Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Monogram Murders Book Review

23 Feb 2016

Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Monogram Murders Book Review | Hola Darla
I am a big fan of Agatha Christie's works. I've read most (if not all) of them and it's hard to pick one as my favourite because I love them all. That's why I was very excited when I found out that they would publish a new Hercule Poirot novel though it was not written by Dame Christie herself. I was also kind of nervous because I hadn't known about the author, Sophie Hannah. When it was finally available for purchase in Books and Beyond, I bought it immediately.

The story took place in between Agatha Christie's original Poirot stories, and though no other characters from those books except for Poirot himself, it doesn't interfere with the existing timeline of Poirot's life. When the news of a new Poirot book broke out, people were afraid that Sophie Hannah would try to 'resurrect' Poirot from his death in Curtain, but as it turned out they were wrong.

The story is about three murders in Bloxham Hotel, a luxurious hotel in London. The three murders are clearly linked because in each victim's mouth there is a cufflink with the same initials found. Poirot helps a young policeman, Catchpool, investigating the murders. Before the news of the murders was spread, Poirot was having a supper in a nearby coffee shop where he was interrupted by a young woman telling him that she was about to get murdered. Poirot recalls the strange meeting after he finds out about the murders and he insists that the two incidents are linked while the young policeman is not convinced. Their investigation eventually leads them to a dark story from the past happened in a small village called Great Holling and the connection between the three murder victims, as well as the motive behind it, becomes clear.

While the story faithfully follows Agatha Christie's original storytelling style, I found myself feeling annoyed by the way Poirot and Catchpool treat each other. Sophie Hannah's Poirot is arrogant and full of himself while Catchpool seems to be frustrated by every single thing that Poirot says and it comes out as rude. Poirot's other occasional sidekick, Captain Hastings, is often frustrated too, but he still treats Poirot with respect. For me, this is quite annoying.

All things aside, I'm still hoping that there will be more Poirot and Miss Marple novels in the future. I know it may be a great challenge for newer authors to write equivalent books to the originals, but it can be a good way to introduce Agatha Christie to younger readers as well as quench the thirst of older fans.
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Deadpool is Not for Kids!

19 Feb 2016

Deadpool is not for kids! | Hola Darla
There's been an uproar here in my country regarding the release of Deadpool movie. Some parents (and by 'some' I mean lots of them) demand that the government ban Deadpool because it's "not suitable for children". They claim that their children are "curious" and want to watch the movie because "all their friends have watched it", therefore the government should ban it because well parenting is so super hard especially if your underage children whine to be allowed to watch an R-rated movie.

It's an R-rated movie, of course it's not suitable for children. A friend of mine pointed out that asking the government to ban Deadpool because of such reason is like asking the government to shut down universities because the subjects taught there are too hard for children.

This is so super ridiculous.

I admit that I myself have never read any Deadpool comics, but by a quick research on the internet, I could get a lot of information about him, i.e. he's not a superhero, he's an antihero; he's basically an arsehole with a foul mouth. Totally not for kids.

Your kids are your responsibilities. I repeat: YOUR KIDS ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES. Please be a good parent and take them to watch Zootopia instead.

Deadpool image from.

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How I Met My Cat

8 Feb 2016

Chop-Chop The Cat | Hola Darla
It was about half a month ago. As I was preparing to go tutoring at 2 pm, I heard a sad cry. It was a little black kitten in front of a vacant house across the street. I was already running late and I thought the cat mama was near, so I left the kitten there and went to Bandung.

However, when I came back home at 6.30 pm, the sky already dark and the rain pouring, the little kitten was still crying. At that time, its voice was already hoarse. I could tell that the poor thing was thirsty. But it was nowhere to be seen, just a voice cutting through the sound of raindrops. I couldn't just stand there listening to that sad cry, so I grabbed my umbrella and a flashlight.

I found the little thing in the backyard of the same vacant house I had seen it earlier in the afternoon. He (it's a male) was shaking and his eyes were all swollen shut. I took him home and put him in a cardboard box. I didn't have kitten food, so I fed him Jessi's food mixed with water. He ate noisily (nom-nom-nom) while Jessi kept a safe distance from the strange creature.
Chop-Chop The Cat Napping | Hola Darla
He's so small!
My husband agreed that we could keep him for the night, then I had to search for the mother the next morning. We knew by then that the mother was the neighbourhood stray black cat that we occasionally fed. I didn't find her the next morning, but I did find her with her band of kittens two days later. I presented the little kitten to his mother. They embraced. The mother licked him and licked him and licked him. . . . She kept licking and pushing him until he fell into the sewer and left him there crying once again. And I was like what.the.actual.heck. I took him back home and washed him clean. Then we (my husband and I) decided to keep him for good and name him Chop-Chop.

As we had already guessed, Jessi loathed him during his first days with us. There were a lot of hissing and growling and crying (on Chop-Chop's side). Chop-Chop couldn't even use his litter box (I keep his & Jessi's apart) and he went everywhere: under our bed, under the cupboard, under my home office table, in the laundry basket. The house was a mess.

Then all of a sudden, they became BFFs, so far as destroying the curtain together. Now they nap together, play tag, run around the house and knock things off in the process. The house is still a mess, but it's a happy mess now.

So without agenda, without any plan, we have two cats now. It's been years since the last time I had kittens, I almost forgot how annoying kittens can be, moreover kittens with no mother around. Thank goodness, Jessi is willing to take care of Chop-Chop i.e. licking him and playing/teaching him how to fight. She's a nice big sister. I love them both so much :)
Chop-Chop The Cat Likes To Bite | Hola Darla
He's a biter, just like Jessi :)

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1 Feb 2016

As of lately, I've been . . . .

Launching Menaq | Hola Darla
. . . . launching Menaq. My headscarves label has finally been launched in early January! You can see the catalogue on our Instagram and Facebook Page, or you can add our Line@ account :)

Going Swimming with Husband | Hola Darla
. . . . going swimming.

Going Swimming with Mata Ilmu's Managerial Staff | Hola Darla
. . . . going for more swimming.

Trying to Master Makeup | Hola Darla
. . . . trying to master the art of makeup. And failing miserably. I mean, look at those eyebrows! *sigh*

Sniffing Books | Hola Darla
. . . . sniffing books. Best smell in the world! If there were book-smell perfume, I'd totally wear it.

Taking Care of Two Cats | Hola Darla
. . . . taking care of TWO cats. Yes, Jessi got an adopted little brother! I found a stray kitten about ten days ago. It was dark and raining and this little fella was crying. I didn't have the heart to leave him like that so I took him home. I'll write more about him later this week. More about him here.

Working in Terminal Coffee | Hola Darla
. . . . working. I took over the position of finance manager at Mata Ilmu, so I've been super busy with the sheets.

However busy I've been, I still don't think that January went away like a blink of an eye. In all honesty, I think the exact opposite: January felt like 300 days! The new year felt like a hundred years ago haha... But 2016 has been really kind to me. I hope the rest of the year will be too.

Oh and have a nice February, friends! ;)

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