The 12 Tribes and a game that ends

I am old enough to remember the golden /hare (vaguely) and all the people trying to solve the clues madly in the search. what it did do was to encourage a lot of people to read the book and here again we have a series of books that will engage the audience. young Adults here and thus encourage reading in general – and I’m all for that!
Truthfully who the author was and what his past exploits were has passed me by and in many respects, as long as he has not been evil, then so what? As far as this book is concerned. He clearly has a vivid imagination! I had to look him up after I read the reviews here and I still haven’t read his memoirs so am not bothered.
The series/concept has already got a film deal which doesn’t surprise me. On completion of the book I immediately started searching for more. More detail of the project; more about the characters not yet introduced ; and so on. The only failing in the concept, that I can see, is the title. If you look up ‘Endgame’ – there are already several books with this title, not to mention a film.
Now the 12 ancient tribes also fascinated me as I didn’t recognise them all. So for the ancient history buffs and the curious like me – here are the tribes / civilisations and some background.
1. Minoan: Ancient Crete
2. Mu: Lost continent – see Call of Duty: Ghosts. Origins of the Mayans?
3. Cahokian: Prehistoric civilisation under St Louis, Missouri – very large – larger than London was in 1250.
4. Koori: Australian Aboriginal people of NSW and Victoria
5. La Tene: ‘Barbarians’ of central Europe during the Iron Age;
6. Donghu: Mongolic tribal confederation of 7th century area in Xianbei and Wuhuan; aka Tung Hu or the Eastern Hu;
7. Olmec: Mexican. Tropical lowlands of S-Central 1500BCE – 400BCE
8. Shang: aka Yin. ruled Yellow River Valley in early Bronze Age 1600-1046BCE
9. Harrapan: Indus Valley Bronze Age 3300-1300BCE from NE Afghanistan to Pakistan and NW India
10. Sumerian:Southern Mesopotamia. 3300BCE-100CE
11. Nabataean: Yemen to Damascus, W Iraq and Sinai Desert. Writing. Petra. largely nomadic but…
12. Aksumite: Eritrea and N. Ethiopia 100-940 CE. Currency. Traded with Rome.

No sugar! Courgette and Chocolate

chocolate cake

Book Review:

Low Sugar Cookbook

 Nicola Graimes

This immediately caught my attention to read as it began with some really informative chapters about sugar and its alternatives. What was especially good was the simplicity of the explanations and details of alternatives some of which I had never heard of as ingredients but in order to try out the recipes had to find them and buy them! At least I already had Stevia and had used it so was not at all suspicious and was willing to try out the new ingredients suggested.

I particularly liked the explanation at the end of each recipe of the nutritional value of the main ingredients – such as brazil nuts to supply selenium, or that the lycopene in tomatoes protects against heart disease, strokes and destructive free radicals in the nervous system!

However, I am concerned that the book uses a lot of coconut oil, olive oil and sunflower oil or butter only its recipes. It is well known that cooking with olive oil can produce carcinogens and coconut oil high in saturated fat.

Why not use rapeseed oil? Which is low in saturated fat and if you use the first pressed organic virgin oil has a wonderful flavour to add to salads, stir fries and roasting vegs.

I have managed now to buy all the ingredients including Lucuram and Xylitol and brown rice syrup and cocoa nibs, so am now armed and ready to cook my first dish! The savoury recipes all look very interesting as well as the desserts and such a quick and easy way to make your own baked beans! Which you can then flavour as you wish – personally I love them with curry sauce…

Just need the time now.


Also, I was a recently given this recipe for Courgette and Chocolate Cake which I thought I would share as it looks so simple!.

250g plain flour; 375g caster sugar (now here is a chance to substitute as above – wonder what she would put in?); 65g coca powder (now I know she would use cocoa nibs here); 2tsp bicarb of soda; .5tsp salt; 1 tsp baking powder; 1tsp vanilla extract; 4 eggs; 350ml veg oil; 340g grated courgette; 90g mixed nuts.

Gas 4/180C. 20*30cm baking tin.

Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarb, baking powder and salt. add eggs, oil and vanilla. Mix well. Fold in nuts and courgettes. Pour into tin.

Bake 50-60 mins centre oven.

You can ice if wanted.


Chartres; Clean and then we Freeze

The Cleaner of Chartres by Sally Vickers

This summer we actually went to visit Chartres during our trip round Northern France and was absolutely charmed by the town.

A medieval city on many river with houses built such that a river flowed under them or by their side with an old landing stage and steps down. Many many bridges and narrow windy streets.

P1020068 P1020059 Chartres views

The cathedral too is delightfulP1020071 P1020080 Chartres Cathedral

and I was thrilled that on the day that we visited the labyrinth was uncovered as I had read about it some time ago and had so wanted to walk it. So walk it I did. But not barefoot!

Progressing the Labyrinth

The Cathedral is also famous for its Rose window and stained glass.


The book was read for our book group and I had no idea what to expect but in fact it proved to be a really good read. Not one with a fast pace or thrills or murders or any other stuff like that but a story of vices and virtues in humankind and how they can be manifested in small ways in all manner of people from nuns and priests to café owners and painters. Redemption also figured as a theme.

The book was written about one woman – the cleaner – but told her life in two streams – the past and the present – gradually uncovering the truth about her background and birth.

The theme of ‘two’ or twin-ness went through the book in characters – 2 gossips, 2 nuns, 2 priests, 2 painters, 2 earrings and so on. which was an interesting aspect once discovered.

There was also symbolism of numbers which was mentioned in a number of places. The symbolism of 7 for the Christian and Abrahamic and old pagan religions. In one place it was quoted:

  •  7 Athenian children were sent every 9 years (see also the symbolism of 9) to the Minotaur; 7 days of the week;
  • 3 is the number of the spirit, or the Trinity, 4 is the physical number – earth, wind, fire, air; 4 corners of the earth;
  • the medieval curriculum was divided into 2 parts – the Trivium – grammar, rhetoric and logic, and the Quadrivium – geometry, arithmetic, astronomy and music;
  • 7 liberal arts;
  • 7 deadly sins;
  • 7 last trumpets at the end of time;
  • 3*4=12; 3*3=9; 12 and 9 are the signs of the zodiac;;
  • 12 months of the year;
  • 12 branches to the tree in the Jesse window in the Cathedral of Chartres;
  • 9=the triple trinity;
  • there are 9 doors to the Cathedral;
  • 9 porches;
  • 9 orders of angels in 3 choirs of 3 – Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, Angels;
  • someone counted ow many times the number 7 was used in the bible (I’m not sure if it was Old Testament or New or both together) and it was 777.

So I would really recommend this book.


The Freezer: 2402 AD by Timothy S. Johnston

A real page turner this one. Just as you think nothing more can go wrong, it does!

Set in outer space it certainly doesn’t attempt to glamorise the potential way people would live or work. It appears to be factually correct scientifically about the planetary conditions that would be experienced, but as I am not a scientist I couldn’t confirm, but it did convince me.

Some of the science potential applications were our worst nightmares realised and very much enhanced the storyline of murder, police, and how to solve crimes under unusual and extreme conditions.

The ending was a surprise and, of course, justified the book title in a different way but was a worrying possibility.


Carina Press

Again another recommendation.