Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up 18th – 24th October 2020 – Streisand, Seasonal Affective Disorder, War Poets, Authors, Books, Reviews and Funnies

Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed on Smorgasbord this week.

Ireland is back in level 5 lockdown until December 1st, and then depending on progress, we might be let out again for Christmas, although not entirely sure that allowing more interaction will not result in another upsurge in January. I wonder if they will extend the restrictions until the New Year and have just chosen the 1st December to keep us hopeful?

I do feel very sorry for the small businesses who have spent time and money putting in social distancing measures and were only just gaining ground after the last lockdown. At this time of year especially, most will be relying on the seasonal trade and I just hope that they will come through it. Some are offering their products on Amazon for example and it would be great to think that people will choose to buy local.

We have not really come out of lockdown as I go out just once a week for  fresh produce and since June I have been for a trim to the hairdressers twice. I was just working myself up to making a new appointment for this week when the restrictions were announced. So I trimmed the front and David trimmed the back in the garden.  I did tip him of course.

Last week I shared some good news stories and this week I thought you might like this photograph that demonstrates not just the connection we have with wild animals but that some have a sense of fun. This whale enjoys playing with the tourist boats by pushing them around his patch of the ocean. I would love to have been a passenger.

Gray Whale Plays Pushing Tourists’ by Joseph Cheires – Baja California, Mexico

My thanks to William Price King and D.G. Kaye this week for their musical and humorous contributions.. and to you for dropping by and liking, commenting and sharing..

Life and Music of Barbra Streisand Part Four 1980s/1990s and films

For the next few Sundays I am sharing some of the interviews with regular visitors to the blog dating back to 2015 onwards.

Guest Interviews 2015 – A Funny Thing Happened, #Relationships D.G. Kaye

My Parent’s visit – Part Three – The Alamo and Natural Bridge Caverns

– Chapter Twelve – Car Rides and move to Spain

Milestones Along the Way – #Ireland #Waterford 1950s – The Sea Angler’s Club by Geoff Cronin

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Fashion Department and Shoplifters

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Cut Glass Crystal and a Smashing start

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Telesales and Helping Farmers pick the right Bull

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

Past Book Reviews 2018 – #Thriller – Lies by T. M. Logan


In Remembrance – The War Poets – Vera Brittain

UnSeasonal Affective Disorder #Lockdown #Elderly – Part One

UnSeasonal Affective Disorder – The Missing Link – Vitamin D

Chamomile Essential Oil


Share your review – Darlene Foster reviews The Jigsaw Puzzle King by Gina McMurchy-Barber


Author updates – #Wartime D.L. Finn, #History Barbara Ann Mojica

#Mythology – King of the Asphodels by David Jordan

-#Vaudeville Elizabeth Gauffreau, #DieselPunk Teagan Riordain Geneviene, #Pilgrims Noelle Granger

New #Poetry Balroop Singh, Reviews #Mystery Lizzie Chantree, #SouthernContemporary Claire Fullerton

#Family James J. Cudney, #WWII Robbie Cheadle and Elsie Haney Eaton, #Fantasy D. Wallace Peach

October 20th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Fatbits and Ducks.

October 22nd 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Rabbits and Replacement Windows

Some old favourites and a joke or two host Sally Cronin

Thank you so much for visiting today and I hope you have a great weekend.. Stay safe…Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 11th -17th October 2020 -Jazz, Elephant’s Ears, Pumpkin Flower Fritters and Rennaisance Festival

Welcome to the round up with posts that you might have missed during the week on Smorgasbord.

I hope that despite the increase in cases in most of our countries, you are staying safe. With politics and Covid-19 it is hard to find some good news headlines but tucked away you can find a gem or two.

Canadian Researchers Gave Homeless People $7500 Each And The Results Are So Uplifting

Challenging the stereotypes of homeless people in Canada, a research project from a Vancouver-based charitable organization found that simply giving money to homeless people isn’t as bad an idea as some people might think. Read more: Good News Network

New Fix-It Clinic is Using Zoom and Global Community to Help You Repair Items For Free

How many YouTube tutorials does it take to screw in a lightbulb? One—if that many.

Fixit Clinic

But when you need to fix something that’s beyond your level of DIY expertise, with nearly a bazillion videos offering differing and sometimes conflicting repair advice, it can be hard to know where to turn—or, at least it was until the advent of Fixit Clinic Read more about this great initiative: The Good News Network

So if you need a bit of a lift and a change from the daily litany of pessimism head over to The Good News Network

On the home front the last couple of days I have been moving pot plants around, taking some around the back of the garden to see out the next few months and setting out the winter flowering plants. Not a very bright day but with rain coming in for the next ten days I took the opportunity to take some photographs…

Time to get on with the posts from the week….

William Price King with American Jazz drummer and bandleader Art Blakey

‘T’ for Tea and Toast, Turmeric, Tobasco, Tahini, Tamarind and Elephant’s Ears (it is a T)

how a pumpkin flower fritter looks like

Pumpkin Flowers Fritters: at the Pumpkin Patch

Life Changing Moments – I knew that there was a book inside me waiting to be written by Joyce Hampton

#Thriller – Skeleton Run by John L. DeBoer

#Afghatinstan #MilitaryDogs Patricia Furstenburg, #History #Tudors Tony Riches

My parent’s visit – Part Two – Rennaisance Festival, Anniversary Party and nearly lights out!

Poetry – In Remembrance – The War Poets – Rupert Brooke

Photograph by Cris Saur @crisaur

Pot Luck – Poetry Friday ~ Wild Fire by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Milestones Along the Way – #Ireland #Waterford 1950s The Saga of Selby

Chapter Eleven – Favourite Walks in Ireland

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Hotel Senior Receptionist

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Hotel Assistant Manager

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs -The Sheep Farm

#Reviews Dawn Doig, Emily-Jane Hills Orford and Wanda Luthman

#ParanormalThriller – This Last Chance by D.L. Finn

#Memoir Brigid P. Gallagher , #Sci-fi Richard Dee, #Mystery Diana J. Febry

#Pre-Historic Jacqui Murray, #Fantasy Deborah Jay, #Mystery Amy M. Reade

#Paranormal Marcia Meara, #Fantasy A. J. Alexander, #MurderMystery Jessica Norrie

Image wikipedia.

Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Essential Oils and Aromatherapy – Bergamot essential oil

Omega 3s

The endocrine system and hormones Part Two

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Oct 13th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

October 15th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

October 16th 2020 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp

Thank you very much for dropping and all your support, have a great weekend and I hope you will join me again next week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments – I knew that there was a book inside me waiting to be written by Joyce Hampton

Welcome to Cafe and Bookstore spotlight. I invited writers to share what they consider to be a defining moment in their lives that resulted in a major positive change. This is the last post in the series and I hope you have enjoyed reading these inspiring stories.

My guest today is Joyce Hampton who made the decision following a serious injury to use the recovery time to write her first book.

About Joyce Hampton

I was born in Stratford E15 and moved around various areas of London before finally settling in Surrey with my husband John and our two cairn terriers.

I began writing in 2012 and my first book was: Looking back – A century of life in Bethnal Green, this book evolved from tracking other people’s recollections as the primary source material, partly family anecdotes, of the amusing, sad or serious into a written record. This research was supplemented by cross-checking documented events, in London libraries and archives to ensure that the book is both easy to read as well as being factually correct. I gradually found that I had created a walk through time account of the Bethnal Green area of the 19th and 20th centuries, which includes the Bethnal Green tube disaster of 1943.

My newest book is The Story of the Huguenots: A unique Legacy. It is a 500 page book but with a difference as it is a FACTUAL NOVEL in other words it has the factual history of the Huguenots but written in the expected format of a novel in the belief that the reader will find it more engaging and will want to discover more about this amazing group of people. The book is divided into four parts (all within the one book). I also take bookings for talks and lectures on the subject, including, as an example, a slot at the annual Write Idea Festival in London  which was to a very appreciative audience of over 100 people.

I knew that there was a book inside me waiting to be written.

Like many people, I always felt I had a book somewhere inside me, but it was finding the time to seek it out and get it into the big wide world which prevented me doing anything about it!
I have always loved reading especially history, but it was the day that three discs in my spine collapsed that proved to be my life changing moment. It was a lovely sunny summer’s day the birds were singing the bees were definitely buzzing and I was happily weeding a flower bed. My back ached from bending over and I had ignored earlier in the day the strange sensation in my lower spine – suddenly what felt like an electric shock cut though my lower spine and my legs crumpled beneath me…..

Several weeks later, once the diagnosis had been made and the painkillers began to kick in, I realised I needed some lifestyle changes……hmm……..would now be a good time to write that book?

2013, was the beginning of this new venture…. I was going to find that book inside me and write it…. after all everything happens for a reason! As I started to mull over my subject matter one evening, I tuned in to watch the early evening news on TV. At the beginning of the London News programme I saw an elderly lady standing in what appeared to be a muddy fenced off building site but it was in actual fact the designated area for the new Stairway to Heaven memorial, to all those who perished in March 1943. She began to speak about this WWII disaster which had happened at the partially completed Bethnal Green tube station and that’s when I decided on my topic!

My father’s family had lived in Bethnal Green and its environs for many decades, but I only had a scanty recollection of this local history from whispers heard about long afterwards. But, two things were about to change all of that. One was a meeting with Sandra Scotting of the Stairway to Heaven charity and the other was the re-discovery of a much-treasured hand-written diary by my aunt. I decided that the book should reflect social change and armed with notebook and pen I paid a visit to the local library in Bethnal Green where I spent an entertaining morning with a local history group. By the end of this visit I had a plan, based on local residents’ knowledge, and so began to research and write Looking Back – A Century of Life in Bethnal Green.


This is the book cover of the paperback and one of the chapters covers the event both before, during and after the Bethnal Green tube disaster when 173 men, women and children lost their lives.

The photos show the incomplete entrance to the station and people sheltering down on the platform and in the space where the rails would be fitted post war. The book covers the years 1862 to 1962 an immense period of social change not only in London but across the world as countries became embroiled in two world wars, but not all is gloom and doom I promise.

During the writing of this book I made many friends and learned so much about the ever-changing life in east London, it even led me to eventually take over as the Chairwoman of the Stairway to Heaven charity.

You can see here a photo of the completed memorial, we still raise funds for its upkeep. For more details please go to Stairway to Heaven Memorial

Having written this book, there really was no stopping me and my next subject was to be the Huguenots!

Huguenots are French protestants and I had known almost all my life that my father’s family had originally been Huguenots and that they had fled from France to escape persecution.

What an amazing journey I have been on to write this book. I have criss-crossed various areas of France during wonderful research trips and made many friends in far flung regions of the world, including – Australia, Canada, America, Mexico as well as Germany and the Netherlands. I even met a very helpful French taxi driver in Toulouse who helped me find a certain building important to Huguenot history.

Again, I chose the route of identifying what people would like and even expect a book about the Huguenots to contain and from all the shared hopes and requests of these willing helpers I was able to write about 500 years of history not only in France but across the world. Along the way I have again made some wonderful discoveries including distant Huguenot relatives on both sides of the Channel as well as some of the everyday items that were invented by Huguenots and which still enhance our daily lives. This book has just been relaunched as a second edition in paperback and as an e-book.

So, where will this life changing event of a few years ago take me next? I think the answer is, it will take me, as an author, on future, for me untrodden paths, where I shall happily explore more subjects to write about. I have also discovered another niche – giving talks about various aspects of history that affect our daily lives, I frequently blog about key events too and I have also begun to give talks on-line. You can find out more on my blog

I think it is fair to say that from adversity there was a new, and as it turns out, and exciting beginning for me; without the spine issues I would probably not have found the courage to begin writing.

Fate certainly does move in mysterious ways – and for me, I am delighted it has.

Joyce’s books are also in Eversion.

One of the reviews for The Story of the Huguenots: A Unique Legacy

What I had been searching for some time was a concise yet comprehensive history of the origins, sufferings and contributions of these brave and industrious people. The author does not fail to deliver on any of these, and the writing style Joyce Hampton employs makes the entire story so easy to read that even if you knew very little about the subject beforehand, you will gain so much learning and enjoyment from reading this. I particularly enjoyed the way In which the major events, such as the Edict of Nantes, as well as the Revocation, are described and evaluated whilst simultaneously the reader is provided with personal accounts of people’s often horrific experiences of such religious intolerance. You’ll be able to feel what they went through, and of course, many of these lessons still resonate with us today. Sometimes neighbour helped neighbour; sometimes, they didn’t. The story is as up to date as any such story can be – twentieth century events are narrated, and you’ll learn of events that took place even in 2017 too. I do not hesitate to recommend this book to all.

Joyce Hampton, Buy: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Joyce  : Goodreads – Website:Not Just Another Book Twitter: @NJABOfficial


My thanks to Joyce for sharing her story of the life changing moment that prompted her to write her first book…I know that she would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – October 4th – 10th 2020 – Streisand, Narcissism, Dog Sitting, Mending Fences, books, reviews and funnies

Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed on Smorgasbord this week.

So here we are all again and how quickly time flies when you are enjoying yourself…I say that without a trace of sarcasm honestly… if it were not for the blog and for the daily visits from all of you I think I would have found the last 8 months very difficult.

Not that there are not things that need to be done! – I have not got anymore housework done that I do normally (which is not a great deal). There is the matter of the short story collection due out in November to finish, two novels, a large tapestry of an elephant and her baby, the summer clothes as yet unworn to be put away back in their winter quarters, and winter clothes to be ironed and put back on hangers. I will leave the sequin jacket and dancing shoes where they are as we won’t be doing any partying anytime soon…although a quick shuffle around the dining room is not out of the question to the right music.

I do have 35 books awaiting reading and reviewing and I am trying to do that in a timely fashion. I know that at the end of the month I will be heading off to Amazon again to buy another ten or twelve that have been recommended by others here or I have spotted on others’ blogs. One of the downsides of promoting authors and reading through their reviews to showcase but I am not complaining, just my TBR like most of yours.

I have also been doing some updated research on a number of health conditions and despite the Covid – 19 focus on getting a vaccine and treatments, there are still some interesting advances in other areas of medical research.. I will be putting together a new Health in the News in November.

The author spotlight ends tomorrow, but I went through my files and unearthed some author interviews from 2015 onwards for authors who are very much a part of my community and I will be repeating those on Sundays up to the end of the year. I have updated with their current books and reviews and I hope you will enjoy again after all this time.

I hope you have enjoyed the week as much as I have and my thanks as always to the contributors who take time and a great deal of thought to put together interesting and entertaining posts.. this week William Price King shares part three of the Barbra Streisand story and you can find William’s own posts and also very kindly a selection of Smorgasbord’s on his  Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr

Also this week D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies shares her wisdom on narcissism in the family and some of the reasons behind this insidious and damaging mental issue. Also thanks to my guest Jane Sturgeon for her entertaining life changing moment…

And a special thank you to author Judith Barrow who has kindly set up a directory on her blog to share posts from Smorgasbord.. a huge honour thanks Judith Judith Barrow Blog

Thank you for supporting all of us and it is much appreciated.

Life and Music of Barbra Streisand Part Three -collaborations in the 1970s and 1980s

D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships -October 2020 -Envy, Jealousy, Bullying – A Path to Narcissism?

Life Changing Moments – Dog Sitting with a twist or two by Jane Sturgeon

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Chapter Ten – Sleepovers with new friends

Shakespeare and Traditional Fencing Methods

20th Anniversary #Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – The Steak House Part Two by Sally Cronin

Pub landlady Cowes Isle of Wight


Poetry – In Remembrance – The War Poets – Edmund Blunden

-My parents arrive – Part One – Stetsons, Yellow Roses, Pappasito’s and Chi Chis

Western #Horror #Thriller – Guns of Perdition – The Armageddon Showdown Book 1 by Jessica Bakkers

Past Book Reviews – #IrishHistory Andrew Joyce, #Shortstories Mary Smith


The endocrine system and hormones Part One

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy – Oils, origins, uses and Safety – Part Two

Summer 2020- Pot Luck- Book Reviews by Vashti Quiroz-Vega


Share your Children’s book reviews – #PictureBooks with Jennie Fitzkee Part Two

Sam the Speedy Sloth by Matthew Ralph reviewed by Barbara Ann Mojica

#Fantasy D. Wallace Peach Reviews #YAFantasy Heather Kindt, #Contemporary Carol LaHines, #ShortStories Elizabeth Merry

#Poetry Geoff Le Pard, Reviews -#Dystopian Harmony Kent, #WWII Marina Osipova

#Poetry Frank Prem, Reviews #Crime Jane Risdon, #Thriller Gwen Plano

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Oct 6th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

October 8th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Protests and Clean Plates

Host Sally Cronin – What do you mean I can’t park here?


Thanks again for dropping by and as always your feedback is much appreciated… Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments – Dog Sitting with a twist or two by Jane Sturgeon

Welcome to Cafe and Bookstore Author spotlight. I invited authors in the Cafe to share what they consider to be a defining moment in their lives that resulted in a major positive change. The current series ends on October 11th and is booked out with some wonderful authors and their stories.

Jane Sturgeon has been a systems analyst, trainer, technical author, painter, psychic medium, furniture restorer, de-clutterer, therapist and creative. She has lived in Africa and The States, looked after many farms, loved through two marriages, is Mum to an extraordinary young woman and loves making things. She lives next to the Mersey River where it meets the Irish Sea and shares her life with loved ones and an impressive collection of yarn.

Self-awareness is the first book in her Writing on Water series. Her creative services can be found at  Jane Sturgeon and more information can be found on her blog along with her other Books

Dog Sitting with a twist or two by Jane Sturgeon

I am grateful to Sally for gifting the opportunity to write and share a life changing moment. Sally’s blog  is a wonderful mix of her writing, books, poetry, food, health and life articles and posts filled with unstinting support for her fellow authors. Thank you, Sally. ♥

In the current heat, wide awake stints in the middle of the night have become the norm and during one, I was pondering on my life changing moments when this story popped into my thoughts. It is not a classic ‘life change’ moment, yet, it is one I go back to often, especially when I need a reminder of inner strength and flexibility.

Post-divorce and with my daughter away at university, I hit a brick wall career wise. I had no clue what to do next and I remember feeling scared. A random trawl of the internet sparked an idea to go travelling for a while and see what floated up. I have always loved animals and with my rural background I put a profile up on a home/animal sitting web site. Within days I started to get bookings and having promised my daughter I would stay in the U.K., I set off to flow care to furry and feathered friends in other folk’s homes. This is the story from one of those adventures.

It was late summer and hot and dusty as I arrived at a farm booking in the depths of Wiltshire. The lady owner had already caught her flight out to North Africa for a few weeks, so I had received emailed instructions on where to find the backdoor key. The understanding on these ‘sits’ was I gifted my time in return for a stay in a lovely place, whilst caring for animals, plants and their home. I earned my pennies through self-employed work on a psychic service, so with internet access I was good to go.

The details of the sit were ‘A beautiful 17th century moated farmhouse, Harry, a long-haired black retriever, a few chickens, some retired racehorses (which were liveried and had their own grooms) and a few sheep.

As I drove up to the gate there were three lovely dogs with tails wagging happily on the other side. I opened my car backdoor, then the side gate and ushered my buddies for the next fortnight into my car. I chatted to them all whilst negotiating the main gate and driving into the farmyard, where I saw a massive enclosure full of chickens, ducks and geese. I remarked to my new buddies,

‘I am seeing more than a few hens!’

A few uncharitable thoughts were forming, centred around the farmer, as we all trouped inside the farmhouse, with my suitcase.

There was a helpful aerial photograph on the hallway wall and after we all had a drink and I donned wellies, we set off to make a few other discoveries. There was a large flock of Jacob’s sheep in a far field, which just happened to be surrounded by a high privet hedge. Their beautiful curly horns are known for getting caught in this type of vegetation and my heart sank a little. A walk through many outer lying fields and then the stables confirmed my growing fears as I realised how many horses and foals were living there.

We returned to the farm kitchen and I discovered that the Aga was not working. I made a cup of tea with the electric kettle and fired off an email to North Africa, including the lines:

‘I have found Harry and the other two dogs are called? Over a hundred chickens, ducks and geese can hardly be classed as a few hens and I have clear evidence of a flock of sheep.’

Her reply was priceless.

‘Oh Jane, Flo (the westie) is a sweetie and Bumble (a miniature poodle) is no bother. Flo is mine and I forgot to mention her, and Bumble’s Mum is out here with me, so we thought you wouldn’t mind.’

I conserved my energy and ceased to send her emails.

On the first evening a man walked into the kitchen and opening the fridge, spotted me sitting at the table and smiled,

‘You must be Jane.’

He turned out to be a weekly lodger in the converted attic and had been staying there for over two years. He was leaving at the end of the week and yes, he was upset about going and a new lodger was due in the following Monday.

Every day the farm kitchen resembled Piccadilly Circus, as a succession of folk drifted in and out with various requests and I was not able to work for a minute. The Aga engineer came twice, the quad bike was serviced, the septic tank was emptied, the gardener trimmed all the hedges, the cleaner arrived (I have never forgotten her kindness) and lodgers and grooms came and went. There were three greenhouses, chock full of chillis, peppers and cucumbers that needed watering and I made the discovery that ducks ‘dive bomb’ you when they’re hungry and Jacob’s sheep want a cuddle.

A few days into the mix, a truck drew up at the gate early one morning and a grinning face announced

‘Hi, we’re Duncan and John and we’re here to build a hay barn in the far field.’

‘Of course, you are.’ I replied with a smile.

They were my saviours, as they knew the farmer and the farm well.

Mid-morning and afternoon, my buddies and I would carry tea and cake over to them and we’d have a natter, sprinkled with much laughter. They were a father and son building team and my heart will always hold them fondly. The Aga stove was up and running again, yet my baking had varied results.

My opening gambit of,

‘Hello chaps, this is lemon drizzle cake, but not as you know it.’ Was met with laughter.

They ate it and all my other offerings.

On my last day and the last day of their build, Duncan arrived alone and said his Dad was poorly.

‘I have given up trying to get my work done while I’m here, can I help you?’ I asked.

What followed was a day filled with pure joy. Duncan gave me a quick lesson on how to drive the digger. I had driven his massive tractor a few days earlier, as a treat, but that was a world away from handling a digger. I gathered my nerves and following his instructions sat inside the cab and started to adjust the gears for driving and the gears for handling the bucket. Everything I set in motion was the opposite to how I’d been shown. I opened the cab door and puzzled, I asked for help.

The swine laughed and leaning in, spun the gears diagram plate upside down.

‘That’s been loose for years, so I was just testing you, Jane.’ As he creased up with more laughter.

It set the tone for the day and all who value health and safety rules, stop reading now.

Duncan placed a beam across the bucket, climbed in with his tools and I took him into the barn structure. Dropping him down under the front beam and then lifting him up to put either end of the new beam in place. We achieved all of this above the deafening sound of the digger’s diesel engine, with Duncan making hand signals over the top of the bucket. In and out, we kept this up all day, until every single beam was in place in the last section and then

‘Houston, we had a roof structure.’

On the last beam, I gave in to a moment of mischief, because truth be told, I was getting a touch cocky. Duncan signalled for me to bring him down and out and instead, I tapped the gear lever to take him up a few inches. This was the view that greeted me.

I will always be grateful for Duncan’s trust that day and for gifting me the space ‘to have a go’.

Anytime I feel wobbly or unsure in the years since, I dip back into the energy of that day and the love that flowed from all the animals and kind folk on that farm, but especially to Duncan.

A footnote: I was booked in to do two further stints on that farm and I cancelled them. Duncan and I are still in touch.

©Jane Sturgeon 2020

What an adventure and I must say that I do think the owner of the animals was very cavalier about their care and was very lucky that Jane is the person that she is…delighted she shared this with us.

About the book

Each one of us holds stories about ourselves and these drive our lives. Thoughts are attached to emotions and actions spring from how we feel. Old stories can be re-written, new stories can be crafted and discoveries are made along the way. It is the tapestry of life and yes, you can weave with whatever threads you choose. Loving support, fresh perspectives and new life tools can make all the difference.

A recent review for Writing on Water

Stuart Crowe5.0 out of 5 stars READ AND READ AGAIN Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 May 2020

A short book maybe, but certainly a thought provoking book. Certainly a book if I had read a week or so ago, I certainly would have had second thoughts about questions I asked. If I had of read it year and years ago, there would have been certainly more thoughts given to the question of where and what do I do now. A very interesting read and a little bit of an insight into someone else’s life and thought processes. A book that needs reading again.

Other books by Jane Sturgeon available on her website Books

Jane Sturgeon: Amazon UK –  And : Amazon US –  Follow Jane: Goodreads –  blog:Jane Sturgeon WordPress –  Twitter: @JaneSturgeon3 –  Facebook: Jane Sturgeon


I am sure you have enjoyed Jane’s story as much as I have and I know that she would love your feedback… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – September 27th – October 3rd – Don Shirley, Salsa, The Pack, Books, Reviews, Health and Laughter.

Welcome to the round up of posts on Smorgasbord that you might have missed this week.

The weeks may be flying passed rapidly as we head into autumn and nature at least seems to be keeping to its schedule.. The news headlines are not improving with regard to Covid 19 and it seems that even those who have levels of protection we are not provided still are at risk. Our own Prime Minister and other cabinet members have been infected and certainly judging by the fatigue and signs of stress they are all showing, it is not something you bounce back from overnight.

All is relatively quiet in the Emerald Isles except for isolated clusters but cases have been on the rise, and hitting the younger demographic. Possibly because every person in my age bracket is wearing a mask and the majority gloves to do their shopping and stepping around each other in the supermarket in some quirky form of the samba.

The young feel invincible, and it is understandable that they are frustrated with the restrictions. Surely if they are bright enough to go to college and university, they are bright enough to understand that having 1000 strong rave until 2.00 in the morning with lots of physical contact, singing and shouting at each other over the noise of the music, and sweating as they dance, is not going to be boycotted by the virus.. Despite the fact most of the music would keep me away.

Then they wonder why there is a spike in infections two weeks later… perhaps commonsense is not on the curriculum!

Anyway enough of the grumpy old woman!

Classic Editor

On a brighter note I am hop, skipping and jumping all over the place to keep my classic editor going.. At least for the time being I still have the option and hopefully they will keep their promise until December 2021. It does involve remembering to click down options and select the classic version so you need to keep your wits about you.

Revisit to Author Interviews.

I am also doing a tidy up of my files and revisiting guest interviews over the last five years. Where information is reasonably current I am updating with the authors books and reviews and will be posting a selection of interviews on Sunday’s once the current series finishes on October 11th. The posts will take us nicely up to Christmas (sorry about using that word!) and then I will think about a new interview theme for the New Year…

My thanks as always to William Price King and Carol Taylor for their amazing contributions this week, and to you for all the support…

William Price King with Classical and Jazz Pianist Don Shirley #TheGreenBook

A – Z of Food ‘S’ for Satay, Salsa, Salmagundi, Sage, Squid and Salt Hoss

Shake the Dust off your Feet by Sherri Matthews

Chapter Nine – Other Pack Members and Respect your Elders

#Ireland #1930s – Divine Guidance

Some very odd jobs – The Shoe Department.

The Cosmetic Department

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – The Steak House Part One

October 1985 – Have a Nice Day… In the Big Apple

fruit and veg banner

Part Two – Nitrate and Potassium foods and wholegrains -Get your blood flowing

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy – Oils, origins, uses and Safety – Part One

#Supernatural Adventure Eternal Road: The Final Stop by John W. Howell.

Past Book Reviews – #ParanormalThriller John W. Howell and Gwen Plano, #Thriller Toni Pike.

Share your review – Brody Cody and the Stepmother from Outer Space by Toni Pike, Reviewed by D.G. Kaye

#Thriller, Donovan: Thief for Hire: The Body on the Underwater Road by Chuck Bowie

#Psychologicalthriller – Becoming Insane by Leyla Cardena

#Poetry Denise O’Hagan, #Historical Allan Hudson, #Novel Margaret Lindsay Holton, Dystopian Terry Tyler

#Western Jan Sikes, #Contemporary Ritu Bhathal, #Mystery Richard W. Wise, New Release Anita Dawes

New Release #Family James J. Cudney, Reviews – #Thriller Susanne Leist, #Mystery Geoff Le Pard

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Wireless doorbells and Stud Fees

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – More Doorbells and a Talking Dog

October 2nd 2020 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp


Thank you for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed the posts… enjoy your weekend..thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments – Shake The Dust Off Your Feet by Sherri Matthews

Welcome to Cafe and Bookstore spotlight. I invited writers to share what they consider to be a defining moment in their lives that resulted in a major positive change. The current series ends on October 11th and is booked out with some wonderfully inspiring stories.

Today my guest is Sherri Matthews who shares the moment she made the decision to give up full time work and start her life as a writer after uprooting from her life in California to Dorset with her family.

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri is a writer and photographer who blogs at A View From My Summerhouse. She contributes an Unsung Heroes column at online literary community Carrot Ranch, and is published in a diverse collection of print magazines and anthologies. In another life, Sherri lived in California for twenty years, but today she lives in England’s West Country with her family, two black kitties and a grumpy bunny. She hopes soon to publish her debut memoir, Stranger in a White Dress: A True Story of Broken Dreams, Being Brave and Beginning Again.

Shake The Dust Off Your Feet

Montana de Ora central coast California

My marriage to the American father of my three children ended after twenty-two years. I had lived in California for most of them. He worked long and unsociable shifts for the Department of Corrections. With my family all in the UK, my in-laws four hours away in Los Angeles and at one point, the children at three different schools – first grade, middle and high school – I held down the family fort.

I invested in my career as a full-time ‘Mom’ and I loved it.

When it fell apart, I said goodbye to my life in California for a new life in England with my children.

Divorced, early forties, single mum.

It wouldn’t be the first time I had started over, but at that stage of life I found it harder. There were no school mums to make friends with at the ‘gate’ and my children had entered a high school system that was foreign to them and me.

Forget “O” Levels. Now the teachers talked of GCSE’s, modules and resits.

I found a nice house to rent near my mother, and re-entered the work force as a legal secretary for a small firm of solicitors.

I remarried and my lovely husband and I bought our first home together and I changed jobs.
But my youngest was diagnosed first with Graves Disease (overactive thyroid disease). And after seeking help for too long and getting nowhere, was tested for and diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at eighteen.

The strain of working full-time got too much for me at that time, but I was saved the trouble of worrying what to do about it – six months after they hired me, the firm closed the office. For the first time in my life, I was made redundant.

It was difficult not to take it personally, a blow to my confidence.

I found work as a medical secretary, but by then, my youngest’s challenges and resulting appointments increased and my stress levels trying to balance home and work life shot through the roof. There was no balance and I handed in my notice.

As a family, we now faced a crossroads. What to do?

My husband was/is the main breadwinner, but with my middle boy still at university and youngest unable to work and living with us, we needed my additional income, whatever size.

The answer came when I got a job at a local solicitors. The money wasn’t great, it meant working on reception and typing up letters rather than the secretarial role I preferred, but for just two days a week, it would suit me well.

And yet, every doctor’s appointment that came up fell without fail on one of my two working days. I juggled and rescheduled and generally managed, always glad for those three days ‘off’ when I could catch up with all the rest.

It wasn’t ideal, but my family had found a somewhat workable solution.

Until a year in, when my boss came in to work one morning and announced he was retiring and selling the business. He promptly made all the staff redundant.

But this time, something was different. This time, I didn’t take it personally.

Something far stronger than any desire to further a legal career had pulled at me for as long as I could remember.

That desire was writing.

A writer at heart I had always been, yet I hadn’t dared call myself one.

I had signed up for a creative writing course from home, but I dabbled and it simmered on the back burner. For later. Always later.

This time, I saw my opportunity: losing my job would be my way out.

With my husband’s full support, I negotiated with my boss to work my three months’ notice as his secretary (she had left, upon hearing the news, for another firm) for a significant, albeit it temporary, pay hike. This would give us a small cushion for bills after I left.

Though I would no longer be bringing in an income, I had discovered that I would be eligible for a small Carer’s Allowance from the government by staying home and looking after my youngest, which by then was needed and necessary.

We will manage, my husband said. You need to write and the time is now.

The new, take-over firm, offered me a full time position, but I politely declined.

Those days are over, I said to myself. Never again. Decision made.

On my last day at the office, I finished my work and handed the folder of letters for signature to my boss. We hugged goodbye and wished each other well. I gathered my jacket, slung my bag over my shoulder and walked down the dingy stairwell to the door at the bottom.

It swished shut behind me, and I stopped to greet the sun on my face. Then I turned and walked away and didn’t look back.

Shake the dust off your feet, I told myself that day.

Now you can write, and in time, you will call yourself a writer.

And here I am nine years later, thanks to Sally and her wonderful blog, telling you all about it.

Stourhead Dorset England

Sherri has contributed to a number of anthologies including This is Lockdown which features many authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

Connect to Sherri:  Blog: Sherri Matthews –  Facebook Page:  A View from My Summerhouse –  Twitter: @WriterSherri – LinkedIn: Sherri Matthews


My thanks to Sherri for sharing the moment she took the momentous decision to make writing her full time career. I know she would love your feedback.. thanks Sally



Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments – #Australia – The Great Fire of Canberra by Toni Pike

Welcome to Cafe and Bookstore Author spotlight. I invited authors in the Cafe to share what they consider to be a defining moment in their lives that resulted in a major positive change. The current series ends on October 11th and is booked out with some wonderful authors and their stories.

Today’s author sharing their life changing moment is Toni Pike who shares her experiences during the devastation of the Great Fire of Canberra

Toni Pike is a multi-genre author who enjoys writing exciting thrillers for adults, non-fiction, and hilarious books for children. She also loves travelling and being with family and friends. She lives in Australia and firmly believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day.

Do you like books that you can’t stop reading? Pike is the author of DESOLATION BLUFF, DEAD DRY HEART and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: THE MAGUS COVENANT, THE ROCK OF MAGUS, THE MAGUS EPIPHANY and HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS. Her latest release is for children aged 6-9: BRODY CODY AND THE STEPMOTHER FROM OUTER SPACE.

She’s also the author of two non-fiction books. THE ONE WAY DIET is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight and coping with the journey. HAPPY TRAVELS 101 is a short book of travel tips with great advice for anyone who wants to travel overseas

The Great Fire of Canberra by Toni Pike

Canberra is the capital city of Australia and is often referred to as the Bush Capital. That’s because this small landlocked city, of just 400,000 people, is surrounded by national park, pine plantations and farming land. It’s also very spread out so that many homes are close to that hinterland and wide swathes jut right into suburbia.

It was no wonder, then, that one day a great fire would come – and I was there right in the middle of it.

On 8 January 2003, lightning strikes started a small fire in nearby, but very rugged and remote, Namadgi National Park. That fire was allowed to get out of hand over the ensuing days. There were several fires by Saturday, 18th January 2003, when intense heat and strong winds struck. But it was only in the afternoon that people in Canberra were warned about the terrible danger they faced.

That morning, the fires merged and created a firestorm that bore down on the entire western edge of Canberra. Emergency warnings were only given an hour before the fire arrived. The firefront reached Canberra’s urban fringe at three o’clock in the afternoon – and that included my house.

The sky turned as black as midnight. The fire travelled at incredible speed and the bushland next to my street seemed to suddenly become a wall of flame. The garden next door suddenly caught fire and an intense ember storm bore down from above.

Neighbours raced next door and fought to douse the burning garden with garden hoses. By doing that, they saved the house and the rest of the street.

All that time, I wondered where the fire brigade was, and listened out for the sound of their sirens. But the front was so extensive there was no hope for them to be everywhere.
I had sent my two children, aged 16 and 18, to the school that was set up as an evacuation centre. My daughter, who had just got her driver’s licence, drove them there. When I set off to find them, it was a very surreal experience. It was still pitch black and the roads were in gridlock, as thousands were evacuating their homes. Along the route, I could see fire breaking out in surrounding parkland and hills.

At the high school, hundreds of families wandered around in silence as if they were shellshocked. Many had pets in tow and already knew they had lost their homes.

Thousands of people had fought with garden hoses to extinguish flames in their gardens and homes. With a mature pine forest right next to the suburb of Duffy, a wall of flame had destroyed many homes. The fire brigade had put up a valiant struggle where possible, but it was overwhelming.

We drove the two cars home in convoy. The electricity lines, which were along the urban fringe, had all burned, causing widespread blackouts. Because of that, the signal lights were out at all the intersections.

At home, the entire suburb was blacked out, and stayed that way for nearly a week. Inside the house there was a thick layer of black soot over everything – but I was so pleased that it was still standing. The water supply was also cut, because the roof of a nearby tower had been ripped off during the fire, and the nearby reservoir contaminated with ash. Gas supplies were also affected, and many homes blew up because the gas connections had not been turned off before the firefront hit.

Nearly five hundred homes in Canberra were destroyed and there was severe damage to surrounding farms and infrastructure – including historic Mount Stromlo Observatory. Farmlands, pine plantations and the nearby national park were destroyed. In some suburbs, nearly all the homes in some streets were wiped out. In some places, the wind had been like a tornado, creating its own havoc. The fire had penetrated further than anyone could have imagined – destroying homes that were streets back from the urban fringe.

After the fires

What I learned

It showed me that in a natural disaster, you can’t rely on the authorities to assist everyone, as that is an impossible task. Every individual has to rely on themselves, and it always takes longer than expected to get back to normal.

I also learned that a natural disaster like that is traumatising and creates a sort of collective trauma in the community. Talking about it to each really helps – and it seemed to be the favourite topic of conversation everywhere for quite a few months.

It also seems to bring out the best in people. Whenever I walked around in the ensuing days, strangers would stop to talk and we would ask each other how we fared in the fire.

Lifelong Friends and Being a Firefighter

Community Fire Unit

The fire brigade established a community fire unit in our street, which I was involved in for ten years until I moved to my apartment. All the neighbours would train every two weeks so that we could defend the street – and we had special uniforms and a trailer of equipment. We all became good friends and had one or two street parties every year – something that never occurred before the fire.

Me with my son and the storage unit

Pine plantations close to the urban fringe were subsequently replaced with parkland and the National Arboretum.

Now the authorities pay much closer attention to keeping fuel loads down close to the suburbs, and there are dozens of community fire units to help firefighting efforts. They also pay much greater attention to warning residents about impending dangers, and have set up systems such as SMS messaging.

So, I think the Canberra Fire qualifies as a life changing experience. There were positive changes for the community, and I gained good friends and became a firefighter (of sorts) – a terrifying disaster that taught me many things.

©Toni Pike 2020

I can only imagine how frightening this must have been for the thousands of people in the area and my thanks to Toni for sharing what is definitely a life changing moment.

Books by Toni Pike

One of the recent reviews for Brody Cody

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars Review written by a 7-year-old  Reviewed in the United States on August 18, 2020

I purchased this book for my grandson, and this is what he said about it:

I liked this book. It’s about this boy, Brody Cody, whose mom died. He and his dad live together and Brody doesn’t have very many rules. Then his dad goes away and comes back with a new mom. Brody doesn’t like her because she has rules, like eat vegetables and do chores. He thinks she’s an alien. The best part is when he thinks he sees the spaceship. I liked Brody, and he found out having a mom was pretty good. I read the whole book. There aren’t pictures, but it was good.

Toni Pike, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK –  Follow Toni:Goodreads – Website: Toni PikeTwitter: @piketoni1


Thank you for joining us today and I know that Toni would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – September 13th – 19th 2020 – Jazz, Ricotta Cheese, Risotto, Collies, books, reviews and funnies

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

I hope that you are all well and thanks for dropping in today. I am taking full advantage of the sunshine this weekend as the nights are drawing in and the temperatures are already dropping. Still grateful for the quick blast and a good book.

As in most places our infections are on the rise which in not unexpected after the restrictions were lifted. Although here in Ireland the government has been very cautious about moving through the various stages. There are still clusters in the major cities such as Dublin and Cork. We are grateful for our rural location and without the influx of visitors this summer (despite the devastating effect on small businesses) we have been relatively free of infections.  All we can do is continue to be careful and stay positive.

I hope the posts this week will have kept your spirits up and this week William Price King, Carol Taylor and Silvia Todesco provided us with great jazz entertainment and wonderful recipes to ensure we don’t waste away in isolation.

Colin Guest joined us last Sunday to share his life changing moment which resulted in him meeting his lovely wife and finding great happiness.

My thanks to you for all your support during the week….

William Price King with #Jazz Saxophonist and Composer Michael Brecker

R’ for Rice, Ras el Hanout, Rhubarb, Ricotta Cheese and Rice Noodles

#Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Butternut Squash and Porcini #risotto

A complete lifesaver by Colin Guest

Chapter Seven- Snow and Favourite Things

Newly wed Geoff gets some unwanted advice about how to cultivate his back garden of the house…neighbours and cabbabe plants.

#Waterford – 1940s – The Hundred Plants by Geoff Cronin

September 1985 – Curry Parties and Booze buys

Thriller – Acts Beyond Redemption (Unintended Consequences Book 1) by Suzanne Burke

#Fantasy – Liars and Thieves (Unraveling the Veil Book 1) by D. Wallace Peach

Past Book Reviews – #Children Cynthia S. Reyes, #Shortstories Hugh W. Roberts

The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Herbal Medicine – A little health insurance with Echinacea

Mediterranean Diet Food Pyramid Guidelines in 2020 ...

Cholesterol and Fat Myths Part Three, Vitamin K2 and Healthy Fats

New Author on the Shelves – 5 to 9 years – 6 Six Minute Bedtime Stories by Doug Parker

#Reviews #Travel #Adventure Darlene Foster, #Monarch #Butterfly Bette A. Stevens

Share your Children’s book reviews – #Nature #Humour The Earthkeepers by Shawn Underhill reviewed by Jemima Pett

#Adventure Audrey Driscoll, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Mystery Sharon Marchisello

#Psychological Thriller Lucinda E. Clarke #Reviews #FamilySaga Judith Barrow, #Italy Valentina Cirasola

#Photography – Lens-Artists Photo Challenge#99: Old and New by Miriam Hurdle

#BookReview – A Snowflake in July by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Friday Flash Fiction 575 – Bonfire by Janet Gogerty

September 15th 2020 Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Speed Limits, Yoga and the last Bad Dad Jokes

September 17th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Stress relief and Heaven and Hell.

Image may contain: 2 people, text that says "EVOLUTION 2019 2020 2021"

September 18th 2020 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp


Thank you for visiting and please stay safe…. hope to see you again next week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments – A complete lifesaver by Colin Guest

Welcome to Cafe and Bookstore Author spotlight.  I am inviting authors in the Cafe to share what they consider to be a defining moment in their lives that resulted in a major positive change. If you would like to participate you can find all the details: Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments

The next author who is sharing his life changing moment with us is Colin Guest who shares how a disastrous business association led to a momentous life changing moment.

About Colin Guest

Colin Guest is a freelance writer whose latest book is Death on the Move, the final in a trilogy of thrillers startng with Desperation Rules the Day,available free of charge via Draft2Digital. His pen name Tigerman, comes from his love of tigers, with his adopting one for the past twelve years.

Apart from his books Colin also writes poetry, with several of his poems in the final four in contests. Colin once took part in a live American radio show and e has taken part in a number of online interviews. His latest was with Writers Interviews, while his strangest was a radio interview with Lisa Burton, a gorgeous robotic interviewer.

As a keen supporter of environmental and wildlife issues, Colin belongs to several organisation related to this. He lives in Istanbul with his wife, Gulden.

A complete lifesaver

After losing my wife of all but forty years to cancer, I did not think things could get worse, but oh boy, was I wrong.

A young Turkish man my wife had introduced me to, took advantage of my lack of knowledge of Turkish law and my stupidity. He ran a restaurant in Kemer near where I lived, and I helped him during reconstruction and after it re-opened. I trusted him and when he told me he was getting divorced and all his bank accounts were frozen, I lent him various sums of money. I assumed he was trust worthy as I had been with him previously when he deposited large bundles of US dollar bills into a number of his bank accounts.  He also said he would receive 1,600,000 euros when his divorce was finalised and I believed him. Unfortunately, he proved to be nothing more than a conman.

As a result, I ended up virtually broke, with neither money nor my beautiful 1958 Chevrolet convertible. Thanks to him I had to cancel my booked trip around the world, and due to not having travel insurance, I lost over 1,500 pounds sterling. Plus, at the time, I had been planning on moving from Turkey where I lived to Ecuador. However, with no money, this was impossible.

Little did I know my losses would result in my gaining something far better. A few years later, at the age of 72, I was introduced to a Turkish lady named Gulden by her cousin, an acquaintance of mine.. She was three years younger than me and spoke good English. Also, whereas I lived down on the Med in a house in the country, Gulden lived in Istanbul, one of the most exciting cities in the world.

While we were talking on the phone one day, Gulden said she and her cousin were coming down to Antalya. It being only an hour’s drive from where I lived. “We have booked into a hotel there, she said.” As Gulden liked antiques, I thought there must be a fair there. On mentioning this, she said “No, I’m coming down to see you on your birthday in December.”

As this would be the first time we would meet face to face, I felt apprehensive on the morning I went to meet her. I needn’t have worried, as both Gulden and her cousin Isil gave me a warm and friendly greeting. I thought Gulden looked most attractive and younger than her years. Not until much later did she tell me that for her it was love at first sight.

Gulden and I hit it off with our having a long talk during which we said about things we had not talked about on the phone. The following day I returned to Antalya to see her again that evening, while walking up the uneven pavement, I suggested Gulden hold my arm. While doing so, her hand touched mine. It was as if I had touched a live wire. From that minute, incredible though it might seem, I knew Gulden and I would become more than friends.

The last evening before she returned to Istanbul, we sat huddled together talking by a fire in her hotel’s garden as the bar was full and there was nowhere to sit inside the hotel. When at last I said I should go, although I wanted to kiss her goodnight, I did not want her to think me forward, so did not. Again, not until later did she say she was disappointed that I did not kiss her.

We arranged that after Christmas I would go up to Istanbul. I would stay in a hotel near she lived for a few days so we could get to know each other better. Unfortunately, fate decided otherwise.

The day after Boxing Day I became ill and ended up taken to a friend’s hospital in Antalya where I had three stents fitted in my heart. When I called and told Gulden, she was shocked. She said, “When you come out of hospital I will come down and look after you.”

Five days later and following my return home, Gulden arrived. Within two short days we decided to get married. On the day Gulden was going to fly home, I had a hospital check-up appointment. We were in the hospital when I suddenly collapsed, hitting my head on the edge of a door as I fell. When I came to lying in bed, I found Gulden looking shocked sitting beside me.

“Thank heaven,” she said. “When you fell, I thought I had lost you.”

Despite wanting to stay, Gulden had to later leave and fly back to Istanbul. Over the next four days of my being in hospital, we spoke on the phone every day. During one call, Gulden said, “When you come out of hospital come to Istanbul. You can stay with me so I can look after you.”

Once in Istanbul, we planned our wedding, followed by a honeymoon in Paris. Not until after we had paid for our flight and hotel, did we find due to bureaucracy, we could not get married as planned. As a result, so as not o loose our money, we had our honeymoon before our wedding.

Now, eight years later, Gulden and I are still much in love and enjoying a second happy life in Istanbul.

Given this, I have to thank my ex-friend for cheating me. Had he not done so, I would have moved to Ecuador and missed out on meeting my beloved wife Gulden.

©Colin Guest 2020

My thanks to Colin for sharing this wonderful story of finding love following such devastating circumstances.

Books by Colin Guest

A recent review for Impending Disaster in Spanish (I have translated into English as well)

Aug 15, 2020 Gabriel Benitez rated it Four stars on Goodread.

Una historia corta pero emocionante. Un grupo de tres amigos ha sufrido un severo accidente de aviación que los deja heridos en plena montaña, pero pronto se darán cuenta de que ese desastre no es nada frente al que se avecina: se ha formado una laguna en lo alto de la montaña que está a punto de colapsar. Si no llegan a tiempo para avisar al pueblo asentado a las faldas, una enorme ola de agua, rocas y lodo se cobrará las vidas de todos en el lugar.

A short but exciting story. A group of three friends have suffered a severe aviation accident that leaves them injured in the middle of the mountain, but they will soon realize that this disaster is nothing compared to the one that lies ahead.  A lagoon has formed at the top of the mountain that is about to collapse. If they do not arrive in time to notify the people living on the slopes, a huge wave of water, rocks and mud will claim the lives of everyone.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – follow Colin: Goodreads – Website: Colin Guest Author – Facebook: Tigerman 55 – Twitter: @Tigermanguest

Thank you for joining us today and I know that Colin would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

If you would like to participate in this series you can find all the details: Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments