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

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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

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


Following on from The Colour of Life, my father-in-law Geoff Cronin wrote two more books with stories of life in Waterford and Dublin from the 1930s. He collected the stories on his travels, swapping them with others in return for his own and then treating us to the results of the exchange. Geoff also added some jokes overheard just for the Craic…Over the next few weeks I will be sharing selected stories from  Milestones Along the Way.

The Sea Anglers Club Dunmore East

In the late 1950s a group of guys who were interested in fishing for something other than mackerel got together and formed the Dunmore East Sea Anglers Club. Earlier trips out to an area off the Hook Lighthouse had proved that there was an abundance of big fish to be caught there, conger eels, spur dogs, big pollock and occasionally skate and tope. Then came the time when on Sundays we hired a trawler which could take ten rods at a time and when on one such occasion Pat Phelan landed a skate weighing 87 lbs. we were well and truly bitten by the bug.

Thus began the serious business of developing the club and to that end, we organised weekend competitions and invited members of other clubs to participate for prizes and there were competitions for shore anglers, and those who did not wish to go to sea. At this time the general interest in sea angling was taking off and clubs were springing up all over the country.

Then there was the river fishing fraternity which had a strong following, as there were several good trout rivers locally and good pike and roach fishing was to be had in the lakes around the country.

The Dunmore East Sea Anglers decided that new members were needed if we were to grow the club, and to that end, it was decided to target the river fishermen and see if they could be introduced to sea angling and the bigger fish. We invited the chairman of the biggest club to take part in one of our weekly competitions and when he accepted, we booked a place for him on one of our trawlers and I was deputised to look after him and see that he had a good time.

Off for a day’s fishing.

Came the appointed day and I was introduced to this surly guy and guided him to the boat and showed him his station. We set off from the dock and I began to sort out my tackle when I noticed our friend had only two-ounce sinkers, and we all knew that it required half a pound of lead to take bait to the bottom. So, I asked him if he would like to borrow some heavier gear, to which he replied, “Are you suggesting that I don’t know how to fish?” I withdrew gracefully and left him to his own devices, and had to smile when he produced a ten-foot pike rod totally unsuitable for the day’s work ahead. Anyway, he lit his pipe and settled down to wait until we reached the fishing ground.

He was, however, unaware of what was going on at the opposite side of the boat. “What are we fishing for anyway?” he asked me in a most aggressive way.

“With any luck” I said, “we’ll get a shark or two.”

He guffawed and said “Don’t be codding me now, boy.”

I made no comment and could see that I wasn’t going to win him over. And so, he baited a hook and with a two-ounce sinker and dropped it over the side, where it disappeared under the boat.

Now, at the far side was Harry Garret, a seasoned angler, with a six-foot rod, a homemade Nottingham reel with a hundred yards of orange line of a hundred pounds breaking strain and, cutting a mackerel in half, he baited a huge hook with one half of the fish, and with a pound of lead on the end, he dropped the lot overboard and settled himself on a fish box. He was after BIG congers.

And then the inevitable happened. Following the run of the tide our visitor’s line, with his 2 oz. weight, travelled under the boat and found Harry’s line, whereupon Harry said quietly, “Hello lads! I feel a tickle,” and he began to wind in his line slowly. At the same time, our visitor’s rod was bending sharply. He responded by giving it a chuck, and then Harry struck with such force that our friend’s rod was disappearing under the boat. He began shouting for the gaff, and telling us he had a monster. Harry, meanwhile, was bracing one foot against the gunwale and winding relentlessly, when the skipper shouted from the wheelhouse “Are ye tryin’ to lift the feckin’ boat out of the water?”

Everybody saw what had happened, and they fell about the place with laughter. Our guest, however, was not amused. He cut his line, and began to pack his gear.

Just then the skipper called me to the wheelhouse. “Have a look over there” he said. I did so and saw a three- foot fin sticking up out of the water. “It’s a basking shark,” I said. “Here, take the wheel and steer over leaving him on your right, I want to see your friend’s face when he sees this.” I obeyed and as I got near, the fin disappeared as the shark dived. But as I watched, he exploded out of the water, rising to his full height and standing on his tail, he crashed down on his back with an almighty smack – only twenty feet from where our guest stood. What a performance, a twenty-five foot fish weighing a ton, falling on his back right before our eyes! The visitor was ashen-faced. “What in the name of God was that?” he said. “It was only one of the sharks I was telling you about,” I lied. “I think I’d like to go home now,” the visitor said and he was very subdued when we eventually turned for home.

We had a good day’s catch, but no sharks, and the lads enjoyed the joke immensely. Of course, we didn’t recruit the river men, but we had many a good day thereafter and many a good catch too. The best catch was by my old friend Jim O’Connell, who landed a skate which weighed 107 lbs. Incidentally it was an odd sandy colour and we thought it might be a blonde ray, which would make it a record – a skate is normally grey in colour – so we contacted Dr. Went in the Fisheries Department and he asked us to send it to Dublin for examination. Well, we humped it into the boot of O’Connell’s car and drove to Waterford Railway Station, where we asked a porter to bring out a trolley. “What have ye?” he asked. “A fish” said O’Connell. So out he came with a trolley and we dropped the skate onto it. “What in God’s name is that?” asked the porter, “and why are ye sending it to Dublin?”

“Because” said Jim with a straight face “we couldn’t find a pan big enough to fry him!”

This story still endures among the sea anglers of Dunmore East.

Jim O’Connell (left) with Pat Phelan’s 87 lb. skate and Paddy Kelly (boatman).

And just for the Craic

A tourist being shown over the Irish countryside by a local, paused when he saw some red berries growing on a plant at the roadside.
“Tell me,” he said, “what are those berries?” “Those are blackberries,” he was told.
“But they are not black, they’re red,” said the tourist.
“That’s true,” said the guide, “but you see sir, they’re always red when they’re green!”

©Geoff Cronin 2008

Geoff Cronin 1923 – 2017

About Geoff Cronin

I was born at tea time at number 12 John Street, Waterford on September 23rd 1923. My father was Richard Cronin and my mother was Claire Spencer of John Street Waterford. They were married in St John’s Church in 1919.

Things are moving so fast in this day and age – and people are so absorbed, and necessarily so, with here and now – that things of the past tend to get buried deeper and deeper. Also, people’s memories seem to be shorter now and they cannot remember the little things – day to day pictures which make up the larger canvas of life.

It seems to me that soon there may be little or no detailed knowledge of what life was really like in the 1930s in a town – sorry, I should have said City, in accordance with its ancient charter – like Waterford. So I shall attempt to provide some of these little cameos as much for the fun of telling as for the benefit of posterity.

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks stories from Geoff and I hope you will pop in on Saturday 7th November after Halloween. Thanks 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 Short Stories – Milestones Along the Way – #Ireland #Waterford 1950s The Saga of Selby by Geoff Cronin


Following on from The Colour of Life, my father-in-law Geoff Cronin wrote two more books with stories of life in Waterford and Dublin from the 1930s. He collected the stories on his travels, swapping them with others in return for his own and then treating us to the results of the exchange. Geoff also added some jokes overheard just for the Craic…Over the next few weeks I will be sharing selected stories from  Milestones Along the Way.

The Saga of Selby

In the ’50s Joan and I were still living in Ursula’s Terrace. We had three children and even though I had built a kitchen on to the house, we were hard pressed for space. We badly needed a bigger house and our prospects of achieving that were extremely remote. The company which was parent of my employer would have given me a mortgage but it was limited to two and a half times my salary which worked out at £700. At that time the going price for a ‘starter’ house was £1,200–£1,500, so obviously the odds were stacked against us.

Being without a car meant that our weekend recreation was limited to a walk round the suburbs or to the local park and it was on one of these Sunday walks that we noticed the house. It was a four-bedroomed terrace house and the name on the gate was ‘Selby’. It was vacant and up for auction in a couple of weeks’ time. On enquiry, it turned out to have been vacant for three years and it looked a bit shabby. Sheer curiosity led me to enquire further and I discovered that the previous occupier had emigrated and the property was mortgaged to the Royal Liver Insurance Company, who had foreclosed and were therefore the owners. I rang the auctioneers who told me the reserve was £1,200. Now the house in my opinion was easily worth that money, but why was it unsold? What was the catch? On impulse I asked if I could have the keys for the purpose of viewing the property and having obtained them, I went to have a look.

I was in the act of opening the front door when a man who said he lived nearby approached me and putting his hand over my arm he said, “If you’re thinking of buying that house I would advise you not to because the man who lived there previously never paid the rates or the ground rent for years. And, as well as that he owed a lot of money elsewhere and whoever buys that house will be saddled with all that debt. I told several people about this and I thought I should warn you.” He departed and I was left standing with the keys in my hand.

Now I was never one to rely on hearsay or gossip, so I let myself in and saw that the place had been sadly neglected. Off the hallway there was a drawing room with a bay window which was connected by double doors to a small dining room and at the end of the hall was a kitchen. This was floored in old tiles most of which were broken, there was a tap dripping into a sink of sorts on the floor, one small window overlooking a narrow yard and a small pot-bellied stove – solid fuel – at the end wall. The ceiling was cracked and dirty and the remaining wall had been completely covered with wallboard which had come adrift from the wall and now lay halfway across the floor. There was a boiler house adjoining and it had no roof. There was a coal-house next to that.

Upstairs there were four good sized bedrooms and the master had a dressing room also. A bathroom was on that floor too and then on the third floor, which consisted of one large room with a dormer window and a small fireplace. The ‘piece de resistance’ was the heap of ashes piled up in a corner of the room.

Outside was a large garden which was completely overgrown and it had an apple tree in the middle. So this was Selby, a wreck for sure but the building was dry and basically sound and I saw the potential, given that a huge amount of work was required to make it habitable.

That evening I brought my wife to see it and when she saw the kitchen she literally wept and she said, “I wouldn’t want to live in this hovel and anyway you’ll never buy it for £700”.

At this point I began to believe that by some chance, I might possibly be able to buy the place and I knew I could handle the renovations. Next I found that the Royal Liver could be held liable for the outstanding rates and ground rent and there appeared to be very little interest in the forthcoming auction. So I went to my solicitor and instructed him to attend the auction and bid to buy on the very strict understanding that the price would have to include auctioneers fees and his own fees, and the total could not exceed £700 because that was all I had.

At first he refused quoting the fact that the reserve was £1,200 and while he was considering the matter, I told him to remember I wanted clear title as well. Finally he agreed saying the offer was ridiculous and that he didn’t know what the auctioneer would think of him on making such an offer. Well I arranged the mortgage at £700 and held my breath until the day of the auction.

So came the day and the solicitor rang me that afternoon. “You must be the luckiest man I ever met,” he laughed. “You’ve got the house.”

“And the price?” I asked.

“£700 plus the auctioneer’s fees,” he said. “Withdraw the bid,” I said, “the offer has to include the fees as I told you, I haven’t any more money.” There was a moment of silence and then he said.

“For God’s sake man, how am I supposed to do that?” “I don’t know,” I replied, “but I gave you my instructions and you better see the auctioneer immediately.” He hung up the phone!

About midday the next day he rang me at work. “I don’t know who you have been praying to,” he said, “but he’s delivered the goods, the house is yours clear and free and the price agreed is £700 including auctioneers fees. Incidentally, only one guy came to the auction and he left before I made my bid.” I could hardly believe my ears and left the office and went to tell my wife the news. “Don’t you worry,” I told her, “when I have finished with that house it will be fit for a Queen.”

“I’ll believe that when I see it,” she replied.

A day or two later I was on my way down town when the manager of the Provincial Bank accosted me. “Mr. Cronin,” he said, “I want to congratulate you on your purchase of Selby and could you stop by my office for a minute.” I did so and he then said, “You will be aware that my bank holds a second mortgage on that property and you now owe me £180.” I replied that I would be in touch with him and left. I went straight to my solicitors and asked him to confirm that I had clear title to Selby.

“Indeed you have.” he said.

“Well now, tell me if I’m right in thinking that when there are two mortgages on a property which is then sold for a price less than the first mortgage, then the second one is null and void?”

“Correct.” he said.

“Well,” I said, “would you ever ring the manager of the Provincial Bank and tell him what to do with his bill for £180 which he asked me to pay on foot of a second mortgage.”

“Consider it done,” he said.

Late that day I was passing the bank when the manager saw me and stepped out to meet me. “I’m glad I met you,” he said, “I’ve been on to my head office and I’m happy to tell you that they have agreed to waive the mortgage charge of £180.”

“I know,” I said, “I was listening to that conversation and by the way, I have a small current account with you – close it! Good day”.

There is a further chapter to this saga… A week later I was in the house when there was a knock on the door. I opened it and there stood a man I had never seen before. “Are you Mr. Cronin, the new owner of this house?” he asked. I answered in the affirmative.

“Well, “he said, “I’m in a difficult situation. I’m a solicitor and I was instructed to bid “£1,200 at auction for this property but when I went to the auction I saw nobody there but your solicitor and I panicked and left without bidding. I have now to offer you the £1,200 if you’ll sell me the house.”

“No,” I said, “I don’t want the money, I want the house.”

He repeated the offer and I again refused and he left expressing deep disappointment.
Well, subsequently, I managed to squeeze another £100 from the company to “redecorate the home”. I got £126 for the back kitchen at No. 30 St Ursula’s Terrace from the incoming tenant and with that money I was able to do all that was required to turn the wreck into a lovely home where we lived happily until 1964 when another chapter began involving a home in Wexford. But that is another story.

One abiding memory of the renovations at Selby remains. I couldn’t get any charlady to tackle the cleaning of that top room with its pile of ashes and had to do it myself – it took a hundred and fifty three buckets of water to complete the job.

©Geoff Cronin 2008

Geoff Cronin 1923 – 2017

About Geoff Cronin

I was born at tea time at number 12 John Street, Waterford on September 23rd 1923. My father was Richard Cronin and my mother was Claire Spencer of John Street Waterford. They were married in St John’s Church in 1919.

Things are moving so fast in this day and age – and people are so absorbed, and necessarily so, with here and now – that things of the past tend to get buried deeper and deeper. Also, people’s memories seem to be shorter now and they cannot remember the little things – day to day pictures which make up the larger canvas of life.

It seems to me that soon there may be little or no detailed knowledge of what life was really like in the 1930s in a town – sorry, I should have said City, in accordance with its ancient charter – like Waterford. So I shall attempt to provide some of these little cameos as much for the fun of telling as for the benefit of posterity.

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks stories from Geoff and I hope you will pop in again next Saturday. 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

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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

Main-parts-of-the-Brain-72dpi

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

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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 Short Stories – Milestones Along the Way – #Ireland – Shakespeare and Traditional Fencing Methods by Geoff Cronin


Following on from The Colour of Life, my father-in-law Geoff Cronin wrote two more books with stories of life in Waterford and Dublin from the 1930s. He collected the stories on his travels, swapping them with others in return for his own and then treating us to the results of the exchange. Geoff also added some jokes overheard just for the Craic…Over the next few weeks I will be sharing selected stories from  Milestones Along the Way.

The Bard Speaks

There is a passage in a Shakespeare play – Hamlet, if memory serves me – which is often quoted by philosophers of one kind or another and I quote! – “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will.” This quotation has been held to have a deep and significant meaning and at one time I shared this view.

However, let me tell you a little story which might change your mind.

A Shakespearean actor of note who was also a perfectionist, had a life ambition which was to play Shakespeare in the actual place where the Bard lived, Stratford on Avon – and in the famous theatre started in that spot. Well imagine his joy to be offered a principal part in Hamlet, to be staged in that town and in the original theatre. Not only that, but he would be able to speak the immortal line which began, “There is a divinity that shapes our ends…”.

Needless to say the actor was thrilled to think that his dream was to come true. In fact he was so excited at the prospect and being a perfectionist, he decided to stay in Stratford on Avon and to walk the actual ground where the Bard had lived and worked, so that he might absorb and soak up the vibes which he knew would exist there.

One evening, he was wandering the country lanes when he came across two men stretching a tall growing whitethorn fence. The process involved cutting the tall saplings halfway through and bending them down to the horizontal about waist high.

The actor had never seen this before and was intrigued by the whole process. He remained thoughtful for a moment and then addressed one of the men. “Why does it take two of you to do this job with it appears that one man would suffice”? The man replied, “Well, you see sir,
I rough hews them and he shapes their ends”.

When I heard this story it occurred to me that being a country man Shakespeare was merely quoting a local saying and not making a statement of deep philosophical significance… It makes you think!!

Traditional method of hedge laying

A finished hedge

In Shakespeare’s day, when a daughter was born to one of the stately homes it was the custom to plant an acre or two with Beech saplings. The idea was that by the time the girl was of marriageable age, 20 to 25 years, the landowner would have a stand of Beech trees to sell and thereby provide a dowry for the girl at a minimum cost! These plantations became known as Dowry Forests.

©Geoff Cronin 2008

Geoff Cronin 1923 – 2017

About Geoff Cronin

I was born at tea time at number 12 John Street, Waterford on September 23rd 1923. My father was Richard Cronin and my mother was Claire Spencer of John Street Waterford. They were married in St John’s Church in 1919.

Things are moving so fast in this day and age – and people are so absorbed, and necessarily so, with here and now – that things of the past tend to get buried deeper and deeper. Also, people’s memories seem to be shorter now and they cannot remember the little things – day to day pictures which make up the larger canvas of life.

It seems to me that soon there may be little or no detailed knowledge of what life was really like in the 1930s in a town – sorry, I should have said City, in accordance with its ancient charter – like Waterford. So I shall attempt to provide some of these little cameos as much for the fun of telling as for the benefit of posterity.

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks stories from Geoff and I hope you will pop in again next Saturday. 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 Short Stories – Milestones Along the Way – #Ireland #1930s – Divine Guidance by Geoff Cronin


Following on from The Colour of Life, my father-in-law Geoff Cronin wrote two more books with stories of life in Waterford and Dublin from the 1930s. He collected the stories on his travels, swapping them with others in return for his own and then treating us to the results of the exchange. Geoff also added some jokes overheard just for the Craic…Over the next few weeks I will be sharing selected stories from  Milestones Along the Way.

Divine Guidance

As a young boy I was intensely curious about everything and anything and one day I came across a man I knew digging a hole in a field.

When I asked him what was the purpose of the hole he told me he was digging a well to provide water for the owner of the field. After watching for some time I asked him how he knew where to dig and he picked up a fork of whitethorn which he had cut earlier and said, “I use this”!

I was fascinated as he explained all about water divining saying it was also called dowsing and how in ancient times water diviners were regarded by the church as being in league with the Devil. I picked up the twig and he showed me how to hold it, waist high and with the apex of the fork facing away from my body, and my hands with the palms facing up.

As I stood by the hole, holding the twig as instructed, it began to twist in my hands and ended up pointing down into the hole. It was a very weird feeling and the man laughed when he saw my face. “Be God boy you have it” he exclaimed. “You have a rare gift so you have. Now you know how to find water and it’s not everybody that can do that”!

A water diviner at work

A divining rod.

How to hold a divining rod.

I was elated and he gave me the whitethorn twig to keep and I couldn’t wait to tell my mother and the rest of the family. They all tried to do it and not one could succeed so I became a diviner and dowser through no fault of my own and enjoyed mild celebrity for a while.

Water divining became my party piece and though I never got anyone to “dig a hole” I could find existing water pipes, mains etc. It was many years later, when I put my talent to the test. It happened that my daughter bought a piece of land with the intention of building a house on it and she asked me if I could locate a source of water there. So I cut my twig and walked the land from all angles and located a strong reaction repeatedly in a certain spot which I marked. Subsequently a hole was bored there and a good source of water was found. So I was fully vindicated.

Over the years, I bought books on the subject of dowsing and discovered that builders, before excavating on a site often engaged a dowser to make sure there were no water tanks or reservoirs buried beneath the ground. They also got people with metal detectors but since these could not detect plastic pipes the dowser had the last word.

On a visit to Washington DC I wandered into that city’s biggest book shop – it was as big as a football pitch – and there I encountered an immaculately dressed manager, complete with sharkskin suit and rimless glasses. I asked him where I might find books on water divining.

“How’s that again sir”? He asked.

“Water divining” I repeated.

And he replied “all the new religions are down at the far end of the store”. I had to smile!

©Geoff Cronin 2008

Geoff Cronin 1923 – 2017

About Geoff Cronin

I was born at tea time at number 12 John Street, Waterford on September 23rd 1923. My father was Richard Cronin and my mother was Claire Spencer of John Street Waterford. They were married in St John’s Church in 1919.

Things are moving so fast in this day and age – and people are so absorbed, and necessarily so, with here and now – that things of the past tend to get buried deeper and deeper. Also, people’s memories seem to be shorter now and they cannot remember the little things – day to day pictures which make up the larger canvas of life.

It seems to me that soon there may be little or no detailed knowledge of what life was really like in the 1930s in a town – sorry, I should have said City, in accordance with its ancient charter – like Waterford. So I shall attempt to provide some of these little cameos as much for the fun of telling as for the benefit of posterity.

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks stories from Geoff and I hope you will pop in again next Saturday. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 20th – 26th September 2020 – Community, #Streisand, #Canberra, #Waterford, Books, Reviews and funnies.


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

Well what a week.. from the headlines to the weather it has been one rollercoaster of a ride with nobody quite sure where the ride is going to end.. even those holding the reins!

Thankfully things around our virtual world seem to be maintaining normality however I would like to mention two people who are firm favourites here with guest posts and their books.

Mary Smith and Sue Vincent were due to meet up in the last few weeks in Scotland but for both of them shock medical news has become a priority for the present. Both of them have posted about their diagnosis and I link to them here. Unfortunately due to Covid restrictions they cannot enjoy the level of physical support so necessary during their treatment. Both are wonderfully strong and resilient, but you can never have too many friends, even in the virtual world on your side. If you too are friends with them please head over to keep in touch and let them know we are there now and as they continue to blog during their treatment. Two amazing women.

Sue Vincent – A bit more than a break

Mary Smith – Cancer Diary

On the home front.

I am still in the middle of getting my next release ship shape… longer than I intended as I have been, like most of you lacking in some focus on the creative side in the last few months. I have however begun to apply myself more and I am scheduling a couple of weeks ahead at the moment which gives me some breathing room. I am so grateful for William Price King, Debby Gies, Carol Taylor and Silvia Todesco for their weekly and monthly contributions and whilst I am not accepting individual guest posts at the moment, I hope to do so in the New Year.

If you are an author in the Cafe and Bookstore it would help me enormously if you could let me know as soon as you have a date for any new releases so I can include in the Cafe Updates in a timely fashion. Either on pre-order or available is fine.

My intention is to increase my reading time which is as important to me as writing.. and hopefully you should see more book reviews each week on a more consistent basis. I have just ambitiously added another 10 books to my TBR and looking forward to some great reading.

Thank you very much for all the support you give every week and it is much appreciated as it keeps me motivated.  Just heading into my 9th year of blogging and 8th year as Smorgasbord Blog Magazine.. doesn’t time fly when you are having fun….

Time for the posts from the week….

Barbra Streisand part Two 1960s and 1970s

#Australia – The Great Fire of Canberra by Toni Pike

#Ireland #1930s – The Yards of Waterford

Chapter Eight – Human Language Lessons

It is 20 years since I wrote Just an Odd Job Girl and to celebrate I am giving away FREE Ebook copies and sharing the background to the real odd jobs that litter my career. This I am 14 and start my first paid job.

20th Anniversary #Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs

Dental Surgery Part One

Dental Surgery Part Two

October 1985 – Trip to Seattle – Mountains and State Park

#Humour – In Search of McDoogal by Mae Clair

 

 

 

 

 

 

Past Book Reviews – #Mystery James J. Cudney, #Dystopian Terry Tyler

New Author on the Shelves -Age Group 7 upwards – #Ghosts Mrs. Murray’s Ghost (The Piccadilly Street Series Book 1) by Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Share your Children’s book review – The Case of the Mystery of the Bells: Davey & Derek Junior Detectives, Book 6 by Janice Spina reviewed by Victoria Zigler

New Release #Fantasy Jemima Pett, #Review Robbie and Michael Cheadle

#Fantasy Charles E. Yallowitz #Reviews #HistoricalRomance Christine Campbell, #Poetry Bette A. Stevens

#Writers Pre-Order Lizzie Chantree, #Writers P.C. Zick, #Romance Jacquie Biggar

#Family Stevie Turner, Reviews #Anthology M.J. Mallon, #Crimethriller Don Massenzio, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack,

#NewReleases -#Dieselpunk Teagan Riordain Geneviene, #Crime Sue Coletta

Elements Collection Soap Bars

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy – An introduction to the therapy

Blood Pressure and the #Salt debate

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – September 22nd 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Skinny Jeans and Anagrams… Posted on September 22, 2020 by Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life.

September 24th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Police dogs and Eye Tests

Host Sally Cronin- It’s all about Love…and laughter

 

Thanks very much for dropping by and I hope you will join me again next week… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Milestones Along the Way – #Ireland #1930s – The Yards of Waterford by Geoff Cronin


Following on from The Colour of Life, my father-in-law Geoff Cronin wrote two more books with stories of life in Waterford and Dublin from the 1930s. He collected the stories on his travels, swapping them with others in return for his own and then treating us to the results of the exchange. Geoff also added some jokes overheard just for the Craic…Over the next few weeks I will be sharing selected stories from  Milestones Along the Way.

The Yards of Waterford.

In the 1930s the shops in Waterford City were dependent on farmers from the surrounding county for a considerable slice of trade, particularly at the weekends. Tradition was that a farmer and his wife would travel to town on a Saturday and as public transport was thin on the ground the pony and trap was the most common way of getting to the city.

At this point I must explain that well established pubs would have a yard with some stabling attached and a yard man would be in attendance, also many of these would be “bar and grocery” shops. So, having arrived in town the farmer could park his pony and trap in the care of the pub yard man, while he and his wife went up the main street – she to order bread for the week and to sell her eggs and home-made butter and he to visit the bank and the hardware shops, to order seeds and tools and the like. Instructions to the shopkeeper would be “send it to Dower’s yard, Grace’s Yard, Pender’s yard, Power’s yard”, or wherever the pony and trap was lodged.

Now in those days no woman would be seen in a pub but in a ‘bar and grocery’ establishment there was always a ‘snug’ where a lady could be seated while giving her grocery order and waiting for her husband. And, what harm if a glass of port or a beer on a warm day, or even a whisky in the cold weather, was served in the process. And when himself would arrive he could join in with a pint of stout and chat for oftentimes there would be several ladies in waiting in the snug.

Serving behind the counter in my father’s bakery shop, I was quite familiar with the programme of the country people as we had a big proportion of our customers in that category.

There were great number of bars in Waterford and I often wondered why a pub should be called “A bar” until one day I noticed a very ornate, polished brass bar, elbow high across the window of a pub called the Dew Drop Inn in Greyfriars. After much research, I discovered that the origin of the “Window Bar” could be traced to a time when fairs and sales of cattle and horses took place in the street, or wherever there was a convenient square or open space.

On such occasions, the bar prevented large animals from leaning against the window and probably breaking it. The bar served another purpose too. When a patron of the pub who was the worse for wear was leaving the premises, he could grasp the bar and ease himself along the window and thereby make a dignified exit.

In recent times I spotted a not so decorative iron bar across the window of a very old pub in a narrow street in a small provincial town. But it was many a bygone year since a horse or a cow was sold in that street.

In the ’30s the horse was king of the road and you could see iron rings sunk into the street kerbs where a horse or donkey could be tethered while his owner went shopping. Also there was a huge variety of trades, related to the horse, blacksmiths, farriers, saddlers, feed stores, leather and harness makers, coach builders, coach painters, wheelwrights, tackle shops, stables, hay and straw merchants and even street sweepers. But gradually all these trades and the employment they provided disappeared with the demise of the horse drawn traffic and even the skills associated with those trades became largely extinct.

Horse racing and breeding still support some of the old trades and the now dying sport of fox hunting plays a part too, but it’s only a fraction of what used to exist. Such is progress.

Just for the Craic

The Tin Chapel Men

In my father’s day there were many crusades against the demon drink, in fact there was a slogan popular with politicians of the time, “Ireland Sober, Ireland Free”. Hence it was no surprise when a company of evangelists appeared in local halls around the country, preaching about the evils of drink among other things. They were known variously as The Hot Gospellers, The Sankey Mudie Men and The Tin Chapel Men. Incidentally, men whose surnames were Sankey and Mudie were associated with this movement.

The modus-operandi was the same wherever they appeared. A local hall would be hired and leaflets advertising a free evening lecture distributed around the town and free tea and biscuits might even be suggested. So the hall would be peopled by a selection of layabouts, drunks and those who had nothing better to do and the meeting would begin with one of the preachers speaking about the evils of drink.

To illustrate the point he would hold up a glass of water in one hand and a common earth worm in the other and he would say “See what I hold in my hands, a glass of God’s own fresh water and a lowly earth worm. Now I drop the worm into the glass and you can see he swims about quite happily. But now I show you a glass of the demon whisky, I drop a worm into it and the unfortunate creature shrivels up and dies immediately. And now, my dear people, what lesson may we learn from this?”

He pauses dramatically, holding the glass containing the whisky and the now dead worm and a semi drunken voice from the audience says, “If you drink whisky you’ll never get worms”.

All I can say at this stage is, if it didn’t happen it should have!

A state of health

A man whose neighbour was recovering from a serious illness was asked by a friend how the man was doing and he replied,

“Well, sure he’s between the bed and the fire.”

©Geoff Cronin 2008

Geoff Cronin 1923 – 2017

About Geoff Cronin

I was born at tea time at number 12 John Street, Waterford on September 23rd 1923. My father was Richard Cronin and my mother was Claire Spencer of John Street Waterford. They were married in St John’s Church in 1919.

Things are moving so fast in this day and age – and people are so absorbed, and necessarily so, with here and now – that things of the past tend to get buried deeper and deeper. Also, people’s memories seem to be shorter now and they cannot remember the little things – day to day pictures which make up the larger canvas of life.

It seems to me that soon there may be little or no detailed knowledge of what life was really like in the 1930s in a town – sorry, I should have said City, in accordance with its ancient charter – like Waterford. So I shall attempt to provide some of these little cameos as much for the fun of telling as for the benefit of posterity.

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks stories from Geoff and I hope you will pop in again next Saturday. Thanks Sally.