Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – 26th September – October 2nd 2022 – Hits 2004, Bocelli, Culinary ‘H’ foods, Basking Sharks, Podcast, Reviews, Health and Humour


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

I know this week has been very difficult for many of you living in the US and in the path of the hurricane weather. I do hope that you are safe and that you didn’t suffer any damage to your homes. You have been in our thoughts.

Nothing much to report on the home front as we carry on getting the small jobs in the house completed and get the garden ready for the autumn. We are keeping an eye on the house selling market and if necessary we may hold off until the spring. Once you get into November and Christmas (sorry to use that word so early) house sales do tail off. We are not in a rush and may well wait until spring when it picks up again. However, at least we will be ready should the opportunity present itself and we will keep an open mind.

Contributor News this week.

William Price King joined me for The Breakfast Show for the second part of chart hits from 2004 and the second post in the series on Andrea Bocelli You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ will be here tomorrow morning with her first post in her Spiritual Awareness series on Angels… and over on her own blog you will find her less than successful attempt to switch internet providers with some lessons we can all learn from. Also links to two visits she made to Resa and Judith Barrow with a nostalgic look at a famous landmark in Toronto and photographic memories. Follow the link to Debby’s posts D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor was here on Wednesday with her  A-Z of food with the letter ‘H’… on her own blog a welcome to October and what is coming up in the month…Monday Musings, a lovely recipe for Mushroom Lasagne, a post on the frightening and appalling statistics on food waste, more of the lovely fragrant leaves we can use in our cooking and Saturday Snippets where the prompt word was ‘Rain‘ -Head over to enjoy CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 25th September -1st October 2022

Thank you too for all your visits, comments and shares during the week. As always very much appreciated…♥

 

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 2004 Part Two – Dido, No Doubt, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears

William Price King meets the Music Legends – #Classical – Andrea Bocelli – Pavarotti, Celine Dion, Awards 1990s

‘H’ is for Honey, Hamburgers, Hummus, Herbs, Haggis and Hoisin Sauce

#Ireland #Waterford 1950s – The Sea Angler’s Club by Geoff Cronin

#Ireland #Waterford 1950s – Achill Island and Keem Bay Shark by Geoff Cronin

Podcast – #Poetry and #Flash – Cats at Play and My Mouse by Sally Cronin

Ancient Healing Therapies – #Tai Chi – Non-Combative Chinese Martial Art by Sally Cronin

Size Matters: The Sequel – #Morbid Obesity – Putting your Healthy Eating Plan together Part One #Measurements #Motivation by Sally Cronin

#Malaya #1950s – The Girl Who Taught Herself to Fly by Kwan Kew Lai

Book Reviews – September 2022 – #Poetry #Prose Lauren Scott, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Biography #Humour John Cornelius Rogers and Sue Bavey

New Book on the Shelves – #Contemporary #Romance – Falling by Stevie Turner

How To Prevent Leishmaniasis In Your Dog When Travelling In Europe by Jacqueline Lambert

#Pethealth – Pets Eat Grass – Why? by Nikki Frie

A Valentine Gift by Gwen Plano

#Children #Reading by Sue Wickstead

#History – Pump Organs by Joy Neal Kidney

Best Medicine 2022 – Host Malcolm Allen – WFH and Bagpipes

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Family Photos and Ramblings

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Podcast – #Poetry and #Flash – Cats at Play and My Mouse by Sally Cronin


Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some syllabic poetry and 99 word flash fiction from my collection Life’s Rich Tapesty…woven in words

Cats at Play and My Mouse

 

Cats at play.
Cats
play games
with their prey
when pounced upon.
Do we understand
why they try to delay
that final moment of death?
Could it be that they feel remorse
at the taking of this mouse’s life?
Or is it in their nature to be cruel?

My Mouse

I am extremely attached to my mouse, small and demanding at times, but I need a muse that is easy to maintain, and doesn’t demand three walks a day and half my dinner. It sits quietly by my side, observing my every move, and eager to be handled at every opportunity. I have owned several mice in my lifetime, but this one has a special place in my heart, as it has supported me thorough my latest book and editing process. But it is showing signs of burn out. Perhaps it will perk up if I change its battery.

©Sally Cronin 2022

One of the reviews for Life’s Rich Tapesty: Woven in Words

Jane Sturgeon

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 April 2020

Sally Cronin is a natural storyteller and this book is a wonderful collection of verse, micro fiction and short stories. Her breadth of life experience and wisdom show in her words and the writing style draws the reader in.

Sally’s verses cover everything from life, past times, emotions, our furry companions and nature. ‘Romance’ had me scrolling back to re-read her words and ‘Rejection’ & ‘Betrayal’ struck heart chords long buried. I found enchantment and magic in her fairy verse and in the shapes of the words and poems on the page.

Her micro fiction ‘Broken’ raised a smile and ‘Musical Interlude’ moved me to tears. A potion from The Witch’s Handbook will have you laughing and many of us will find ourselves in that one!

None who read this book will forget Jimmy or the Elephants, yet my favourite story is ‘Great Aunt Georgina’. There is so much packed into this short story and it is one that will stay with you.

In reading this collection, I feel you will want to meet Sally and sit at her kitchen table, hearing her stories and feeling her warm wisdom. I hold hope that she will share with us again in this way, as it is a loving showcase for her gifts.

Thank you for listening and if you would like to know more about my books and their reviews you can find them on my books page Sally’s Books and Reviews 2022

 

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Milestones Along the Way – #Ireland #Waterford 1950s – Achill Island and Keem Bay Shark by Geoff Cronin


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

The Keem Bay Shark

Visiting Achill Island some years ago, my wife and I parked near the first obvious beach to be seen. It was our first visit to the island and as the day was nice and sunny, we enjoyed the beach for a couple of hours. It had been a long drive from the east coast and we savoured the rest. Presently we retired to the local hostelry and had a leisurely meal, which was excellent. Later, we toured the island and saw the remains of the village deserted since mass emigration during the famine, and we booked into a local B&B. By this time it was near ten o’clock in the evening, and families were still out on the beach and we thought this a bit odd. Of course we had completely overlooked the fact that in Achill, being on the most westerly part of the country, there was an extra forty minutes of daylight.

We had heard that Amethysts were to be found on the island and there were some large specimens displayed in the windows of guesthouses along the road, so we decided that since there was some daylight left, we would do a quick search in some promising sites. Our gem hunting was brought to a close at dusk when clouds of midges descended on us and we had to beat a hasty retreat. However, we did find two small specimens and I have them at home to this day.

On our way to our place of rest, we dropped into the local hotel for a nightcap. Very few people were there and it was now eleven o’clock, but gradually it began to fill and by eleven forty-five the place was packed and a singsong had started. I remembered that Achill was classified as a depressed area and as such it was granted an extra hour by the licensing authorities, which meant that the pub was open until twelve thirty. Well, the singsong had gathered momentum, and there was no shortage of talent and a right royal party was going on when I looked at my watch and it said one fifteen! I made my way to the bar and spotted the landlady. I pointed to my watch and said “What are the chances of a police raid at this hour?”

She smiled indulgently and said, “Ah no sir, they wouldn’t raid us unless a row broke out and that’s very unlikely.”

Anxious for reassurance, I asked why would the police not raid the place and again she smiled and said, “It’s a long winter, sir!” I was puzzled by this answer and decided to check with one of the locals, who told me that this was the only pub on that side of the island, and if the police wanted a place to get a drink in the small hours of night duty, then a cordial relationship with the local hostelry was essential – ’nuff said!

***

Keem Bay, Achill Island.

Many years later I visited Achill again in the company of two friends, one of them an American named David who had never seen anything like Achill Island. On arrival we drove through the village and on up a long hill which culminated in a car park overlooking Keem Bay, one of the island’s showpieces. From the car park there was a drop of some 500 feet to the small beach, and there were two small boats fishing in the narrow mouth of the bay. Well, the day was warm and the bay was inviting, so we decided that a swim was in order and we made our way down to the small cove below. On the way down, I noticed a man on top of the hill which enclosed one side of the bay, and he was scanning the sea below, for what, I did not know! Now the water here is not just cold, it’s very very cold and it took us a while to get in, as this was the Atlantic!

Eventually, we were in and swimming about, when the man on the hill was shouting to the boatmen, and gesticulating wildly. Whereupon the two boats made for the shore and were disembarking as we emerged from our swim.

We approached the fishermen to inquire what all the fuss was about and they told us that a shark had entered the bay, and usually when that happened, they would drop a strong net across the mouth of the bay and then they would harpoon the shark when they got him in shallow water.

“So, where exactly was the shark?” asked David, and the man said “I’ll show ye now, d’ye see the way there’s three waves comin’ onto the shore? Well, you were swimmin’ in the second wave, and the shark was lying behind the third wave.”

David’s face turned ashen. “How big was he?” he asked.

“About thirty foot”, came the reply, “but ’tis alright ’cos he’s gone off now and we missed him. Of course” he said, “unless you got a swipe of his tail and then you could end up with a short leg!”

Then I asked what would they do with the shark if they caught him. “Cut him open and take out his liver, and then dump him out in the deep.”

“But”, I said, “it could hardly be worth killing such a magnificent animal just for his liver!”

“Well, you see sir”, he explained, “that shark’s liver would weigh up to 2,500 lbs and there’s a big demand for it ’cos they can extract the oil from it and that’s why its valuable.”

As a result of this encounter David decided he would not swim in Keen Bay again, and we all agreed.

***

Note: The average basking shark can weigh between 4.5 and 5.2 metric tons and its liver can be up to 25% of its body mass. The average liver therefore can weigh between 2,500 and 3,000 lbs!

Basking sharks are frequently seen off the west coast of Ireland as they follow the plankton in the Gulf Stream. Keem bay had a booming shark business in the 1950s and records show that at that time over 1,000 sharks a year were being caught.

2020 today under EU regulations Basking Sharks are protected and tourists now visit Achill Island to catch sight of these magnificent creatures.

©Geoff Cronin 2008

Geoff Cronin 1923 – 2017

About Geoff Cronin

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

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

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

I hope you have enjoyed Geoff’s stories and as always your feedback would be most welcome – Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 19th – 25th September 2022 – Hits 2004, Andrea Bocelli, Spiritual Awareness, Waterford Stories, Book reviews, Podcast, Health and Humour


Welcome to the posts from the week here on Smorgasbord that you might have missed.

Not a great deal to report this week on the home front. We have some areas that we think would benefit from some more work and that is okay. To be honest if we slip to the end of October we might consider waiting until the spring as a more appropriate time to sell. We are in no rush and the garden would look better then too. We shall see what happens. In the meantime plenty to be getting on with.

The weather is definitely on the turn but still some nice days and I have quite a bit of online work to catch up on anyway.

I am going to be working on my own WIP or two over the next few weeks as well as things around the house, so I have scheduled ahead. I will be in and out obviously to catch up with comments and your blogs.

Contributor News this week.

William Price King joined me for The Breakfast Show for the first part of chart hits from 2004 and the first in the new series on Andrea Bocelli You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ was here on Monday with her next post in her Spiritual Awareness series… and over on her own blog you will find her introduction to her new podcast Grief Talk, a wonderful Q&A with Alex Craigie and her Sunday Book Review for Falling by Stevie Turner. Follow the link to Debby’s posts D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor will be here on Wednesday with her  A-Z of food with the letter ‘H’… on her own blog Monday Musings, Homemade Chicken Curry with Bamboo, the Cuisine of Estonia, more aromatic leaves with the Maple and Saturday Snippets where the prompt was Curve. Head over to enjoy Carol’s Weekly Round Up

Thank you too for all your visits, comments and shares during the week. As always very much appreciated…♥

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 2004 Part One – Hoobastank, Maroon 5, Keith Urban. Alicia Keys

 

William Price King meets the Music Legends – #Classical – Andrea Bocelli – The Early Years

Spiritual Awareness – How Do You Know If You Are An Empath – The Signs by D.G. Kaye

Podcast – #Poetry and #Flash – A Dog’s Life and Runaway by Sally Cronin

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

Milestones Along the Way – #Ireland #Waterford 1950s The Saga of Selby by Geoff Cronin

Size Matters: The Sequel – #Morbid Obesity – Delicious foods you can eat on a healthy #weightloss programme by Sally Cronin

Ancient Healing Therapies – Reflexology by Sally Cronin

#Biography – #Poetry – #Life – Daydreams and Narcoleptic Nightmares: Memoirs and Poems by John Cornelius Rogers

#WednesdayWonders – Lapis Lazuli by Jan Sikes

#Family – Memories in Photographs by Darlene Foster

#Nostalgia #Writing by Elizabeth Gauffreau

#Children’s – #New – #Playtime – David’s Bathtime Adventure by Sue Wickstead

#Comingofage #Fantasy – The Evil You Choose: Dreamer’s Alliance – Book 2 by Dan Antion

#Occult #Ghosts The Haunting of Chatham Hollow by Mae Clair and Staci Troilo

– Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – #Court and #Caught

Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Energy and Candle Power

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week.. Sally

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Biography – #Poetry – #Life – Daydreams and Narcoleptic Nightmares: Memoirs and Poems by John Cornelius Rogers


Delighted to share my review for the recently published biography by Sue. Bavey – a collection of stories, both fact and fiction and poetry written by her father – Daydreams and Narcoleptic Nightmares: Memoirs and Poems by John Cornelius Rogers. Having read and enjoyed the biography of her grandfather Lucky Jack I knew I would be in for a treat.

About the book

Imaginary snakes, Ouija board experiments, World War II and Nursing Home Sex Scandals.

John Cornelius Rogers, a narcoleptic war veteran, experienced emotions so strong they made him collapse. You would, too, if you discovered sex scandals in nursing homes, saw snakes come out of the wall while you were eating dinner, and uncovered a murder using a makeshift ouija board. Join John in the journey through his prose and poetry, silly and sad…

15% of the profits from sales of this book will be donated to the charity Narcolepsy UK.

“So enjoyed it including the poetry. A 5* from me.” – Judith Benson

“Rogers writes in a very engaging manner, witty, thoughtful and taut. I laughed out loud in several places, very keen eye for the absurd!” – Sally Beety

My review for the book 24th September 2022

This is a brilliant collection of stories and poems by John Cornelius Rogers, compiled and edited by his daughter Sue Bavey.

I felt I was sitting beside John as he shared stories from his childhood growing up in Sussex and then Lincoln in the 1920s. His memories are vivid and I laughed out loud at so many wry observations and would loved to have been around at the time, including when the family’s first car arrived.

The war brought enlistment in the Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve where John was introduced to navigation, armaments, engineering and morse code before proceeding to flight training school. After war there was a posting to one of the worst hit cities Hamburg for a year which made for sombre reading, and left him with a feeling of sickening sadness at the devastation and loss of life.

John then went on to train as a teacher and taught in a school where classes had 49 non-reading 8 year olds undisciplined after the war years and determined not to be educated. A traumatic experience for all concerned.

In contrast, having been billeted in Scarborough during training, it was followed up by an eventful holiday in Scarborough with his wife and young daughter which came with some colourful nightlife! This story and many others were filled with such wonderful humour and it is hard to pick one out to highlight, but “Alfred – Not So Great” is brilliant.

We are also introduced to the two conditions that resulted in challenges in everyday life Narcolepsy and Cataplexy and it is inspiring that despite those challenges John still maintained his wonderful sense of humour and love of life.

Poetry is included between the stories but part two of the collection is dedicated to this form with observations on life and more humour including “An Unusual Talent”

If you mix with the poor, or the privileged elite
whether you travel the world or stay in your street,
The most unlikely attribute you ever will meet
is the gift of Les Blain and his musical feet.

I highly recommend this wonderful collection of poignant and entertaining reflections on a life well lived and on the social history of the 20th century.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon UKAnd: Amazon US

Also by S. Bavey and anthologies she has contributed to.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads Website: Sue Bavey WordPress – Facebook: Sue BaveyTwitter: @SueBavey

About S. Bavey

Sue Bavey (writing as S. Bavey) is an English Mum of two, living in Massachusetts since 2003 with her husband, kids, a cat named Midnight, a bunny named Nutmeg, a leopard gecko named Ziggy Stardust and occasional frogs and salamanders.

“Lucky Jack is the first book I have written and is my grandfather, Henry John Rogers’ biography. Grandad lived with us when I was born, until we moved when I was six years old. Then he came back to live with us in my teenage years and we were very close.

He was my father’s father, but my Mum diligently collected the newspaper columns he dictated to a local reporter, and kept them in scrapbooks in her attic, where they gathered dust and yellowed over time. A few years ago I moved my Mum into an apartment and found all the scrapbooks in the process. I wanted to get all of those stories into a book for my kids to read. That was the germ of an idea which – thanks to my having time during Covid lockdown – has now resulted in the life story of my grandfather, Jack Rogers being written.”

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you will be leaving with some books… Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022- ‘Lucky Dip – #Nostalgia #Writing by Elizabeth Gauffreau


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’. I have posts scheduled for another few weeks but that will bring this current series to an end. Another series will begin in the new year.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the half of 2022

Today author and poet Elizabeth Gauffreau takes us back to her teen years and a treasured newspaper clipping and her first byline…..

Juvenilia: “They Felt Like Clapping Hands & Jumping Up & Down” 

My First Published Byline

Apparently, this was my first published byline, which appeared in the Enosburg Standard somewhere around 1967-68. I’m the dejected chubby girl in full Girl Scout regalia in the back row.

Worth Preserving?

I’ve often wondered as I consider cleaning out an overstuffed closet whether one’s juvenilia is an important enough record of a writer’s development to preserve. In my own case, common sense would say no, of course not, don’t be silly.

Yet, I refuse to part with any of it, even though these painfully immature little poems and stories tucked into the folders and boxes that clutter my daily existence are of absolutely no use to me and certainly of no use to posterity.

Regardless, this little article from the Enosburg Standard is worth preserving because it tells me how much I was loved as a child, even a chubby and dejected prepubescent child. My mother had clipped the article and mailed it to my grandmother Velma, who saved it with her papers, leaving it behind when she died in 1975. “They Felt Like Clapping Hands & Jumping Up & Down” came full circle back to me in 2016, when as the eldest of the current generation, I became the keeper of The Family Archives.

In Case Anyone Is Interested . . .

On December 6th Girl Scout Troop 185 had their candlelight ceremony to get their pins.

The middle trefoil was lit by three patrol leaders and the other ten candles were lit by the other patrol leader and nine other girls who did not receive pins.

The fourth graders who received pins were: Cindy Carpenter, Lisa Robtoy, Cathy Myott, Kathy Hayes, Patty McDermott, Nancy Green, Linda Fortin, and Cindy Deming.

The fifth and sixth graders were Marlene Hemond and Nancy Laflam.

The four patrol leaders, Debby Patch, Ardell Beaulieu, Colleen Colburn, Cindy Broe, received their leaders cords.

Two girls received badges. Liz Gauffreau earned the collector and Colleen Colburn earned the housekeeper.

On Nov. 15th and 22nd, Mrs. Amlaw taught the troop square dancing.

The girls have taken up as a service project, collecting books for the men in Vietnam.

©Elizabeth Gauffreau 2022

My thanks to Liz for letting me delve into her archives and I definitely believe this is well worth preserving for future generations. Wonderful that it has been treasured all these years. I know Liz would love to receive your thoughts on the subject.

An image posted by the author.

About Elizabeth Gauffreau

Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Curriculum & Assessment for Champlain College Online, where she is an Associate Professor. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and several themed anthologies. Her debut novel, Telling Sonny, was published by Adelaide Books in 2018. Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband.

Books by Elizabeth Gauffreau

One of the reviews for Telling Sonny

Chris  5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed this superbly-written novel!  Reviewed in the United States on April 4, 2021

Family dramas are not my usual choice of genre, but the historical basis for the book, set in the US in the 1920s when vaudeville shows were at the height of their popularity, captured my interest.

The story is simple: small town girl, Faby, is swept off her feet by a handsome dancer from out of town. All too quickly she falls pregnant and her life is changed forever. Forced to marry, she accompanies him on the small time vaudeville circuit, on a series of increasingly uncomfortable train journeys and cheap hotel stop-overs as her pregnancy progresses.

As the story unfolds over the few fateful months of Faby’s pregnancy, and I found myself totally immersed in the small but uncomfortable details of this unfortunate and naïve young woman’s life. But although she weeps, she remains stoical. She observes, she questions and she reveals so much about her inner self through the way she describes her experiences on the road. The dual narrative of the physical and the psychological is gripping, yet it is told seamlessly with so light a touch.

A fascinating and clearly well-researched read, replete with beautiful prose and keen observation, I can’t recommend this novel highly enough. 

Read the reviews and buy: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Read more reviews and follow Elizabeth: Goodreads – Twitter: @LGauffreau

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 12th – 18th September 2022 – Tapestry, Chart Hits 2003,Water Devining, Book Reviews, Blogger Stars, Food A-Z, Health and Humour


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

A mixed week for us with sun and rain and I took advantage of the sunshine to empty and refill some of the flower pots with autumn bloomers. I also took some photographs of our trees whilst they still have leaves on them. They will be useful when we put together the images when the house goes on the market, likely mid to late October when most of the leaves will be gone. At least prospective buyers will be able to see what it can look like.

I have also picked up my tapestry again after a break of some years where blogging and writing seemed to fill most of the waking hours of the day. I have eight full size canvases around the house and some smaller ones going back 30 years to when we lived in London and I gave up smoking. I needed something to keep my fingers busy when watching television so began the first one in 1992. I have two unfinished pieces, one of which is a mother elephant and her calf which is about a metre square which is a major project. I am hoping the mild weather continues for a little while longer as I am enjoying sitting in the garden and sewing.  Here are two of my full size pieces including my first effort Van Gogh’s sunflowers. Blogging and writing are still high on my priority list but I had forgotten the pleasure working with these pieces brought me.

Contributor News this week.

William Price King joined me for The Breakfast Show for the second part of chart hits from 2003 and the finale of the series on Pavarotti. Coming up in a few weeks we step back in time back to the 40s and 50s for the rest of the year. Get your dancing shoes ready. You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ will be here tomorrow morning with her next post in her Spiritual Awareness series… and over on her own blog there is a lovely tribute to her brother-in-law who sadly passed away this week, her monthly writer’s tips packed with useful information and ideas and her Sunday Book Review for Upon Departure by John Roedel. Follow the link to Debby’s posts D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor was here on Wednesday with her  A-Z of food with the letter ‘G’… on her own blog she welcomed us to September with her Monday Musings, a recipe for eggy bread with crumpets, spinach, feta cheese, thyme and mushrooms, a review of aromatic leaves including Sassafras and Nasturtium Leaves and Saturday Snippets where she explore’s the word ‘Bread’. Head over to enjoy Carol’s Weekly Round Up

Thank you too for all your visits, comments and shares during the week. As always very much appreciated…♥

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 2003 Part Two – Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow, Evanescence, Annie Lennox, Celine Dion

Music Legends – #Classical – Luciano Pavarotti – The Finale

Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘G’ for Ginger, Garlic, Guacamole, Goosefat and Gribige…

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

Milestones Along the Way – #Ireland #1930s – Divine Guidance by Geoff Cronin

Podcast – #Poetry and #Flash – A Celebration and Tramp’s Heartbreak by Sally Cronin

Creatures, Wild Animals, Bird, Dove, Measurement

Size Matters: The Sequel – #Morbid Obesity – #Weightloss – How much should you weigh? by Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Health Column – Ancient Healing Therapies – Acupuncture by Sally Cronin

#Fantasy – The Necromancer’s Daughter by D.Wallace Peach

– #Poetry – A Specialist At The Recycled Heart (Free Verse Poetry) by Frank Prem

September 12th 2022 – #Bullying Pete Springer, #Memories Robbie Cheadle and Judith Barrow, #Luck Marcia Meara, #Reviews Sandra Cox, #Grief D.G. Kaye

#Historical Andrew Joyce, #Historical Paulette Mahurin

Close up of Big Red Kitty at rest

#Feralcats Big Red Kitty Callie by Nikki Frie

 

#Shortstory #Snowstorm #Outage by D.L. Finn

#History – Nancy and the “Wilson Schoolbus” by Joy Neal Kidney

#Legohouses #Denbies by Sue Wickstead

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – ATM’s and Spaghetti

Irish Weather The Musical with International guests presented by I.V.E Mildew… AKA Herself.

 

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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Podcast – #Poetry and #Flash – A Celebration and Tramp’s Heartbreak by Sally Cronin


Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some syllabic poetry and 99 word flash fiction from my collection Life’s Rich Tapesty…woven in words

A Celebration and Tramp’s Heartbreak

A Celebration
The
autumn
is a time
to celebrate
what has gone before
and what is yet to come.
As gold leaves drop from trees
and roses lose their petals
the natural world boosts defences
against the harsh winds and frosts of winter.
But, beneath frozen earth new life will stir
as Mother Nature prepares for spring
nurturing seeds and unborn young
as she has since time began.
Her wisdom is unmatched
even when humans
attempt to thwart
her efforts
to gift
life.

Tramp’s Heartbreak

He had been walking in the lashing rain for hours. He contemplated the long straight road ahead known as tramp’s heartbreak and bowed his head in exhaustion.

Cars had ignored his raised thumb all day as they sped past. In the distance he heard a vehicle approaching and braced himself for icy spray. Instead the truck stopped.

‘Hey old timer, hop in’. The teenager smiled from the warmth of the cab.

The lad chatted away as he sat in grateful silence. His eyelids fluttered and he slept, leaving his fate to a boy with the heart of an angel.
©Sally Cronin 2022

One of the reviews for Life’s Rich Tapesty: Woven in Words

Annika VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars A rich and enriching read! Highly recommended! Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 August 2021

Thank goodness for the blogging challenges that inspired Sally Cronin’s Life’s Rich Tapestry Woven in Words. An enriching and engaging collection of verse, micro fiction and short stories, her work is mesmerising, always uplifting and often humorous. Throughout humanity and the spirits of humans (and some animals) is a beacon of hope for us all.

Sally’s poetry is enticing, thoughtful and soothing; they are written tightly within the framework of syllables for various formats such as haikus and tankas yet explore a vast range of topics encompassing the wonder of the seasons, recognising human frailties and celebrating the warmth of togetherness. She manages to take us on a journey from cave drawings to digital code across the universe, from the mystical of the ugly troll with his bewitching music in The Moonlight Concerto to the enchantment of Fairies!

As a writer, one poem – an ode to writing – particularly struck a chord with me:

The Freedom to write

The freedom
and time to create
written words
to be read
by those open to our thoughts
intoxicating.

Sally Cronin is a master storyteller and I was immediately drawn into the lives of the characters in all her short stories. Her writing flows with ease and self-assurance within this diverse selection of short stories. I was moved by the reunion of siblings, impressed how a story told through the point of view of a polar bear both touched me and touched on environmental issues. The reason for a black sheep was raised in one story and had me smiling as did My Mouse, a clever play on words and a predicament experienced by most of us!

The superb stories in The Underdogs section had me in awe of the strength of the individual personalities of the dogs. Later, in For the Love of Lily, I was cheering on as eighty-year-old Millicent found her courage to stand up to her overbearing son with the help of her cat Lily and her kindly neighbour Eric. This was an excellent depiction of what I hope isn’t a scenario that takes place often.

The final longer pieces in the book are under the title of Speculative Fiction and these are all exceptional and shows Sally Cronin’s incredible imagination and ability in writing across all genres.

A moment of alignment is superlative and left me with goosebumps (of the happy variety!) as a child, following her death, manages to cross from the other world for the briefest of times on certain occasions to talk to her mother. Great Aunt Georgina left me tear-eyed and is a wonderful and powerful story partly told through the use of old letters; a deft use of an evocative writing technique. The Enhancement Project combines the tantalising hint of romance between a surgeon and her patient cyborg, all against the backdrop of the end of civilisation. It is a terrific blend of human and futuristic, of dark and light, love and destruction.

I can’t recommend Life’s Rich Tapestry Woven with Words highly enough and look forward to reading more of Sally Cronin’s books. 

Thank you for listening and if you would like to know more about my books and their reviews you can find them on my books page Sally’s Books and Reviews 2022

 

Smorgasbord Laughter is the Best Medicine –Rewind– Irish Weather The Musical with International guests presented by I.V.E Mildew… AKA Herself.


I have been doing some admin in my computer files this week and found some this tucked away from 2017 and have embellished a little… I thought you might like something to start the weekend with a smile…

Welcome today’s premier of a new musical…my name is I.V.E. Mildew, a raconteur, author, graffiti artist and bon vivant. I have lived all my life amongst the warm hearted and generous people’s of this Isle and delight in sharing its bounteous beauty.

Ireland is renowned for its lush emerald green scenery, ancient history, singing, dancing and an abundance of the wet stuff. No, not the dark stuff served up around the world, but the reason why Guinness tastes so much better when drunk here in Ireland, and what makes our clover so bright and green. That would be the rain my friends.

In the space of a couple of hours you can experience all of the moods and variations that the Irish weather has to offer. For over 200 days of the year (250 in a good year) that usually involves a drop of the grand soft drizzle to tumultuous downpours that flood the rivers and gullies.

When I decided to pen – Irish Weather – The Musical, little did I know that artists from around the world would claim Irish ancestry and offer their services to showcase its multiplicity with humour, song, music and dance.

Alas there is not sufficient time to feature all aspects and faces of our climate, but I hope that the following renditions will give you a flavour of what can happen in just one day in the Emerald Isle. I have punctuated the said performances with quotes on the Irish Weather from prominent wordsmiths (bigger eejits than me).

If you enjoy the excerpt from the 24 hour stage show I hope you will consider buying tickets. It is an outside performance at the RDS showgrounds Dublin for a week in late September. (Weather dependent).

Your humble servant – I.V.E Mildew (Ivor to my friends)

There are many days when the raindrops come and go throughout the day for a few minutes at a time. This gentle blessing from the sky is not a problem and in fact can be turned into a magical and romantic bike ride for two….

Visitors to our beautiful country from all around the world are also inspired by our unique weather and have been heard to spontaneously burst into song in honour of the rain and the second best asset Ireland has to offer.. Its men!

Of course we cannot forget that Ireland has some of the most beautiful women in the world.. they are like the wind….

Even our wonderful cousins from across the water have tried to lift our spirits by singing to the sun god on our behalf….thanks Mr Springsteen…Bruce Springsteen

A little plug for your man for all his efforts on our behalf.... Buy Bruce Springsteen music: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Official site and live concert dates: Bruce Springsteen

Our darling children are taught in school how to make the best use of any odd day of sunshine they may enjoy during the summer holidays (six weeks of optimism each year). Learning how to walk on sunshine is part of the syllabus. Try this at home three times a week and it will lift your spirits too.

However rainy our Mondays (and every other day of the week) are… we are blessed to have our loved ones to turn to. And every good musical should always end up with a slow dance with the one who loves you.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022 – ‘Potluck’ – #Legohouses #Denbies by Sue Wickstead


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’. I have posts scheduled for another few weeks but that will bring this current series to an end. Another series will begin in the new year.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the half of 2022

Teacher and children’s author Sue Wickstead not only shares a giant lego house built for a television show, but her own that she has created that grace her garden.

Denbies Lego House

In 2009,a large Lego house was being built at Denbies Vineyard in Dorking.

The house was being built as part of the BBC2 television series, ‘James May’s Toy Stories’.

As the vineyard is near to where we live my husband and I decided we should go and take a look. We visited on many occasions to see the progress.

I offered to help with some of the building and was put to work with a team of volunteers, making the breeze block bricks. These bricks would be added to the wooden frame of the house.

Lego Breeze block bricks

Over the weeks visiting many times we took a few photos. We also looked online and hey wasn’t that Geoff and I standing in the photo too? I was also allowed to take a look at a few of the accessories that were being made to go inside the house. These included a bonsai tree; bottles and cups; a Lego cat; and a bed. The red swivel chair arrived at this time and was impressive.

The house was finally built and James May was able to stay overnight. He had built the world’s first full-size Lego house. It included a working toilet, hot shower and a very uncomfortable bed.

‘But unfortunately, it was obstructing the grape harvest at Denbies so faced demolition. James May wanted to buy it but didn’t have a garden. He sought an owner via Facebook. Legoland rejected it because it cost too much to dismantle, transport and reassemble. When no last-minute buyer was found, the house was destroyed.

But watching it being built was certainly fascinating and in reply to children’s questions in school, ‘Do you live in a Lego House?’ I could now answer ‘No!’ but I did help make the house for James May at Denbies – well a little bit.

The same year our topic at school was ‘Our Neighbourhood’, I was inspired me to make a few houses for my classroom display. I sat in my sunny garden over the summer making each of the houses in turn.

My Lego Houses

Having got a quite a few basic bricks of my own and using a houses worksheet showing different types of houses I decided to give it a go and build my own Lego Town and I even made a caravan.

I also had an old ‘Town Square’ Lego set and this was added to my display.  Recently the houses have appeard in my garden where my grandson’s Lego houses stand. It is becoming a Fairy village.  You can read about the Fairy Houses in my garden Here.

My thanks to Sue for letting me share the posts from her archives and you and any younger members of the family will find much to enjoy over on her blog.

©Sue Wickstead 2022

About Sue Wickstead

Sue Wickstead is a teacher and an author with Award winning books.
Shortlisted in the Wishing Shelf Book awards. and has written children’s picture books with a bus theme. In addition, she has also written a photographic history book about the real bus behind her story writing.

Her bus stories are about a playbus. Have you ever been on a Playbus?
When Sue’s two children were young, they attended a playgroup on a bus, but not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey, exciting though this is, but a Playbus stuffed full of toys to capture their imagination!

For over 20 years, alongside her teaching career, she worked with the charity, the Bewbush Playbus Association.

As part of the committee she painted the bus, worked in the groups, helped raise the profile of the project and its work and was part of the team involved in raising funds to replace the old bus with a newer vehicle. This led her to write a photographic history book about it.

‘It really was a fun journey to be involved in’, said Sue. The bus really got into her blood and became a work of the heart.

Having written the history book Sue soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. So, she decided to write a fictional tale, his number plate JJK261, gave him his name.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original project and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continues.

A small selection of books by Sue Wickstead

One of the reviews for David’s Bin Day

This Children’s picture book follows David as he likes to watch out for the bin men each week.

He likes to wear a bobble hat just like the bin men, and he decides he wants to tidy up.

Suddenly things around the house start to disappear, including an important letter for Daddy.

Where are the missing items? Does it have something to do with David?

This is a really sweet and lovely book to read, and I loved reading it with my daughter.

Not only does it show children about one of the jobs that they may not think of, but it also shows the importance of keeping things tidy.

I must admit, I was laughing thinking about what I would do if this was my child, but I did love how the family reacted.

My daughter said: I loved the pictures in the book and liked listening to mummy read.

Overall, a sweet and lovely children’s book with a message to keep things tidy. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – More reviews: Goodreads – Website/Blog: Sue Wickstead – Facebook: Stories Sue – Facebook: Teacher Page – Twitter: @JayJayBus – LinkedIn: Sue Wickstead