Smorgasbord Afternoon Video – Two cats talking – And three kittens reacting to them.

An afternoon video rewind….First the original of two cats chatting.. I think they might have been discussing the fat their owner has switched over to skimmed milk instead of full fat and tuna without the olive oil…. but anyway they must have been saying something very interesting because watch the reaction of the very young kittens who are watching the two talking on a laptop..

Now watch the kittens reaction… fascinating.

What do you think they are talking about?



Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Madonna, Hot Cross Buns, Chicken Poop and Houston 1985

Welcome to the weekly round up where I get the chance to say thank you to the contributors to the blog and to also share posts you might have missed.

This week the snow has gradually disappeared, except for mounds that were piled up by the diggers that have remained by the sides of the roads. It looks like that will be the last snow for us this year and I am looking forward to spring which is just around the corner.

This week it was International Women’s Day and as a footnote.. but a large footnote, I want to say a massive thank you to the men in our community who consistently support all of us… whatever our gender.

The Music Column by William Price King – The Madonna Story – Part Three.

The Gardening Column with Paul Andruss… Mary, Mary quite contrary, How does your Garden Grow? With liberally spread poop.. of different varieties, but none so effective as that provided by the Chicken….


The Food Column with Carol Taylor..This week Hot Cross Buns… make your own.

The Open House Interview

The guest for today’s Open House interview is Traci Kenworth who does an amazing job sharing links to our blogs and has written an impressive 11 books that she is now hoping to publish.

Personal Stuff

On Thursday I held a virtual coffee morning and there were some great comments and links to other blogs featuring posts in tribute to the day. The main focus of my post was on the increasing levels of domestic violence in the UK that results in TWO women a week dying.

Letters from America 1985-1987 – this week getting to know our neighbours and introducing them to our version of Spaghetti Bolognese and Irish Jokes.

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist.. this week nostalgia for the musicals – South Pacific and The King and I

Tales from The Garden – Serialisation – The Sanctuary.

I am sharing my short stories from Tales from the Garden in the run up to the release of Tales from the Irish Garden in the summer. This week an imminent birth and a pack of wild dogs lead a stranger to the Magic Garden.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

Thomas the Rhymer


Posts from your Archives

Travel Writer John Rieber shares a memorable trip to Barcelona and a ride on the overhead cable network that provides a birds eye view of this beautiful city.

barcelona from tram

D.G. Kaye with her exploration the corrosive form of bullying.. verbal abuse that aims to break the spirit and claim dominance.

A warm welcome to Susanne Swanson of Cats and Trails and Garden Tails who is sharing four posts from her archives. The first is a trip down memory lane to a house where Susanne lived and the creek where she and her friends played together. Many aspects of the environment have now changed and from a conservation perspective for the better.. but what about those memories?

Welcome to the second of the archive posts from Billy Ray Chitwood.. This week Billy explores our perception of ‘Soul’.

Sarah Zama shares another post from her archives and this week although slightly out of season.. she explores the spooky which to be honest is good anytime of year. Devil and the Arena of Verona

Arena of Verona - Piazza Bra


Things you might not have known were added in the processing of cheese!

The new Aromatherapy series continues with the first part of a list of the most common essential oils used for skincare, bath and massage.

A guest post from Brigid Gallagher about her diagnosis of fibromyalgia and the long road to recovery. Brigid shares the alternative health therapy and strategies that help live as full a life as possible.

The next chapter in the series Turning Back the Clock.. a natural anti-aging programme. This week are you breathing efficiently?

It is so important to keep a record of your own prescription drugs and those of your children and elderly relatives. Also a record of past illnesses that might have a bearing on your current diagnosis.

The latest news on the PSA test for Prostate Cancer and concerns that it is leading to unnecessary surgery and other treatment that results in long term side-effects.


Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – You are in the Navy Now…

Time for a little navy humour....


A young Naval Officer was in a terrible car accident, but due to the heroics of the hospital staff the only permanent injury was the loss of one ear. Since he wasn’t physically impaired he remained in the military and eventually became an Admiral. However, during his career he was always sensitive about his appearance.

One day the Admiral was interviewing two Navy Master Chiefs and a Marine Gunnery Sergeant for his personal staff.

The first Master Chief was a Surface Navy type and it was a great interview. At the end of the interview the Admiral asked him, “Do you notice anything different about me?” The Master Chief answered, “Why yes. I couldn’t help but notice you are missing your starboard ear, so I don’t know whether this impacts your hearing on that side.”

The Admiral got very angry at this lack of tact and threw him out of his office. The next candidate, an Aviation Master Chief, when asked this same question, answered, “Well yes, you seem to be short one ear.” The Admiral threw him out also.

The third interview was with the Marine Gunnery Sergeant . He was articulate, extremely sharp, and seemed to know more than the two Master Chiefs put together. The Admiral wanted this guy, but went ahead with the same question. “Do you notice anything different about me?” To his surprise the Gunnery Sergeant said, “Yes. You wear contact lenses.” The Admiral was impressed and thought to himself, what an incredibly tactful Marine. “And how do you know that?” the Admiral asked.

The Gunny replied, “Well sir, it’s pretty hard to wear glasses with only one ear.”

A little night action

By the time a Marine pulled into a little town, every hotel room was taken. He walked into the last motel in town.

“You’ve got to have a room somewhere,” he pleaded. “Or just a bed, I don’t care where.”

“Well, I do have a double room with one occupant, a Navy guy,” admitted the manager, “and he might be glad to split the cost. But to tell you the truth, he snores so loudly that people in adjoining rooms have complained in the past. I’m not sure it’d be worth it to you.” “No problem,” the tired Marine assured him. “I’ll take it.”

The next morning the Marine came down to breakfast bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. “How’d you sleep?” Asked the manager. “Never better.” The manager was impressed.

No problem with the other guy snoring, then?” “Nope, I shut him up in no time.” Said the Marine. “How’d you manage that?” asked the manager.

“He was already in bed, snoring away, when I came in the room,” the Marine explained. “I went over, gave him a kiss on the cheek, said, ‘Goodnight, beautiful,’ and he sat up all night watching me.”

What’s in a name

The Navy Chief noticed a new seaman and barked at him, “Get over here! What’s your name sailor?”

“John,” the new seaman replied.

“Look, I don’t know what kind of bleeding-heart pansy crap they’re teaching sailors in boot camp nowdays, but I don’t call anyone by his first name,” the chief scowled. “It breeds familiarity, and that leads to a breakdown in authority. I refer to my sailors by their last names only; Smith, Jones, Baker, whatever. And you are to refer to me as ‘Chief’. Do I make myself clear?”

“Aye, Aye Chief!”

“Now that we’ve got that straight, what’s your last name?”

The seaman sighed. “Darling, My name is John Darling, Chief.”

“Okay, John, here’s what I want you to do …..

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed the post.. Please feel free to pass along. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Snowed in with Madonna, Muses, Snake Fruit and special guests.

Welcome to this week’s round up of posts that you might have missed. The weather here, like most of the UK and Europe has been enjoyed a classic clash between two titans of weather. The Beast from the East with arctic temperatures vs. Storm Emma sweeping up from Portugal with warm winds that created massive snow fall.

Even my stone eagle that travelled with us from the warmer climes of Spain was less that impressed with the weather..

The good news is that we are now back to our own special kind of weather..rain.. and plenty of it which is melting the snow and hopefully by tomorrow we will be able to get out of our drive without having to shovel our way through. In the early days of the bad weather I put additional food out for our garden birds (I call them ours, but of course they are totally unfaithful and visit feeders up and down the road). Fat balls were the favourites and even when thrown into the snow they were eagerly consumed. The day before yesterday we looked out the kitchen window to find all these little bums sticking up in the air as starlings, blackbirds and sparrows sheltered in little pockets as they happily pecked away at the fat.

In the freezing and windy run up to the snow I was  filling up the drinking bowl each day with warm water. We discovered that the starlings are made of sterner stuff than the rest of us as they took communal baths (and no doubt added to the mineral content with their own contributions) and then preened themselves in the hedges waving around in the freezing wind.

Anyway….. as always my gratitude to the contributors who battled through the snow to deliver their columns and posts…. and to all of you who braved the elements to visit, like and comment. You are very welcome and I hope you will come back again soon.

The William Price King Music Column. Part two of the Madonna story.

Madonna is a multi-faceted artist and social activist, no stranger to controversy, but who has always been true to the image that she created as a teenager and young performer.

Writer in residence Paul Andruss continues his exploration of poetry ancient and modern with a conversation between the Muse and the Pilgrim.  This is part two, with a link to the first part.

Carol Taylor treats us to the origins and recipes for some of the exotic fruits in her backyard.. or markets of her home in Thailand. Many are available in our own supermarkets and certainly a dessert made with snake fruit would liven up any dinner party….

The Open House Sunday Interview with guest Romanian economist and author Marina Costa

Personal Stuff.

A post on how you can promote your blog and writing here on Smorgasbord and the various watering holes where we can meet up.

At this time of year (especially with blizzards and freezing winds) our thoughts turn to booking our summer holidays. But there are a few things to think about. Just who are you telling about your absence for a couple of weeks on social media? If you are broken into during your holiday, the insurance company will be exploring your posts too to see who you have told!  Also should you suffer a bereavement and making public announcements in the newspapers about funeral arrangements… is someone house sitting?

Next Thursday I am inviting you to a virtual Coffee Morning in honour of International Women’s Day on March 8th. I will be sharing some of the quotes of women and men that I admire; who have made a difference to our world in terms of empowerment or inspiration. I would love you to join me with your own favourite quote and also your views on the subject of gender equality.

I am sharing my thoughts today on two separate gender issues, the first being the #MeToo campaign which has been stripping the entertainment industry of its glitter recently… You may not agree with all my observations but that is part of the dialogue needed to create change. The second is the bravery and commitment to change shown by women in Saudi Arabia to obtain the right to something most of us take for granted.

Letters from America – 1985- 1987 – my weekly letters to my parents sharing our adventures in Houston and travels around America.

This week a trip to Corpus Christi… encounters on the beach in the moonlight – and getting lost in translation.

My review by the latest book by Historical novelist Tony Riches – Mary: Tudor Princess.

Smorgasbord short stories – You are never too old to be loved!

This story first appeared on Sue Vincent’s blog at Christmas. I hope you enjoy if reading for the first time…Jack is incarcerated in an elderly care home and is resigned to spending the rest of his life without purpose.. until……..

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist – Billy Joel and Anne Murray.

I share my memories of some of my most interesting musical memories and this week, we chose to celebrate a new job with a stay over at one of Liverpool’s premier hotels for a dinner dance.. only for most of the diners to leave hurriedly, leaving just us and the band.

In the summer I will be releasing Tales from the Irish Garden.. stories of magic and fantasy. It is the sequel to Tales from the Garden published in 2015 and I am going to share the stories from that collection with you in the next few weeks.

Chapter One – The Head Guardians of the Magic Garden.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – News from the talented authors in the bookstore on new releases and recent reviews.

Posts from Your Archives – Early blogging posts shared with a new audience.

Billy Ray Chitwood with the first of his archive posts. Today Billy is nostalgic for the music of his hell-raising years, when stars such as Frank Sinatra and Kay Starr made a highball taste better…


The Health Column

New Series.. Inspirational stories of overcoming the challenges of chronic illness or life changing disease. This week Cynthia Reyes shares her story of her long road to recovery following traumatic injuries sustained in a car accident. Guest writers are very welcome and details are in the post.

Hydrogenated Fats in our diet and how to avoid them.

In the last few years there has been a complete reversal by governments and experts on how much fat and carbohydrates we should be eating. The information and advice is often confusing but research is definitely coming down on the side of good fats.. and that we should be including enough of them in our diet to keep us mentally and physically well.

The good fats, Essential Fatty Acids and how to get the right balance.


A new series for The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils. I took a course twenty years ago so that I could advise my customers and clients in my health food and dietary services clinic.

Turning Back the Clock – serialisation of my anti-aging book.

This week.. our immune system and how we leave the door open to opportunistic squatters who can damage our health for life.



Afternoon Video – the generosity of a crow towards a rodent friend.

Headlines that prove that fact can be stranger than fiction…..

Afternoon video – sign me up….

Afternoon Video – this Jack Russell has a jazz soul.