About Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. My previous jobs are only relevant in as much as they have gifted me with a wonderful filing cabinet of memories and experiences which are very useful when putting pen to paper. I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. You can find the whole story here. Find out more at https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-me/

Orienthailiving and Retired No One Told Me, Weekly update…Tamarind, Obesity and Horseradish.

If you have a few minutes to put your feet up and gather more food and cookery tips and recipes, then head over to Carol Taylor’s round up… something for everyone – from horseradish to tamirand

Retired? No one told me!

Carols Weekly Update 26th April

Quite a mixed bag this week in this weeks update not so many posts. I have lots of ideas but haven’t translated them into posts… I have been trying to do more work on my Cook Book it is taking shape and has lots of recipes so I am now filling in the blanks you all know how I love to chatter …Don’t you?

The first post in this update is my monthly guest post on the Recipe Hunter and this month it was the letter C and surprise, surprise not a chilli in sight… haha… There are Curry Plants, Cloud eggs and much more but I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t read it yet.


Next, we have Fruity Fridays which is the lovely Tamarind. This week I have a lovely rare Thai fruit for you… The reason I love it here as I come across some little gems…

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Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Beethoven – Some more observations on Life – Citizenship


A man is looking through a cemetery when he hears some music. He looks around to see who is playing it but can’t see anyone. Searching for the source, he finally finds it coming from a grave with a headstone that reads:

Ludwig van Beethoven 1770-1827

Then he realizes the music is Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and is being played backward.

Puzzled, he leaves the graveyard and persuades a friend to return with him.By the time they arrive back at the grave, the Seventh Symphony is playing, also backward.

Curious, the men agree to consult a music scholar.When they return, the Fifth Symphony is playing, again backward.The expert notices the symphonies are being played in the reverse order in which they were composed. By the next day, the word has spread and a crowd has gathered around the grave. They are all listening to the Second Symphony being played backward. Just then, the graveyard’s caretaker ambles up to the group.

Someone asks him if he has an explanation for all of this. “I would have thought it was obvious,” he replied. “He’s decomposing.”

Some more observations on life.

1.Law of Mechanical Repair – After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to go to the toilet.

2.Law of Gravity – Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible place in the universe.

3.Law of Probability -The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

4.Law of Random Numbers – If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal; someone always answers.

5.Variation Law – If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

6.Law of the Bath – When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone will ring.

7.Law of Close Encounters – The probability of meeting someone you know INCREASES dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

8.Law of the Result – When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, IT WILL!!!

9.Law of Biomechanics – The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

10.Law of the Theaters & Sports Arenas – At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

11.The Coffee Law – As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

12.Murphy’s Law of Lockers – If there are only 2 people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

13.Law of Physical Surfaces -The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

14.Law of Logical Argument – Anything is possible IF you don’t know what you are talking about.

15.Law of Physical Appearance – If the clothes fit, they’re ugly.

16.Law of Public Speaking – A closed mouth gathers no feet!

17.Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy – As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it OR the store will stop selling it!

18.Doctors’ Law – If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there, you’ll feel better. But don’t make an appointment and you’ll stay sick.

19.Law of Comparisons – Guns are a lot like parachutes, if you need one and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again.

Heaven help us all!

In a University Classroom, students were discussing the qualifications required to be Prime Minister of Canada.

The candidate must be a natural-born citizen of at least 35 years of age.

One young woman began ranting that the natural-born-citizen requirement prevented many capable individuals from becoming Prime Minister. The class let her rant, and few jaws hit the floor when she wrapped up her argument by stating, “What makes a natural-born citizen any more qualified to lead this country than one born by C-section?”

What WAS she thinking?

Thank you for popping in today and many thanks to Tina Frisco who has filtered funnies to me by email over the years… I hope you have enjoyed and please feel free to share the smiles. Thanks Sally

Smorgsbord Blog Magazine – Esme’s Party Piece – Forecast and Herbal assistance.

I was looking for something to add a little mystery and colour to the blog, and whilst I have been known to read palms, the crystal ball and the cards (yes my mother claimed gypsy ancestry), I have never got to grips with astrology except as a spectator.


Then I remembered by old friend Esme.. not her real name but one I rather like…. who used to amuse and astound us, with her party piece of telling fortunes based on the characteristics of our zodiac sign. She had been interested in astrology from an early age but one day discovered a flair for interpreting the signs in a different way.

I approached her in the hopes that she might contribute to the blog by providing fortnightly posts with a forecast for each sign.. She agreed provided I did not use her real name (she is an eminent scientist) and that I crossed her palm with a couple of bottles of Cava from time to time.

She absolutely wishes this to be regarded as for fun purposes only and not to be taken too seriously.

This time.. not only a look at what might be taking place in the next couple of weeks, but a herb or two that might give you a lift.

Here are her predictions based on your zodiac sign’s characteristics for 26th April to 10th May.

Aries: March 21 – April 19

You are very strong willed and ambitious, and right now you are at the start of several months of opportunity at work, and also as far as relationships is concerned. You have tried a number of approaches to gain ground but you are not quite there yet. Perhaps you have not studied the target of your ambitions carefully enough. Tailor your efforts to their requirements, not your own, so that they know you have been listening. The finish line for this particular project is September. I would suggest that you add a little ginger to your diet… a cup of that each day will clear your mind.

Taurus: April 20 -May 20

You are now at the beginning of your annual renewal… April was a bit confusing with erratic events that drove you mad. People let you down and things went missing. But you are now back on an even keel, and hopefully, with some of that Taurus sun bringing clarity and sense to your work and romantic life. Like everything in life there is small print and in the excitement of new beginnings we do tend to skip those bits. I do suggest that you revisit any paperwork that you have sitting in front of you and double check everything. It might result in a win of some kind from promotion to a rebate. Add some pep to your step with fresh thyme with your dinners.

Gemini: May 21 – June 20

You do tend to like the best of both worlds… working as part of a dynamic team or being hidden away in your cave creating your own magic. You are somewhat of an enigma to your family and friends and they tend to be wary of suggesting a break from routine. However, in a few weeks it will be your birthday and there are some ambitions or wishes that you have been promising to complete by this particular birthday. Why not spend the next three weeks planning to enjoy at least one of them. Whilst it might well be something you plan for just yourself… you would actually find that including someone close will double the pleasure. I would suggest, that if you are having trouble sleeping, you take valerian last thing at night.

Cancer: June 21 – July 22

You seem to be having a wonderful social time right now on and offline, meeting interesting people and making international connections. I see an award coming your way for your efforts and someone is going to make a proposal to you… I don’t know if it is business or romance but it will be worth thinking about. With all this excitement, and well deserved recognition, be careful not to forget those who stand beside and behind you as their support is partly why you are getting those awards. You rely heavily on your gut instinct, and I think this is a time to listen to that intuition and act on it. You might enjoy a peppermint tea after meals.. after all excitement can also give you indigestion.

Leo: July 23 – August 22

It is a while until you get to the high point of your year and you are starting to flag. It is tough being front and centre with people looking to you for guidance, support and when needed a shoulder to cry on. It might be tempting to push people away and retreat for some time. Tough to do when there is so much going on. However, just taking an hour for yourself every day will make a difference. Things are more stable than last month but you still need to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. I do see a few months ahead a break in the cloud with new opportunities so stick it out and try to make the best of the situation.  Chamomile tea would be a good edition twice a day… it is very calming.

Virgo: August 23 – September 22

It feels like you reached a turning point in a relationship of some kind in the last couple of weeks, that has reminded you that it would be a good time to do an audit of your life. Who, where, what and when are always good questions to ask along with How Much! You have dreams but you need to work out a plan and a budget to accomplish them. Work on the accumulation factor and if for example you want to make that lifetime trip, how much do you need to set aside each month to get there? Is there something that you do not need any longer that you could sell to add to the fund? Two heads work better than one so team up with someone close. To help you find clarity I suggest drinking rosehip tea.

Libra: September 23 – October 22

This month it is all about finding balance, especially after the last few weeks. At times you have felt between a rock and a hard place with family and friends going through a needy phase. Remember that in a plane emergency the responsible adult puts the oxygen mask on first so that they can then take care of others. You need to step back and give yourself some breathing room. Explain it calmly despite you would quite like to speak your mind more sharply. You are not good to them if you are worn out and stressed. You need to rest, eat well and drink plenty of fluids.. and wine does not count.. I was thinking more of green tea infused with orange to help you keep yourself energised.

Scorpio: October 23 – November 21

I feel that the time is for you to go big or get out. For the last few months you have been restricted by someone else’s agenda and your own ideas have been falling by the wayside. Job and relationship security is fantastic and none of us like to rock the boat. So don’t do that but do work out a strategy to gently infuse either a work or personal relationship with your take on things. It is all about the people and their needs and wants as well as their fears. By understanding their motivation you can persuade them that your approach and your input can make positive changes. Good things are ahead and the platform that you build today will be a great start.  A little ginseng with raspberry tea might help you get that on track.


Sagittarius: November 22 – December 21

Can an offer be too good to be true? Of course it can but if you do your research and homework there is no reason why the recent offer you received cannot work out very well. Unfortunately whilst you are making your deliberations life still goes on, however much you would like to take off to some isolated spot to think in peace. Thing is that you are not the only person in this and what you decide is likely to impact others. Make sure that you factor everything into your considerations. Health wise you may have been driving yourself to hard and need to step back a little from anything that is not essential. Do you really need to be on Facebook or other online platforms every day? Warm milk, a dash of honey, topped with nutmeg may help you relax, get a good night’s sleep and wake refreshed.

Capricorn: December 22 – January 19

There appears to be issues relating to shared property and investments at the moment with plenty of variables to make discussions interesting. Whilst you like to have a firm plan of the way forward, those around you have a more relaxed approach that can be irritating. Spontaneity is not a crime and whilst you do like to stay well within budget, you do have some wiggle room and could make an exception. This time of year is also when all the bills come in for car, house and tax payments. Once those are out of the way you will have a clearer picture. You are fairly self-contained but do think about picking up the phone to family and friends and checking that they are okay. Perhaps some turmeric tea might clear away the cobwebs.

Aquarius: January 20 – February 18

Since the end of last year you have been feeling under par with a lack of enthusiasm for getting out and mingling. You are very happy with your head in a book or in the clouds and are a bit of a dreamer. Reality beckons now however, and thankfully you are extremely practical. People need your help and you know that once you get started you will enjoy the process and it will get you out of your doldrums. You are never happier than when out in nature and whilst clearing weeds is not that exciting, planting a garden of colour and scent will be the reward. This applies to most things in your life at the moment. A cup of ginger and lemon twice a day should perk you up.

Pisces: February 19 – March 20

You are carrying a burden at the moment which you will undertake willingly as a duty but it is taking its toll. You don’t have to go it alone and do not be afraid of asking for help and it will be there. There are some highlights too with people rallying around and younger people in particular bringing some sunshine into your life. In another few months you will be the other side of this and able to pick up your own life again. There also seems to be a windfall coming your way in regards to an inheritance which will help ease the situation. Trust in the process and when you can, put your feet up with a good book, or a movie and sip a cup of chamomile tea with a dash of fresh ginger.

©Esme – Smorgasbord 2018

 Esme and I would be fascinated to find out if you feel that these forecasts are interesting, pretty accurate or entertaining!  If you would like to see more from Esme… make your mark… thanks Sally

And remember this is for entertainment purposes only…..

Smorgasbord Poetry – Dorothy Cronin (1949- 2006) One Day at a Time

It is 12 years since our family lost a dear and much loved mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend and my sister-in-law. Dorothy Cronin….She is missed.

Dorothy’s family were well aware of her many attributes but it only took a few minutes on meeting her, that these became apparent to others as well.

I was having a particularly stressful time in the late 1980s with my job and also settling back in to the UK after our two years in Texas. It was probably something to do with the weather, although we had a massive hurricane in October 1987 which definitely reminded us of Houston.

Dorothy was a source of common sense and understanding that helped me get back into the groove and I will always be grateful for her counsel.

One Day at a Time

One day at a time
I fall in love with you
Each day I fall
As if for the first time
Deeper in love.
Plunging to depths
Beyond which life and limb
Can survive,
Surfacing each night
Renewed, repaired
In the process
That links your life

© Dorothy Cronin – Rainbows in Amber – Moyhill Publishing 2007

About Dorothy Cronin by David Cronin

Dorothy was always a prolific writer, and in the introduction to an earlier collection she wrote … “As long as I can remember, words and the rhythms of speech have fascinated me. I was drawn early into reading poetry, but did not begin to write poetry until I was 13. I was instantly hooked, and, through dry and fertile periods, have remained so…” She has produced some wonderful work since then, and this collection holds just a few of these jewels.

In the year before her untimely death, in April 2006, Dorothy and I had discussed the publication of a collection of her poetry, and she was in the process of selecting poems and creating a number of short, themed groups for publication. Unfortunately, that process was cut short and we shall never know her final choices. However, this collection comes mainly from her own personal favourites.

I believe that anyone who reads these poems cannot fail to be moved: be it to tears, laughter or just a wry smile. They show a keen observation of the world she lived in; a profound insight into the people about her; the perception to find beauty in the simplest of things; and above all, the ability to encapsulate a moment of feeling in a package of words.

My one regret is that she is not here to see the impact that her words will have.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief look at some of the poetry of Dorothy Cronin. And I may share more later in the year.





Emer’s Song


Thank you for dropping in today and your feedback is always welcome.


Letters from America – 1985 – 1987 – Texas weather, Suntans and Trivia Pursuit

Another letter from America from early June 1985.. we discover the new game Trivia Pursuit with dire results… and the weather gets hot!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

We had returned from our trip to Las Vegas and Los Angeles and were taking things easier in June…


My parents were also doing some gadding about whilst we were in the States.. including a trip to Paris with my sister and her husband. Here they are at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

4th June 1985

Dearest M &D,

Lovely talking to your on Sunday, glad all is well and that your trip was so much fun Mollie. We spent a quiet weekend after our adventures away and we had a few friends over on Sunday night for supper and to play Trivia Pursuit.  It is not a game that we would have played in the UK but it is great fun to play, if a little competitive. We bought it a couple of weeks ago after we played it at a friend’s apartment and we will show…

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#BloggersBash Agenda

The agenda of the #BloggersBash 2018 is now available and details on how to get your tickets. Sorry not to be there this year but you will have a blast. Head over to Shelley Wilson and find out more.

I Write. I Read. I Review

The Bloggers Bash 2018 Agenda Is Live!

It’s hard to believe, but the Bash is less than a month away! Final preparations are underway at Bash Central, including setting the agenda for the day. We’re putting together a great event, including awards, speeches, talks and our popular panel debate, as well as time for networking and getting to know your fellow bloggers.

So, without further ado, here is the agenda for the 2018 Bloggers’ Bash:

10:30-11:15am             Arrival and Registration (including a registration video by Hugh!)

11:15-11:20am             Welcome Speech

11:20am                       The first three awards will be handed out!

Informative, Best Pal, and Hidden Gem

11:45am                       Presentation and Q&A with Ritu, winner of Best Overall Blog in 2017 (Read more about Ritu here)

12:15-1:45pm              Break for lunch/Networking

1:45pm                         Presentation and Q&A with the intrepid founder of the Blogger’s Bash, our very own Sacha Black (read more about Sacha…

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49 Days In 1988: Week 16 – Closing Doors

Tina Frisco is a guest of Hugh Roberts as part of his series 49 days in 1988 and she the song she has selected is one that many of us will have enjoyed over the years. Head over and find out what was happening with Hugh at that particular time and which song Tina chose.

Hugh's Views & News

Click here to read the first week of this feature, and follow the links at the end of each post.


London – April 13th, 1988

Well, I certainly will not rush into things as far as Dean is concerned. A phone call from him this evening meant another long conversation and a dinner date tomorrow evening. We both get on well, and I hope it lasts. It may all be happening far too quickly, after Stewart, and I may be on the rebound, but the waters around Dean seem calm and steady. I wonder if he sees the same in me? Afterall, Stewart is still on my mind and we’ve that upcoming meetup we promised each other.

It looks as if I could be moving again soon. We were told tonight that the house is on the market. It came as quite a shock to all of us. I…

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Letters from America – 1985 – 1987 – Texas weather, Suntans and Trivia Pursuit

We had returned from our trip to Las Vegas and Los Angeles and were taking things easier in June…


My parents were also doing some gadding about whilst we were in the States.. including a trip to Paris with my sister and her husband. Here they are at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

4th June 1985

Dearest M &D,

Lovely talking to your on Sunday, glad all is well and that your trip was so much fun Mollie. We spent a quiet weekend after our adventures away and we had a few friends over on Sunday night for supper and to play Trivia Pursuit.  It is not a game that we would have played in the UK but it is great fun to play, if a little competitive. We bought it a couple of weeks ago after we played it at a friend’s apartment and we will show you how to play it when you come over.

As you both enjoy crosswords it should be right up your alley. It has big board divided into 6 segments so looks like a giant pie. Each segment has a pie shape of a different colour representing one of the categories. Science and Nature, Geography, History, Entertainment, Art and Literature and Sports and Leisure. You then throw the dice and move around and over the board depending on how many you throw. If you land on a piece of pie you have to answer a question related to that category.. If you answer correctly you get a small piece of plastic pie of the corresponding colour. If you land on a square on your way to that main segment you have to answer a question identified by the colour of the square to continue.

When you have filled your pie with all the six different pieces you win!  There are a few other wrinkles but the real problem is the categories as they are nearly all North American in context. Not so bad for Geography, Science and Nature and Art and Literature, but for us Brits the real problems lie in the Sports and Leisure, History and Entertainment. Fine if it is a film question but it is usually about television shows and their stars. We have a basic knowledge of American History, but not the nitty gritty, and don’t get me started on Sports and Leisure as I know diddly squat about baseball, basketball, American football and bowling!

Thankfully there are sufficient British related questions to help us get to the winning post, but unfortunately quite a bit behind our friends, who wait patiently whilst we circle the board a few times trying to get that elusive last piece of pie. I do find that margaritas… (with tequila) do help the mind delve deep into the recesses to unearth long forgotten bits of trivia or come up with inspired guesses. Just something for you to look forward to when you come out later this year.. the Trivia Pursuit.. not the tequila.. unless you would like to try!

David is home this week but away from Monday next week. He is dashing through three states for business meetings and by the time he is finished he will have visited most.

The weather has been hot (95-98 degrees) for the past few days with no sign of rain. There have been some terrible tornadoes in the north, but we have been very lucky here. There has been the occasional hurricane warning with storm systems sweeping up the gulf, but nothing so far. Now we are into June there is a lot more activity by the pool and we are meeting more people. I am still about the only one out there during the day, and although I wear quite a bit of sun cream and a hat, I still get people shouting from the balconies ‘Mad dogs and English Women, go out in the mid-day sun’.  However, I do enjoy my healthy tan again since it is nearly 25 years since we enjoyed so much sunshine in Cape Town. You will notice that I have grown my hair longer… and it is getting gingerised by the Texas sun….

I am glad that you have your visas and anytime between September to end of November and February to May are good months for weather, avoiding the high temperatures and heat or the sharp cold spells. I am starting a scrapbook of all our postcards and photos taken since we arrived, which should keep me out of mischief and provide you with a pictorial guide to our stay. I hope you will hang on to these letters too just in case I forget anything.

We are not planning another trip until July and we are thinking of either going to the Caribbean or Hawaii (post ain’t we). We will never be close enough to either destination in the future to visit and you can get some very good deals, especially using David’s air miles that he has accumulated with all his flights. You can put them towards flights and also certain hotel chains such as Marriott. I am angling for Hawaii as I would love to bump into Magnum P.I. but don’t tell David!

Our love to everyone and swat up on baseball, basketball and American football in the next few months so you can impress our friends at Trivia Pursuit.

love Sally and David.

©Sally Cronin Images 2018

You will find the other Letters from America: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will join me next week for another of our American adventures.  Thanks Sally


Jazz Age Wednesdays 30 ― Hullaba Lulu 5.1

It is time for Jazz Age Wednesday with Teagan Geneviene.. the mystery about Valentino deepens as Lulu overhears a conversation between him and her grandfather. They clearly have history but what exactly is the connection? #recommended

Teagan's Books

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Lulu reclining trunks Valentino StationValentino and Lulu wait at the abandoned subway station.  (Rob Goldstein)

Hi there, Sheiks and Shebas.  You’re at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Today’s episode brings us to Chapter 5 of the new series, Hullaba Lulu.  I hope you are enjoying my change of pace from the “Pip-verse.”  Yes, it’s another story set in the 1920s, but this one is a “Diesel-punk” fantasy. 

Once again I have more of the pos-i-lutely fabulous artwork from Rob Goldstein.  He’s made another fun video for this series.  Button up your overcoat and check it out below.  Rob and I are also having inspiring discussions and he’s sending me “three things” to spontaneously drive each chapter of this pantser story. 

However, this time I’m cheating a little…  When I started fleshing out my notes for this chapter, I found myself relating the backstory of Lulu’s family — before I even got…

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Part four of Gregg Savage’s recent interview for the Open House.. this is the movie review for Donnie Darko… please head over and enjoy..

The Daily Tales of Gregg Savage

Hi everyone! Very privileged to be asked to take part in Sally Cronin’s weekly interview series, Open House. Sally’s four unique questions deserved some well-thought-out answers, so I opted to treat each response as its own piece of writing. This took a fair chunk of time to complete (on top of writing a new story every day!), so I hope you won’t mind me presenting my responses in four distinct parts. I’ll post half of the response here and, if you would like to keep reading, then you can click the link below and pay a visit to Sally’s incredibly active blog, Smorgasbord. Sally’s blog was recently nominated for Best Overall Blog by the good folk over at The Blogger’s Bash to be in held in London on May 19. I hope you enjoy this four-part series and best of luck to Sally!


Donnie Darko (2001)


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