Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Music, Language, Honey, Books and Humour

We got back from the UK on Thursday night and it was a terrific two weeks away. The weather was wonderful until the last couple of days, but we had been keeping an eye on the four storm fronts coming up from the south. These days forecasts are very accurate and we saw that Tuesday when we were due to catch our ferry was going to have waves over 20ft high.. We had a flexible ticket so moved our booking to Thursday which looked like the calmest day of the week. As it happened we crossed in the only four hour window of calm which has to be the luck of the Irish.

It was great to be in the company of a dog again, and Miss Ellie is well used to us as a family. The break and spending a lot off time unplugged did us both good and we are now back with batteries fully charged and ready to go.

I tried to keep up with comments once a day, but apologies if I missed yours. I am very grateful for all the generous post sharing that went on in my absence and also your messages.

We had to stay in a hotel due to the change and if you are heading to South Wales we can recommend The Cliff Hotel… fantastic views and great walks. The Cliff Hotel Gwbert Wales


Here are the posts from this week…

In the last of the current series by William Price King, who will be moving to a different schedule, he interviews American composer Mark Bradley about his life, work and the future.

Writer in Residence Rewind – Proto-Indo Europeans and the origins of language – Paul Andruss.

In this post, Paul explores some of the assumptions made about the development of our individual languages from a common root many thousands of years ago. He also addresses the question of whether languages were spread by conquerors sweeping across continents or farmers gently moving across fertile plains and establishing communities that fed and watered the nomadic tribes who came after them. I am sure that Paul would love to hear your views and answer your questions.

Carol Taylor has been taking a break whilst I was away but will be back this week with a new post. In the meantime….. I have started to reshare our joint series last year with the health benefits of what I consider to be essential foods, and Carol turns them into delicious meals. This week – Honey – Nectar of the Gods.

New series of Posts from your Archives from the amusing and talented Linda Bethea


The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You – Poet and author Dorinda Duclos

If you had intended to participate in this series then can you get your answers to your questions to me soon as I will be starting to get a new series ready for Christmas…..

Here is the link to find out more about Getting to Know You :

Short Stories – What’s in a Name.

Two stories about people with a name beginning with ‘H’. Both of which share the darker side of life.

Hannah – Finding a Way to Move On.

Hector – The Homecoming

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Cafe and Bookstore Update and reviews

Smorgasbord Health Column

An update on the erosion caused to our teeth by drinking mineral water that is too acidic.

An update on the research into the effect of curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, on cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and inflammation.

Laughter Lines and Afternoon Video

We all love Lawyers… right?


A shaggy pirate tale or two and a word from their parrots.

Thank you once again for all you support and hope you will drop in next week for more of the same.


Smorgasbord Afternoon Video – A Pavarotti Moment and a Tall Tale from Geoff Cronin

This parrot is giving it full voice and upstaging the great Pavarotti….. My late father-in-law  Geoff Cronin had a tale to top it… some of you have seen before but I hope you will enjoy again.

My father-in-law Geoff Cronin  died in February 2016. He was 93 and had a memory like a bear trap… and who is also a great raconteur.. and I had a conversation one weekend about the music series on the life of Luciano Pavarotti with William Price King. He reminded me of this story that he had told a number of times..   I know that since his death you have been enjoying his stories and this one was one of the favourites.

A Pavarotti Fan Achieves a dream of a lifetime

Michael lived in Donegal and his mother, who was a music teacher and introduced him to opera and specifically the work of Luciano Pavarotti back in the 1980s.

This began a lifetime’s obsession with the singer and despite being short on cash, Michael bought every recording the great man released. He would also record any television appearances and cherished the DVD of the one film that Pavarotti made.. Yes Giorgio… and successive girlfriends were forced to watch copious times during predictably short-lived romances.

Eventually Michael set up his own business with a record shop and bookstore. Over the years he saved up money in a large cake tin, hidden on the top of his kitchen cabinets in his flat above the shop. His friends down at the pub on a Friday night would indulge Michael’s fantasy of one day attending the great Pavarotti’s performances; laughing behind his back when he would enthuse about the singer’s most recent album release.

Finally, after twenty years, Michael had saved enough to buy a front row ticket for a performance to be given in Modena, Italy.  There was also sufficient left over to hire a tuxedo and spend a night or two in a modest hotel on the outskirts of town.  He headed off to Dublin and the airport on the train. This was his first flight and excursion out of the country and he was beside himself with fear and excitement.

Eventually he arrived in Modena and was grateful that the lady who ran the small hotel spoke English.. She was very helpful in getting his suit pressed and getting a taxi to take him to the concert on time.

Three days later Michael arrived back in Donegal in a state of bliss. He couldn’t wait to get to the pub on the Friday and tell all his friends about the most amazing experience of his life.

Sure enough his friends were all ears when he began to tell them about his adventures. None of them had ever left the country nor flown in a plane and they plied him with questions about every aspect of the trip. Finally one asked about the actual concert.

Michael, relishing being the centre of attention, and with all eyes on him, talked them through the evening moment by moment.  The venue, the beautiful women in their expensive gowns, the men all in black tie and the champagne in the interval. His front row seat had offered him the most wonderful view of the performance and his heart had beaten rapidly at being so close to his beautiful Pavarotti.

One of his friends asked him if the singer was as good in person as on the recordings.

‘Oh he was superb and it was so thrilling to see him live; I cannot tell you how amazing those two hours were.’

One of them piped up. ‘And what was he like as a man, you know did he interact with the audience.’

Michael shook his head and grimaced slightly. ‘Well he doesn’t like it much when you sing along with him!’

I hope you enjoyed this little musical interlude…. and will pass it on… thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Round Up – Unplugged and the week ahead.

Welcome to the weekly round up and a shortened version this week as I luxuriate in the windy sunshine of the south coast of England. I am house and dog sitting for my sister, who with my other sister is sailing up the first of their fjords in Norway right about now.

I thought I would take the opportunity to catch up on my reading and also plan more mischief for Smorgasbord beginning in October.

I have left a few posts in the buffer for you during my absence, including the music column and short stories, with some food and cookery from Carol.I know with all the great blogs around around you will have plenty to keep you busy… I will be back fully refreshed on Wednesday 19th of September.

Thank you very much for keeping my seat warm while I am away and I will be popping in and out from time to time and on Facebook and Twitter.

Here are the posts from the week in a slightly abbreviated manner…..My thanks to William Price King and Carol Taylor for their amazing contributions.. and a reminder that tomorrow it is the monthly Travel Column with D.G. Kaye… just after midnight UK time.. and it is the turn of St. Martin and the Caribbean to be the focus of Debby Gies and her expertise.

The Music Column with William Price King – Banjo – Buddy Wachter

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor. 

A bit of a rewind whilst I am away with some amazing recipes for bananas, along with their health benefits.

What’s in a Name short stories

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore new on the shelves

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore authors reviews and news

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Health Column

Over the counter and some prescription eye drops can have some unexpected side effects.

Sepsis can be fatal, especially if not diagnosed in time. Be aware of the symptoms but also an update on a possible breakthrough treatment.

The series on the Female Reproductive system continues with a look at some of the more common health issues.

If you have an operation scheduled in the next few weeks, it is important that you use the time to get a little fitter. It may decrease your risk factor when you are under anesthetic and also decrease your recovery time.

Laughter Lines and Afternoon Video

Thank you so much for popping in while I am away… I will respond to your comments when I pop in and I am very grateful for your shares too.. Thanks Sally.