Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – May 9th – 15th 2021 – 1960s hits, Grief, Green Kitchen, Health, Stories, Poetry, books, reviews and funnies

Welcome to the weekly round up with some posts you might have missed here on Smorgasbord.

I hope you are all well… I know that like us here restrictions are being lifted in many countries although In Ireland there is going to be a slow roll out depending on any upsurge in cases.

The big news here is that overnight on Thursday criminals hacked the health service which is now offline which has resulted in the cancellation of thousands of appointments and more seriously life-saving operations. The government stance is that they will not pay any ransom and so as of this moment it appears that we are at an impasse. We all know that these parasites are out there, but to do this when all countries and their populations are at their most vulnerable is heinous.  All I can do is wish them everything they wish upon others!

This means that despite assurances that the vaccination programme will be unaffected, it probably will be. So no idea when I will be getting my first…

On a brighter note, and thankfully there usually is one…the sun popped out periodically during the week and took some time off for some badly needed fresh air and a Vitamin D boost.

Also as always, I am very grateful to my friends and co-conspirators this week William Price King co-hosting the Breakfast Show with me with some more 1960s music, D.G. Kaye with her new May relationship column exploring the impact of grief on our lives, and some funnies to keep us smiling, Carol Taylor with The Green Kitchen… and if you love soft dinner rolls…dig in.. And last but not least Daniel Kemp who shared his special brand of humour a the Open Mic Night.

Fantastic and talented friends.

On with the shows from the week.

Chart Hits 1969 – Part One – Sly The Family Stone, Blood Sweat and Tears, The Rolling Stones and Bobby Gentry

May 2021 – The #Grief Process

May 2021 – Dinner Rolls, Chillies, Recycled Face Masks, Grow Spring onions, make Apple Cider Vinegar – Waste Not, Want Not.. 

Winter: Chapter Twenty-one – The First Christmas 

Tales from the Spanish Garden – Chapter One – The Guardians 

Two poems this week….

-#CrapseyCinquain -Existence by Sally Cronin 

#BadgerHexastich – Yearning by Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Book Review – Free Ebook – #Cookery #Culture – Ένα γλυκό βιβλίapaki – A “Sweet” Book. Eat Dessert First Greece 

Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Mystery #Paranormal – Harbinger (Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3) by Marcia Meara 

Family Health A-Z – Allergies and Intolerances – Part Two – – #Dairy #Leaky Gut 

– CROSSROADS (Winds of love): Poetry and Prose by Jude Itakali 

#Historical #Romance Lubelia Alycea: One Hundred Years by J.E. Spina 

#Thriller Death Between the Tables (Old Manse Mysteries Book 2) by Alexa Bowie

The Click of a Pebble: Tryst with the Devil (Trilogy, The Children of Zeus Book 1) by [Barbara Spencer]

#Fantasy – The Click of a Pebble Tryst with the Devil (Trilogy, The Children of Zeus Book 1) by Barbara Spencer

Reluctant Medium (Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries Book 1) by [G G Collins]

#Psychic #Thriller Reluctant Medium (Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries Book 1) by G G Collins 

#Memoir D.G. Kaye, #Biography #Afghanistan Mary Smith, #Poetry D.L. Finn. 

#Humour – Let Marcia Meara lift your spirits.

#Humor/Humour by Leon Stevens 

carol bio

#Wine – Recent News from the World of Wine Forgery by Carol A. Seidl 

#BookReview – Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by Sir David Attenborough by Jemima Pett 

Monday 10th May 2021 – #Poetry #Trees Rebecca Budd, #SnailMail Pamela Wight, #BookReviews Jan Sikes

Tuesday May 11th 2021 – #Review D.G. Kaye, #ReadingAloud Jennie Fitzkee, #DogBooks Jacqui Murray 

Wednesday 12th May 2021 – Filmreview Beetley Pete, #BookReview Olga Nunez Miret, #Gingercake Elizabeth Merry, 

May 11th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Brussel Sprouts and Holidays 

May 13th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Exodus and Mary Poppins 

– May 14th 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – The Month of May and Chickens 


Thanks so much for all your support and encouragement…I hope you will join us again next week.

Smorgasbord Poetry – Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Tanka Challenge -#CrapseyCinquain -Existence by Sally Cronin

This week in Colleen Chesebro’s #Tanka Tuesday Challenge 225 it is synonyms only   for the words provided by Ritu Bhathal  Life and Move... and I have created a crapsey cinquain using Existence and Motion.

Image by Barbara P. Meister MA from Pixabay

Crapsey Cinquain….Existence

ever forward
seeking, hoping, racing
to justify our existence
just be

©Sally Cronin 2021

I hope you have enjoyed…Sally

There is still time to participate in this week’s challenge Colleen Chesebro’s #Tanka Tuesday Challenge 225 it is synonyms only

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Book Review – Free Ebook – #Cookery #Culture – Ένα γλυκό βιβλίapaki – A “Sweet” Book. Eat Dessert First Greece

A little change of pace this week with a cookery book and also you will be pleased a free ebook that is easy to download.. written by Eat Dessert First Greece in both Greek and English. Ένα γλυκό βιβλίapaki – A “Sweet” Book.  It is hoped that with the continued vaccination roll out, one day soon we can experience these delights for ourselves

About the cookbook

This ebook is a creation of Giorgos Vlachakis and Eliza Neofytou, creators and owners of
Eat Dessert First Greece

It is distributed exclusively for free and aims to promote our tried and tested recipes, information on some of our traditional products and a photographic presentation of Greek travel destinations.

As we declare with our name we want the beautiful and sweet things in life to have priority…For this reason we added many to our first ebook in which we present various charities for humans and animals, so that the “sweet” can be alternated literally and figuratively.

Giorgos Vlachakis is responsible for the idea and setup of the ebook and Eliza Neofytou for its design and creation. We are delighted to share our ebook with you for free. Enjoy and sweet reading.

My review for the Eat Dessert First Ebook May 15th 2021

This is not just a cookbook, but a stunningly compiled example of traditional recipes and products, combined with guided tour of some of the beautiful locations around the Greek Islands. Filled with the reminders of an ancient civilization and the beauty of the Mediterranean.

I will admit to loving desserts although we usually reserve for special occasions, and there are certainly some stunning creations in this cookbook to delight all those with a sweet tooth… such as carrot cake with extra virgin olive oil and cream cheese frosting and healthy dark chocolate tart, pears in grape molasses with a base made with extra virgin olive oil.

For those who have a more savoury taste, desserts are not the only thing on the menu and I can highly recommend the homemade pizza made with traditional Greek ingredients.

Throughout the book there are wonderful photographs that share the outstanding beauty to be found in Greece including Plastiras Lake and the island of Aegina. These link to articles on the main site where you can enjoy them in full.

Importantly this book is also a tribute to the various charities in Greece that make a difference to young an old and they have never been so important as in this last fourteen months.

I recommend that you download this free ebook to sample not just the recipes but the other delights to be found in this jewel of the Mediterranean.

To download the cookbook head over to:
Eat Dessert First Greece Cookbook and Cultural guide -in Greek and English

About Eat Dessert First

We are a team of writers, sociocultural researchers, travellers, children’s educators and amateur bakers, based in Athens. What describes us best is that we eat dessert first! But not only… our name symbolises our wish for all the nice and sweet things in life to come first.

Our purpose is to approach aspects of the everyday life that are on our minds, by looking at them in a new perspective and studying them in their historic and cultural evolution… all that through our love for desserts. And of course to discover the history of our favorite sweets! Also, we take a sweet trip every now and then, to meet new places, customs, sights, activities, nature and -what else- little local treats! We don’t forget to exercise too, in order to eat our desserts without remorse…

Given our huge sweet tooth, we wish to learn new recipes, to experiment with new techniques and variations, and of course to share our creations. We also want to discover the roots of our favourite desserts, their influences and their variations around the world.

In a special section we focus on subjects of psychology, social awareness, education, creative activities and much more. But Rupert will tell you all about that along the way!

So, come along on this exciting, sweet adventure… Have a nice trip everyone!

Connect to Eat Dessert First: Blog: Eat Dessert First Greece Twitter: @eatdessert1stGr – Facebook: Eat Dessert First Greece


I hope you have enjoyed my review and will head over to download the FREE cookbook and enjoy the recipes and wonderful side dishes of culture and scenery.  Thanks Sally.



Tropical Fridays…The Passionfruit.

Fruity Friday over at Carol Taylor’s and this week one of my favourites Passionfruit with some wonderful recipes including Passionfruit, ginger and apple cider glaze for chicken and to go with it a passionfruit mojito – sounds like a feast.

Retired? No one told me!

This sort of wrinkled egg-shaped fruit is not exciting to look at but what a little powerhouse of nutrients and all things good it is.

When the skin goes wrinkly it is when the Passionfruit is at its sweetest.

Its name came from South American Catholic missionaries who believed that the blossom of the passion fruit was a reminder of Christ. That the corona symbolised a crown of thorns, the stigma, the nails on the cross, the sepals and the petals which numbered ten were the apostles with the exception of Judas and Peter. The stamens were Christ’s wounds. I think that is a lovely explanation of how the passion fruit got its name.

Passion fruit grows in any frost-free warm climate around the world.

Cultivated since ancient times and always enjoyed for its sweet slightly tart flesh.

It has Vitamin C in abundance; in fact, a single serving of passion fruit…

View original post 1,000 more words

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Tales from the Spanish Garden – Chapter One – The Guardians by Sally Cronin

This is the prequel to Tales from the Irish garden and shares the stories of statues we inherited when we bought the house, and for the magic kingdom beneath the Magnolia Tree. The book is also available in Spanish translated by
Olga Nunez Miret

Chapter 1 – The Head Guardians of the Magic Garden

We have stood guard for fifty years over this house and the people who have lived here. Protecting the land and our masters against unwanted intrusions in scorching sunlight and bitter cold snow. The world has changed outside these walls with dictators passing on to make way for kings. But that is not our concern, as it is the safety of this place that is our responsibility.

Through many seasons we have watched young children play in front of us with their dog companions. We have observed the young humans mature and grow to adulthood before leaving through the black gate that leads to the outside world. And we have seen their canine companions grow stiff with age and sheltered them as they rested in the shade we cast.

For the last five decades we have observed the man who trims the evergreen hedge that surrounds us. We have watched him change from a vital young man to the weather-worn 82-year-old who still sweeps his brush around our feet. If we could see our own reflections we know we would also show the effects of all these years with our faces to the sun and wind.

We have not seen him this past hot summer. His weary bones could no longer hold him erect as he carried his tools and watered the expanse of grass. He decided one spring morning that he would retire to his nearby home and enjoy his plants on his balcony. As he left through the big black gate, he turned and looked at us as we stood with unseen stone tears upon our cheeks.

He saluted and smiled in acknowledgement and to remind us that we must continue to protect the garden on his behalf.

The gnarled branches of the green plinth that sits beneath us also bears the scars of time but each year it sustains its vigour. Determined, as we are, to stand firm against the elements. It too has sheltered our canine subordinates, who it should be recognised, have bravely defended the territory with us against postmen, undisciplined squirrels and disrespectful feral felines.

We rarely feel the touch of a human hand; although the lady of the house will occasionally rest hers upon our heads in passing. It is recognition enough and we are happy that our role as guardians of this house and its people is acknowledged and appreciated.

As well as the trees, plants and wildlife in this magic garden, we are the head guardians of all the other stone inhabitants who have important roles to play. Eagles, rabbits and monkeys have found their way here over hundreds of years as well as animals who have sought sanctuary within its surrounding hedges.

We are not however the rulers of the garden. Beneath the old magnolia tree, within the roots, is the fairy kingdom of Magia, which is home to the reigning King and Queen. It is our job to ensure that this realm is protected and that enemies, who seek to destroy the peace we enjoy, are dealt with swiftly.

The humans who have occupied the houses that have stood in these grounds see only statues and an old gnarled tree that blooms once a year. What they do not know is that when they lie asleep, sprinkled with fairy dust, the garden comes alive. Fairies fly out into the scented night air, statues come to life and dance in the dappled moonlight and we the guardians patrol the borders to ensure their secrets are kept from the outside world.

But, once every 500 years, some very special people are allowed a glimpse into our world. As your guides we will now tell you the stories of the inhabitants of this magic world. Close your eyes and climb upon our backs as we travel through time and imagination.

©Sally Cronin 2015 Tales from the Garden.

About Tales from the Garden

Tales from the Garden reveals the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees. You will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories. The guardians who have kept the sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here. Fairy Stories for children of all ages from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden forever.

One of the reviews for the collection.

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling book  Reviewed in the United States on May 1, 2021

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – May 14th 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – The Month of May and Chickens

Author Daniel Kemp entertains us again with his funnies from: Danny Kemp .. Always a place to find funnies and jokes to cheer you up… plus some satirical political commentary on politicians at home and abroad. –

And to finish up…

Farmer Jack and his Chickens

Farmer Jack once lived on a quiet rural highway, but as time went by, the traffic slowly built up and eventually got so heavy and so fast that his free-range chickens were being run over, at a rate of three to six a week.

So Farmer Jack called the local police station to complain,

“You’ve got to do something about all these people driving so fast and killing all my chickens,” he said to the local police officer.

“What do you want me to do?” asked the policeman.

“I don’t care, just do something about those crazy drivers!”

So the next day the policeman had the council erect a sign that said: SCHOOL CROSSING.

Three days later Farmer Jack called the policeman and said, “You’ve still got to do something about these drivers. The School Crossing sign seems to make them go even faster!”

So again, they put up a new sign: SLOW: CHILDREN AT PLAY.
That really made things worse. So Farmer Jack called and said, “Your signs are no good. Can I put up my own sign?” he asked.

In order to get Farmer Jack off his back, the policeman said, “Sure. Put up your own sign.”

The phone calls to the Police Station stopped, but curiosity got the better of the officer, so he called Farmer Jack,

“How is the problem with the speeding drivers? Did you put up your sign?”

“Oh, I sure did and not one chicken has been killed.”

The policeman was really curious and thought he’d better go out and take a look at the sign. He also thought the sign may be something the police could use elsewhere to slow drivers down. So he drove out to Farmer Jack’s house.

His jaw dropped the moment he saw the sign . . . .

“NUDIST COLONY”  Slow down and watch for chicks!!

My thanks to Danny for allowing me to raid his Facebook: Danny Kemp

About Daniel Kemp

Daniel Kemp, ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver never planned to be a writer, but after his first novel –The Desolate Garden — was under a paid option to become a $30 million film for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company what else could he do?

In May 2018 his book What Happened In Vienna, Jack? became a number one bestseller on four separate Amazon sites: America, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Although it’s true to say that he mainly concentrates on what he knows best; murders laced by the mystery involving spies, his diverse experience of life shows in the short stories he writes, namely: Why? A Complicated Love, and the intriguing story titled The Story That Had No Beginning.

He is the recipient of rave reviews from a prestigious Manhattan publication, been described as –the new Graham Green — by a managerial employee of Waterstones Books, for whom he did a countrywide tour of signing events, and he has appeared on ‘live’ television in the UK.

A selection of books by Daniel Kemp

One of the reviews for A Desolate Garden

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive writing  Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2019

This is a well-written but exceedingly complex book. Set in the world of espionage, international intrigue, and political manipulations, it follows an investigation by Harry Patterson into the murders of his father and brother. Judith Meadows has been assigned to aid him, and the two of them make quite a pair. Their testy relationship adds some flavor to an otherwise cerebral read.

What do I mean by that? Between sections of expertly written dialog, the book is expository, relaying multiple family histories and the political machinations of individuals and countries on the world stage, primarily the espionage between England and the Soviet Union.

The research is impressive. I can’t say that enough. So is the tangled plot and eventual reveal. There are a lot of secrets. There are also a lot of characters, and it’s important to keep them straight. Pay attention as it’s easy to get lost.

For readers interested in fast-paced James Bond- style action, this book may not be for you since there is no action at all. For readers who love realistic espionage, historical fiction, or a deep dive into 20th-century English-Soviet behind-the-scenes manipulations, this book may be the perfect read.  

Read the reviews and buy the books also in audio: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US – follow Daniel: Goodreads – Website: Author Danny Kemp – Facebook: Books by Daniel – Twitter:@danielkemp6

Thanks for visiting and I know Danny would love your feedback..Have a good weekend…Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Mystery #Paranormal – Harbinger (Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3) by Marcia Meara

I read some amazing books in 2020 and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.

I enjoyed all the Wake-Robin Ridge series by Marcia Meara and this was my review from October 2020 for  book three – Harbinger

About the book

Continuing in the tradition of Wake-Robin Ridge and A Boy Named Rabbit, Marcia Meara’s North Carolina mountain series takes a shivery turn with the Appalachian Legend of Ol’ Shuck, the Harbinger of Death.

“. . . he felt the wet slide of the dog’s burning hot tongue on his face, and the scrape of its razor sharp teeth against the top of his head. A white-hot agony of crushing pain followed, as the jaws began to close.”

The wine-red trillium that carpets the forests of the North Carolina Mountains is considered a welcome harbinger of spring—but not all such omens are happy ones. An Appalachian legend claims the Black Dog, or Ol’ Shuck, as he’s often called, is a harbinger of death. If you see him, you or someone you know is going to die.

But what happens when Ol’ Shuck starts coming for you in your dreams? Nightmares of epic proportions haunt the deacon of the Light of Grace Baptist Church, and bring terror into the lives of everyone around him. Even MacKenzie Cole and his adopted son, Rabbit, find themselves pulled into danger.

When Sheriff Raleigh Wardell asks Mac and Rabbit to help him solve a twenty-year-old cold case, Rabbit’s visions of a little girl lost set them on a path that soon collides with that of a desperate man being slowly driven mad by guilt.

As Rabbit’s gift of the Sight grows ever more powerful, his commitment to those who seek justice grows as well, even when their pleas come from beyond the grave.

My 5 star review for the book October 20th 2020

Another lovely chapter in the life of Rabbit as he adapts to life as the adopted son of Mac and Sarah and brother to baby Branna. This magical little boy is an old soul with a special gift that sometimes shakes him to the core. He feels and sees people and events that others cannot even conceive of, and it is a heavy burden at times. But Rabbit feels obligated to do what he can to help other people.

In this new case that the local sheriff has had on his desk for twenty years, Rabbit and Mac partner up to make the best use of modern technology and the boy’s unique gift. The mystery that surrounds the disappearance of a young girl twenty years before haunts both the sheriff and her family, and they are all looking for closure.

There is also a dark soul who is haunted by the mythical Ol’ Shuck, a large black dog that prowls the outer edges of sanity looking for an opportunity to pounce. Secrets are about to be exposed and lives torn apart by the actions of the past and Rabbit and Mac are caught right in the middle of the events.

Beautifully written as always; the author draws us in and reinforces the connection readers have made to Rabbit and his family in the previous two books. New characters expand the circle of family and friends, and others involved in the life and death struggle in this particular book, are interesting and stand both sides of good and evil.

I suggest you read books one and two of the series and I can recommend the series to readers who enjoy paranormal, supernatural mysteries and thrillers.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara, Buy: Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK – Marcia Meara on: Goodreads – Blog:Marcia Meara WritesTwitter: @MarciaMeara

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and one small dachshund.

When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. She enjoys nature. Really, really enjoys it. All of it! Well, almost all of it, anyway. From birds, to furry critters, to her very favorites, snakes. The exception would be spiders, which she truly loathes, convinced that anything with eight hairy legs is surely up to no good. She does not, however, kill spiders anymore, since she knows they have their place in the world. Besides, her husband now handles her Arachnid Catch and Release Program, and she’s good with that.

Spiders aside, the one thing Marcia would like to tell each of her readers is that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. If, at the age of 69, she could write and publish a book (and thus fulfill 64 years of longing to do that very thing), you can make your own dreams a reality, too. Go for it! What have you got to lose?


Thanks for dropping by today and I hope you have enjoyed my review and will check out this book and the others by Marcia Meara. Thanks Sally


You can find all my other reviews for books I have enjoyed: Smorgasbord Book Reviews


Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021–#BookReview – Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by Sir David Attenborough by Jemima Pett

2021 archives_thumb[1]

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I have shared posts from the last six months of 2020 and the series is now closed to new participants.

This is the second post from author Jemima Pett and it is a book review for Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by Sir David Attenborough

post archives 2021

A Life on Our Planet makes the third book published on 1st October I’ve reviewed this month. The publishers offered a small number of copies through NetGalley just before p-day, and I’m very grateful to them for including me.

It’s hard to review a book by a National Treasure, but I’ve done my best.

A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future

by David Attenborough

In this scientifically informed account of the changes occurring in the world over the last century, award-winning broadcaster and natural historian shares a lifetime of wisdom and a hopeful vision for the future.

See the world. Then make it better.

I am 93. I’ve had an extraordinary life. It’s only now that I appreciate how extraordinary.

As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world – but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day — the loss of our planet’s wild places, its biodiversity.

I have been witness to this decline. A Life on Our Planet is my witness statement, and my vision for the future. It is the story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake — and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right.

We have one final chance to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited.

All we need is the will to do so. [goodreads]

My Review

David Attenborough needs no introduction having been the face of our wild world on television for over fifty years. I even remember Zoo Quest on our tiny black and white television, which stood in a huge box in the corner of the room. It may not have installed a passion for wildlife conservation then, but it was certainly part of my awareness of the wonderful world we live in.

In this book he takes us back to the beginning, skipping rapidly through his past, with reminders of things we know he did, because it was on television, then or later, like his searching for fossils in his local wood, which came out much later. Being reminded of his encounter with the gorillas who came and searched his hair and the baby trying to play with his boots, was just one iconic moment from hundreds of hours of wildlife footage we are familiar with.

But Sir David recounts this in decades, and each starts with a doom-laden set of statistics: wilderness reduction, species reduction, human population growth and the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Each of them is the dreaded hockey stick graph, flat for centuries, then a sharp tick upward as we reach the industrial age, and an accelerating rise that has reached epic proportions since the 1960s. I felt sick as he recounted the examples of how we are destroying, have destroyed, our planet.

Then follows the voice of doom.

What life will be like if we carry on this way? To say it is not worth living is an understatement. And we are not talking about some distant future.  We are talking about 2050.  And I remember in the 1990s when forecasts for climate abnormalities, storms, habitat loss, and epidemics for the 2020s sounded bad. It’s all here, now.

It all got very depressing.  It seemed that nothing had changed in the last twenty years when I studied all this in my Masters Degree. Nobody had taken any notice of all the work we’d been doing… and yet…

Part three showed it doesn’t have to be that way. And it isn’t that difficult to do. Few of these things were new to me, and the scale of application required is scary. Yet many of them are already being done on a countrywide scale in enlightened parts of the world. Some countries are committed to rewilding, to a circular economy, to actual net zero emissions (not parking them on someone else).There is a way out of this mess.

We just need to step up and do it.

And the last quarter of the book is all the reference material you need to support the science, the facts, actions, the data and the scenarios he has put in front of us.

It is up to us

So in his easy-going, magnificent way of making the complex sound simple, Sir David has presented us with a stern warning and the ways we can solve our problem.  It is up to us to do it.

And after reading Humankind in the summer, I know that the doom-laden news is part of what’s holding us back.

I thank my ex-colleague Rod Janssen,for the very timely quote in his newsletter:

Barack Obama (b. 1961), the 44th US President, provides us with some inspiration that we all need this week: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Sir David Attenborough has brought together and presented all the reasons and tools we need to change the course of our history, to get back to living on the only planet we have.

Essential reading for us all.

And after reading Humankind in the summer, I know that the doom-laden news is part of what’s holding us back.

I thank my ex-colleague Rod Janssen,for the very timely quote in his newsletter:

Barack Obama (b. 1961), the 44th US President, provides us with some inspiration that we all need this week: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Sir David Attenborough has brought together and presented all the reasons and tools we need to change the course of our history, to get back to living on the only planet we have.

‘In his easy-going, magnificent way of making the complex sound simple, Sir David has given us a stern warning and the ways we can solve our problem. It is up to us to do it.’ A Life on Our Planet @EburyPublishing #attenborough Click To Tweet

©Jemima Pett 2020

A selection of books by Jemima Pett


Find out more about Jemima’s books and read the reviews: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK – Blog:Jemima PettGoodreads:Jemima Pett – Twitter:@jemima_pett –

new profile_thumb

Jemima Pett in her own words..I have had a number of different jobs, but in totally different fields. These included social work, business management, computer technology, environmental research. The thread running through all of them was communication – and that continued in my spare time with writing and editing club magazines, manuals, reports… I loved words, loved to learn and to apply my learning to the real world.

Eventually the world just wasn’t big enough, and so I went back to inventing my own, as I had as a child. First came the Realms, a feudal England run by princes in castles who just happen to be guinea pigs – although you can read them as people equally well. Then came the Viridian System, a planetary area on the outskirts of known space where a frontier mentality mixes with big business and tourism. Jemima now lives in Hampshire with her family of Guinea pigs, who also inhabit her fictional world.

My thanks to Jemima for allowing me to delve into her archives and I hope you head over to discover more.. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – #Reviews – #Memoir D.G. Kaye, #Biography #Afghanistan Mary Smith, #Poetry D.L. Finn.

Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore Weekly News with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a review to share in D.G. Kaye for the memoir P.S. I Forgive You

About the book

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

A recent review for the book

Harmony Kent 5.0 out of 5 stars A Book Everyone Should Read  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2021

As soon as I saw what this book was about, I had to read it, and I am so pleased I did.

Because of the difficult subject matter, and my own history, I had to take a deep breath before I plunged in. Not only has this writer’s honesty and bravery helped me to understand my parents a little better, it has also shown me precisely what my sister has become. I’d missed that, and this explains so very much.

It is a sad fact of life that, all too often, the victim becomes the perpertrator, unless we have the insight and strength to do something about it. I have long joked that I’m the reverse ‘black sheep’ of my family, and it seems to me that Debby is too. For all our successes, and the miracle of growing into well-adjusted adults in spite of it all, we will never be accepted by a parent who demands that we live their lies, manipulations, and abuses. The same with any sibling who demands the same.

Some lines that resonated with me in particular: 

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads – : Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – Twitter: @pokercubsterLinkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye

The next author with a recent review is Mary Smith for Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni

About the book

Drunk Chickens and Burn Macaroni (subtitle) offers a remarkable insight into the lives of Afghan women both before and after Taliban’s rise to power. The reader is caught up in the day-to-day lives of women like Sharifa, Latifa and Marzia, sharing their problems, dramas, the tears and the laughter: whether enjoying a good gossip over tea and fresh nan, dealing with a husband’s desertion, battling to save the life of a one-year-old opium addict or learning how to deliver babies safely.
Mary Smith spent several years in Afghanistan working on a health project for women and children in both remote rural areas and in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Given the opportunity to participate more fully than most other foreigners in the lives of the women, many of whom became close friends, she has been able to present this unique portrayal of Afghan women – a portrayal very different from the one most often presented by the media.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Elizabeth Gauffreau 5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling & Highly Recommended  Reviewed in the United States on April 24, 2021

Mary Smith’s Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real stories of Afghan women surprised me. Going into it, I expected the memoir to be interesting, as its focus is on a part of the world I know very little about. What I did not expect was that it would be so compelling.

For three years in the 1990s, Smith and her partner Jon worked in Afghanistan for a nonprofit to provide healthcare and health education for women in Mazar-i-Sharif. Poverty, hygiene practices that led to disease, cultural myths, and reluctance to discuss gynecological problems with male doctors were all challenges Smith was faced with addressing.

She did it by establishing the Female Health Volunteer training project, whereby Afghan women would be trained to provide health education to the women in their villages, focusing on
antenatal care, safe childbirth and postpartum care, and the care of babies and young children who failed to thrive due to diarrhea.

The details of the volunteer training project and the story of each woman who participated in it were the highlight of the book for me and the reason I looked forward to picking it up again to read after a long day. The women were so proud of their ability to learn new concepts and practices, pass the required testing, and go back to their villages to use what they had learned to improve the health and wellbeing of others.

One of the most striking aspects of the book is how Smith describes the deprivation and unsanitary conditions in which she worked and lived. These conditions are described matter-of-factly and without the judgemental lens of squeamish first-world privilege. Along similar lines, Smith’s goal to help improve the health and living conditions of Afghan women and their children has none of the zeal of the missionary to proselytize and convert them to a Western way of life.

Threaded throughout the book is contextual information about the traditional role of women in Afghan society, marital relationships, changes in Afghan society toward modernization, and the political situation, which ultimately led to the takeover by the Taliban.

The last section of the book is devoted to what happened to the women I came to know and care about after the Taliban took over the country. Their stories of horrific tragedy and, ultimately, resilience are one more reason I highly recommend Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni.  

Also by Mary Smith

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Blog: Mary Smith’s PlaceGoodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @marysmithwriter

The final author today is D.L. Finn for her poetry collection Just Her Poetry: Seasons of a Soul

About the collection

Take a journey with D.L. Finn as she blends her love of nature with her deepest emotions. Sit with her on the forest floor observing its tranquil beauty, or stroll along the ocean’s shore admiring the vastness of its horizon. Here in these peaceful moments you’ll be able to experience her thoughts and feelings in the light—and in the darkness. This is a thought-provoking collection of poetry that invites the reader into all the seasons of a soul.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

marjorie mallon5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful poetry about nature, emotions, and riding a harley!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 May 2021

I’ve been curious for some time to read D.L Finn’s work. In fact, she has so many enticing novels, short stories, and poetry to choose from it was quite a job to decide on which to try first. I opted for Just Her Poetry, it is a sweeping poetry book with part one focusing on poems about nature, the seasons, and musings from the back of a Harley! Part Two is entitled Seasons of A Soul and expresses the author’s emotionally poignant poems about her experiences in darkness and light. There is a bonus section of Some Readers’ Favourites and bonus poetry too.

It’s a lovely book of poetry, so personal and moving. It’s almost as if you are sharing a day out with the author sharing her life, loves and sorrows via her words. In the author note at the end she mentions how nature inspires her writing. I am the same; I loved it. I particularly enjoyed the section of poems written on the back of her husband’s Harley motorbike! Journeying, seeing little details, observational poetry at its best. And some special mentions of poems that I particularly related to: Fingers of The Sea, Trees, Ocean, (as the sea is my spiritual home and I adore trees!)

My recommendation: A wonderful collection of poetry. Highly recommended.

A selection of other books by D.L. Finn

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow D.L. Finn: Goodreads – Connect to D.L. Finn – Website: D.L. Finn Author – Facebook: D.L. Finn Author – Twitter: @dlfinnauthor


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally.