Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – April 5th – 11th Easter Parade, Art Deco Roses, Life on the Ocean Wave, #Waterford 1920s.

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

Happy Easter every one.….Not one that we expected to be spending in isolation from the rest of the world when we made our plans for 2020, but it is still a time for family and friends. I know for those who are living on their own, it is far more difficult, especially if separated from children and grandchildren, but we have to recognise that until there is a vaccine and the virus has gone back under whichever rock it crawled out from…. these measures are saving our lives.

We have had our lock down extended to May 7th and hopefully that will be sufficient to decrease the number of infected and deaths. We are very lucky in Ireland in as much as the population is small enough to put restrictions in place and maintain them. I do feel sorry for those who are living in the cities, especially in apartments without access to the outside and it has certainly impacted our position on our next move. That is on hold now indefinitely and we realise that we have everything that we need here, even if it is a little bit too big for the two of us. So we are going to enjoy the renovations inside and in the garden and be grateful that we have the outside to enjoy.

I hope that despite the separation from those you love that you are taking full advantage of the technology and being able to talk face to face. I speak to my two sisters by Skype during the week and they talk to each other everyday too. It does make such a difference seeing someone’s face rather than on the telephone, and if you have not got one of the video applications on your computer or phone here are some links.

Skype Online

Facetime for Apple

Whatsapp video

Anyway… on with the posts from the week.

My thanks as always to regular contributors and guests who provide interesting and entertaining posts for the blog, offering me a chance to enjoy their hard work as well. And also to you for coming by, sharing and for commenting.

The first of the Easter parades this weekend with guests who share photographs from the 1960s through to the 1980s and select a song that brings back memories of that era…such as this one, In My Life by The Beatles.. chosen by Diana Wallace Peach.  I hope you will pop in and leave your links in the comments… thanks Sally.

The first of the Easter Parades with guests Annette Rochelle Aben, Darlene Foster, Toni Pike, D. Wallace Peach and Elizabeth Gauffreau

Guest Writer – Robbie Cheadle – How to make Art Deco Fondant Roses

The first chapter of my father’s memoirs about his time in the Royal Navy

Life on the Ocean Wave by Eric Coleman

The first chapter of my father-in-law’s memoir The Colour of Life published in 2005.

The Colour of Life – Waterford 1920s by Geoff Cronin

Letters from America 1985-1987 – Adventures in the USA – Birthday, New Car, Galverston and Houston Zo

I’ve Had the Time of my Life from Dirty Dancing

Butterfly Cinquain – Springtime

#GreatDanes Joyful Trouble by Patrica Furstenberg

Thriller – Deep Cover by John L. DeBoer

#Childrens Island Spide by Paul Noel

#Fantasy A.J. Alexander, #Family Judith Barrow, #Romance Ritu Bhathal

#Thriller John W. Howell, #Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Thriller Iain Kelly

#Supernatural Mae Clair, #Poetry Balroop Singh, #Children’s Janice Spina

Sunday Sayings – #Differences and Reality TV by Amanda -Something to Ponder About

#Caribbean – Directionally Challenged! by Apple Gidley

Orthodox #Easter Eggs, folktales, symbolism, traditions #culture #history by Patricia Furstenberg


Food Therapy – Brown Rice so much more than just a grain

Tom and Jasper with love

#Family and #Friends – Brotherly Love by Jane Sturgeon

Family and Friends – Chess by Stevie Turner

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

More funnies from D.G. Kaye and a joke or two from Sally.

More seclusion humour from the senior team and some ABBA

Thank you so much for all your support and I hope to see you again next week.. Happy Easter, stay safe and hugs Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Guest Writer – Robbie Cheadle – How to make Art Deco Fondant Roses

Delighted to welcome back Robbie Cheadle as guest today with something both stylish and delicious.

How to make Art Deco Fondant Roses

I found this lovely idea for fondant roses with a difference and thought they looked so stunning, I decided to have a go at making them.

You will need

  • Fondant coloured pale pink. I used watermelon;
  • A black food colouring pen or liquid black food colouring and a thin paintbrush;
  • Toothpick or a ball tool;
  • Edible sugar glue;
  • Rose cutters in three sizes (standard pack).


Mix a quantity of pale pink fondant and place it in a lock zip plastic bag. Take a small quantity and roll it out as thin as possibly. Use a thin layer of corn flour on the surface of the fondant when you roll it out to prevent it from sticking. Cut out rose shapes in the three different sizes.

Use a ball took or toothpick to frill and flute the edges of the three rose shapes. Roll a bud from fondant with a fatter base and narrower tip as per the second picture in the collage above. Use a bit of sugar glue to attach it to the rose shape. Paint a small blob of sugar glue on the bottom part of each petal on both sides and wrap the petals around the bud as per the bottom left hand picture in the above collage. Use a toothpick to separate the petals and create a rose bud shape. Use sugar glue to attach the enlarged bud to the second layer of rose shapes. Wrap the second shape around the enlarged bud as per the bottom right hand picture in the above collage.

Attach the rose to the third shape in the same manner as for the first two layers and place in a piece of silver foil shaped into a cup. Leave overnight to dry. Use a small paintbrush dipped into power pink or watermelon food colouring and smudge it into the centre of the rose as per the upper right-hand picture in the above collage.

Using a black edible ink pen or a thin paintbrush and black food colouring paint, carefully paint the edges of each petal as per the bottom two pictures in the collage above.

Voilà, you have gorgeous art deco roses to decorate a fancy cake.

©Robbie Cheadle 2020

My thanks to Robbie for sharing this wonderful and creative way to elevate a birthday or wedding cake to a whole new level…

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

I have been drawn to the horror and supernatural genres of books all my life. At the age of ten years old I embarked on reading Stephen King’s books including The Shining and Salem’s Lot. These books scared me so much I had to put them aside by 6P.M. in the evening in order to get a good night’s sleep but they also fascinated me. I subsequently worked my way through all of Stephen King’s earlier books as well as those of Dean R. Koontz.

I have read a large number of classics, in particular, I enjoy Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Charles Dickens and the works of the Bronte sisters.

I am hugely interested in the history of the United Kingdom as well as the mythology and tales of the paranormal that are abundant on this intriguing European island.

The latest book in the series Sir Chocolate and the Ice cream Rainbow Fairies story and cookbook by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Sir Chocolate and the icecream rainbow fairies square cover

About the book

Join Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet on a fun adventure to discover why the milkshake rain is pale and white.

Includes five lovely new recipes.

Fantastic fudge balls


Currently the book is available in Ebook: Lulu

And print: TSL Books

The Sir Chocolate Series

Sir Choc banner.

Other books by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

One of the recent reviews for While the Bombs Fell

Miriam Hurdle 5.0 out of 5 stars The hardship and value of a family life during WWII  Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2020

“While the Bombs Fell” by Bobbie Cheadle and Elsie Hancy Eaton is a story based on Eaton’s true experience. While it is not a history book of WWII, it contains many details of the hardships, rations, and simple joy of the family lived through the unpredictable bombing.

Elsie recounted her wartime memories as a four-year-old girl living in the town Bungay, East Anglia, England in 1942. Germany bombed England, and the air raid sirens were part of her “normal” life. When sirens came on, the family rushed to the bomb shelter.

The family lived on the farm with cows and vegetables to help to supplement their rations. Items such as bananas, oranges, and lemons were unknown fruits to Elsie. Families those days kept the books of coupons used to purchase rationed items such as clothing and meat. Despite the freezing cold, Elsie’s family only had enough energy to light the fire in the living room. At nightfall, all the rooms were dark except the living room. The young children took baths, but the adults and older children used the bowl in the scullery to wash themselves. They used the same bowl to mix batters and dough and wash the dishes.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US

And on Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Robbie

Website/Blog Roberta Writes: Roberta Writes
Blog: Robbie’s Inspiration
Website: Robbie Cheadle:
Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books
Twitter: @bakeandwrite

My thanks for dropping in today and I know that Robbie would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 23rd to 29th February 2020 – Clothes made out of Tents – Foods beginning with ‘D’ and Younger than Springtime…am I…

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

Between the weather and the coronavirus epidemic…. and who is going to pay the millions of dollars security bill for Prince Harry and Meghan, the news has not been uplifting this week. However, there is one news network, determined to only share inspiring and motivational stories such as this one.

Eco-Activist Hits Fashion Week Catwalk With Clothing Made Out of Abandoned Tents Collected From Music Festivals

This eco-warrior entrepreneur is making clothes from abandoned tents collected from music festivals—and the line debuted this month on the London Fashion Week catwalk.

24-year-old James Marshall spent last summer scouring campsites and collecting abandoned tents following the Eden Festival in the Scottish Borders and Kendal Calling in the Lake District.

With the help of his friends and family, he amassed around 300 tents which were then turned into trendy bucket hats, bumbags, and jackets by fashion designer Imogen Evans.

Some of James Marshall’s designs at London Fashion Week. SWNS.

Read the rest of this story and discover more good news: Eco Activist makes fashion week clothing out of tents – The Good News Network

On that note… time to get on with the week’s posts, and as always my thanks to guests who make such an amazing contribution to the week.

Carol Taylor A-Z – Dates, Dragon Fruit, Durian and Dirty Rice

Frank Prem shares his twenty year journey to achieve his publishing dream

This week ‘Younger than Springtime’ from South Pacific…

South Pacific – Younger than Springtime and Bali Hai

Two more stories from the collection.

Owen – Face to Face

Patrick – Love in a Time of War

Love Poetry – Walk Away Silver Heart by Frank Prem

 Annika Perry with her review for the wonderful Elisabeth’s Lists by Lulah Ellender.

Book Review Elisabeth’s Lists by Annika Perry

Traffic incident with Marian Longenecker Beaman

Jennie Fitzkee with the wonderful true story of a little girl and her family.

The Story of Romana by Jennie Fitzkee

Author and finance expert Sharon Marchisello shares tips on how to make sure you get the best value for money when travelling.

Foreign Currency with Sharon Marchisello

One Writer’s Journey 1 Star Reviews by Judy Penz Sheluk

Grinders by C.S. Boyack

Magic – Mr. Sagittarius by M.J. Mallon

Poetry – Inner Rumblings by Joyce Murphy

Format Your Picture Book Paperback for Amazon by Jo Robinson

Supernatural Marcia Meara, Romance Teagan Geneviene, Post Apocalyptic Sandra J. Jackson

Poetry Miriam Hurdle, British History Mike Biles, Fantasy Vashti Quiroz Vega

Thriller Mark Bierman, Adventure Audrey Driscoll, Short Stories Anne Goodwin

Angels Jan Sikes, Review Olga Nunez Miret, Mystery Mae clair

Recycling Carol Taylor, Chocolate Eat Dessert First, Poetry Colleen Chesebro

Afghanistan Mary Smith, Legends Andrew Joyce, Patience Geoff Le Pard

Short Story Beetley Pete, Medieval History Nicholas Rossis, Author Promotion Susan Toy

A study into why the immune system of bats has caused such a rapid mutation, better breast screen monitoring and the long term side effects of the Keto diet.

Bats and Coronavirus, Breast Cancer, Keto Diet

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you will join me again next week … thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Guest Writer – Background to a publishing journey. A reflection – Twenty years looks back by Frank Prem

Delighted to welcome back poet Frank Prem with a guest post, and today Frank is sharing his writing journey to the very successful published author he is today.

Background to a publishing journey. A reflection – Twenty years looks back by Frank Prem

I thought I might take a moment to reflect on my book publishing journey, this morning. Appropriate, because it seems to have swallowed all other aspects of my life in a single gulp, just recently.

My first effort at self publishing took place way back around year 2000 – twenty years ago, already! A group of close friends were the first to share my (initially) whispered revelation that I believed myself to be a poet. I was a mere child of 44 years, back at the turn of the century, and revelation of my own secret heart was no small thing.

This was also the period of my discovery of spoken word – poetry readings to a live audience. Initially, I wouldn’t have dreamed of getting up on stage and behind a microphone to read to an audience of declared poets. However, it turned out that there were two poems on printed sheets of paper that somehow found their way into a pocket on that first occasion … and I was hooked.

Very heady times.

It was also a time when I was discovering that, while I could write well and occasionally achieve literary publication, or win a prize, the process for achieving recognition as a poet was fraught, and the prospects for doing well in the pursuit were slender.

I effectively gave up actively pursuing publication, apart from occasional lapses. Instead, I focused on writing and receiving critique (and more writing and more critique).

Enter the Tales of Faust and Frank Faust, the author.

My friends – the keepers of my new revelation – were a resourceful lot, and included graphic designers and web coders and a great deal of enthusiasm for my craft and capabilities. Before I knew it, I had a web page, complete with gothic emblem, built around my nom de plume. The Tales of Faust, by the unknown author, Frank Faust was born.

The first collection to be put into book form was a thing of design beauty and love – The Book of Evenings, published by the Tales of Faust publishing imprint, and under the author title of Frank Faust.


What happened with the first book?

Self publishing, back then, was a thankless task involving individual printing workshops and arcane knowledge as well as massive quantities of books purchased at the wholesale price, in order to achieve an affordable per unit cost. A best selling poet might have sold a thousand copies, perhaps. A little basic mathematics will tell that this was not a profitable pursuit, but there is no profit motive in the pursuit of dreams. We do these things because we have to, not because they are sensible pursuits.

I ended up with many, many, copies of the book that I was not physically or emotionally or motivationally prepared to sell, and I knew one poet at that time, who had loaded five hundred copies of his collection into the back of his car, which he then drove from town to town and place to place in search of opportunities to read to an audience or otherwise persuade a sceptical public that they needed a little poetry in their lives.

A second attempt at publishing.

A few years later, in the late-noughties, my wife Leanne and I had another crack at the caper. We produced two new collections in book form – almost entirely Leanne’s work of organising and laying out and collating, as well as illustrating, the second collection. The two collections were: memoir of a dog (2008), and Small Town Kid (2009) – the first time around for The Kid. Both these were memoirs of my own life, written in my particular style. The author, this time, was Frank Prem, and the publisher imprint was Prem-Murphy Productions (if I recall correctly).

We experienced the same problems as I had the first time around. Dealing directly with printers to guarantee layout, the need to purchase large numbers of books to make the unit cost an affordable one. In addition, I was still not ready to become a self promoter and salesman of my own work. In retrospect, it is very clear that this preparedness and a commitment to the task of self-promotion is a critical ingredient in the equation if any measure of success is to be achieved.

We eventually gave away, and ultimately donated the remaining stock (after several changes of domicile and a minor flood event) to charity. It had became more burden than joy.


By 2018, I had become a reasonably accomplished writer, comfortable within my own style, and writing mainly for the purpose of sharing work on my blog. I had never seen myself as a blogger, but the opportunity to post my poetry where there was a chance of it being read, while remaining in full control was a great joy and rapidly became addictive.

That year I was fortunate to find and to have opportunity to attend the RainForest Writing Retreat  in Queensland, and was exposed to the wonderful possibilities of Indie Publishing, with online retailers ready and willing to take new product, and available Print On Demand (POD) options for book production meaning I could order single unit quantities or complete box-loads of product if I wished, and at my whim. Not to mention production of e-books, which, while a new phenomena to me, had seemingly become the mainstay of a whole new industry.

I came away from that 2018 Retreat determined that now was my time. I merely had a whole new industry and several new crafts to master in order to achieve my goals.

Using contacts I had made at the Retreat, in rapid succession I commissioned assistance with layout and cover creation to put three collections into print within a period of 12 months.

These were: Small Town KidDevil In The Wind  and  The New Asylum

These were all published under my new Wild Arancini Press imprint. Wild Arancini Press is a single author publishing house. Guess who the single author is?

During 2019, fellow Aussie author Cage Dunn and I teamed up to produce Herja Devastation as a collaboration of free verse poetry and prose to tell a whole new kind of story.

Working with Cage made me aware that taking even greater control of the book production process might be possible. Also, that it was a desirable goal.

By late 2019, after a successful physical launch of The New Asylum collection (ie in a public hall, with live guests and readings, rather than as an online event), I was feeling quite wonderful about the state of my own writing world, but producing books is a little like having a fever, and I felt delirious at the prospect of doing more.

More. The fruits of labor.

During 2019, I had undertaken a writing exercise aimed primarily at my Blog audience, in which I revived a long ago project that engaged a number of poets from around the world collaborating in a multi-national creation.

The project involved using three poets/poems from the past and each poet choosing a line to use as inspiration for a new piece of work. The whole was then collated into an interactive form where a reader could take in the original, but also hyperlink on a line to read the new response.

The original poets and their poems were:
• Amy Lowell – Madonna of the Evening Flowers (1919)
• Walt Whitman – Leaves of Grass (1855)
• T.S. Eliot – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915)

For my exercise in 2019, I undertook to write to all the lines from each of the poems. Thus, every line of Amy Lowell’s poem Madonna of the Evening Flowers, resulted in a reactive/responsive poem written by me.

I felt that each of these projects had potential as books in their own and that they would make an interesting experiential/developmental exercise for the complete home publisher that I aspired to become to undertake.

With significant input from Cage Dunn on the ways and means of formatting an e-book, and the sagacity of another Aussie author acflory (Andrea) to guide and troubleshoot the paperback side, as well as some YouTube demonstration of cover formatting (How to create a book cover using Powerpoint . . .), and my wife Leanne’s content editing the following materialised:

• Three covers for three books taken from three photographs that I took myself on a recent visit to Melbourne.
• Three e-books.
• Three paperbacks
• The creation of a trilogy series, identifiable by common/complementary design, linked and sequential content, and theme.

There are many further steps required to complete each collection as a book, including (eternal) content editing and layout, issues associated with listing the book, pricing, distribution, obtaining validation (via reviews and discussion), library listing and more. The achievements I’ve mentioned, however, are enough to show me what can be done, and how it can be done, and that I am able to maintain control over the production of my own work.

How wonderful.

The resultant books and their scheduled release dates, together with links to take you to your preferred Amazon store are as follows:

Walk Away Silver Heart – e-book 14th February 2020, paperback March 14th, 2020 (Amy Lowell) – Read the reviews and buy

A Kiss for the Worthy – e-book April 30th, 2020, paperback May 31st, 2020 (Walt Whitman) – To Pre-Order

Rescue and Redemption – e-book June 30th, 2020, paperback July 31st, 2020 (T.S. Eliot) – To Pre-Order

What’s next?

Well, there are a few things I want to do.

I have done a lot of writing using a photographic image as the point of contemplation that leads to a poem. I want to create some books – e-books, most likely – that showcase that work. I have to learn how to make pictures behave themselves properly, first, but am confident that there is a unique space for this kind of endeavour, and I intend to claim it.

I would also like to revisit memoir of a dog and The Book of Evenings, to bring all the past efforts into contemporary circulation. And . . .

The list goes on. Stay tuned. There will be more – books and workshops and audio and everything that I can think of.

©Frank Prem 2020

Frank Prem recently celebrated his latest release, Walk away silver heart: Poetry inspired by the Amy Lowell poem ‘Madonna of the Evening Flowers’ (A Love Poetry Trilogy Book 1)

About the collection

All day long I have been working
Now I am tired.
I call: “Where are you?”
But there is only the oak tree rustling in the wind . . .
from Madonna of the Evening Flowers

Drawing on the phrasing of the early 20th Century Amy Lowell poem Madonna of the Evening Flowers (above) Frank Prem has produced a collection of personal and interpersonal love poems written, as always, in the unique style that allows every reader to relate.

Prem’s interpretations breathe new life into contemporary love poetry and utilise Lowell’s original phrases to inspire a tender immediacy and warmth of response as in the eponymous poem:

silver heart
I look at you

see myself the way
I should have been

but something pure
was lost
along the way
from walk away (silver heart)

Walk Away Silver Heart is the first of three collections that together comprise A Love Poetry Trilogy, with each revisiting outstanding work by stellar poets of the past to produce vibrant new collections. The second collection, a kiss for the worthy, draws on Walt Whitman’s classic work Leaves of Grass, while the third, rescue and redemption, derives from T.S Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

This is a new kind of poetry that tells stories, draws pictures and elicits emotional responses from readers. Just as the best poetry should.

One of the early reviews for the collection.

Robbie Cheadle  5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary poems which invoke great passion and emotion   Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2020

Frank Prem has an extraordinary way with words and his poems invoke great passion and emotion in the reader. This latest work is inspired by a poem called Madonna of the Evening Flowers by Amy Lowell. The poet has taken each line of this famous poem and used it to inspire his own poem.

The first two poems set the scene for this collection of love poems and particularly the first part of the book which focuses on absence. Many emotions partner with love and one of them is a feeling of loss when our special person or people are not there. This also applies to mothers who feel a great sense of loss when their children start growing up and moving away. Absence is quite integral to love and the air of melancholy that is evident in the first section of these poems results in an intensely emotional reading experience. The later poems move on to cover a wide variety of different emotions and situations.

This collection includes some stunning poems and I loved the poet’s take on the theme of love and the use of a famous love poem as inspiration. I enjoyed the two older poems that were included at the end of the book and was interested to note how the poet’s style of writing has changed and simplified over time. I thoroughly enjoyed all the poems, both the older ones and the recent once.

One of my favourite poems, because it moved me and I dwelled on it for a long while, is too much (to bear). This is a short extract from this poem:
“the hallway seems
a chasm
filled up
with emptiness
I look around
to find you

you’re not there

you are
somewhere away.”

Head over to buy the collection: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK


Read the reviews and buy all the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads: Goodreads

About Frank Prem

I’ve been a storytelling poet for about forty years. Longer in fact, as I remember the first poem I wrote while at secondary school was about 150 – 200 words long and was accepted in lieu of a 500 word essay. I think that may have been the start.

I love to read my work to a live audience, and have audio recorded some recent recordings and popped them on my author page. I have also done some studio- recorded work under the direction and accompaniment of my wife Leanne Murphy that can be listened to there. These poems are on mythological themes and the accompaniment by Leanne makes them a little bit extraordinary.

By profession, I am a psychiatric nurse and have worked across most facets of public psychiatry and the mental health/mental illness spectrum. My experiences and reflections on what I have seen and done are the subject of a forthcoming memoir – scheduled for late 2019, or perhaps more likely, 2020.

I’ve been published in magazines, zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, but for a long time I haven’t sought much publication. The whims of editors are a little too capricious and unknowable, so I have preferred to hone my craft and self-publish on my poetry blogs

Leanne and I reside in the beautiful township of Beechworth in the North-East of Victoria (Australia).

Connect to Frank

Website: Frank Prem
Website Audio: Frank Prem Audio
Seventeen Syllable Poetry: Seventeen Syllable Poetry WordPress
Blog: Frank Prem WordPress
Facebook: Frank Prem Author

My thanks to Frank for sharing his adventures over the last twenty years and it is a lesson in perseverance and creativity… I know that he would love to have your feedback… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 16th – 22nd February 2020

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

It is a windswept Saturday morning although thankfully it has stopped raining. I do feel so sorry for all those affected by the floods in the UK and other countries at the moment. Water is so destructive.

We came home after being away for two weeks at Christmas one year, and opened the door at midnight to find water running down the stairs and the whole house warm and humid, like a tropical greenhouse. Luckily our taxi driver from the airport was a plumber in his day job and he had his tools with him. He and my husband went into the attic and found that a hot water pipe had a one inch long rupture and had been pumping water out since a freeze within days of us going on holiday. We had left the heating to come on twice a day but it had not been sufficient to stop the pipe bursting.

Three ceilings had come down, all the wallpaper had peeled the walls and we lost around 700 books. I do tapestry and 8 large ones were steamed up beneath the glass of the frames, along with posters and prints,and all had to be dried out and re-framed over several weeks. We lost family photographs and clothing which was already covered in mildew. They wanted us to move into a hotel whilst humidifiers dried out the house, but we knew that opened the house up to being broken into.

All the walls were stripped back to the plaster and after 8 weeks three decorators came in and spent another 6 weeks repairing the damage. We managed to salvage some of the carpets but overall we lost so many items of sentimental including the books, most of which we had been collecting for 30 years. Whilst the insurance paid for replacements, those items that meant the most of us were gone forever.

We were lucky that we managed to salvage as much as we did and repair the damage, but so many over the last few weeks will not not necessarily have that outcome and have lost everything they own. Tragically there has also been loss of life as a result of the weather, and whilst material items and houses can be replaced, a life is the most precious and irreplaceable of them all.

Hopefully this wave of storm fronts will die away and we can look forward to a spring and summer that is less turbulent.

Time to get on with the posts from the week, and as always my thanks to contributors and guests for their wonderful posts… And to you for dropping by and supporting us all.

William Price King with John McLaughlin English Guitarist and Band Leader

Three more stories from this collection. ( I had a senior moment and posted two by mistake on Saturday)

Lily The Collector

Martha The System Administrator

Norman an Old Soldier

We have a lovely image this week, selected by Ritu Bhathal as the prompt for Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 165 – Photoprompt

Shadorma – A Beacon by Sally Cronin

Psychological thriller – Warning Signs by Carol Balawyder

Over the last six weeks I have shared the nutrients we need to be healthy and their main food sources. This week I am pulling that all together to provide you with a one sheet shopping list. You just need to cut and paste into word and print off.

All the nutrients the body needs in one weekly grocery shopping list

This is the first post by author Annika Perry and I am sure as you read, memories of your own from your childhood and teenage years will resurface and be enjoyed…

Memories I Remember by Annika Perry

10 Step Plan to promote your boo by Scott Hughes reviewed by Barbara Ann Mojica

Little House on the Prairie, to Geography, to Maps, to Mount Rushmore, to History… And More by Jennie Fitzkee

How Long Does it Take to Write a Novel by Janet Gogerty

Writing Blogs about Writing by Stevie Turner

Love Poetry – Walk Away Silver Heart by Frank Prem

Dystopian The Colony Series Book One: Subject 36 by Teri Polen

Holly & Abby Series Book 4 – The Hidden Stairway by Janice Spina

Thriller, Death on the Move Book 3 by Colin Guest

Childrens Nicholas C. Rossis, Blogging Anne R. Allen, Scifi Jack Eason

YAParanormal Karen Demers Dowdall, Relationships Alex Craigie, Crime Reference Sue Coletta

Fantasy Julia Benally, Romance Linda Bradley, Mystery Lizzie Chantree

Interview Norah Colvin, Writing Eloise de Sousa, Horror Sue Vincent

Funnies Story Reading Ape, Short Story Beetley Pete, Recipe Richard Dee

History with John W. Howell, Booktour Charli Mills with MJ Mallon, Author Spotlight James Cudney with Sandra J. Jackson

Writing Scams Anne R. Allen, Afghanistan Mary Smith, Family Pete Springer

Chai and a Chat Ritu Bhathal, Oxford Mike Biles, Composting Brigid Gallagher

Debby Gies with some new finds and new material from Sally

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

Thank you very much for dropping in and look forward to seeing you again next week… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 9th to 15th February 2020 – Food, Music, Guest, New book releases, Book Reviews and Laughter.

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

I hope that those of you who celebrated Valentine’s Day had a wonderful time… we always enjoy even after 40 years, but this year we managed to both buy the same card for each other which we had a good laugh about… luckily there were a few others that were anonymous to make up for it!!

It was my 67th birthday on Thursday and rather than go out for a meal we decided to indulge in pizzas and ice cream. We don’t give birthday gifts anymore since I have more clothes, handbags and shoes than a department store, don’t have occasion to wear bling very much, and don’t need something else to dust. The most precious gift to me is that we are still going strong and able to eat pizza and laugh.  But I did have a few friends over for tea… virtually.

A wild and windy couple of weeks with the odd day of sunshine as one storm front drives through after another. We are not as badly off as many, especially those who live on the wild Atlantic coastline in the west of Ireland. Nor do we get the snowfalls that those in Britain can expect. And there are a number of storms brewing of a different kind around the world from more floods in Australia to the increasing momentum of the coronavirus.

Whilst naturally are very concerned about catching the virus there is already a fallout that is impacting millions. The travel industry is going to be badly affected as will the tourist industries of many countries around the world as airlines stop services in and out of China and people decide not to fly unless absolutely necessary.

I was looking at the images of the normally very busy Chinatown in the heart of London where we have spent many a lovely evening sampling crispy duck and dim sum. Completely deserted with businesses seriously threatened and the jobs of thousands at risk. Unfortunately it is not just businesses that are threatened but also individuals who are being targeted for the ethnicity.

We have little option but to wait it out and hope that the measures being put in place will turn the tide. Personally I will not be flying in the next few months, especially into major airports. I normally avoid crowded events and places anyway with shopping done early in the morning.

For the elderly, the young and those with a compromised immune system the dangers are very real and it is important to make sure that they are isolated as much as possible from infection. Tough to do but frequent hand washing does help and when my mother was alive she was disappointed that hugging and kissing were banned!

Even though I am a strong advocate for natural therapies, there is no magic potion that can protect you completely. I do use tea tree lotion with a touch of silver on my hands and I am making sure I am getting plenty of vitamin C and D in my diet. Getting out in the fresh air on a daily basis is also a good idea as our centrally heated homes are very attractive to both bacteria and virus opportunists.

I hope by the time I share next week’s round up there will be better news…

Now time for the posts from the week and as always my thanks to contributors and guests for their amazing posts.

The Letter C – Calabash, Cajun, Curry, Cloud Eggs, Chilli and Calamari

Editor Sarah Calfee with a step by step guide to creating the perfect romance plot

Guest Writer Editor Sarah Calfee – The Romance Plot Sequence

The Wind Beneath My Wings from Beaches

Another two stories from the collection

Jane – The Surprise

Kenneth – A Love of Life

This week on  Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 164 the prompts were very appropriate,’Love and Harmony’….. I have selected the synonyms ‘Passion and Rapport’

Etheree – Two Hearts

Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Six – Essential Fatty Acids

Trouble at Clenchers Mill by Diana J. Febry

Trillium by Margaret Lindsay Holton

Scifi Richard Dee, Romance Ritu Bhathal, Thriller Stevie Turner

Short Stories Karen Ingalls, Thriller Terry Tyler, Fantasy C.S. Boyack, Memoir D.G. Kaye

Afghanistan Patricia Furstenberg, Fantasy Kevin Cooper, Midlife Romance Sally Cronin


Reality informs Fiction – Trails in the Sand by P.C. Zick

FDR Barbara Ann Mojica meets Author Bret Baier

Haiku Dogs Released by Denis Young


Mystery Wish You Were Here by Janet Gogerty

Poetry – Who’s Worse by Stevie Turner

Interview Jill Weatherholt and John Howell, Delta Pearl Teagan Genviene, Roti Kool Kosher Kitchen

Valentine’s Day Amanda Cade, Valentine’s Dinner Carol Taylor, Mistaken Identity Anne R. Allen

Reading Robbie Cheadle, Books Teri Polen, Children’s books Jennie Fitzkee

Afghanistan Mary Smith, New Book Teagan Geneviene, Author Promotion Susan M. Toy

D. G. Kaye and her Guest Ann Patras

D.G. Kaye and her guest Ann Patras

Thank you for dropping in during the week and your support is very much appreciated.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 26th January to 1st February 2020 – West Side Story, A-Z of Food, Guests, Funny moments and Books Galore

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

An historic week for the UK when finally Brexit happened last night at 11 p.m. I was 20 years old when we joined the Common Market 47 years ago and it seemed like a great idea at the time. Trade between the partners without tariffs and joint projects and co-operation across borders, which made sense in the aftermath of the Cold War and an extended period of peace in Europe.

Unfortunately (in my opinion), like most well-intentioned projects, this went off the rails once it became a European United States with far more members than originally, many of whom who were not financially stable. Primarily in response to the power of the United States and Russia, but also to open the door to controlling  many aspects of our daily lives as possible. Some of which were excellent and aimed at improving our health, welfare and safety. But, very soon we had a huge governmental oversight in Brussels, costing billions a year, and the committees that were set up no longer looked at the bigger picture of our daily lives, but the minutiae.

Suddenly we are sitting in near darkness due to rules on light bulbs, unable to buy decent vacuum cleaners that actually sucked up the fluff on your carpet, and were forced to buy regulation size and shape vegetables! Sounds trivial, but for many people this was an intrusion too far.

It was this heavy handed oversight across every aspect of lives from the justice system to the shape of our vegetables in Britain that persuaded the population to vote for Brexit. And for a change the will of the people has actually been complied with.

And now the hard work begins to ensure that on major issues such as cross border co-operation on terrorism and crime continue. Also to agree trade deals with the EU member states and with the rest of the world, as part of the broader WTO (World Trade Organisation).

It sounds a bit like a Common Market to me………

For me as a British citizen living in Southern Ireland, things will not change noticeably as there is a reciprocal agreement signed between the UK and the republic on most issues, including health care and travel.

There will be a honeymoon period of 11 months whilst issues are ironed out. Hopefully with billions of euros being spent by British holidaymakers all over Europe, and their love of French cheeses, German Beer, Spanish Rioja, Italian Prosecco, Dutch tulips and Irish Guinness, there will peace and harmony….

Anyway.. on a less serious note…. here are the posts from the week.

As always I am so grateful to the contributors and guests who provide such wonderful content, and to you for dropping in and supporting us.

This week Carol Taylor works though some of the foods, cooking methods and kitchen equipment beginning with the letter B.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – Baking Soda, Bananas, Broccoli, Butterflying food and cooking with a Bain Marie

Maria from West Side Story

Two more stories from the collection.

Hector The Homecoming

Ifan and the Black Sheep

The circle of life Etheree Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 162 – Theme Prompt

Etheree – The Circle of Life

Little Tea by Claire Fullerton on Pre-Order and my advance review

My review for The Shirt by Richard Dee

Pete Springer shares more funny school moments and an extract from They Call Me Mom.

Delighted to share a brand new feature which is a collaboration between Kaye Lynne Booth of Writing to be Read and Robbie Cheadle. I was very honoured to be the first guest of the series and it was wonderful to be invited to share pieces of my favourite poetry.

thumbnail_Treasuring Poetry

Treasuring Poetry with Robbie Cheadle and Kaye Lynne Booth

D.Wallace Peach with another short story…. a bewitching tale I know you will love.

Short Story – Sign by D.Wallace Peach

Liz Gauffreau with a moving short story that I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did

Liz Gauffreau short story. The Ides of September

Richard Dee with some thoughts on how to deal with your story’s characters when they do want to come out to play.

Communication Breakdown when your Characters Refuse to Play by Richard Dee

Jane Risdon shares her experience of the generosity of our writing community…

We all need help and advice – Paying it Forward by Jane Risdon

Jan Sikes shares her top ten books that she read in 2019.. great recommendations.

Jan Sikes Top Ten Book List for 2019

Thriller – Vanished by Mark Bierman

Paranormal S.A. Harris, Thriller Carol Balawyder, Romance Jacquie Biggar

Memoir D.G. Kaye, Paranormal Roberta Eaton Cheadle, Family James J. Cudney

Poetry Balroop Singh, Children Janice Spina, Poetry Bette A. Stevens

Writer links D.G. Kaye, Funnies The Story Reading Ape, Photography Cindy Knoke

Photos Jennie Fitzkee, Recycling Carol Taylor, Reviews Annika Perry

Author Promotion Susan M. Toy, Poetry Challenge Colleen M. Chesebro, Community John W. Howell

Delta Pearl Teagan Geneviene, Virus Outbreak Jane Gogerty, Review film 1917 Geoff Le Pard

Justice Pete Springer, WATWB D.G. Kaye, Grief When Women Inspire

Minerals the body needs and the foods you should add to your shopping list.

Part four of the shopping list by nutrient Phosphorus to Zinc

Comedian in Residence D.G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed…look forward to seeing you again next week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Post – More Funny School Moments by Pete Springer

Delighted to welcome back Pete Springer with an excerpt from his book They Call Me Mom. A humorous look at the excuses that are provided by students.. sometimes with the collusion of their parents!

At times, kids create humor without intending to. I wish that I had a dollar for every time that I was called “Mom” by one of my students. That is something that happened every year, especially with the younger children. It was always said unintentionally. Most times, the student would sheepishly laugh, realizing it sounded funny to be calling the teacher, “Mom.”

Instead of being somehow offended, I took this as a wonderful compliment. The idea that a teacher was like a mom to a child was a very nice comparison, even if said by accident.

However, I could not account for why they called me “Mom” more than they called me “Dad.” I’ll leave it to someone else to figure that one out. I was even called “Grandma” by one of my students. (I was about thirty-years-old at the time.) I remember telling my student in a joking manner, “If I look like your grandma, then one of us (Grandma or me) has a problem.”

Then there were the most memorable excuses that my 5th and 6th-grade students gave me for not having their homework:

#5 “Somebody broke into my dad’s car last night and stole my backpack.” (Math papers are a hot item with thieves these days.)

#4 “My mom forgot to make me do it.” (She’s been falling down on the job lately.)

#3 “My parents made me go to the movies with them, so I didn’t have time.” (Why didn’t they make me? I would have liked a night off too.)

#2 “My parents don’t allow us to do homework on ‘Family Game Night.’” (Good to know that they’ve got their priorities in order.)

#1 “I thought you were kidding.” (Yes, this sounds exactly like the kind of thing I’d joke about.)

©Pete Springer

About Pete Springer

My name is Pete Springer. I taught elementary school for thirty-one years (grades 2-6) at Pine Hill School in Eureka, CA. Even though I retired over two years ago, my passion will always lie with supporting education, kids, and teachers.

When I came out of the teaching program many years ago, I realized how unprepared I was for what was in store for me in the classroom. My college education focused mostly on learning theory rather than the practical day-to-day challenges that all teachers face. Thankfully, I had some great mentors to lean on to help support me in the early part of my career.

I have made it my mission to pay it forward to the next generation of teachers. I was a master teacher to four student teachers, and I have several former students who are now teachers, including one who teaches at my former elementary school. That is pretty cool!

About the book

Who Will You Inspire Today? Teachers face this challenge and responsibility each day, but in the process, the author discovers that his students can also have a profound influence on him. Pete Springer takes you on his memorable thirty-one-year journey in education as an elementary school teacher and offers the many valuable life and teaching lessons he learned along the way. Get ready to laugh out loud at some of the humorous and memorable experiences that all teachers face, feel inspired by the inherent goodness of children, and appreciate the importance of developing a sense of teamwork among the staff.

Learn valuable tips for working with children, parents, fellow staff members, and administrators. This book is ideal for young teachers, but also a reminder to all educators of the importance and responsibility of being a role model. This book is a must-read for all new teachers and those teachers that need a reminder they are human! Mr. Springer educates others in his easy-to-read, story-like, first-hand manuscript. You will laugh, cry, and get motivated to be the best educator you can. After reading this, I have a better outlook on relationships with my colleagues and am reminded to savor every moment. -Tami Beall (Principal, Pine Hill School)

One of the recent reviews for the book

“They Call Me Mom,” by Pete Springer is a real gem! Don’t be fooled by its easy readability; this book is jam-packed with powerful advice. What makes “They call Me Mom” so special? First, Pete Springer’s passion for teaching lights up the entire book. His core values are clearly articulated. But the real treasures in this book are revealed through thoughtful, funny, and honest anecdotes from his 30 year career.

Springer’s book is divided into the main issues faced by both new or experienced teachers: how to organize your class, work effectively with students and their families, and work collaboratively with colleagues. The chapters on frustrations and humorous events are yummy icing on the cake.

Pete Springer is not just a great teacher, he’s a natural writer. “They Call Me Mom” would make a perfect Christmas present for your teacher friends (or your kiddo’s teachers)! His blog is also a great read, with news about his successful efforts to publish, volunteer, and support educators. He tells some powerfully encouraging stories of the many reasons to be grateful in the midst of difficult circumstances.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Connect to Pete

Website: Pete Springer WordPress
Facebook: Pete Springer
Twitter: @OfficerWoof

Thanks for dropping in today and my thanks to Pete for sharing this side to his role as a teacher…which had its funny side at times. Sally