Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Death in the Clouds - Book Review


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There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.



I am reading through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and writing a review on each one.








Death in the Clouds



1935



Description



A woman is killed by a poisoned dart in the enclosed confines of a commercial passenger plane…
From seat No.9, Hercule Poirot was ideally placed to observe his fellow air passengers. Over to his right sat a pretty young woman, clearly infatuated with the man opposite; ahead, in seat No.13, sat a Countess with a poorly-concealed cocaine habit; across the gangway in seat No.8, a detective writer was being troubled by an aggressive wasp.
What Poirot did not yet realise was that behind him, in seat No.2, sat the slumped, lifeless body of a woman.






My Thoughts



This is the 24th book by Agatha Christie and the 11th Poirot Mystery

I love this one.

I know I have said that of others and it is true but then I do love so many of her books.

This one was written so carefully and well that the second time I read it I still got the murderer wrong.  I thought that I had remembered it so well that I remembered the correct murderer, but I was wrong.  I was actually still being mislead by the clues the same way as I had been the first time I read it so that to me makes a really good book.

Because this takes place on an aeroplane we have that added intrigue of the contained space like the locked room in so many stories.  Then because it takes place many years ago we have the added intrigue of the confined space full of people as the plane is small.

This one as many of her other novels have different nationalities involved so does this lead to misunderstandings because of different languages and cultures?

Also a young woman is there to help Poirot as in some of the other books based around him but does she help or hinder?

Now for the big question some of you may be asking because you know I love to have Hastings in the Poirot mysteries.
Is Hastings in this one?
Well you will have to read it to find out for yourself because this time I'm not giving you any clue on that important fact.



If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Amazon
Books by Agatha Christie


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.














Saturday, 24 February 2018

10 Gift Ideas for a Guitar Fanatic - Need Help?

Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.



Well ok my husband is not a guitar fanatic!


But my husband does love to play the guitar and to go to music shops to look at guitars and try out new ones.




Years ago he would be tempted by many a nice-sounding guitar and for a while we had several (and I really do mean several) guitars in our house.  Well you always need a 12 string as well as a 6 string acoustic and of course you need an electric and you can't forget about a bass as well.  Then even when you have a really good guitar that you love, you also need to have another semi-acoustic to always be sitting near at hand to pick up and play or teach someone else the basics on.


As it is coming up to his next birthday Fred chose to get another guitar


Now I know there are many people who often find it hard to buy gifts for people especially guys.
So if the person you are thinking of is a guitar lover then hang on in here and see a few ideas for gifts  for them and if not a guitar lover then you might find some helpful ideas for some "hard to buy for males" over at 10 Gift Ideas for Brothers etc.


If you want some more info on any of these ideas just click on the title of the item or on the picture.



#1   Guitar Rack



To help store his guitars I suggested to Fred many years ago that he get a guitar rack which he eventually did but even then there were others sitting around in different rooms because he had so many.  Now he has sold some & given some away so most can go on the rack.

This is also a gift that everyone else in the house can appreciate because it helps to keep the home tidy.




#2   Guitar Stand

Playing the guitar is actually a nice hobby to have and I like to hear Fred sit and play and enjoy seeing him play & lead worship in church which he has done for most of the time I have known him (and that's a very long time).

For anyone playing outside the home then they need to have a good stand to rest the guitar on in between sets (oh listen to me with my music language!!) and Fred has a few of these folding A Frame stands for use in church and elsewhere  -  notice the folding bit of the description because they are then so easy to transport.

He likes the ones that will suit all types of guitars like this one below.








#3   Guitar Picks  &  Strings

He started learning to play the guitar when he was 14 and even though I had started to learn when I was also 14 years old from the time I met him I knew I could never play as well as he could; possibly because I can not play by ear and also because my fingers are short but those were really only two excuses because although I liked the guitar I didn't love it as he did.

So you can imagine that Fred has used many, many guitar picks over all the years he has been playing.  Having just got this new guitar he started to think of what he might need to go along with it and he even thought of picks - his choice is shown here below.

Jim Dunlop Picks



Yes he does have picks in cases of guitars and sitting around near his guitars and in his pockets but he will always say you can never have too many of them.   If the guitarist has a sense of humour maybe some fun picks would be nice like these

Emoticon Guitar Picks




Any serious guitar player will know the importance of changing the strings on the guitar regularly (depending on how much you play it of course) so that you always get the best sound.

However over time each guitar lover will settle on the type of strings he really likes for each type of guitar so it might be best to make sure you know the type they normally get or ask them what they would like before you buy.



#4   Capo

When I saw him looking around for a new capo to have for this new guitar I was tempted to say "another one?"  but then I realised that he probably likes to keep a capo on the end of each guitar or like the picks, near each guitar (and yes I have even known him to have one in his pocket).

He saw this one and thought the colour would tone in with the new guitar but it is available in more than one colour.







#5   Strap Lock

The new guitar arrived this afternoon.

Out it came straight away - I admired the nice case it came with and then admired the guitar as well - but there was something missing which I assumed was on all guitars until Fred explained that I was wrong.

Apparently the metal thing to which the guitar strap attaches (a strap lock) sometimes has to be bought separately so that was another thing he was looking for today and his choice is below.







#6   Strap 

Of course a new guitar merits a new strap too.
I tend to favour a patterned strap especially in blue because that's my favourite colour but Fred has always liked plain leather straps so that was another thing to start looking for and of course he has one all picked out now.




#7   Guitar Lead

One thing I know for certain we are not short of in this house is a lead for anything (the boxes of them are the proof of this) but although Fred does not need one for his new guitar he did suggest that other people would and so he recommended one with "a silent plug" for those times when our favourite guitarist is on stage and doesn't want to make a horrible noise when they detach their guitar lead.








#8   Guitar Tuner

Some guys are really good at tuning their guitars because they have such a good ear but even those guys will probably want a tuner to get the job done quicker.

As well as buying tuners to keep in their guitar case nowadays they can buy apps for their phones that will act as tuners.





#9   Wall Hook

When our second son was a teenager he was very keen on the guitar and wanted to keep one in his bedroom to play there.  His bedroom was the smallest room in the house so we came up with the idea of hanging the guitar from the wall and that was a great success and he thought it rather "cool" at the time.
So for anyone short of space to store guitars why not get them a wall hook - if it's what the retailers use then why not us.






#10   Kids Guitar

One of the nicest things someone can do for others is to pass on their knowledge and expertise and love for a musical instrument.

If a guitarist has a son or daughter they should be encouraged to instil a love for the guitar in them as well so some ideas for helping the kids become guitar fanatics are my last suggestion.

Many years ago we bought a 1/2 or 3/4 sized guitar so that Fred could teach our 3 kids to play and now even though they are all in their 30's they each enjoy music of all types and play the guitar.


Below are examples of some of these items that can be bought on Amazon but there are also many music websites to order from or shops to buy from.


In fact part of the gift could actually be taking some time to go with your guy to some music shops for him to choose his gift (and have a wee play at some guitars while he's there).


Just one word of advice

Take a book or ipad or something to do with you 
because I remember the times I would go to music shops with Fred 
and I was glad I had taken my book to read!!!



Need Help? 10 Gift Ideas for the Guitar Fanatic.



      
      
            



Disclaimer:
If buying through Amazon I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.










Monday, 19 February 2018

I am not Dropping the EASTER! - Coffee & Conversation

Yes it's an Easter Egg - I am not dropping the EASTER!





What is a chocolate egg without Easter?

We would not have had chocolate eggs if it had not been for Easter.

Now the chocolate companies want to drop the Easter in Easter Egg and just have an egg, will it sell more because it will be seen to be more PC?

But it will not be an Easter Egg to many people.


A few years ago I was introduced to "The Real Easter Egg" which is produced 
by Meaningful Chocolate.

I was attracted to the eggs because of the fact that they are fairtrade and because they don't just provide a chocolate treat for children (and the rest of us) but they have a booklet (new one each year) for the children as well which teaches them about The True Meaning of Easter in an interesting way.



We have bought them for the kids at our church and we have enjoyed them at home.


But the main thing about these eggs is the fact that along with the chocolate egg 
is the Real Meaning of Easter.


When many other Eggs are going to be sitting in our shops this year without the word Easter on them, this is an egg that still proclaims the real meaning of Easter which is the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus who is the only Saviour of the world and the only one by which we have a way to God.





You can read my review of The Real Easter Egg Here.


You can also watch this short video about The Real Easter Egg.





Then why not check out the website here for more info and details of  the other eggs they offer and the shops that stock them but because Easter is early this year orders online need to be in through the site before 6th March to have them delivered on time.


As I said at the start of this post "I am not dropping the EASTER" and this applies to Easter as well as to eggs.  Our special times of the year all seem to changing to "seasons" or  "holidays" now but I'm still a Christmas and Easter supporter and I will not be dropping either.


Yes it's an EASTER Egg! - I am not dropping the EASTER!