Legally an Adult…

Well, at least in Switzerland, my boy is now considered an adult at 18 years old!

Oh my, where did the time go? 18 years ago, we welcomed this little chubby baby into our lives and what an adventure it has been. From the uncertainty of first-time parenthood to his first steps, from his first day at kindergarten to two broken arms, through the frustrations and the joys of being a family (every family has its moments), from growing pains to pride, he is now on the brim of adulthood! Wow!

He decided that for his 18th birthday party to have just a couple of friends over for some food and games. So we bought his favourite sushi and added on some KFC to make sure that hungry teenagers are well fed. Of course, the must-have red velvet cupcakes was made and consumed. Very low key but that was what he wanted.

We did break with tradition and instead of me cooking a nice dinner at home, we went out to a lovely restaurant by the river and had some lovely fish.

Sigh! My baby is now an adult. This will take time to sink in. And while I mull over that, here are a few photos…

syc

Book Review: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

I did not pick up this book at a bookstore. A friend had finished reading it and passed it on to me saying, “I think you will enjoy this book.”, and she was so right. I did like it very much.

This book is essentially a record of Albom‘s conversations with Morrie, his old college professor in the last few months of Morrie‘s life, as he was dying of a terrible disease. Sounds depressing? I thought so too before I started reading this. It is anything but. It is such a life-affirming read.

Morrie was Albom‘s favourite professor but life took over after college and he never kept in touch, only by chance did he see a news story on Nightline and found out that his old beloved professor was dying. He went to see Morrie. He thought it would be the last chance to simply say goodbye but Albom got so much more than that.

Interspersed throughout the conversations are flashbacks to Albom‘s college years and the times spent with Morrie when he was healthy and a dancer. These backstory moments give context to the conversations with a dying man.

They talked about lots of things; marriage, fear of aging, the world, regrets, money, family, culture, love, emotions, feeling sorry for yourself, death, the perfect day, forgiveness, and finally goodbye. In every conversation, Morrie passes on his little pearls of wisdom, not in a patronising “I-know-more-than-you” way or in a “I-am-dying-listen-to-me” way but in a loving “I-want-the-best-for-you” kinda way.

“Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”

“Love each other or perish.”

“Learn to detach.”

“I am every age, up to my own… …How can I be envious of where you are – when I’ve been there myself?”

“But giving to other people is what makes me feel alive… …Do the kinds of things that come from the heart.”

“I believe in being fully present.”

“…when we are infants, we need others to survive… …when you get like me, you need others to survive… …But here’s the secret: in between, we need others as well.”

“Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others.”

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

These are some of the things which struck me as I read the book. Throughout the book, you see Albom‘s perspective on life, his career and relationships change. It’s a wonderful thing to have a great teacher and that was what Morrie was, to the very end.

I hope you would be interested to learn from Morrie and find out more about the above statements which I pulled out of the book.

Happy Reading!

syc

Book Review: The Thursday Murder Club, Book #1 by Richard Osman

I have to admit it: I totally picked this book up because I have watched Richard Osman quite a bit on quiz shows on British TV and liked his personality on TV. While I have read quite a number of crime novels (Patrick Cornwall, John Grisham, etc), it has been a long time since I picked one out to read, so it was sort of his celebrity status that made me buy this book.

I was not disappointed. I absolutely LOVED it! It’s a great story; well-written with a good balance of mystery and clues, a good dash of British humour, and many heartwarming moments with an insight into the retired mindset as well as a fabulous cast of characters.

Elizabeth is the leader of the pack, Ron, the one with a famous son, is the loud outspoken trouble-maker, Ibrahim, the psychiatrist, is the quiet voice of calm, and Joyce, the new addition, is the enthusiastic follower. They all have their stories and their past which we get to know bits and pieces of throughout the book.

They all live in a retirement village, quite a posh place, and pass their time solving cold cases which they have access to because Penny, Elizabeth’s best friend, was a detective in her previous life. But Penny is no longer able to be a part of The Thursday Murder Club but the others carry on.

Excitement enters their lives in the form of the murder of the man who is the builder of their beautiful retirement village. A real-life case – The Thursday Murder Club is on the case, much to the dismay of the local police.

Elizabeth, Ron, Ibrahim and Joyce might be retired and have about 30 decades between them but drawing on their great life experiences and previous work expertise, they definitely make quite the formidable team.

As the story goes on, more than one murder is revealed but is the same person responsible for all these murders? I love the layers Osman has worked into the plot and how wonderfully connected almost everything and everyone is. And skillfully interwoven into all of these are the personal stories of the characters. It’s really quite clever.

I also really like the writing style and how there’s a first-person narrative in the form of Joyce’s diary which breaks up the third-person accounts very nicely. It’s lovely to read Joyce’s observations of the various characters and situations with a nice little surprise at the end which I had not expected her to speak about.

There is a sneak peek chapter into the next book at the end of this first one. I am so getting the second and third books. I hope this review has done this superb novel and the delightful cast of characters justice.

Oh, and I have read that Steve Spielberg has bought the film rights to The Thursday Murder Club so I am looking forward to watching that when it comes out.

Happy reading!

syc