Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – The Good Life #Waterford History and amazing guest writers

Welcome to the round up and some posts that you might have missed. Especially if you have taken my advice and have not signed up for notifications. You would be so stressed!  I know that I blog a great deal but by now you are used to that by now.. Popping in on a Sunday is probably your best bet so that you can select the posts that you are interested in.

Next weekend there is going to a change to the programme as it will be a three day party on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Unfortunately I may have tipped our summer into its own pity party when I announced this last week, as it has been blowing a hooligan and pouring with rain ever since!  However, we will not let a little moisture get in our way.

My intention is to mention as many of those people who have been with me since the beginning of my blogging adventure in September 2013 with some specially prepared snippets. I also plan to do some introductory pieces on my regular guests as well with interludes for music, humour and of course food and drink. There will be a post each day and in the tradition of all good parties, mingling and exchanging details in the comments is to be expected.

Paul Andruss has prepared two posts which will go out in the week about some of the music he feels will get you in the mood and he will also round off the party with a post on Sunday Afternoon.

I hope that whatever your actual plans are for next weekend you will be able to pop in to one of the posts over the three days and leave your details in the visitors book.

My thanks as always to my guests this week and food was definitely on the agenda with the wonderful recipe for Babotie which is a traditional South African dish that I enjoyed as a child. My thanks to Tandy Sinclair for sharing.  As you will have seen, Carol Taylor and I have teamed up for a new series on healthy foods alongside delicious recipes. This week the versatile banana received the Carol treatment.

And to encourage you not to let all this wonderful food cause a disruption to your waistline, Julie Lawford shares 50 benefits that demonstrate the positive effects of healthy weight loss.

And of course thanks to William Price King for his wonderful series on Tony Bennett first aired in 2015 and now taking us through the Summer (a term used loosely around here).

Now on with the show…..thanks for dropping in and please sign the guest book at the end. 

Summer Jazz with William Price King and Tony Bennett

Milestones along the way by Geoff Cronin

Guest Post – Julie Lawford – Lifestyle – Weightloss

Guest post – Carol Taylor – Health benefits of Bananas and recipes.

Guest post – Tandy Sinclair – Traditional South African Food – Babotie.

The Odd Jobs and Characters series here on Smorgasbord. Posted on D.G. Kaye’s blog.

Smorgasbord Reblogs

Paul Andruss takes us back to the Roman Empire and the origins of the expression ‘Crossing the Rubicon’

Thomas the Rhymer

Book and author promotion – Cafe and Bookstore Update

New book on the shelves

Air Your Reviews

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Smorgasbord Entertainment Movie Review – I give The Mummy 4/10… find out why.

Smorgasbord Health – If your teeth are suffering from acid erosion it may be your bottled mineral water!


Words of wisdom from the head of the household – Dear Kittie with Morgan Freeman

Doggie Day Camp and the School bus.

Meet George the Service Dog on his special day out.

Smorgasbord Pet Health

Weekly Image and Haiku

I hope that you have enjoyed this week’s posts and thank you so much for your visits and sharing across your own sites.. It is much appreciated.


Smorgasbord Entertainment Movie Review – The Mummy by Sally Cronin

When we were over in London at the Blogger’s Bash, we decided to revisit one of our winter weekend activities when living there. Go to the movies in Leicester Square and then on to TGI Fridays for fajitas and margaritas.  On this particular occasion I wish we had skipped the first bit and gone straight for the good stuff.

To be honest I could really skip the review and just go to the rating, but since it is Tom Cruise in the lead role, I feel obligated to at least justify my score… more about that later.

The movie is directed by Alex Kurtzman who has been involved as producer for some of popular television series such as Hawaii 5 0, Limitless and Salvation, and films such as Ender’s Game and Star Trek into Darkness. This is the second film that Kurtzman has directed following People Like Us in 2012, which was a family drama. It is my opinion that The Mummy was too ambitious a project based on his experience in the director’s chair.

Which brings me to Tom Cruise in the lead role as Nick Morton. He is a dare-devil tomb raider and self-appointed antiquities expert, employed by the US Army to unearth the ancient sarcophagus of Princess Ahmanet and bring it to London. We get some of the back story behind the entombing of Ahmanet, and she is no sleeping beauty, as it is the kiss of death if you wake her. And of course they have woken her from her extended slumber, and to be fair it does lead to a spectacular plane ride and special effects during the rest of the movie.

I was very happy to embrace Tom Cruise in the role of Jack Reacher who is a particular idol of mine, but in this role he is quite dreadful. Over acting and hamming it up, which might have been necessary, because the script, written by David Koepp and Christopher MacQuarrie was also appalling.  I expected better from David Koepp as he has some excellent credentials for scripts in this genre such as Angels and Demons, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Mission Impossible.

I know this film is meant to be an action fantasy thriller, and that the script is unlikely to be up for an Oscar, but it should at least be adequate for the task.

The leading lady (apart from the Mummy) is Annabelle Wallis (great job in Peaky Blinders) and again stereotyped and a victim of the script or lack of it. She was a little too insipid for the role, and I could not help but compare her to the feisty performance of Rachel Weisz in the original Mummy outings in 1999 and 2001.

The other role which left me cold was Russell Crowe who is cast in the role of Dr Henry Jekyll and who exhibits all the attributes of his namesake… Unfortunately he did not bring any eloquence to the role, and mumbled his way through the entire film.

So, as you can tell, I was not a fan of the direction, script or the acting of the main cast, but I have to give kudos to The Mummy herself, played by Algerian actress Sofia Boutella. Dark, violent, misguided and definitely on the path for vengeance.

I also have to give credit to the special effects team, as they did an amazing job. In fact it really was a series of stunning sequences, unfortunately linked together by a poor script,  by actors who should not have been in this B-movie, and directed by someone who needed more experience.

Overall, because of the special effects, I still give the film 4/10. It is not a film that I will buy to watch at a later date. That is a shame, as I have the previous two Mummy films in my archive and enjoy reruns.  I was not looking for a deep and meaningful experience, but I was expecting excellence from this particular production and acting line-up.

If you want to view the film yourself and compare notes, it is available on DVD + Digital HD and Blu-ray on September 12th. It is on pre-order at $19.96 instead of $35 dollars and to be honest if you are going to buy.. I would not pay full price.

You can find out more about the movie at the IMDB database where the film has a reating of 5.6:


For my previous reviews please head off to the movie this way:



Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – FREE book, Invitation to a Party and brilliant writers.

Welcome to the weekly round up and a reminder that What’s in a Name Volume one is FREE until midnight tonight. I am not part of the Kindle family although all my books are formated to be read on Kindles, Nooks and any other devices. So I don’t do the Kindle select promotions. However, most of you know we well enough to email me and that your information is safe.

About the stories

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

The book is available in Mobi (Kindle) Epub (other devices) and pdf for those of you without a reader.

Just email me on and I will whisk a copy over to you. I appreciate that many of you have TBRs that rival the Leaning Tower of Pisa… but that is okay and I also have no expectation of a review… unless you really want to!

You can read a number of reviews for the book:

and the latest review by Paul Andruss which is a story too:

End of Summer Party – August 26th – 28th – all welcome.

I will be roasting showcasing, those bloggers who have been with me since I began Smorgasbord four years ago.. and apart from these guests, I am inviting everyone to chip in with their details in the comments. I have some food and drink (virtually no calories) and there will be some music. I hope you will be able to pop in .

My secretary Mavis has reminded me that it is time to get on with the round up of the week’s posts that you might have missed.

I am of course very grateful to my guests this week who have provided us with entertaining and interesting posts. Thanks to Anne Casey, Julie Lawford and Carol Taylor who will be with us through the summer and beyond I hope.

William Price King is still on his summer break but I have been sharing a previous series that proved very popular the first time around.. Tony Bennett the ultimate performer.

Guest post from poet and song writer Anne Casey talking about the path to the publication of her debut poetry collection. Including her published work in the Irish Times.

Julie Lawford continues her summer of lifestyle articles with her top ten tips for maintaining your weight loss.

I was delighted to welcome Carol Taylor to the blog for the first of a collaborative series on my top healthy foods with some wonderful recipes from Carol.. This week delicious ways to prepare the king of fish.. salmon.

Milestones along the way by Geoff Cronin

I have posted another one of my entertainment reviews and this time for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword….

Book Promotion

For the next 12 weeks I am guest posting with a number of fantastic bloggers as part of the Odd Jobs and Characters, What’s in a Name launch series. I am posting the first three and then this Friday, Debby Gies is hosting the first of the guest appearances.. By all accounts she has added some Debby specials to the post so I hope you will head over and check it out.

This week was part one of my adventures as a dental nurse back in the late 1960s…haha.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Cafe and Bookstore Update

Air Your Promotions

Smorgasbord Short story

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Weekly image and Haiku

Humour and afternoon videos

Thank you for all your support and generosity in sharing.. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and hope you will visit again next week.



Smorgasbord Entertainment Movie Review – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword by Sally Cronin

Because I didn’t get this series started until recently, I am catching up on reviews for films that I have seen in the last few months and that includes Kind Arthur: Legend of the Sword which was released in Ireland in May.

For those who are experts on the subject of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table….. please look away now. This film is a combination of fact and fiction but veering towards pure fabrication.

Here is a trailer first which gives you a brief glimpse of Arthur as Guy Ritchie saw him. Courtesy of

As you may gather from the trailer the script for this film is written in common parlance  without so much of a whisper of Early Modern English or Anglo-Saxon (except for some of the more pithy Anglo-Saxon words)

Through circumstances beyond his control, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) has been brought up in less than salubrious surroundings in a city far from his home. He finds himself swept up in a national conscription of young men of a specific age who must all undertake the same task. This brings him to the attention of Vortigern (Jude Law), who wants to find and destroy anyone who might have more right to the throne than he has.

That’s when the fight started.

Being a film about King Arthur you will find the basic requirements to tell the story. A sword, evil uncle, beautiful woman (or two) wizards and witches with special powers, strange creatures and death and destruction.

The cast also includes Djimon Hounsou (Bedivere), Aiden Gillan (Bill) Little Finger for GOT fans… Rob Knighton (Mordred) and an all too brief appearance by one of my favourite actors Eric Bana (Uther who is Arthur’s father). There is a cast of thousands, and to those who are sharp-eyed enough David Beckham, in a very tiny cameo role. To be honest if you blink you miss it and yet the critics gave poor David and Guy Ritchie stick for his acting. (He did awright)

We went into this film with little expectation except for the fact that we like Guy Ritchie’s gritty approach to film-making (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, The Sherlock Holmes Movies 1 and 2 and The Man from Uncle)

We had just seen Charlie Hunnam deal with mayhem and murder in seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy.  A despicably graphic, murder, drug and gun laden series that was compelling viewing. Written to shock anyone who thinks civilisation was more than skin deep into a reality check.

Anyway we had become rather fond of Jax Teller, despite his descent into anarchy, and as loyal fans felt compelled to see him as the legendary Arthur.

The film starts with an intricate, visually stunning and breathtakingly violent twenty minutes or so, as the battle for the crown takes place and the scene is set for the rest of the film.

Then things settle down a little as we watch Arthur growing up in the city in the alleys and dodgy clubs and pubs, learning how to fight and thieve.  After this brief respite we are thrown right back into the action and it doesn’t stop until the last minute.

The critics and some of those who have seen the film have been less than flattering and for a while its rating on IMDB was pretty dismal. I am happy to say that it has improved considerably in recent weeks, largely I think because of the release in the UK and Ireland where it was met with a different level of appreciation.

After all the film is British made and depicts one of our legends with a cast of familiar faces. We also probably understood the colloquial language used by the actors more. This film did not let the facts get in the way of a good story, which will have upset those who preferred Sean Connery as Arthur and Richard Gere as one of his dashing knights.

However, we live in a different world of video games, fantasy and special effects that allow you to explore legends in a different way. And this film’s non-stop action keeps you on the edge of your seat for the whole two hours.

The production was excellent with the fantasy scenes, particularly of other worldly monsters, stunningly put together. The script had enough humour to allow for some serious hamming by the actors. I did wonder on occasions if there was not some ad libbing going on!

Overall this film was not intended to be a high-brow representation of the life and times of King Arthur.. It was an abstract artists impression and if you have watched The Sons of Anarchy it was a perfect vehicle for Jax Teller.. I mean Charlie Hunnam!

If you like an action film with an element of fantasy, incredible special effects and a director and cast that do it justice then I think you will enjoy.

I give the film 7 out of 10 and recommend that the critics lighten up a bit.

You can find a pre-order link for download and DVD on Amazon UK :

It is already available in the USA:

I hope you have enjoyed today’s review and look forward to sharing more soon.  Thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Tony Bennett, new releases, reviews and series

Welcome to the weekly round up from blustery and very wet Wexford. Hopefully just a short reminder of the fact we are not in control of our fate or the weather and that the sun will be out again before the end of summer.

I have been at the computer most of the week getting ready for the release of my book on Friday.. more about that in the posts. But as always I have made time for one of the most important jobs of the day… reading other writer’s blogs and posting my own.

My thanks to my guests this week.. even those who are absent. William will be back in September with a new series and hopefully he is on the receiving end of better weather.

My thanks to Julie Lawford who will be making a regular weekly contribution with lifestyle posts through the summer and her previous posts can be found here.

Also this week the reposting of a very important article from author John Maberry with his story of prostate cancer and the symptoms to be aware of. He also outlines some of the treatment options.

WordPress happiness Engineers appear to have been messing around with the media settings again and I am now unable to centre multiple images which used to happen with one click… I do wish they would pay attention to the old adage.. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I have not wasted my breath contacting them.. after all they know best.

Anyway on with the posts you might have missed and thank you again for your contribution to keeping me motivated.

William Price King a man and his music

William is on an extended break until September and I will be repeating the popular Tony Bennett Series from 2015.

Horatio Grin.

Reminder that you can receive Fairies the Hidden History by Horation Grin (Paul Andruss) FREE as an Epub or pdf.

The Black Bitch and other Tales by Geoff Cronin

The last in the serialisation of The Black Bitch with Geoff’s last book beginning next weekend.

A shaggy dog story from Geoff about Pavarotti and one his most devoted fans.

Guest Posts

John Maberry shares his experiences with prostate cancer, the symptoms and the treatments.

Julie Lawford shares how positive affirmations can bring huge benefits physically and mentally.

Book Promotions.

I have just released Volume Two of What’s in a Name? in Ebook with the combined print version available in a few weeks.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

New on the Shelves

Air Your Reviews

Smorgasbord Reblog posts.

An important message from D.G. Kaye… Debbie Gies on emotional bullying that can as damaging as any other.

The first of two posts by Paul Andruss on his own site on the history and myths surrounding the skilled craft of weaving.

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

Blogger Daily


Short Stories

Smorgasbord Invitation Entertainment Review – Movie Dunkirk

A new series with reviews for the small and cinema screens.


Thank you for popping in today and for your support during the week.. All of which is very much appreciated.



Smorgasbord Entertainment Review – Film – #Dunkirk – Written and Directed by Christopher Nolan

Not that I have more time on my hands… but with a movie theatre on the doorstep, and with pensioner rates, I do try to go as often as possible. Also, although we do not have any television service we buy films and television series to keep us entertained and I would like to share some of the ones we have enjoyed.

Yesterday we went to see the film Dunkirk written and directed by Christopher Nolan of The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Prestige and Memento etc.

I have heard some first hand stories from my mother who was 23 in 1940 and newly engaged to my father. He was in the North Atlantic serving on a cruiser at the time, but she remembered the aftermath as the exhausted soldiers were trucked back from the coast through their Hampshire village. I believe that there were many mugs of tea and jam sandwiches made and handed out with sympathy that day.

The film has some heavy hitters in the main roles including Mark Rylance (small boat skipper) Tom Hardy (spitfire pilot) Kenneth Branagh (Naval Commander) and Cillian Murphy (army officer). And, with a role that acted as a thread throughout the action, the young Fionn Whitehead, at only 19, held the storyline together exceptionally well.

There is no doubt that the film’s production captured the raw horror and seemingly impossible events of those few days. Hundreds of thousands of British soldiers have arrived at Dunkirk desperate to get out of France. The French army are trying to defend the port but are coming under heavy fire and are beginning to join the British troops on the beach to escape.  Churchill needs as many of these men home as can be rescued; without them his remaining forces will be unable to repel an invasion if Hitler pushed across the channel.

The German army and the Luftwaffe are intent on making sure that these mainly undefended men on the sands of this desolate beach do not get off it. This resulted in strafing runs across the lines of men in and out of the water and the bombing of any vessels including hospital ships. Uboats torpedoed waiting minesweepers and destroyers and the situation looked hopeless.

This is where the 700 small boats came to the rescue captained by men like Mark Rylance (Mr. Dawson) and his son. They could get close enough to the sandy beach to take off dozens of men at a time and deliver them to the larger vessels out at sea.

There are two areas that I feel led to a confusing story line. There are three strands to the plot based on groups of men on the beach and mole (jetty), at sea and in the air.

My first criticism is that the three plots had a different timeline. If I had known that going in.. as you now do... I would not have spent the first 20 minutes wondering why some of the action was in the dark, and some were in broad daylight. Also events happened in one timeline and were then revisited showing them from either the sea or land perspective. It was a clever idea and of course at the end of the film it was all brought together. However, it could have been better edited I believe to make that clear.

My second beef could be put down to an age thing, where everyone under the age of 25 looks the same!  However, Fionn Whitehead, who as I mentioned did an excellent job, was cast alongside what appeared to be four or five look alikes. When some of the action is fast paced, in the dark or underwater, I had trouble keeping up with who was who. If you take a look at their profiles on IMDB.. you will see what I mean. James Bloor, Aneurin Barnard and Damien Bonnard.

There is an exception as I have to say Harry Styles stood out, but that may be because I like One Direction!

This is not to say that the acting was not superb, and certainly I would think Fionn Whitehead has an assured future. The main characters held their own with Tom Hardy as the dogged spitfire pilot and the magnificent Mark Rylance with his calm and compelling delivery.

Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders) plays the part of a shell-shocked army officer demonstrating the impact of this few days on the spirit of even the bravest. (If you have not seen The Wind that Shakes the Barley I do recommend it). Cillian Murphy has been in a number of Christopher Nolan films including The Dark Night Trilogy and Inception.

Overall, I would recommend that you go and see it as a realistic and visually compelling depiction of one of the most decisive events of the Second World War.

It is also a fantastic cast of actors across all the roles who portray the horror of this brutal and merciless onslaught by enemy and the sea. It is fast based, heart stopping at times and fills you with an overwhelming sense of grief and admiration for those hundreds of thousands of young men, who went through this as a reality.

This was rightly a predominantly male cast but it should be noted that female army nurses were aboard ships that were sunk. Also we need to recognise that 200 ships and small boats were sunk with huge loss of life, as well as 1000 Dunkirk residents  who died in the bombings.

Be aware of the time-line going in and you will enjoy more, and also try and find some distinguishing marks for the younger actors so that you can keep track of them as the story unfolds.

I give the film 7.5 out of 10.

You might be interested in this article published in the Express in 2015 which details the events during these few days:

As a child I had a record which was much loved, the audio book of The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico which he wrote in 1946 which tells the story of one of the small ships that went to Dunkirk..I went on to watch the film with Richard Harris and Jenny Agutter and here is the link to both the book in print and Ebook:

I hope you have enjoyed and as always welcome your feedback. thanks Sally

N.B Suzanne of  commented that there were Indian soldiers also present on the beach waiting to be rescued and they were not mentioned in the film.  Here is an article that tells their story.

The film promises to be a 70mm spectacle that, early reviews say, is among Nolan’s best works. What you will probably not see on the silver screen is the little-known tale of the Indian Army troops who were in and around Dunkirk when the historic evacuation was carried out.

The soldiers were part of the first units of the Indian Army to take part in the Second World War. Over the course of the grand war, the Indian Army, which started off with just under 2,00,000 men, grew to more than 2.5 million personnel, becoming the largest volunteer force in history.

The Indian Army’s contributions during the latter part of the World War II are well documented. However, the story of four transport companies of Indian Army that sailed from Mumbai and had to be rescued from the beaches of France has mostly skipped the history books.