Smorgasbord – Odd Jobs and Characters – Car Crash and Crystal and meeting Sherlock Holmes by Sally Cronin


This series shares some of the jobs I have turned my hand to over the years, and some were very odd. Not many have sat at a table between two teams of champion dairy cows, selling bull semen!  From those experiences, I have accumulated a massive dossier of characters and events that now take centre stage in my short stories.

If you have read my novel Just an Odd Job Girl you will have met some of them but over the next few weeks I hope to bring you some of the others that inspired and stimulated my imagination.

Not all these posts appeared on Smorgasbord as some fantastic blogging friends allowed me to guest post. If that is the case of course I will include their books and links.

You can find all the previous posts to date in this directory.  https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/short-stories-odd-jobs-and-characters-2018/

This episode was kindly hosted last year by Olga Nunez Miret who is the author of several novels in both English and Spanish.. she is also a translator who did an amazing job for me when she translated Tales from the Garden into Spanish.

Odd Jobs and Characters – Car Crash and Crystal and meeting Sherlock Holmes by Sally Cronin

After I left the department store in the middle of Liverpool, I was appointed manager of a crystal and gift shop in Lord Street, Southport, which is where we had bought our first home.

It was at the north end of this mile long main street, and we sold high end gift items such as Moorcroft pottery, and our own cut glass crystal glassware from the factory in the Lake District. All the glass was classified as ‘seconds’, even though there would only perhaps be a small bubble in the glass, or the cut might not be completely standard. However, the prices were terrific, with at least 40% of the normal retail price. I still have some of the glasses that I bought 34 years ago, and I was lucky enough to get another 10% discount making them very affordable.

Going to work was very easy. I walked out of our gate, then a brisk five minutes down the road, and unlocked the shop door. I really enjoyed the next 18 months, but was then offered the opportunity to manage the three shops that had now been opened, with the other two being in York and Norwich. I would also spend time in the Lake District as marketing manager to oversee the running of the factory shop, and to develop a tour around the glass works for visitors. This meant that I was away most of the week in one capacity or another, and I was given a large estate car to carry stock between the various shops.

On one occasion I had brought down a consignment of crystal to the Southport shop, picking up David from home, with the intention of delivering stock to the York shop; then spending the weekend exploring that very old and lovely city. We had set off down the motorway, which was busy with a Friday getaway. Because there was a great deal of commercial traffic, I was in the centre lane doing a steady 60 miles an hour and overtaking the trucks. I was just in the process of passing a large articulated lorry, when it suddenly veered out into the middle lane without signalling, and hit my car.

I was being pushed out into the fast lane, where traffic was moving considerably faster and there was nowhere for me to go but forward. I hit the accelerator and managed to disconnect from cab of the truck and pull in front of it; then on to the hard shoulder, where I came to rest in a state of shock. It was only then that the driver realised what he had done, and he too pulled onto the shoulder behind me. Thankfully David was not hurt despite the passenger side door being badly damaged. Once I had established that, I was out of the car and heading back to the lorry where the driver was hanging onto his wheel, waiting equally white-faced for one very angry woman charging up the hard shoulder towards him.

It was probably just as well, the police arrived shortly afterwards to make sure none of us needed treatment, or that other road users were impacted. David by this time had managed to open his passenger door and join the discussion.

The car was still driveable, although only having had it a couple of weeks; I was not looking forward to having the upcoming telephone conversation with my boss. After we had exchanged insurance details, and given our statement, which to be fair the lorry driver corroborated, we continued on our journey. However, we could hear the tinkle of broken glass from the back of the car.  I knew it was going to be interesting unpacking several boxes of expensive glassware and removing it from its tissue paper wrapping. Thankfully it was insured, and we were unhurt, but it made me paranoid about overtaking trucks for a very long time.

I loved the job, especially in the summer months in the Lake District when I would tour most of the other tourist sites to deliver leaflets and take theirs to display in our own factory. The tour was now set up, and we were about to begin accepting visitors, when I got a phone call from a gentleman who requested a private tour of the factory. It was unusual, but since we were not officially open for a few days, I agreed, and he made an appointment the next day.

It was 1984 and a new series of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes had been recently released on Granada Television, but I had not seen any of the episodes. However, I immediately recognised the man who arrived for the guided tour as the actor Jeremy Brett, because he had played Freddie in one of my favourite musicals… My Fair Lady.

We spent an hour watching glassware being blown, cut and put through the acid baths, before ending up in the crystal shop attached to the factory where he purchased one or two items. I could understand now why he wanted a private tour, as he was very well known and unlike today, stars tended to be a lot less keen to be photographed and approached by fans.

It was one of those encounters that you always remember, and I went on to watch several episodes of the series before we left to spend two years in Houston, Texas…Where I am ashamed to say I name-dropped shamelessly.

I have not as yet used Jeremy Brett as a character in one of my stories, but he is tucked away for a rainy day. As for the car crash… some events are better forgotten.

©SallyCronin 2016

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.

Olga has translated her own books into Spanish of course and she has also translated some excellent Spanish books into English and you can find out more here.

I can highly recommend Olga as she translated Tales from the Garden into Spanish...http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/translationstraducciones/

Books in Spanish or English by Olga Nunez Miret

A review for Escaping Psychiatry 2: The Case of the Swapped Bodies.

A Jolly Good Read on March 22, 2017

As a doctor and a psychiatrist, the author knows well the workings of the human mind, and she brings this knowledge to the table in ‘The Case of the Swapped Bodies’.
When consulting psychiatrist Mary Miller receives an unusual document from an FBI contact, it sets in chain a puzzling series of events. As with all mystery novels, it is difficult to give a flavour of the story without spoilers. Suffice to say this is a complex, carefully structured tale involving an unusual murder, FBI-police rivalry, buried secrets, small-town gossip and innuendo, an on-off love affair, and a character who may be insane – or worse.

Olga Nunez Miret steers a careful line around the different narrative threads, and strews just enough red herrings in your path to keep you weaving back and forth between possible ‘solutions’ until the book’s closing stages. Logic and emotion interweave to keep the reader off-balance and anxious to see how resolution(s) will be achieved. You may never view American small-town life in quite the same way again.A jolly good read.

Read the reviews and buy the books Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/author/olganm

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Olga-Núñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

Read more reviews and follow Olga on Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6562510.Olga_N_ez_Miret

Audio bookshttp://authortranslatorolga.com/my-audiobooks/

Connect to Olga on social Media

Website –http://www.olganm.com/
Blog- http://authortranslatorolga.com/
Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/OlgaNunezMiret
Twitter- https://twitter.com/OlgaNM7

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Travel – ‘The Streets of Old City Dubrovnik’ by Sherri Matthews


Time for the fourth last post from the travel archives of Sherri Matthews who has taken us to Lake Garda, a traquil village in Normandy and to Jersey during wartime occupation. Today she takes us to Croatia and the beautiful streets of the old City Dubrovnik.

Over at the Daily Post, the Weekly Photo Challenge for this week is ‘Street Life’. Cheri puts the challenge to us in this way:

‘For this challenge, document the movement (or stillness) of a street: tell a story with your snapshot, capture a scene that reveals a bit about a place, or simply show us where you live — or a path you often take.’

With this in mind, here is my story entitled, ‘The Streets of Old City Dubrovnik’.

The beautiful country of Croatia (once part of Yugoslavia together with Bosnia and Slovenia until declaring independence in the 1990s) is home to the Old City of Dubrovnik. Otherwise famously known as ‘The Pearl of the Adriatic’, this medieval walled city is nestled on the Dalmatian coast; from the 13th century onwards it became an important Mediterranean sea power.

Dubrovnik is home to beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries and palaces, all of which were severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667 and then again in more modern times by the Serbian attack against the city in 1991.

After a ceasefire was called, and due to its great concern for the damage done, UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) named Dubrovnik a ‘World Heritage Site in Danger’ and immediately coordinated a major restoration programme. Click here to read more about this programme and for a more comprehensive history of the Old City.

We were privileged to have been able to visit Dubrovnik in 2012.

Approaching by a narrow, twisting road which drops down to the Old City and its hidden streets, I was able to take this shot. This was the moment when I first caught sight of it, having been blocked by the tree-lined road until then. Stunned into silence, I immediately understood why Dubrovnik is known as ‘The Pearl of the Adriatic’.

My photo doesn’t do it justice, it is simply breathtaking.

The Pearl of the Adriatic - Old City Dubrovnik taken as we approach from the road above. Look at that sea! (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

The Pearl of the Adriatic – Old City Dubrovnik taken from the road above. Look at that sea! (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Once inside the city, climbing the city walls gives a magnificent view of the rooftops. The buildings seem to be hiding the streets as if protecting them, closing in on themselves. What secrets lie there I wonder, what stories are to be told?

Dubrovnik May 2012 (197) - Copy

View of the Old City of Dubrovnik taken from the city walls. Notice the Clock Tower (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Climbing back down from the city walls, you can get a closer view of the streets below, beckoning to be explored.

View of the streets below from the Old City Walls, Dubrovnik (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

View of the streets below from the Old City Walls, Dubrovnik
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Head over and discover more about this old city and enjoy Sherri’s wonderful photographic guided tour: https://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2014/04/01/wpc-the-streets-of-old-city-dubrovnik-croatia/

My thanks to Sherri for sharing her travels with us and I do recommend that you check out her archives for her other posts..

About Sherri Matthews

While bringing her memoir, Stranger in a White Dress, to publication, Sherri is published online and in print magazines and anthologies with memoir, essays, poetry and flash fiction. Her short story, ‘A Walk in the Woods’, is published in Prima Magazine, and two of her short memoir entries are longlisted with FISH Publications. Sherri raised her children in California for twenty years before returning to her home in England, where she lives today in the West Country with her husband, Aspie youngest and their pet menagerie fondly called ‘Animal Farm’. Sherri keeps out of mischief gardening, walking and snapping endless photographs, the better ones of which, along with her (mis)adventures, she shares on her blog, A View From My Summerhouse

Here are the anthologies that Sherri has contributed to. Click the covers to buy.

Connect to Sherri.

Blog: sherrimatthewsblog.com
Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/aviewfrommysummerhouse
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterSherri
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sherri-matthews/60/798/aa3
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/103859680232786469097/posts

Our next guest with some travel stories is Carol Taylor, who when not creating dishes for her food column here, travels around Thailand and the far East and will be sharing three of her posts.

After that a new Posts from Your Archives Series….look out for it…thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Roberta Flack, Roses, Bacon, Cruise Ship Tips, Jersey and a whole bunch of other stuff!!


The Music Column with William Price King – Roberta Flack – Part Two.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-william-price-king-summer-jazz-roberta-flack-part-two/

The Gardening Column with Paul Andruss

This month a look at the history, myths and truths behind one of the most popular flowers in the world. The Rose.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-garden-column-with-paul-andruss-only-a-rose/

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor

There are not many of us who don’t love a piece of crispy bacon or tender boiled ham, and this week Carol shows us how to cure our own bacon and prepare ham for our summer salads.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-and-food-column-with-carol-taylor-home-cured-ham-and-bacon/

The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Cruise Ships – Part Two – Ship Tips

This week Debby shares her insider knowledge about dining, tipping, excursions and shopping. Invaluable advice before you take that cruise.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-cruises-part-two-ship-tips/

Getting to Know You – Sunday Interview with Darlene Foster.

Darlene shares a favourite childhood song, an action hero she would like to be, something that she could never learn….you will be surprised considering the number of books that she writes! And the animal she would like to have a conversation with..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-darlene-foster/

Travel Posts from Your Archives Sherri Matthews – A Tour of Jersey and the history of the island during World War Two.

Corbiere Lighthouse, Jersey (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-travel-jersey-occupation-liberation-celebration-by-sherri-matthews/

Personal Stuff

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story Serialisation

Chapter Seven – Snow and Favourite Things.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/smorgasbord-sam-a-shaggy-dog-story-chapter-seven-snow-and-favourite-things/

Chapter Eight – Language

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/smorgasbord-sam-a-shaggy-dog-story-chapter-eight-language/

Odd Jobs and Characters – Department manager for a store leads to crime solving!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-odd-jobs-and-characters-fashion-department-manager-and-shop-lifters-by-sally-cronin/

Letters from America – 1985- 1987 – Hawaii

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-hawaii-part-two-molakai-mules-hanauma-bay-and-knitted-bathing-suits/

Poetry and Haiku

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/smorgasbord-poetry-haiku-tree-stumps/

Sally’s Drive Time and Playlist

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/sallys-drive-time-play-list-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-1977-kenny-rogers-and-status-quo/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-timeless-echoes-poetry-by-balroop-singh/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-bubbas-tails-by-patty-l-fletcher-and-king-campbell/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-the-ghost-in-the-gardens-a-flower-girl-mystery-by-hl-carpenter/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-family-drama-gold-plated-by-christine-campbell/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-family-drama-a-marriage-of-convenience-by-stevie-turner/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-quest-of-the-brokenhearted-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

Author updated reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-c-s-boyack-karen-ingalls-and-sally-cronin/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-claire-fullerton-judy-penz-sheluk-and-darlene-foster/

The Blogger Daily and Meet the Reviewers.

Cathy Ryan

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-and-meet-the-reviewers-cathy-ryan-sue-coletta-and-iona-jenkins/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-and-meet-the-reviewers-georgia-rose-cheche-winnie-and-jenny-fitzkee/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-and-meet-the-reviewers-july-4th-2018-pen-paws-and-claws-the-story-reading-ape-and-jill-dennison/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-and-meet-the-reviewersolga-nunez-miret-darlene-foster-and-thom-hickey/

Health Column

Magnesium is one of the minerals that is likely to be deficient with a resulting long list of health problems.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-the-body-needs-magnesium-deficiency-alert/

Often mis-diagnosed Interstitial cystitis is difficult to treat.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/smorgasbord-health-column-the-kidneys-and-urinary-tract-bacterial-and-interstitial-cystitis/

Humour

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-animals-at-play-cats-and-bowling-and-high-jump/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-things-are-not-as-they-seem-jokes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-animals-at-play-cows-let-out-at-the-end-of-winter/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-and-egyptian-mummies-vaseline-and-engineers/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-animals-at-play-cats-and-video-games/

 

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Odd Jobs and Characters – Fashion Department Manager and Shop Lifters by Sally Cronin


This series shares some of the jobs I have turned my hand to over the years, and some were very odd. Not many have sat at a table between two teams of champion dairy cows, selling bull semen!  From those experiences, I have accumulated a massive dossier of characters and events that now take centre stage in my short stories.

If you have read my novel Just an Odd Job Girl you will have met some of them but over the next few weeks I hope to bring you some of the others that inspired and stimulated my imagination.

Not all these posts appeared on Smorgasbord as some fantastic blogging friends allowed me to guest post. If that is the case of course I will include their books and links.

You can find all the previous posts to date in this directory.  https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/short-stories-odd-jobs-and-characters-2018/

This episode in my colourful job history was originally shared by Jane Sturgeon on her blog.

Odd Jobs and Characters – Fashion Department Manager and Shop Lifters by Sally Cronin

After six months of sheep farming in Dolgellau, we returned to Liverpool to live. I needed to get back into full time employment if we were to save our deposit for our own home. David continued to go back and forth to Wales a couple of days a week, but we were now officially city dwellers.

David already had a flat that he rented, but his landlady told us that we would have to leave as it was single occupancy only. What she really meant was single sex occupancy, as she didn’t have a problem with the two girls living together in the top flat. But she assumed no doubt that the first thing we would do is to have a baby. Anyway, we were not going to argue, although there was nothing in the lease to indicate this condition of tenancy.

We found a flat in Tuebrook, which is a suburb of Liverpool, and closer to the city centre where I was applying for jobs. At this time we were pretty broke and the flat had seen better days. The fact that the corner shop protected its assistants behind security bars, should have been an indication of what we might expect. However, we reckoned that with me working we could be out of there in a year. Our lady was Chinese and charming, collecting the rent each Friday and also emptying the electric meter that we were convinced was rigged. It ate two shilling pieces as though they were chocolate buttons, and I was paranoid about running out of coins with us being plunged into darkness. Anyway, I always knew when she was coming up the bare uncarpeted stairs, as she had a wooden leg which was a bit of a giveaway.

I attended a couple of interviews and was offered the position of manager for an expensive women’s fashion brand, which rented space in a large department store in the city centre. I was only 27 and found myself responsible for a team that had been holding the fort for longer than I have been alive. Still they were very welcoming and happy to show me the ropes, although one aspect of the job I had not expected, was to be the only one young enough to chase shop lifters. If you have read my story of my first job along the seafront, you will know that this was actually listed as one of my skills!

Every three months we would receive the new season’s clothing range. This included skirts, tops, jackets, suits, dresses and coats that were the favourites of the shorter, middle-aged woman. They were classy, and we sold many outfits for the mothers of both bride and groom, and for the 1980s, they were quite expensive. This made them very popular with another kind of customer; the ones who were more interested in not paying anything for them.

There were a number of ways that our clothes were liberated from their hangers without detection. For example, a young mother with a child in a pushchair, would wend her way through the rails and then walk away seemingly empty handed. Except that the child in the push chair would somehow be now hanging over the front bars with its bum in the air. You have to be quick to grab a jacket off a hanger, fold it and tuck it under your baby or behind it.

Another way to shoplift merchandise required the assistance of the escalator up to the next floor. In their wisdom, the shop fitters had placed two rails along the wall beneath the escalator to hold jackets and suits. Three young males would get on the escalator with a couple of steps between them. The middle one would duck down, as the one at the back would grab a hanger with a suit on, throwing it to him to stuff in a black bin bag; the one in front acted as look out. Give them their due, they were well practiced at the manoeuvre; blink and you missed it.

Every morning the team and I would conduct a stocktake of the garments on the racks and shelves, and again at the end of the day. We would then compare this against incoming stock and items sold. If there was a discrepancy, we would double check, but it usually meant we had been robbed.

You only lost so many items before head office was on your case, so we had to become smarter that the thieves, as we were sustaining quite big losses. The team would split up in the department; only one person would take payment for sold items at the cash desk, leaving as many staff on the floor as possible at all times. Women with babies in pushchairs were greeted and escorted until they left the department. Despite this increased vigilance we were still losing more items than we should. Until one day, when I was helping a lady on with a spring coat, and happened to look up to see three stooges on the escalator, helping themselves to one of the new suits.

With a rapid ‘excuse me’ to my customer; leaving her in the capable hands of one of my team. I legged it over to the escalator, running up the steps behind the thieves, who were busily stuffing my expensive suit into their bin bag. I think possibly it was my colourful language that alerted them to their pursuer, and they all turned to stare down at me as they reached the top of the moving staircase. By this time I was almost upon them, and as a distraction they threw the bag with its stolen suit at me. I caught it deftly, throwing it in turn to a member of store staff, approaching to see what the kerfuffle was about.

The lads rushed over and leapt onto the descending escalator, taking the steps two at a time. They were daft if they thought I was giving up. I shot after them and down the next escalator to the ground floor. They had to cross the expanse of the cosmetic department to make it to the outside and safety, but looking around, I couldn’t see any of the security staff to call on for assistance.

The customers who were busy shopping, looked up to see these three itinerants making their escape, pushing through the crowd, and also at an obviously irritated woman giving chase. I decided to make best use of the audience, and proceeded to announce in a loud voice that I was chasing shoplifters. The crowd began to laugh as the boys finally reached the exit, pushing through the swing doors with much blasphemy and red faces. What was quite interesting, was with my announcement, several other customers made for the exits hastily!

I turned to find three store detectives standing behind me; arms crossed and disapproving looks on their faces. Apparently they wouldn’t apprehend groups of thieves, as they were usually armed with knives. My adrenaline was still up and I gave them a piece of my mind; after all it was not their jobs on the line when stock went missing. I approached the escalator to head up to the first floor and my department, only to find the general manager of the store at the top, waiting for me; also with his arms crossed.

Anyway, I of course was told off, mainly because for fears for my safety, but also for telling the customers we had a shop lifting problem. However, I did get the fixture changed next to the escalator by getting rid of the top rail, and word must have got around about the mad woman, as thefts from our department dropped dramatically.

About Jane Sturgeon

I started this blog seven years ago and it is a wonderful adventure. Being here in our Global Village has gifted treasured friendships, creative expression and woven a part of my authentic soul. I am grateful.

A new chapter is starting in my life as I have come to live by the sea. I have dreams and ideas floating up and I am sure they will find their way onto the page.

Connect to Jane

Blog: https://janesturgeon.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jslifetherapy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jane.sturgeon.505

Thank you for dropping in today and look forward to your comments. thanks Sally.

You can find all the previous posts to date in this directory.  https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/short-stories-odd-jobs-and-characters-2018/

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Travel – #Jersey: Occupation Liberation Celebration by Sherri Matthews


A welcome back to Sherri Matthews with the third in her travel series of posts from her archives. Sherri has over 40 photographs of the Island of Jersey and goes into detail about the occupation by the Germans in the Second World War.. please head over and read the entire post.

Jersey: Occupation Liberation Celebration by Sherri Matthews

Before my recent and first-ever visit to the beautiful island of Jersey, I knew of its famous Jersey cows, delicious Jersey Royal new potatoes, and stunning coastline. I also knew something of its occupation under Nazi Germany in WWII, but, and to my shame, I knew very little of its impact on the people of Jersey. All that was about to change.

As I crossed the English Channel by Ferry with my mother on May 7th for our much-anticipated getaway, as soon as I caught sight of the delightful view from our hotel room some seven hours later, I knew we were in for a treat.

View from our room

The next day – after taking in the surprising results of the General Election back home – we set about exploring. And learning.

Although closest to France, Jersey has been part of the British Isles ever since William of Normandy’s invasion in 1066 ~

Courtesy Jersey War Tunnels

Courtesy Jersey War Tunnels

Some 100 miles south of British mainland and only a mere 14 miles from the Bay of St Malo in France, Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands despite its 14km by 8km (9 miles by 5 miles) size.

It is home to a varied landscape of lush valleys and fields inland, and unspoilt coastline of golden beaches, rocky coves and hidden bays, all with stunning views of the Atlantic.

Jersey boasts a 450 mile roadway made up of fast routes and rural lanes, so that whether driving, walking, cycling or even horse riding, anyone can explore this beautiful island to their heart’s content.

Take a drive - or walk, or bike or horse ride - with me along this delightful island of Jersey (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Take a drive – or walk, or bike or horse ride – with me along this delightful island of Jersey
(c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Corbiere Lighthouse shines its beacon of light for many a passing ship to warn of strong tidal waters and treacherous, submerged rock formations ~

Corbiere Lighthouse, Jersey (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Corbiere Lighthouse, Jersey
(c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Please head over and read this detailed post on Jersey and enjoy Sherri’s photographs: https://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2015/05/18/jersey-occupation-liberation-celebration/

About Sherri Matthews

While bringing her memoir, Stranger in a White Dress, to publication, Sherri is published online and in print magazines and anthologies with memoir, essays, poetry and flash fiction. Her short story, ‘A Walk in the Woods’, is published in Prima Magazine, and two of her short memoir entries are longlisted with FISH Publications. Sherri raised her children in California for twenty years before returning to her home in England, where she lives today in the West Country with her husband, Aspie youngest and their pet menagerie fondly called ‘Animal Farm’. Sherri keeps out of mischief gardening, walking and snapping endless photographs, the better ones of which, along with her (mis)adventures, she shares on her blog, A View From My Summerhouse

Here are the anthologies that Sherri has contributed to. Click the covers to buy.

Connect to Sherri.

Blog: sherrimatthewsblog.com
Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/aviewfrommysummerhouse
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterSherri
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sherri-matthews/60/798/aa3
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/103859680232786469097/posts

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about travel.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog since you began blogging up to October 2017 and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

The deal is that you also help promote the post by sharing on your social media and responding to the comments.

Previous participants are more than welcome

The theme for the new series is travel.

  • Places and countries you have visited,
  • Different cultures,
  • Exotic food you have discovered when travelling,
  • Modes of transport – cars, bikes, horses, RVs
  • Camping Trips,
  • Road trips,
  • On the road for work,
  • Train Journeys,
  • Travel themed music,
  • Planes and airports,
  • Ships and other marine vessels,
  • Humorous adventures etc.

Thank you for popping in today and look forward to hearing about your travel adventures… Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up -Summer Jazz, Photoshop, Moreish Mince and Interviews, Music, Health and Humour


Welcome to this week’s round up of posts that you might have missed.

After almost five weeks there the day is partly cloudy and it is only temporary as we do not have rain forecast until 16th of July. I know we moan about the weather, but this is the first time in the years that I lived here previously and in the last two, that you can say with certainty that you are having a BBQ next week!

We are renowned for the amount of our rain here but in some parts of the country treated water for drinking has become a problem.. including in Dublin where it is tough to keep up with the demands of millions of hot and thirsty people.

You may not know this but in Ireland we are not charged for our water usage. They did bring in charges in 2015 and many homes had meters fitted, but in 2016 this was repealed and a new system of thresholds for usage were introduced. The first 213,000 litres per year are fee of charge per household, and an additional 25,000 litres per person, for homes with more than four residents.

Clearly there are business premises who will be paying for water, but as yet there is no definitive plan that I have heard, to pay for all the necessary renovations to the existing pipe work.  In the cities, such as Dublin this is Victorian and of course leaks like a sieve in places! This led to headlines last week of a possible shortfall in drinking water as the current equipment is unable to keep up with the demand.

We do however pay for waste water removal which of course requires treatment before disposing of.

Thankfully, despite the fact that we have been basking in sunshine and high temperatures, as sure as there are Leprechauns, there will be rain again soon and everything will be back to normal.

Anyway I know many of you will be off now on holiday or taking breaks from your online life for a while.. have a great time and look forward to hearing about your adventures.

Anyway.. thank you for being here and I hope you enjoy browsing the posts from the week. As always my deepest thanks to my contributors who work so hard to bring you entertaining, informative and creative posts.

The Music Column with William Price King.

The first in a Summer Jazz series beginning with the incomparable Ms Roberta Flack. Part One the Early Years.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-summer-jazz-william-price-king-roberta-flack-part-one/

Writer in Residence, Paul Andruss with a Photoshop Tutorial for book covers and marketing material.

As a follow up to Paul’s post last week on how to engineer a book cover to maximise interest and therefore sales…he is kindly demonstrating how to accomplish this with photoshop.

http://www.paul-andruss.com/art-of-persuasion/

The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor

This week Carol shares some great recipes to elevate this family favourite to spicy new levels.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-carol-taylor-cooks-with-mince/

Esme’s Party Piece – July Forecast by sign.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-esmes-party-piece-forecast-for-july-2018/

Getting to Know You Sunday Interview

My guest today probably needs little introduction to most of you who are regulars to the blog. Debby Gies…D.G. Kaye is a very popular blogger and non-fiction author who generously supports us all across social media.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-getting-to-know-you-interview-with-d-g-kaye/

Posts from Your Archives – Sanctuary in Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei #Normandy by Sherri Matthews

A fabulous tour around the idyllic village of Saint Ceneri Le Gerei in Normandy with Sherri Matthews.

St-Ceneri-le-Gerei (77) Edited

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-travel-sanctuary-in-saint-ceneri-le-gerei-normandy-by-sherri-matthews/

Sally’s Personal Stuff.

This week I was very honoured to be interviewed by two very lovely writers – the first is Joy Lennick who invited me over on Monday.  Please pop over.

https://joylennick.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/an-interview-with-author-sally-cronin/

And later in the week I was interviewed by Esme  over on Esme Salon… I hope you will head over and find out more of my secrets…

https://esmesalon.com/interview-with-sally-cronin-from-smorgasbord-variety-is-the-spice-of-life/

Letters from America – Hawaii part one.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-hawaii-bound-part-one-inflight-entertainment-and-mai-tais/

Odd Jobs and Characters – My employment history that provided me with an endless list of characters..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/smorgasbord-odd-jobs-and-characters-wales-the-sheep-farm-indignant-rams-and-black-sheep-by-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Drive Time Play list.. Music to get the weekend started. 1976

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-1975-abba-and-paul-simon/

Sally’s Book Reviews – Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sallys-book-reviews-mourning-dove-by-claire-fullerton/

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

Chapter Five – Henry’s New Family

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/sam-a-shaggy-dog-story-chapter-five-henrys-new-family-by-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Summer Sale

I notice that the summer can be a little flat for some of us on the book selling front and that many of you will be putting our books on offer at a reduced price for a week at a time or longer.

What I am proposing is that authors in the bookstore who are planning on doing an offer this summer, schedule it between 9th and 20th July to cover four of the Cafe Updates. Discounted books will be linked directly to Amazon to purchase.

Monday 9th July, Friday 13th, Monday 16th,  Friday 20th July

I currently have  4 slots available on Monday 16th of February and 2 for 20th.

Check out the details: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-july-9th-july-20th-what-do-you-think/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelvesfairies-myths-and-magic-a-summer-celebration-by-colleen-m-chesebro/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-pedal-sometimes-a-bicycle-is-built-for-two-by-linda-bradley/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-soul-swallowers-the-shattered-sea-book-1by-d-wallace-peach/

Author Update #reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-teagan-riordain-geneviene-sandra-j-jackson-and-helen-jones/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-news-colleen-chesebro-lucinda-e-clarke-and-deanie-humphrys-dunne/

New Series of The Blogger Daily – Monday to Thursday.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-june-25th-2018-linda-bethea-tess-karlinski-becky-from-baker-with-a-hammer-and-james-j-cudney/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-26th-june-2018-ritu-bhathal-janice-spina-and-jennie-fitzkee/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-june-27th-2018-robbie-cheadle-terri-webster-schrandt-and-paddy-cummins/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-norah-colvin-sue-vincent-and-john-rieber/

Smorgasbord Health Column

Nutrients the body needs – Calcium the most abundant mineral in the body.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-the-body-needs-calcium-the-most-abundant-mineral-in-the-body/

Last week my post was on the kidneys and how they function. I also looked at one of the most painful conditions… Kidney stones. Today I want to continue with the urinary tract as problems with kidney function have a direct impact on the health of this essential waste pathway out of the body.

cranberries_background_200742

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/smorgasbord-health-column-the-kidneys-and-urinary-tract-urinary-tract-infections-by-sally-cronin/

Health in the News – Natural influenza immunity, prostate cancer breakthrough and mangoes for gut health.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/smorgasbord-health-column-health-in-the-news-natural-influenza-immunity-prostate-cancer-breakthrough-mangoes-and-gut-health/

Some Summer chilled soups and salads with some alternative dressings and homemade mayonnaise.

avocado

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/smorgasbord-health-column-summer-eating-chilled-soups-salads-and-dressings/

Humour

A series of videos on how animals know how to have fun.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-animals-at-play-they-know-how-to-have-fun/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-dogs-vs-cats-diaries-and-annoyances/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-animals-at-play-collies-they-know-how-to-have-fun/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-strange-things-happen-in-bars-and-snippets/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-animals-at-play-tortoises-know-how-to-have-fun/

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Travel -Sanctuary in Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei #Normandy by Sherri Matthews


Welcome to Sherri Matthews and the second in her series of archive travel posts. Sherri includes wonderful photographs in her posts and so I will give you a taste and then a link to view on her own blog where I would appreciate you leaving your comments.

This week a beautiful village in Normandy with winding lanes, lovely places to eat and miraculous cures for eye disease from a clear water spring, and sanctuary in the small chapel.

Sanctuary in Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei by Sherri Matthews

There is a tiny village in Normandy called Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei that is so charming, it is known officially as a ‘Most Beautiful Village of France’. It was a privilige to spend my birthday afternoon there in September with my family ~

St-Ceneri-le-Gerei (77) Edited

The River Sarthe flows through this village with pretty cottages nestled cosily on both sides of the riverbank ~

St-Ceneri-le-Gerei (25) Edited

St-Ceneri-le-Gerei (5) Edited

St-Ceneri-le-Gerei (78) Edited

A short walk from the car park at the top of the village across the stone bridge brings you to the town square in minutes ~
St-Ceneri-le-Gerei (14) Edited

Explore this stunning village with all its history and welcoming places to eat and to sit in sunshine: https://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2015/11/15/sanctuary-in-saint-ceneri-le-gerei/

About Sherri Matthews

While bringing her memoir, Stranger in a White Dress, to publication, Sherri is published online and in print magazines and anthologies with memoir, essays, poetry and flash fiction. Her short story, ‘A Walk in the Woods’, is published in Prima Magazine, and two of her short memoir entries are longlisted with FISH Publications. Sherri raised her children in California for twenty years before returning to her home in England, where she lives today in the West Country with her husband, Aspie youngest and their pet menagerie fondly called ‘Animal Farm’. Sherri keeps out of mischief gardening, walking and snapping endless photographs, the better ones of which, along with her (mis)adventures, she shares on her blog, A View From My Summerhouse

Here are the anthologies that Sherri has contributed to. Click the covers to buy.

Connect to Sherri.

Blog: sherrimatthewsblog.com
Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/aviewfrommysummerhouse
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterSherri
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sherri-matthews/60/798/aa3
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/103859680232786469097/posts

My thanks to Sherri for sharing this beautiful, tranquil village, and if you would like to participate in this series.. here are the details:

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about travel.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog since you began blogging up to October 2017 and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

The deal is that you also help promote the post by sharing on your social media and responding to the comments.

Previous participants are more than welcome

The theme for the new series is travel.

  • Places and countries you have visited,
  • Different cultures,
  • Exotic food you have discovered when travelling,
  • Modes of transport – cars, bikes, horses, RVs
  • Camping Trips,
  • Road trips,
  • On the road for work,
  • Train Journeys,
  • Travel themed music,
  • Planes and airports,
  • Ships and other marine vessels,
  • Humorous adventures etc.

Thank you for popping in today and look forward to hearing about your travel adventures… Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Music, Food, Travel, Legends, Books, Special Guests and Stories


Welcome to the weekly round up and some posts that you might have missed. It has been another glorious week here weather wise and I will admit to having put off some of the writing tasks that I set myself, in favour of being in the sun. You only live once….

It looks like a mostly sunny week again next week so I guess I will continue to be distracted.

This week saw the last in the Josh Groban series and William Price King will be taking his usual Summer break. He spends some time in the mountains with his family but is also wrapping up work on a new series of videos with his new accompanist.. I shared a taster a couple of weeks ago, and I am certain that you will enjoy the full length versions when available.

In the meantime I will be sharing a couple of previous series in a new time slot of just after midnight on Tuesday mornings. When William returns we have a new theme for you to enjoy as we introduce you to the top jazz instrumentalists. From accordion and banjo to the violin, fabulous artists who have evolved the style and backed the top names in the business. We hope you will enjoy learning more about this wonderful expression of music.

The Music Column with William Price King – Josh Groban up to date.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-josh-groban-up-to-date/

Writer in Residence – Paul Andruss #BookCovers – Persuasion.

This week Paul explores the increased sales that result from a perfectly executed book cover. One that engages, connects and perhaps titillates. What would Ms. Jane Austen say about her makeover??

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-writer-in-residence-bookcovers-persuasion-by-paul-andruss/

The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor

This week Carol elevates the delicious duck to new levels with some piquant sauces. Also an interesting way to preserve duck eggs…. really!!!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-delicious-duck-and-sauces/

The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye.

And last but definitely not least, a warm welcome to author D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies, with the first post in the brand new Travel Column. To get you into the swing of things, Debby will post three articles on the popular vacation on the high seas. In the first post she looks at types of cruises, cabins and where the best place to sleep is in choppy seas. Plus some of her usual tips and strategies.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-debby-gies-cruising-reports-and-tips-part-one/

The Sunday Interview – Getting to know you with John W. Howell.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-getting-to-know-you-interview-with-john-w-howell/

Posts from Your Archives – Travel – This week Sherri Matthews gives us a guided tour of Lake Garda in Italy with some stunning photographs.

lake-garda-sept-2016-284

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-travel-an-italian-journey-writing-and-healing-by-sherri-matthews/

Personal Stuff

Letters from America – short hair, hurricane Danny and trivia pursuit.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-houston-hurricane-danny-trivia-pursuit/

Odd jobs and characters…. behind the scenes of my various occupations that provided me characters and events for my short stories. This week hotel assistant manager and a whirlwind romance.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/smorgasbord-reblog-odd-jobs-and-characters-odd-jobs-and-characters-hotel-assistant-manager-swashbuckle-and-romance-wales-snowdonia/

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist – Hot Chocolate and Judy Collins.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-1975-hot-chocolate-and-judy-collins/

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Chapter Three – My First Real Friend

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/23/sam-a-shaggy-dog-story-chapter-three-my-first-real-friend-by-sally-cronin/

Chapter Four – Henry’s Story

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/24/sam-a-shaggy-dog-story-chapter-four-henrys-story-by-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-apprenticed-to-my-mother-a-memoir-of-barbara-le-pard-2005-to-2010-by-geoff-le-pard/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-book-on-the-shelves-born-in-a-treacherous-time-by-jacqui-murray/

Author Update #reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-news-christoph-fischer-tina-frisco-n-a-granger-and-sue-hampton/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-terry-tyler-charles-yallowitz-and-yecheilyah-ysrayl/

Meet the Reviewers

Cathy Ryan

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-meet-the-reviewers-jacquie-biggar-for-t-m-logan-rosie-amber-for-p-k-adams-and-cathy-ryan-for-kate-vane/

Smorgasbord Health Column -Nutrients the body needs – Vitamin K1 and K2

Research is identifying that Vitamin K2 deficiency could be contributing to higher rates of dementia, prostate cancer and kidney disease.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-we-need-vitamin-k1-and-k2-bone-density-dementia-prostate-cancer-kidney-disease/

Ancient healing therapies – Tai Chi.

Great for posture and for strengthening the core whilst losing the stress.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/smorgasbord-health-column-ancient-therapies-tai-chi-non-combative-chinese-martial-art-by-sally-cronin/

Organs of the body – The Kidneys – function and structure

Kidney - macroscopic blood vessels

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/smorgasbord-health-column-organs-of-the-body-the-kidneys-by-sally-cronin/

Humour and afternoon videos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-animals-and-sport-dog-and-cat-on-treadmill/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-out-of-the-mouths-of-babes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-animals-and-sport-dogs-playing-soccer/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-hysterical-historical-inaccuracies-and-other-mistakes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-animals-and-sport-surfing-cat/

Thank you so much for dropping in this week and being so supportive here and on social media.. I am very grateful. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and the coming week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Travel – An Italian Journey – Writing and Healing by Sherri Matthews


Welcome to Sherri Matthews and her series of four travel posts. Sherri includes wonderful photographs in her posts and so I will give you a taste and then a link to view on her own blog where I would appreciate you leaving your comments.

An Italian Journey – Writing and Healing by Sherri Matthews

September arrived and with it, any thoughts of writing vanished. My birthday; a long-awaited holiday. Both beckoned. But somewhere in the space between early spring and autumn’s first flush, everything blurred into one big smudge of I can’t face it.

We heal, eventually, from family illness and loss, but scars do not disappear. And something, at some point, has to give, even if only for a short while. My long-burn writing dream never died, but in the deep, silent part of me, my ability to focus, to write, lay in tatters.

So I retreated into long walks by the sea and drinking wine in my garden, listening to the birds singing their sweet September song. I offered up my writing, like a bird held gently in both hands, and I let it go and watched it fly away.

And then, with gentle persuasion, I took Hubby’s hand and I flew away too, on our long-awaited holiday to Lake Garda in Italy.

lake-garda-sept-2016-116

Stunning views of the Alps, lakes and the Black Forest as we flew above France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria on this beautiful, blue sky day. The Stewardess knew something, as she returned with not one, but three gin and tonics – each! – with a knowing wink. It wasn’t just the hum of the plane’s engine that was buzzing… (c) Sherri Matthews 2016

From Verona airport, we travelled on for not quite two hours to the north-western shore of the Lake, where, against the backdrop of the Italian Alps, sits the exquisite and historic village of Limone.

The name Limone is Italian for ‘lemon’, and lemons and other citrus fruits once grew in abundance in the now ancient lemon groves, dating back to the 14th century. The terraced columns of the Limonaia del Castel  are still clearly visible.

lake-garda-sept-2016-68-edited

During the summer, they are opened up by candlelight for visitors to tour, with lemon trees still grown, albeit in smaller quantities.

lemon-groves-1

But ‘Limone’ is also the Latin word for ‘boundary’. Lake Garda is made up of three regions; Limone is part of the Brescia province, in the Lombardy region.

Limone also, quite possibly, holds the secret to long life: In the 1970s, during a routine medical check-up, a man was discovered to have high levels of cholesterol but without any of the expected damage. Doctors went on to discover that this man, members of his family and a small community in Limone, all carried a type of protein that keeps cardiovascular disease at bay. Hopes continue that this protein can be replicated for the general population, but so far, we wait.

The view from our balcony was truly spectacular.
To the right ~

lake-garda-sept-2016-284

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To read the rest of this wonderful tour of Lake Garda and see all the photographs, please head over to Sherri’s blog: https://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2016/11/29/an-italian-journey-writing-and-healing/

About Sherri Matthews

While bringing her memoir, Stranger in a White Dress, to publication, Sherri is published online and in print magazines and anthologies with memoir, essays, poetry and flash fiction. Her short story, ‘A Walk in the Woods’, is published in Prima Magazine, and two of her short memoir entries are longlisted with FISH Publications. Sherri raised her children in California for twenty years before returning to her home in England, where she lives today in the West Country with her husband, Aspie youngest and their pet menagerie fondly called ‘Animal Farm’. Sherri keeps out of mischief gardening, walking and snapping endless photographs, the better ones of which, along with her (mis)adventures, she shares on her blog, A View From My Summerhouse

Here are the anthologies that Sherri has contributed to. Click the covers to buy.

Connect to Sherri.

Blog: sherrimatthewsblog.com
Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/aviewfrommysummerhouse
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterSherri
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sherri-matthews/60/798/aa3
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/103859680232786469097/posts

My thanks to Sherri for sharing this stunning location and if you would like to participate in this series.. here are the details:

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about travel.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog since you began blogging up to October 2017 and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

The deal is that you also help promote the post by sharing on your social media and responding to the comments.

Previous participants are more than welcome

The theme for the new series is travel.

  • Places and countries you have visited,
  • Different cultures,
  • Exotic food you have discovered when travelling,
  • Modes of transport – cars, bikes, horses, RVs
  • Camping Trips,
  • Road trips,
  • On the road for work,
  • Train Journeys,
  • Travel themed music,
  • Planes and airports,
  • Ships and other marine vessels,
  • Humorous adventures etc.

Thank you for popping in today and look forward to hearing about your travel adventures… Sally

 

Smorgasbord Short Stories -Posts from my Archives – Odd Jobs and Characters – Boarding School Housekeeping and Caterer


This series shares some of the jobs I have turned my hand to over the years, and some were very odd. Not many have sat at a table between two teams of champion dairy cows, selling bull semen!  From those experiences, I have accumulated a massive dossier of characters and events that now take centre stage in my short stories.

If you have read my novel Just an Odd Job Girl you will have met some of them but over the next few weeks I hope to bring you some of the others that inspired and stimulated my imagination.

Not all these posts appeared on Smorgasbord as some fantastic blogging friends allowed me to guest post. If that is the case of course I will include their books and links.

This episode was kindly hosted by Robbie and Michael Cheadle and you can find Robbie’s latest post here: Robbie’s Inspiration

You can find the previous odd jobs here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/short-stories-odd-jobs-and-characters-2018/

After two years in Cowes, we moved off the island to see if we could save our relationship, but it was not to be.

After a few unsuccessful attempts to keep our marriage together, my first husband and I finally split up. All our furniture and belongings were in storage, as our accommodation at the pub we ran was fully equipped. I headed off with two suitcases into a B&B for a few weeks and took some temporary jobs, as I looked for something more permanent. At the beginning of December, and now almost broke, I applied for the position of Housekeeper/Caterer at a public school in Sussex.

I went for the interview and my experience in steak house management, and also mass catering in the pub were very useful. Two days before Christmas I received a telegram asking me to report to the school on the 6th of January. My new living quarters were the ground floor of one of the farm cottages attached to the school, right opposite the pig sheds which infused my new home with an alluring aroma. The children were expected back on January 11th and my first job was to buy in the supplies to feed 120 children and 30 school and domestic staff.

I was lucky to walk into a brand new and purpose built dining hall and kitchen, which was a real bonus. I had one permanent assistant, and the housekeeping staff would also help at meal times. I spent the next few days ordering from the main dry goods supplier and local butcher and fish merchant. I also had to work out staffing rotas for the cleaning and maintenance of the residential areas of the main house and classrooms, which were my responsibility too. I planned the menus for the next four weeks so that I could buy certain foods in bulk which saved money. I also need to organise my own timetable, as I would be cooking four meals a day, seven days a week as well as checking on the housekeeping side twice a day. On Fridays one of my staff who had some cooking experience, would cook lunch, which to the delight of the children was always superb fish, chips and peas. That gave me some time to explore the local area and take a breather.

The children started the day with juice, cereal or porridge, and a cooked breakfast with a piece of toast with tea or milk. Let me tell you how daunting it is on your first day in the job to fry 150 eggs rotating through six large frying pans, watch flats with bacon in three ovens whilst toasting 150 slices of bread both sides, without burning, on two large wall-mounted grills which took 30 slices at a time. All dished up by 8.15 when juice, porridge or cereal was finished.

Table prefects would come and collect the serving platters and toast racks, allowing me to start my rounds of the dining-hall to make sure that each child ate all their breakfast. Twice a week, I would start half an hour earlier at 6a.m, so that I could crack 140 eggs into a giant Bain Marie to gently scramble. I would say the overall favourite breakfast was sausages and beans and fried bread, which disappeared in a heartbeat.

No sooner had the kitchen been cleaned and the crockery and cutlery sent through the washer, and it was time to do the lunch preparation. Even back then, I cooked food from scratch, instead of relying on the frozen entrees that were available for mass catering. The boys and handful of girls at the school soon became accustomed to eating Coq au Vin, Boeuf Bourguignon, Spaghetti Bolognaise, Lasagne as well as roast dinners with all the trimmings. There was always rice, potatoes or pasta and at least two vegetables. Dessert might be Apple Charlotte, Cherry Pie, Rhubarb Crumble, Spotted Dick all served with custard.

I did use frozen vegetables at times, but I did a deal with local farmers to take their odd shaped vegetables and fruit, and found a free range egg farmer who delivered stacks of eggs at the beginning of the week. Fresh fish was delivered every Friday to be coated in crispy batter with home-made chips.

Before I arrived all the main meals would be delivered to the tables in serving dishes and the table prefect would dish up. I was not sure that every child was eating a balanced diet so I changed the process. All the children would line up with a plate, and three of us would fill the plate with a portion of every item. Once they were all seated I would walk around the dining-room chatting to them and making sure that it was all being eaten.

There was short break in the afternoon as High Tea was served at 6pm, which might be beans on toast, egg or cheese and tomato sandwiches, homemade beef burgers, cake and a piece of fruit, with tea or a glass of milk.

Wednesday and Saturdays when we have visiting teams from neighbouring schools for cricket in the summer and rugby in the winter, there would be a games tea at 4.00pm.

My last cooking for the day was for the teaching staff which usually involved preparing a quiche and salad, risotto or chicken pie and potatoes and vegetables with fresh fruit salad. My working day finished at around 9.00p.m as the last plate went into the dishwasher.

Although during term time that was a heavy workload, over half-term and holidays I usually stayed in my cottage, and apart from making sure the housekeeping and grounds were maintained, I had plenty of time off. Most half-terms, a handful of children, whose parents lived abroad, stayed at school and we would go on outings and have picnics in the grounds. Meal times were much more relaxed and we would eat together with treats such as ice-cream.

I also had the company of Erin the goat, the school mascot who had the freedom of my garden every day. I would sit on a bench reading a book and he would pop over from time to time for a treat. On one occasion I had gone in to make a cup of tea and came back to find he had eaten half my book. The half I had not read yet!

There was not much time for a social life outside of school, but at the time, it was just what I needed to get back on my feet again. I became close friends with some of the live-in teaching staff and the matrons, and that too was something that eased the heartbreak I had been through.

It was a different time forty years ago in the public school system and despite some of the evidence that has come to light of ill-treatment or abuse I did not witness any of that. I have to say that every effort was made to feel that the children were living in a homely and warm environment. Most of the children thrived and for those who had just arrived and were feeling homesick, there were pancake making classes and they were appointed as pea and vegetables dispensers at lunchtime.

My time in the school and some of the characters I met there have been included in one of my books.

I might have exaggerated when I said it felt like feeding the 5,000… But I did cook over 3,000 meals a week, which in a school year amounts to 120,000 plates of food.

After 18 months, things were not going well on the divorce front, I decided to get as far away as possible. I applied for the job of senior receptionist in a luxury hotel in Mid-Wales in the Snowdonia National Park.

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books

Books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

One of the recent reviews for Sir Chocolate and the Baby Cookie Monster

Apr 25, 2018 Carolien rated it really liked it Shelves: 2018, children-5-7

In this installment, Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet must find the culprit who had caused damage in the town. They set off to in their chocolate cake car to track the baby cookie monster. This book contains more of the innovative fondant icing figurines instead of illustrations which I love and there are some yummy recipes which the young readers can try.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Connect to Robbie and Michael

Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle
Plus.googlehttps://plus.google.com/105609586198905397891
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SirChocolateBooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

You can find the previous odd jobs here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/short-stories-odd-jobs-and-characters-2018/