full sound big enough to fill a room. Specifically engineered wide range tweeters deliver the best audio in any seat, allowing people to enjoy crystal clear, accurate sound alongside realistic, cinematic detail for a breath-taking home audio experience.

HW K950 with speakers

HW K950 with speakers

The soundbar connects wirelessly to the subwoofer and rear speaker units, for a practical and seamless solution in any living space. This also means that ceiling-fitted speakers are not required for moving, multi-dimensional audio.

Not just for movie-lovers, customers can also enjoy studio-quality music with the HW-K950. Multiroom functionality enables the system to connect wirelessly to Samsung Multiroom speakers for High Res Audio in any chosen room ensuring the best possible music experience.

Commenting on the launch, Steve Mitchell, General Manager of TV and AV, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland said: “Interest in the HW-K950 since its unveiling at CES earlier this year has been phenomenal and we are hugely excited to be bringing the device to our customers in the UK. Whether you are listening to music, watching films, television shows or playing your favourite video games, we’re confident that the new Samsung HW-K950 soundbar will be the best product in the market to deliver the full impact of the entertainment experience, helping viewers get even closer to the action.”

The Samsung HW-K950 joins an award-winning AV product portfolio and retails at RRP of £1,299.99. For more information and stockist details visit