Book review – Shelock Sam and the missing heirloom in Katong

Sherlock Sam is an adventurous and funny book with cute characters.

I would recommend this book to everyone who is familiar with Singapore.

I especially like the way Wendy, the sister, reacts to the main character, Sam. It is hilarious. It reminds me of how I respond with my brother.

This is a book that I would go back to again and again.

Vincent Van Gogh

“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint“ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”

This is a quote by Vincent Van Gogh.  Van Gogh was a painter who failed to sell any paintings during his lifetime. Vincent was beautiful because he was kind and wanted to help others. That was why he became a priest. He wanted to help people spiritually. He went extreme to the extent that he gave away most of his possessions and was living in a coal mine like the miners. The church people did not like his behaviour and fired him. After he was fired he became a laid priest but he found it hard to teach poor people.  He then decided to teach them through painting. That was when he became an artist.

Van Gogh painted over 800 paintings but he only sold one. He traded a few for painting supplies and he was always poor. In the end he shot himself and died 2 days later.

The painting I like best is “The Starry Night”. I also like the one of a cafe where you can see the night sky and the cobbled street. This painting is called “Café Terrace on the Place du Forum”.

See “The Starry Night” – use  link

“The Starry Night” by Van Gogh is full of patterns and textures that it feels like I can reach out and touch it. The combination of blue and yellow and black works well together. In the painting I can see the sky, a small village and a huge evergreen tree. The evergreen tree is black and dark like a shadow guarding over the village. The village looks lonely and abandoned; the only sign of life is the tiny dots of light at the windows. The church looks as if it is reaching up to the sky, seeking for help. The wind dances around and around in circles, moving across the sky. The stars shine like a thousand blazing suns, twirling elegantly in the spot. Only the moon, sits quietly in the corner and smiles brightly at everyone.

Vincent Van Gogh painted this picture in a mental hospital when he was suffering from depression. If I was he I would have felt confused and lonely. I would have painted this to explain that I was trapped in the village when I wanted to be in the sky. Basically, I would rather be free than be in an asylum.

Was he mad then? He did cut off a piece of his ear, he shot himself, he was in love with one of his cousins and he ate paint. These are not enough reasons to say he was mad. He cut off his ear because he was angry that he attacked his friend. He ate paint because he had a rare form of epilepsy. This is also the why reason he attacked his friend. Van Gogh shot himself because he was depressed. Furthermore you cannot blame someone for liking their cousin. It was quite common at his time to like your own cousin.

I just think that Vincent felt really lonely and if there was no one there for him. He probably thought that there was something wrong with him and he had let everyone down. That was why he put himself in an asylum. Even though he was in the asylum, he carried on painting.  Through his painting, he became better.

It is unfortunate that he shot himself. However, I found it hard to believe that someone as kind-hearted and determined as he, would shoot himself.

Recently, people have been wondering if he did shoot himself as they have never found the gun.  There is a rumour that he was accidentally shot by two teenagers who were his close friends. He kept the accident a secret to protect the boys.

There is no way to find out since Van Gogh is long gone. I will leave you another quote and you can judge for yourself.

“As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed.” Vincent Van Gogh