Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Murder in Mesopotamia - 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.








Murder in Mesopotamia



1936



Description


An archaeologist’s wife is murdered on the shores of the River Tigris in Iraq…
It was clear to Amy Leatheran that something sinister was going on at the Hassanieh dig in Iraq; something associated with the presence of ‘Lovely Louise’, wife of celebrated archaeologist Dr Leidner.
In a few days’ time Hercule Poirot was due to drop in at the excavation site. But with Louise suffering from terrifying hallucinations, and tension within the group becoming almost unbearable, Poirot might just be too late…






My Thoughts



This is the 26th book by Agatha Christie and the 13th Poirot Mystery


Is it awful of me to say that I was happy about who was the victim in this murder mystery?

I do like this book and feel for many of the characters in it.  Miss Christie wrote it well giving us positions and timings to consider carefully for alibis and has carefully portrayed relationships between many different characters.

As usual if we read it carefully we will see the clues but as is the case in the best books there are many facets to the characters here which mean that we do have quite a few suspects to dwell on.

How long does it take to wear down someone before they snap?

How long ago can an incident have happened but still have repercussions now?

Can we recognise people years later?

How long can someone wait to take revenge?

Which types of people can plan for a long time before acting?

Which types of people can act on the spur of the moment?

These are all questions to be considered in this one. 




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.
















Monday, 23 April 2018

The 5 Best Board Games

Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link in this blog post.

Everyone loves at least one Board Game.





When we have some people round to our house for a meal we often get out a Board Game.

About 6 years ago I tried to get our kids (when they were all here visiting at the same time) to decide which games should go and which could stay expecting our second son to tell us he wasn't interested in any of them because he hadn't wanted to play any games for a few years, but instead he decided the very first one I presented was too good to go and we ended up playing it and not even looking at any others.

Then 5 years ago that same son and his wife had a Board Game Theme for the table decor at their wedding reception.

Now again I am thinking of what things can go as I am once again Decluttering & Organising Our Home.  So thinking about the Board Games I decided that at least the top 5 could definitely stay.


Basing this on what we all might play together and the ones we have been playing with others in the past year or so here are my Top 5 Board Games.


CLUEDO

Being a Murder Mystery Fan I have always enjoyed the puzzle that this game brings but unfortunately even though I'm good at solving puzzles and have a very mathematical & logical mind;  I am always beaten by our first son or my husband.   But I'm a gracious loser.



RISK
Now to be honest I have only played this once but got hooked for that game and didn't want to stop it until all the world was conquered but others of us wanted to go to bed.  This is however the favourite of our first son and all his friends.  They started playing at university and had many games lasting all through the night until breakfast time and they still like to play it when they meet up at each others homes now 15 years later.



UPWORDS

I know most people would play Scrabble  and on my iPad I play Scrabble but I do prefer the Board Game UpWords  because it gives so many choices for creating more words.  I have one of my Pastor's from a previous church to thank for introducing me to this one.
Plus this is the game I do better in than my husband.


JENGA




I never thought I would enjoy this one but I was wrong.
Our son & daughter-in-law also use a large block version of this for guests to write comments at their wedding instead of a guest book.
Sometimes we have a couple of younger lads from our church for a meal and one of them is so good at this game and has great fun in beating the rest of us.


PICTIONARY  or   TABOO




I just could not decide between these two.

I suppose I just love the first one when I feel more like having a fun laugh a lot at crazy pictures kind of mood and the second when I am more ready to concentrate on linking words. If Fred & I are playing in a team together then I go for Taboo as we can use all our 45 years together and know words which will remind us of places we have been or events that have happened to help each other guess the correct word.





Now I know this is not really a board game or at least I would never have thought of it as one but I have to share this game too because this is the one that our son said could not be thrown out, the one that he decided he liked so much that we played it and played it and played it and didn't get around to throwing out any of the Board Games.

BINGO





If you are interested in any of these games or other games you can find them here on Amazon




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



Run Jump Scrap

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Stop & Let The Ducks Cross - A Dose of Encouragement


Thinking back to some years ago there was a Saturday that was just too busy a day.

Had to have a lie-in because it was Saturday and on Saturdays we have a lie-in followed by breakfast in bed unless we absolutely have to travel somewhere early.




Then preparation for packing for the drive back to our hometown for a family event only staying overnight but outfit for the event needed and then clothes to wear travelling, pyjamas, coat and of course all the things we will not leave without like the iPad, phones, etc.

Next came the Skype call with our daughter to talk about the notes I had made while proof reading her latest script. That was a long call well 3 calls actually because there was bathroom break and another break to check up on my husband Fred to make sure he was getting ready to go away and sure enough no, he was reading instead.
His punishment was to make the very late lunch but it was a very easy lunch to make.

Then the packing and the gathering up of the Sunday School materials & other things which had to go with us to be dropped off at church on the way.

A few other texts and phone calls fill in the gaps and we are finally ready to leave at 3.30pm to be at our first destination by 5.30pm and the journey will take us almost 2 hours. We actually needed to arrive before 5.30pm to get parked and walk to the location where our younger son Daniel's band was playing at a culture event in Londonderry.

Then over to my sister's house for a light meal and chat and introduce Daniel's girlfriend Suzie to my side of the family. Change of clothes and on to the restaurant for the Surprise 40th Wedding Anniversary Dinner for Fred's brother and his wife. Time to introduce Daniel's girlfriend to the other side of the family.

Back to my sister's around 1am and flop into bed.

At least we weren't driving up the road to Belfast like Daniel and Suzie.


There have been many days when it has been just one thing after another and I feel like I'm going through one stage just as the preamble to the next and so on, never really savouring each part of the day.

One such day was when we were on a trip to Belgium in 2004 to find a school for our daughter and find our way around before finding a house and moving there to live for over 6 years.

We were driving in an area near the airport and not sure of the road at all when we came to a lake. The road ran alongside this lake and it was the approach to a small town.


          Suddenly we had to stop at a zebra crossing.



                    What was unique about that then?



Crossing the road on the zebra crossing were a duck and 3 little ducklings.



We laughed hard at the fact that the duck was taking her ducklings across the road via the crossing, was she a very clever duck or was it just by chance?

Whichever it was it caused us to stop, be amused and it brightened our hectic day. I just wish we had had a camera ready for that moment but regardless of the lack of a picture the memory hasn't faded.
I often think of it fondly and remember how we enjoyed that simple action.


That is actually the thing I remember most about that short trip to Belgium.


We need to remember to stop and wait in the busyness.

When we are very busy we just go through the motions of everything but when we are forced to stop and wait at times we can find so many other things we didn't expect.

We can find amusement in a little snippet of life.

          We can find a source of peace and contentment.

                    We can find gratitude to God for the unique times in our lives that are so special.

                              We can find joy.






We need to remember to stop and wait a while with God in the middle of our busy days as well as in the not so busy days.

Not thinking about always sitting still and not doing anything else but thinking of always being ready to think of Him in all the busyness of our lives while we are in the midst of each of those busy days.

You know we don't need to let the busyness take over and swamp out our thoughts and prayers because we can still pray as we go, as we make the decisions that we face each day as we do all the practical, usual or sometimes unusual things we have to do.

In stead of having our minds dwell all the time on what is next on the list to be done we can be more aware of how God has said He will always be with us and that means even when we are busy, not just when we are sitting down saying "Ok God my to-do list is complete, I have time for you now."


He always has time for us.




Sunday, 15 April 2018

Smile God Loves YOU! Romans 5:8 - Sunday Scripture


This Sunday's Scripture on God's Love is Romans 5:8



As I read through this one I thought of the 6 Question Words as I call them when teaching English as a second language.

Who, Where, What, When, Why & How.

So that's how I want to look at this verse today.






Who's Love?        It's God's Love.


Who to?      Us.  Everyone because all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.


How?       By giving His Son to die in our place.


When?        While we were in our sin.     When we were separated from God.


Why?       There was no other way.      No other substitute would have been good enough.


Where?      On the cross at Calvary.


What does it show?      The perfect Love.    The perfect sacrifice.


Who is it for?         The Imperfect People.



The Perfect for the Imperfect.




The Perfect Father 
because of His Perfect Love 
gave the Perfect Son 
as the sacrifice for the Imperfect People.







Friday, 13 April 2018

The Best thing for Bare Walls - Organising My Home


Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link in this blog post.

No matter where we have lived "Bare Walls" have always been a bit of a problem for me.




Fred & I have lived in several houses during our 40 year marriage and we have never been the type of people to immediately decorate any of them and get those family pictures or any pictures up on the walls simply because I (yes I do take the blame for this) can never make up my mind exactly what I want and where I want it.

Sometimes like in this house I have had little ideas each year but haven't even put all of those into effect until months or years later, if at all.  Of course it doesn't help that when you have been married for so long and lived in different countries or even just different houses, you have ended up with loads of items that you can use to decorate your home.

Through the 7 years in our present home I have taken different times to declutter my boxes of ornaments and other decor and have not missed having them around the home but have also gained a few things which I really wanted to have up on display (one of which you will see below).






This is a beautiful wall hanging given to us as a gift from the Korean parents of our son-in-law Pildu (Stephen). 

As soon as I saw it I thought about where would be just the right place to put it and could not make up my mind.  One spot in my hall was a bit too narrow to house it and another was far too wide for it.

Then just before Christmas when we were making up the bed in the guest room for Linda and Stephen to come home for their first Christmas with us I realised the perfect place to hang the gift was in the guest room.

The only other thing up on any of the walls was a large painting over the head of the bed.





So with a large painting on one wall,  two windows which take up most of another wall and a third wall completely covered with built in wardrobes that just left the wall opposite the window which has the door to the hall at one end and the door into the ensuite at the other end leaving just a nice size of wall in between to be perfect for the new wall hanging.


It was a brick wall.

My husband has drills and bits and plugs and always used them to put things up but this was so lightweight that he didn't feel like getting out the drill and having a large hook or nail up so he grabbed his new gadget called the Takker and we set to work which took so little time and effort.

I of course said "hold on I need to get my phone" at one stage, not because I heard it ringing or wanted to make a call but he knew immediately I wanted to take pictures for the blog.

Not only did I take pictures but I took some very short videos as well.

There are two types of Takker.

One drills a small hole and the other doesn't - I'll write another blog post soon about how we have used it as well.


The one we needed for this job was the one that drills a hole but it's not a large drill and it doesn't plug in or work by battery.




You do it by hand and it is so easy.






The instructions are clearly printed and illustrated on one sheet of paper for ease of use.






On the centre of the flat edge you can see the drill bit neatly inside, 
not protruding to catch on anything.


After marking the place for your hook or "Tack" to go to hold your object you simply line up this centre drill section with the mark and drill by hand - see the video below





When the hole is drilled, the "Tack" needs to be inserted and the red part along the curved handle is the hiding place for the Takker Tacks





Just pull the red part open and you can easily lift out the tack.








The Tack is placed into the round hole on the side of the Takker.  





Then you can see in the video just how easy it is to insert into the wall




Now when I first saw the Takker and asked my husband what he thought of it he was quite interested but then said "Probably a hassle to get more tacks for it."

To which we quickly saw that quite a few tacks came with it and also some other larger hooks to fit over the tacks to hang other things.

Then also more Tacks can be bought in separate packs.

So far we have only used tacks for each thing we have hung up but I'm sure we will use the other hooks later.




So I put all of the tacks and hooks from both Takkers into a plastic storage box which is about the same size as the Takker Drill and now everything can be easily stored together in a small crate.





Now back to the Korean Wall Hanging.

It is very light and easily hangs on the one tack which you can hardly see in the picture below under the ribbon.




This means that it is hardly noticeable on the wall of the Guest Room and just leaves the beautiful hanging to be admired.




Having bought the Takker a few months before Christmas we realised we had now had the idea for a great, useful and appropriate gift for our second son who moved into a new house a few months previously.  So although we may have had a strange look from him when he opened his gift on Christmas Day because he had no idea what we had bought him; now has made good use of it in his home too.




The Takker can be purchased on Amazon.                        The Refill Pack is also on Amazon








Disclaimer:
I have NOT been offered a free product to write this blog post nor any other compensation.  The views expressed here are completely my own.
However if  you buy a product through Amazon via the links above I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.