Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Japanese Fairy Story, Music and funnies.


Welcome to the last round up of 2018 and as you will see, it is unusually light on posts. However, we were lucky enough to have a four part story from Paul Andruss – a beautiful Japanese fairy story, to entertain us.

Tomorrow there is a fifth post to this series, sharing the research and background to The Legend of the Golden Flower and you can read the complete story HERE

The next week I will be reviewing some of the top posts of the year and also reminding you of the various promotions that you can participate in.

This year the mission remains the same…. the promotion of authors and their books as far and as wide as possible.

As always thank you for dropping in and liking, commenting and sharing the posts. It is a team effort and I am very grateful for your support.

William Price King got the week off to a great start with the last of his recommended songs for Christmas. What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-promotions-william-price-king-music-for-christmas-and-new-year/

The last of the Christmas parties with guests Paul Andruss, Olga Nunez Miret and Carol Taylor with music from Slade.

Thomas the Rhymer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-twelfth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-paul-andruss-olga-nunez-miret-and-carol-taylor/

A Letters from America special.. Our first Christmas in Houston – our adventures in 1986 coming up in the New Year.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/24/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-christmas-1985-houston-texas-sally-cronin/

 

Some Christmas funnies and a poem of mine about leftovers….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/26/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-something-to-go-with-the-leftovers-funnies-and-a-poem/

Thank you for dropping in and look forward to seeing you again soon.. Thanks Sally.

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Smorgasbord Laughter lines – Something to go with the leftovers….Funnies and a Poem…


For those of you who don’t celebrate Boxing Day, St. Stephen’s day, you may still be on a festive break, stuffed with food and chocolate and ready to get some exercise to work it all off. Laughter uses all the muscles in the face and if you get your upper body shaking with laughter, and the feel good chemicals being released in your brain, you are in good shape…. to eat more leftovers later.

 

Now for ditty from me in celebration of the food unconsumed yesterday…..

The Leftovers by Sally Cronin

I opened the fridge this morning
To check on the state of the world,
I hoped to see that the turkey,
Was not all shrivelled and curled.

It peaked from its packet of foil,
Still juicy and raring to go
I shredded it into some sauce
With some shrooms and onions for show.

I took the spuds, carrots and peas
And slathered with butter and oil.
The brandy was down to the dregs,
I added and brought to the boil.

But what to do with the trifle
Still lush with custard and berry
Guess I shall just have to eat it
Topped with a schooner of sherry.

So if I sound a bit pickled
The leftovers carry the blame.
Since to throw good food in the bin
Would be a dire waste and a shame.

My waist has expanded to fit
All the goodies that have been served
But thankfully my beloved,
Likes his women rounded and curved!

Thanks for dropping in today and enjoy the rest of the holidays…..Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Promotions – William Price King – Music for Christmas and New Year –


William Price King shares some of the classic Christmas music that has entertained us all at this time of year..

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve was written in 1947 by Frank Loesser and unusually for the time was not associated with a movie or musical. Frank Loesser was well known for his lyrics for Guys and Dolls and his Oscar winning song Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

In December 1949 the song reached No 9 in the charts for The Orioles. It has been a hit for many artists in the last 65 years including Lena Horne, Johnny Mathis, The Carpenters, Harry Connick Jr, Barbra Streisand and Diana Krall.

This lovely version is by Nancy Wilson Amazon

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION https://williampriceking.tumblr.com

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-colum

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas – The Twelfth Day of Christmas with guests Paul Andruss, Olga Nunez Miret and Carol Taylor


We have finally reached the last of the Christmas parties.. and in this one I want to do a personal thank you to the remaining regular contributors, and someone who has helped me with my books this year, who have not as yet featured in the parties. Paul Andruss, Olga Nunez Miret and Carol Taylor.

Here is Slade to kick the party off with Merry Christmas Everybody. Amazon

Over the last eleven parties I have shared my memories of Christmas past, and I have enjoyed stepping back in time. I am so pleased that so many of you have shared yours too, as it demonstrates that the best gift of all is the time spent with those we love.

I hope that you have an amazing few days, however you choose to spend it. There will be a few things posted over the next week should you be at a loose end.. and a very special treat from the 27th to 31st with a wonderful Japanese short story from Paul Andruss which will have you captivated.

There will also be some funnies and videos and I will be in from time to time to catch up on all of your festive posts.

Now time to get on with the party…..

A favourite carol of mine as a child was  “We Three Kings” original title “Three Kings of Orient”, also known as “We Three Kings of Orient Are” or “The Quest of the Magi”, is a Christmas carol that was written by John Henry Hopkins Jr. in 1857. At the time of composing the carol, Hopkins served as the rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and he wrote the carol for a Christmas pageant in New York City.

Here is a wonderfully dramatic version with fabulous graphics by Clamavi De Profundis

Time to meet my first guest Paul Andruss, who has already saved his most favourite Christmas Gift ever in a separate post that you can find HERE.

Paul has been the Writer in Residence and Gardening Expert for the last 18 months. He stepped back from his regular posting in the autumn as he was working on his own projects. He has popped in from time to time, as with the short story later this week, and hopefully he will be back occasionally in 2019 when he has the time.

I am very grateful for the amazing posts covering such a broad spectrum of subjects, all meticulously researched and brilliantly written. The blog has definitely been enriched by their inclusion. And I can highly recommend that you read Thomas the Rhymer which is Paul’s fantasy novel especially if you love Harry Potter.

About Paul Andruss.

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Anyway, I was wondering what I could give Paul for his virtual gift and thought perhaps being a very keen gardener, and bearing in mind his Japanese themed story later this week…..he would enjoy this.

Day 12 (5th January also known as Epiphany Eve): It is a celebration of the life and works of St. John Neumann (1811-1860). He was born in Bohemia but emigrated to the US and became a Catholic priest and later Bishop of Philadelphia. He was the first American bishop to be canonized due to his devotion and also for founding the first Catholic diocesan school system in the United States.

The Twelfth Day of Christmas

Twelve drummers drumming and all the rest of the verses that have gone before with both their alleged coded and spiritual meaning and the more modern acceptance of this cumulative song probably of French origin. There are many different versions that are sung around the world with local and national gifts replacing the originals. The spirit of the song however is still maintained from the Faroe Islands to Australia as children get excited about the upcoming holiday season.

In many countries Twelfth night is a huge celebration with parties to celebrate not just the Christmas season but also the official end of winter which began on October 31st on All Hallows Eve or Halloween. This practice goes all the way back to the Romans and their celebration of Saturnalia and different cultures celebrate in various ways. This would be the day that the Christmas cake would be eaten, or roles reversed between master and servant or King and Queen of the night with licence to behave disreputably!!

Having lived in Spain for 17 years we celebrated Christmas with our friends and also their festival on the 6th of January of Dia de Los Reyes. It is almost as important as Christmas itself in Spain, especially for children who have waited twelve days before getting their presents, although I suspect there are still plenty opened on Christmas Day. However the party starts on the 5th with parades in all the towns and villages with Three Kings leading the crowd and throwing sweets to the children.

The Spanish version of the Christmas cake is a Roscón, a sweet, donut-shaped bread covered in glacier cherries and sugar. A plastic toy rather than a sixpence is buried inside the mixture, so dentists do quite well in the days following! Although for those whose teeth remain intact they will get good luck for the remainder of the year!

This leads me very nicely into my next guest Olga Nunez Miret

Olga has been a wonderful friend and support for the blog and for so many others in the last five years. She is an avid reader and writes in-depth reviews that delight their recipients some of the reviews are on behalf of the Rosie Amber Review Team.

About Olga Nunez Miret

Olga Núñez Miret is a doctor, a psychiatrist, a student (of American Literature, with a Doctorate and all to prove the point, of Criminology, and of books and people in general), she writes, translates (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and although born in Barcelona, Spain, has lived in the UK for many years. She’s always loved books and is thrilled at the prospect of helping good stories reach more readers all around the world. She publishes a bilingual blog (http://www.authortranslatorolga.com ) where she shares book reviews, advice, talks about books (hers and others) and about things she discovers and enjoys.

This year Olga translated Tales from the Garden Volume 1 for me into Spanish. If you are looking to reach a new market for your books that I can highly recommend her services. She also asked if I might like to participate in an anthology in aid of victims of domestic violence and my story ‘Diana’ was included in ¡Que entre la luz!  published in the summer. Olga and I were interviewed on When Women Inspire on the anthology by Christy D. Birmingham.

¡Que entre la luz!

Read the reviews and buy Olga’s books in English and Spanish: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B009UC58G0
Blog: http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Please visit Amazon or Olga’s blog to view all her books.

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One of the early reviews for Deadly Quotes.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this latest book in the exciting “Escaping Psychiatry” series by Olga Núñez Miret! It’s “Deadly Quotes. Escaping Psychiatry 3.” This isn’t just another “psychological thriller” — it’s written by a real-world forensic psychiatrist, and her expertise is clear in the entire series.

I see catchy quotes everywhere I look. I’m okay with that – I confess that I like quotes. So I got a kick out of the fact that the author used quotes as part of the mystery. Psychiatrist and amateur detective, Mary Miller is back – and she’s dealing with a thrilling take on quotes. I don’t want to spoil it for you. Happy reading.

I wanted to find something beautiful for Olga as her virtual Christmas gift and found this.. which I hope she enjoys…Louie Schwartzberg

On the subject of food…here is one of my most remembered Christmas puddings. The sherry trifle and even as a very young child I would finish every last morsel. I think my mother was under the impression that if sherry went into a meal it was non alcoholic….

Like most of the traditional foods featured during the last twelve days trifle has a long and illustrious history dating back to the end of the 16th century. Originally trifle referred to a thick cream flavoured with spices like ginger and sweetened with sugar and sometimes rosewater. In the middle of the 17th century eggs were added to form a rich custard. Another 100 years and the custard was poured over jelly using gelatin.

The trifle that we now consider to be the jewel in the festive dinner crown has the addition of sponge soaked in sherry or sometimes port or brandy and layered with fruit such as peaches, jelly, custard and thick whipped cream…Here is an Australian site with plenty of different variations for trifles to suit all tastes…Trifles galore

There is a phenomenan attached to the dessert. If there should be any trifle remaining in a bowl that has been placed in the fridge overnight, the next morning it has usually disappeared except for a couple of pieces of glacé cherry on the bottom of the bowl and a scrape of cream on the side of the dish. Legend has it that after all the gifts have been distributed and the work is finished for the year, Santa allows the elves a night of revelry and permission to visit any home where trifle has been on the menu and indulge….yeah that is the official version, honest!

The obvious choice of guest to follow the food selection is our own food and cookery expert Carol Taylor, who ran a very busy catering establishment in Thailand before retiring.

 

Carol has worked tirelessly this year to bring wonderful recipes to the Food Column including two amazing Christmas menus for a traditional dinner and a vegetarian alternative. She is taking a well earned break over Christmas, spending it with her family who live close by in Thailand. I am so delighted that we connected two years ago and I hope that if you do not already follow Carol on her blog that you do that now.. You will not only find recipes, but a wonderful array of exotic Thai ingredients and articles on avoiding waste food and the environment at CarolCooks2

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

I asked Carol for her most special Christmas gift………

Years ago when I worked for the Halifax I had a love/hate relationship with my line manager he was a nice bloke but very straight laced at work and sometimes we clashed as to certain things I was not prepared to do come hell or high water…But had touches of being really funny in his lighter moments or at staff jollies.

One day after such one staff jolly and definitely too much to drink …When I got home I threw up…The next morning..I was missing a tooth the only tooth I had on a plate and it must have disappeared down into the system of no return…

So it was an emergency dental appointment and a call to work…
The dentist also thought it was highly funny as did Andrew at work…

Some months later at our staff Christmas Party when we pulled a name out of a hat and bought appropriate presents for the said person…I will say he must have thought about this for months…lol

He got my name …I received a 6 pack of Becks Beer and a bag of sweetie false teeth…He kept his distance as maybe he wasn’t sure whether I would see the funny side I did, and still do…as did everyone else but it was the best present and still makes me smile…

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a set of false sweet teeth, but I think that’s because the dog ate them….

And that is not as far fetched as you might think…….Merry Christmas Carol…

Thank you for dropping by today and have an amazing Christmas… thanks Sally…

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas Celebrations – The Weekly Round Up – More parties, books, stories and music..


We are almost there with the last of the Christmas book promotions and just one more Christmas party to go tomorrow. I have had so much fun over the last few weeks and I hope you have too.

We have had a family dinner this week, and apart from one or two other visits, we shall be spending Christmas quietly. There will be a few packages left for you to open including a very welcome short story over four days from Paul Andruss. Paul has been working on a number of projects that will continue into 2019, but he has kindly sent a wonderful Japanese themed story for us all to enjoy. There will also be a special post on New Year’s Eve to round this series off. Hopefully we will see Paul from time to time in the coming year.

I will be spending time offline working on the new promotional series for 2019 and also one or two of my own writing projects. I do like having something humming away in the background.

As always my thanks to contributors and guests this week who you will be meeting shortly, and if you are around tomorrow between making last minute arrangements, the Twelfth Day of Christmas will be paying a tribute to some of those not already featured.

My husband has told me he has done finished his shopping for Christmas and sent me a photo of our tree to prove it! Me thinks he is telling fibs….either that or Father Christmas is using our lounge as a sorting office!

Anyway.. on with the posts from the week and you have just 2 days left of my Free book offer as it ends at midnight on Christmas Eve wherever you live….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-the-last-author-to-be-self-promoted-and-free-giveaway-sally-cronin/

A short series of classical hits for Christmas shared by William Price King..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-william-price-king-music-for-christmas-and-new-year-sleigh-ride/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-music-for-christmas-and-new-year-part-two-ill-be-home-for-christmas/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-william-price-king-music-for-christmas-and-new-year/

The Most Dependable Fight of the Year.

Daddy took his hunting very seriously. This was a man’s sport, an entitlement. Real men hunted and fished. A man’s outdoor gear was a reflection of his manhood. Daddy would have sooner worn lace panties than not follow the unwritten rules. His hunting gear was a necessity, not an extravagance like a dependable car, bills paid on time, and clothes for the family. Daddy always had money held out of his paycheck weekly for the Christmas Club, but Mother never could remember that deer season came around the same time as the Christmas Club checks were issued’  Read on….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-guest-post-the-most-dependable-fight-of-the-year-by-linda-bethea/

Three Mince Pies

The little girl lay in bed asleep, blonde hair spread over her pillow. From her restless movements it was obvious that she was in the grip of a disturbing dream, and dark rings beneath her eyes gave her small face a pinched and unhappy look.

Downstairs, Jenny looked at the Christmas decorations and cards around the room. In the corner, the tree lights sparkled and flashed through the tinsel, and presents for Sophie were piled beneath its green spiky branches in a colourful heap. Family and friends had rallied round, determined Sophie would have everything her father would have bought her this Christmas. Read on....

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/smorgasbord-short-stories-for-christmas-three-mince-pies-by-sally-cronin/

You are never too old for love

He was getting on a bit in years, his eyesight was very dodgy, and his hip was definitely causing him gyp. His teeth were still okay; he still enjoyed his meat slightly chewy, instead of that pap that they gave the real oldies in this residence. And if truth be told, despite his advanced years there was still a little fizz left when it came to the ladies. In fact there was a rather saucy looking old gal in the residence four down from him, who despite the silver threads through her glorious mane of hair, still had a twinkle in her eye. Read on

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/22/smorgasbord-short-stories-for-christmas-youre-never-too-old-for-love-by-sally-cronin/comment-page-1/#comment-175893

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-dystopian-thriller-a-justified-state-by-iain-kelly/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-historical-brandon-tudor-knight-by-tony-riches/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-the-widows-son-by-daniel-kemp/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-soul-taker-the-council-of-twelve-book-1-by-a-j-alexander/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-wealth-relationships-humour-sharon-marchisello-lisa-thomson-barb-taub-and-molly-stevens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-fifth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-d-g-kaye-lizzie-chantree-and-joy-lennick/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-sixth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-william-price-king-annette-rochelle-aben-and-jan-sikes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-seventh-day-of-christmas-with-guests-jessica-norrie-and-marjorie-mallon/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-eighth-day-of-christmas-with-guest-donata-zawakzka-and-robbie-cheadle/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-the-ninth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-linda-bethea-and-sandra-j-jackson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-the-tenth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-alison-williams-and-patty-fletcher/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-eleventh-day-of-christmas-with-guests-colleen-chesebro-and-anne-goodwin/

As we get fully engaged with the festive season there is one particular organ in the body which deserves some consideration. When you are offered your fifth mince pie or another glass of eggnog – it is not usual for you to think…….

“OMG NO my poor liver cannot take another drop”!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/smorgasbord-health-column-buy-your-liver-a-gift-for-christmas-moderation-and-milk-thistle-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-more-christmas-funnies/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-with-more-christmas-funnies-and-a-joke-or-two-from-the-archives/

I hope you have enjoyed the week’s posts and one more party to go tomorrow, a Letter from America special and another classical Christmas hit from William Price King.

From 27th of December there will be a four part story from Paul Andruss with a beautiful Japanese theme. And more treats on New Year’s Eve.  On Christmas Day and the 26th there will be some funnies and videos should you need a rest from the festivities.

Thank you for being here during the week, the blog would not be the same without you.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord blog Magazine – Christmas Celebrations – William Price King – Music for Christmas and New Year –


William Price King shares some of the classic Christmas music that has entertained us all at this time of year..

There are a number of ‘historical’ notations about the origins of Jingle Bells. It was composed around 1850 by James Lord Pierpont in or around Savannah or Massachusetts and was allegedly inspired by the town of Medford’s sleigh races. Hence the song’s original title of One Horse Open Sleigh.

It might well have been composed around Thanksgiving rather than Christmas and it its long history it has been a drinking song. Some to the lyrics might imply this and also to the fact that going on a sleigh ride offered a rare opportunity to be alone with your sweetheart!

Anyway here it is performed by the lovely Natalie ColeAmazon

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION https://williampriceking.tumblr.com

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-colum

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas – The Eleventh Day of Christmas with guests Colleen Chesebro and Anne Goodwin.


Just two more parties to go before the big day and for this celebration I am delighted to welcome writers Colleen Chesebro and Anne Goodwin, both of whom will be sharing their most precious Christmas memories.

I thought that we could not talk about Christmas without preparing something for the pets in the family. In the old days, and that was in fact only about 30 years ago, pets were fed on scraps as they had been for the thousands of years as our companions.  I appreciate that most of the animal foods available today may be rich in nutrients and full of vitality but I am afraid that I steer clear of dried food and prefer to go the natural route.

It is tempting to give pets the same treats that we enjoy but I am afraid that at Christmas treats like human chocolate are extremely dangerous. Chocolate is poison to dogs and can cause them to fit. Too many high fat, salty and sugary tit bits can also have a detrimental effect on a dog and cat’s digestion – and their first instinct is to vomit before producing rather evil smelling poop. It is important not to give you pets processed meats which contain a lot of salt or the turkey or chicken that you have prepared for your Christmas dinner because it too will have been spiced and seasoned.

Spread the food over a couple of days, as you can store cooked Turkey or chicken for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Give your pets a small amount on day one; say Christmas Eve, a little more on Christmas day and Boxing Day.

Sam our Collie established as soon as he came through the front door at 8 weeks old that the pellets that had been supplied by his breeder were inferior and he was now prepared for the good stuff. He never did take to dried food.  He finally settled on Basmati rice (anything that did not have that distinctive aroma was rejected) chopped cooked chicken and giblets, some carrots and green veg with a little salt free juice from the chicken.  I know some may say he was spoiled rotten but he was bright, intelligent and healthy his entire life and he always politely waited until we had started our meals before beginning his.  A perfect dinner guest.

Here are a couple of favourites that we prepared for Christmas – we fostered some cats in our time and had a small feral family in our garden in Ireland that also partook during the festivities as payment for the rats caught and left on my doorstep!  Sam loved Christmas and threw himself into the celebrations with great gusto…

Christmas Turkey or chicken Loaf for the Dog

Enough for 6 servings for a small dog and 4 servings for a large dog.

  • 2 lbs. of minced turkey.
  • 4 oz. of cooked and minced mixed vegetables (unseasoned)
  • 1 small crushed piece of garlic (anti- worms and fleas – and good for humans too)
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz. of oats
  • 3 oz. of cooked basmati rice

Let’s Cook

Mix the turkey or chicken, vegetables, garlic, egg, rice and oats together thoroughly. Put into a greased pan (use a little butter) and pat down the mixture until level. Stand in a roasting dish of water in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cook for around 1 to 1½ hours and then cool. Cut into portions and serve with a little salt free gravy. You will probably be asked for second helpings and third with a small piece of cheese to finish off!

Turkey Surprise – For the Cat
(The cat is likely to be very surprised if it is not out of a tin!)

Should provide 4 servings if you can hide from the cat. If not it will probably disappear very quickly.

  • 1/2 fresh unseasoned turkey breast or one chicken breast cooked and finely chopped.
  • 3 oz. of cooked carrots finely diced.
  • 2 oz. of finely chopped cooked spinach
  • 3 oz. of finely chopped green beans
  • 6 oz. cooked basmati rice
  • Unsalted chicken broth.

Mix everything together with enough chicken broth to bind the ingredients. Serve when lukewarm and watch your fingers.

My feral cats in Ireland waiting for dinner to be served…

Here is Leona Lewis to take us into today’s festivities with Just One More Sleep Amazon and courtesy of leonalewis

Time to meet my first guest today… the lovely Colleen Chesebro is a regular visitor to most of our blogs and her Colleen Chesebro Poetry Challenge no. 114, 115, 116 which is the last of the year offers you an opportunity to share your Haiku, Tanka or Etheree over the next couple of weeks. You will also find samples of Colleen’s own poetry on her blog and she is a respected book reviewer

Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer and author of YA fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood – or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet.  Her debut novel, “The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy,” won gold in the 2017 AuthorsDB.com cover contest.

Colleen lives in Colorado with her husband. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and friends. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.

Colleen shares her most special Christmas gift…

When I was a young child, I lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my German/Russian grandparents after my mom died. I don’t remember receiving many gifts. Christmas was about baking and eating, more of a celebration of my Grandma’s culinary delights. She baked up a storm for five days before the holiday. The smell of fresh bread permeated every crevice in their tiny house. Grandma would bake Christmas Kuchen and myriads of cookies that we would decorate together. Those are my favorite memories of Christmas. I still miss my Grandma.

When my own three children came along, including two stepdaughters, that was the gift I gave them, my grandma’s gift to me. I taught them to bake and enjoy the time spent together living within the spirit of Christmas. The presents didn’t matter. The important thing was to celebrate family. ♥

Sounds like an amazing gift to be passed on to generations of family and although I have already shared a song from The Sound of Music…. I hope that Colleen will enjoy another of the songs from the movie that features the whole family together. Edelweiss one of my own favourites..

You can read the reviews and buy Colleen Chesebro’s bookshttps://www.amazon.com/Colleen-M-Chesebro/e/B01N9MV2RX
Website: https://colleenchesebro.com

One of the recent reviews for Fairies, Myths & Magic – Nov 30, 2018 Miriam Hurdle rated it Five Stars.

Colleen in her book Fairies, Myths and Magic begins each section by an introduction. In the Fairies section, she describes the origins, the forms, and appearance of fairies. In the Myths section, she explained that myth is the oldest oral or written storytelling method to explain the strange natural or supernatural phenomena. In the Magic section, she points out that magic is defined as the supernatural power over the natural force and magic happens to us every day.

The short stories and poetry seamlessly weave into a pleasant dream that one wishes to stay in. The story of “Just What the Doctor Ordered” grabbed my attention because I have tinnitus. Roger’s tinnitus was cured after the fairs’ visit while he slipped into a dream over the Mojitos.

I love “The Pond” A Haibun/Tanka Poem with the line “As I gaze into the pond, I see the reflection of the woman I’ve become. Past and future meld as one.”

The short story “The Leaving” was engaging from the first line to the end. It’s eerie but not too scary.

I love poetry so it’s enjoyable to read Colleen’s many poems forms.

There are so many intriguing short stories and poems that one must read them to experience the delight of the book. Highly recommended to read for pleasure.

Day 11 (4th January): A very special woman St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821), was the first American to be canonized by the Catholic Church in 1975. She had a tragic life in many ways but she established the first Catholic school in America in Maryland and it was also there that she founded the Sisters of Charity the first convent for religious sisters. She had a fascinating life and I have the link to her story on Wikipedia

Eleven Pipers Piping are believed to refer to the eleven Faithful Apostles following the betrayal of Judas. As I have previously mentioned this was according to the coded message within the original song that allowed Catholics to remember the tenets of their faith. And whilst largely discredited there is always a grain in truth in urban legends. However in modern times it has simply become eleven pipers piping…

Another beautiful carol O Holy Night from Kings College..The Carol (French: “Minuit, chretiens”, “Minuit, chretien” in original edition,or “Cantique de Noël”) is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem “Minuit, chrétiens” (Midnight, Christians) written by wine merchant and poet Placide Cappeau (1808–1877). In both the French original and the English version of the carol, as well as in many other languages, the text reflects on the birth of Jesus and on humanity’s redemption.

Now it is time to meet my next guest, author and book reviewer Anne Goodwin, who loves fiction for the freedom to contradict herself and has been scribbling stories ever since she could hold a pencil. You can find articles and posts on her own writing and also her Recommended reading

During her career as an NHS clinical psychologist her focus was on helping other people tell their neglected stories to themselves. Now that her short fiction publication count has overtaken her age, her ambition is to write and publish enough novels to match her shoe size. Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was published in July 2015 by Inspired Quill and shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Underneath, was published in May 2017. Her most recent release is Becoming Someone.

Anne shares her most special Christmas memory…..

My best Christmas present came forty years ago when I won the Sunday Telegraph Student Travel Writing Competition. Those being pre-internet days, I’m relying on my dodgy memory for the details, but the remit was to pen a postcard message, my first ever flash. Later, itchy feet took me to Asia, Africa and South America but then I hadn’t been beyond northern Spain. Unable to depict exotic settings, I mined my emotions, as I travelled backwards, literally and metaphorically, home by train. The prize money bought me an inter-rail ticket; the kudos brought the confidence to pursue my writing dreams.

What an amazing achievement and so pleased that Anne found her way back to her own stories and perhaps she will find more inspiration with this virtual Christmas Gift…a trip on one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the world.

You can read the reviews and buy the books by Anne Goodwin: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anne-Goodwin/e/B0156O8PMO
Blog: https://annegoodwin.weebly.com/annecdotal

An early review for Becoming Someone Dorothy Winsor 5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended December 15, 2018

This collection of short stories caught and held my attention throughout. I enjoyed the stories themselves, and loved the way the author was willing to play around and try different techniques, including one story in second person. Highly recommended.

Time for desserts and today it is Christmas Pudding with Trifle tomorrow – save some sherry to put in that…..

Like the history of Stollen earlier in the posts, The Christmas pudding that is available today for those of us who do not have the skill to make our own is very different from the original. It actually began life in the 14th century as a porridge that was savoury and made with beef and mutton with dried fruit such as raisins and the addition of wine and spices. It was actually the ‘slim shake’ of the day and eaten before any festivities during the year presumably to leave room for all the goodies they had back then such as a whole deer poached or otherwise..Nothing new in history then!

By 1600 the pudding had evolved to more of a cake consistency with the addition of stale breadcrumbs and eggs. It still contained the spirits and also beer and began to be associated with Christmas. However, there are always spoilsports and in the mid 1600s it was banned by the puritans for being too delicious and sinful by half….

Thankfully it received Royal approval and in 1714, King George I re-established it as part of the Christmas meal and by Victorian times most who could afford it were enjoying the same kind of steamed pudding that we do today. .

Although eaten at Christmas the pudding itself, like the rich Christmas cake is made several weeks if not months in advance. With the liberal addition of brandy to the mix it would probably last for years! It is then steamed to reheat while the turkey cooks and served with thick custard, icecream or whipped cream…

Carol Taylor our food expert provided a recipe for Christmas Pudding earlier in the year which is when it is best to make the dessert to allow to mature… here is the link for both the traditional and gluten free recipes

One of the  final drinks is one that you will be familiar with if you have been frequenting any of the high street coffee chains in the last few weeks… Festive Coffees...

When I did my management training with Schooner Inns steak houses in the mid-70s one of my jobs was to man the bar during busy periods. It was the in thing to finish the meal with a liqueur coffee which could be a pain to make since you could only serve a perfect finished glassful.

Into the wine glass you placed a spoonful of brown sugar, followed by the liqueur of choice – Irish coffees – Irish whisky – French with brandy – West Indies – Rum etc. Then you three quarters filled the glass with hot black coffee and stirred to dissolve the sugar. As that settled you then turn a teaspoon upside down over the mixture and gently poured double cream over it so that it settled on the top of the coffee in a thick white band. You should be able to see the coffee still jet black with the creamy topping. The glass would then be placed on a saucer and taken gently to the table to the eagerly awaiting diner. On busy Friday and Saturday nights it was not unusual to make and serve over 100 of these popular beverages. I got quite fast at preparing them and could usually make a perfect coffee in around 45 seconds.

However, there were times when the cream would break the surface of the coffee and it would become cloudy and those could not be served. In the spirit of waste not, want not those coffees that did not pass muster were then consumed after closing whilst the process of cleaning glasses and the bar was underway… Dreadful job but someone had to do it.

If you are planning to get in to get into that little black dress for the festive season…. I think you should just bear in mind that a Peppermint Mocha Latte with whip comes in at over 500 calories….

Thank you for joining us today and I hope you have enjoyed.. Tomorrow the final party before Christmas with a slightly different format… please drop in…thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas Celebrations – Music for Christmas and New Year – Part Two – I’ll Be Home for Christmas


William Price King shares some of the classic Christmas music that has entertained us all at this time of year..

Today one of the most popular Christmas songs that was written over 75 years ago to boost the morale of soldiers serving on the front line. Since then it has become one of the most recorded songs and graces nearly every top artist’s Christmas albums.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas was written by lyricist Kim Gannon and composer Walter Kent with Buck Ram listed as co-writer of the original poem and song.

In October of 1943, Bing Crosby recorded the song for Decca records and within weeks it was in the charts and stayed in the top 20 through the next year. Originally intended for the soldiers serving overseas to boost morale it went on to become a Christmas favourite.. Whilst the American troops enjoyed the song and made it one of their own, the BBC banned it in case it lowered the morale of the British forces as it was felt being home for Christmas was not an option at this stage of the war.

However, despite their efforts the song was heard all over the world and it has been recorded over the decades by over 150 of the top musicians across several styles. These include Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Anne Murray, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, The Carpenters, Celtic Woman, Diana Krall and Whitney Houston.

Here is a favourite version of the song by Michael Bublé – Amazon

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION https://williampriceking.tumblr.com

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-colum

Smorgasbord Short Stories for Christmas – You’re Never Too Old for Love by Sally Cronin


You’re Never Too Old for Love

He was getting on a bit in years, his eyesight was very dodgy, and his hip was definitely causing him gyp. His teeth were still okay; he still enjoyed his meat slightly chewy, instead of that pap that they gave the real oldies in this residence. And if truth be told, despite his advanced years there was still a little fizz left when it came to the ladies. In fact there was a rather saucy looking old gal in the residence four down from him, who despite the silver threads through her glorious mane of hair, still had a twinkle in her eye.

Making his mind up to make more of her acquaintance later when they were all out in the garden enjoying their daily exercise, he closed his eyes to have a quick nap before lunch. He dreamt of a luscious garden full of the scent of flowers, as well as the laughter of children as he chased them around the apple trees. Two hours later he woke with a feeling of sadness, knowing that he would never see those children again. They were grown now and had no thought of him as he sat alone in this place.

There were visitors who came from time to time, but this was a residence for the elderly, and whilst they were well taken care of with amusements laid on, and so called enrichment programmes, they all felt the loss of being part of a family. They would talk about it amongst themselves when they were resting in the shade of the garden; out of breath from their recent exertions. They had to accept that they were not going to see the outside of this place again and had better make the best of it.

One day they woke up to see the garden covered in snow and some of the more elderly residents declined the invitation to go out for their usual daily exercise; choosing instead to huddle under the blankets and watch through the windows of their rooms. He, however, was made of sterner stuff. He remembered the fun he had enjoyed with the children; lying in the snow whilst they covered him from top to tail until only his head could be seen. He was not sure if he lay down in the soft snow now, that he would be able to get up again with his dodgy hip.

Tired from his time in the winter wonderland, he returned to his room and settled down in the old chair in front of the window. For some reason he felt incredibly sad; for once his normally sunny disposition was overshadowed by grief.

The next day the staff could be seen rushing around putting up shining decorations, and the residents perked up knowing turkey and all the trimmings were imminent. You have to give credit to the woman who ran the place; she was a kind soul who was committed to giving her elderly charges the comfort and care they deserved. They all enjoyed her frequent visits to their rooms for a chat and a hug or two.

Somehow this year he found it difficult to get excited, despite loving the taste of turkey, ham and those little sausages wrapped in bacon. But his dreams each night of children’s laughter lingered throughout the day, and he felt incredibly sad.

The day before Christmas, he woke to hear people talking outside in the corridor. Not unusual certainly, but he kept hearing his name mentioned and there was something familiar about one of the voices… He moved closer to the door and tried to understand what was being said about him. He heard the click of the latch and hurriedly moved back into the room; watching as the woman who ran the place entered with a tall young man.

“Hello Jack is that really you.” He stared at the stranger who seemed to know his name. He edged forward to get a better look and a hand reached out towards him.

“We’ve been searching for you since Mrs Jones died and we didn’t know where you had gone, I cannot tell you how happy we are to have found you.”

We, what’s this we bit?

Suddenly two very young children pushed themselves into the room and rushed towards him, throwing their arms around his neck. After a moment’s fear he surrendered to the wonderful emotions that surged through him as he heard their laughter; feeling their small arms choking the life out of him.

He looked up through rather bleary eyes as the young man knelt down and stroked the fur around his neck, a familiar smell immediately unlocked the memories he had tried to suppress during his waking hours. Memories of this man as a teenager living next door to his mistress, coming over when he was a puppy and playing with him, rolling around in the snow and teaching him how to make snow angels.

“You’re coming home with us Jack, would you like that boy, would you like that?”

To say that he was out that door like a whippet up a drainpipe, despite his dodgy hip, was an understatement. He was helped into a large box that hummed, sitting between the two small children strapped into special seats. They both reached out to touch him; reassurance that it was going to be safe as they set off at an alarming rate.

So here he was on Christmas Day having just eaten a meal of chicken, basmati rice and vegetables with special gravy, no salt his new mistress said in her soft caressing voice. He had a lovely new bed in the same room as his two young friends, Billy and Grace. He lay there in the warmth listening to them breathing gently in their sleep, knowing that he was now their guardian. He was filled with new purpose and strength; even his dodgy hip didn’t hurt as much.

More than anything he felt young again and loved… You’re never too old to feel loved.

©Sally Cronin 2018

At the moment I am offering a free ebook from this choice of five of my books to find out more about them and read a review please click on this link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-the-last-author-to-be-self-promoted-and-free-giveaway-sally-cronin/

How to get your free e-book version of these books.

Please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and let me know if you would like a mobi version for Kindle or epub for other devices.  I have no expectation of a review but if you do enjoy the book a quick email to let me know would be fantastic.

Look forward to hearing from you.

The offer runs from today 18th December until Midnight Christmas Eve 2018 wherever you live