Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Social Media Shenanigans, Spring Flowers, Mexican Getaways, Italian Food, music, humour and Fabulous Guests

Welcome to the weekly round up of posts that you might have missed.

Firstly, an update on the Facebook debacle which only gets worse I am afraid. I know that several of you have been hit by blocked posts that contain links and are still having issues. I can comment, and share posts internally on Facebook but post links are still being blocked.

Disturbingly today that included the link to Debby Gies Sunday Interview which I sent to her in a Direct Message… supposedly private! It was blocked and in bold red told me that it did not meet community standards. I have appealed of course but it does have a warning for us all. Do not disclose private information in a direct message. For example if as they say Facebook is selling our data to health insurance companies, and we mention in a private message about a health issue we have to a friend, and then apply for insurance! Does that sound paranoid? Probably. What about your email address that you send in a message, or your postal address and the dates you will be away on vacation.

I had no illusions about Facebook but they have now embarked on a wholesale censorship programme that is unacceptable. They want you to have a page where they can bombard you with messages to boost your post to thousands of others at a cost. And they want to encourage you to buy from one of their advertisers and when you do, by all accounts you never hear the last of them.

I have friends and family on Facebook and I can at least for the time being share your posts from there. But over the next few weeks as MeWe grows and develops and the author’s group which now has nearly 50 members – I will be only using Facebook sparingly to stay in touch and to share others work internally. Eventually, I will be closing my account as I won’t be blackmailed or have any more of my private messages intercepted.

On a brighter note.. I have done the sums and the statistics show that the referrals to the blog is approximately 10%…thankfully most of those who share from Facebook are also contacts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or other sites that I am a member of such as MeWe. My main concern was for the book promotions that I post for other authors but after two weeks there has been no change to the response which is a relief.

Thank you for all your support and I appreciate all the shares to FB from here in the past, but I have now permanently removed the share button, as I don’t want you to be faced with messages from FB telling you that it is not allowed. They are intimidating and offer not recourse so I am done.

And as an aside.. new users are asked for a photograph before they are allowed to sign up for an account. It can take several days to get back to you. But in the meantime with facial recognition they can have mined a great deal of information about who you are and your history online. Whilst this does mean that the fake generals and other trolls will not be accepted, it also means that they can pick and choose who they admit to the site and if you do not fit their profile as a potential buyer of the advertising that they send your way… who knows where it will lead!

It is now affecting millions of users and you might find this post interesting sourced by Carol Taylor:

On with the posts from the week, and as always I am very grateful to the contributors who spend time and a great deal of effort to write columns and guest articles.

Welcome to Debby Gies March edition of her Travel Column where she shares the first part of her trip and two month vacation in Puerto Vallarta in Mexico.. and the flight did not go as planned!

This week Paul Andruss shares the bulbs that will make your late spring garden abundant with colour.

This week my guest is regular contributor non-fiction author D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies who reveals her contents of her purse, fashion sense, strangest dream and her love (hate) of the vacuum!

This week Silvia Todesco shares a fabulous recipe for oven baked, bacon wrapped cod which has to be a family favourite..

This week we look at the health benefits of honey… and Carol Taylor uses this as an ingredient in some stunning dishes.

A new series looking at ‘One Hit Wonders‘ from the 1950s onwards….this week ‘Lollipop’ by Ronald and Ruby…who were they, were are they now?

My response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 127 and this week the prompt words are ‘Follow and Lead’…. I have chosen ‘Succeed and Hint’ as my synonyms.

A further look at the rights as laid down by the United Nation that we should all be entitled to, but have an obligation to protect.

It is March 1986 and we drive back from Atlanta in one day.. and attend a BBQ cookout in Conroe Texas, this is my letter home to my parents in the UK.

This week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills involves a chisel…as a noun or a verb… you will also enjoy Charli’s description of the thaw that is occurring on her finger (or thumb) that reaches out in to Lake Superior- here is my response – The Dancer.

Before you Get Started on your weight loss programme– Managing People, Environment and your expectations

This week Balroop Singh shares her experience of arranged marriages and her own happy relationship.

This week Darlene Foster finds and visits the grave of her great-great-grandmother.


In this post Jennie Fitzkee shares the connections that she was able to make between reading Little House on the Prairie and her own grandfather from a similar era and his experiences of mining.


This week Robbie Cheadle shares a wonderful poem that she wrote on 9th of February 2017 which was her sixteenth Wedding Anniversary…


Sharon Marchisello shares the strategies that her mother employed to make the most of every penny.

Bette Stevens shares a moving poem in tribute to her mother.

New book on the shelves

Author Updates – Reviews

Thank you very much for all your support and I would love to hear from you about any of the posts or if you would like some book promotion. .Have a great week.. thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Music Column – New Series – One Hit Wonders – Lollipop – Ronald & Ruby 1958

Welcome to a new series on The Music Column.. I have records on my various playlists that were single hits for an individual artist or group but they were never followed up by another chart success. I also wonder what happened to the artist.  So I am going to track some of them down and find out more…..starting with the 1950s – I am taking them from the list kindly supplied by Wikipedia

‘Lollipop’ by Ronald and Ruby 1958

Ronald & Ruby were an American interracial pop vocal duo, best known for their 1958 hit single “Lollipop”.

The duo’s members were titled as Ronald Gumm (some sources say Lee Morris)  and Beverly “Ruby” Ross; interracial pop groups were not widely regarded at this time, and the group did not appear in public or in major press and television outlets.

Beverly Ross was born in 1939 in the Bronx and as a teenager began sending in material to the songwriters in the Brill Building located on Broadway on 49th Street in Manhattan. The building contained offices and studios and was considered to be the centre of the American music industry in the 50s and 60s. Beverly worked with Julius Dixson and they co-wrote “Dim, Dim The Lights (I Want Some Atmosphere)” which was recorded by Bill Haley and the Comets in 1954 being a hit in both the pop and R&B charts.

They co-wrote ‘Lollipop’ in 1958 and the story goes that the inspiration for the lyrics was prompted by an incident involving Julius’s daughter whose hair became tangled with a lollipop on the way to school. Beverly Ross recorded a demo with Dixson’s neighbour a young teenager, Roland Gumm (also thought to be Lee Morris). Dixson owned the master and agreed for it to be released by RCA records by “Ronald and Ruby and it went to #20 in the charts. However, allegedly, it was then discovered that they were an interracial group and television performances that had been booked were cancelled.

The song did better when covered by The Chordettes #2 in the USA and The Mudlarks #2 in the UK.

Ronald and Ruby  released several further singles, including “Love Birds”, none of them hits. There seems to be some controversy about this, considering the previous resistance by the media to promote them as a interracial duo.

However Beverly Ross continued as a songwriter, with over 200 with BMI including ‘Candy Man’ which she received a BMI award for in 1985. By 1960 at only 21 years old, she was considered, along with Carole King as one of the top female pop music songwriters.

She spend some years away from the music business but then set up home in Nashville in 1989. She has worked with songwriters including Archie Jordan and Mark Dryer and her songs have been recorded by artists including Englebert Humperdinck and Bonnie Raitt. She also worked on writing musical theatre from the 1990s including City of Light, a show about Paris during the Nazi occupation, co-written with Thom Spahn.

In April 2013, her memoir I Was the First Woman Phil Spector Killed, described as a “tell all book” in a “Gonzo journalistic style” about life in the Brill Building between 1958 and 1961, was published and was featured at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Despite the moderate success of ‘Lollipop’ the duet did go on to record ‘Lovebirds’ but without visibility on television it did not do as well.

At this time I have no idea what happened to Ronald Gumm (Lee Morris) if you know then please share…

Sources: Wikipedia
And: 45 Cat

If you wonder what happened to the artist of your favourite one hit wonder, then let me know their name in the comments and I will see what I can find out…..

Thanks for tuning in… next week William Price King is back with another jazz instrumentalist…Yucel Lateef.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up – Social Media Woes, Jazz, Gardening, Italian Recipes, Nutritional cooking, Flash Fiction and Books Galore

Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week… especially if you normally pick them up on Facebook!

I won’t go into detail as I covered it in a post early in the week, but suffice to say that I was in Facebook quarantine for two days with my posts removed as not meeting the community standards and I also received notification that someone has reported my posts as offensive.  I also got this message when I tried to share other blogger’s posts.

Those clicking the Facebook share button were also getting a blocked message and rather than cause them upset, I removed the button until Friday after I had sent numerous appeals to the governing body and emails (still no response) and I was able to finally share from other blogs and those sharing from here got through.

I have not posted any links to the blog posts themselves until today.. and hopefully you are reading this because it has gone onto my timeline.

I am not the only person to be affected this week including Debby Gies who you know as a regular contributor here. It is allegedly down to the new policies on fake news and too many external URLS being posted.

Clearly though someone thought that book promotions and health posts were offensive and rather than hit the unfriend button, decided to report me.

That’s life… Going forward I am restricting my own links to other blogger’s posts and once week my round up and hopefully we can maintain the status quo.

In the meantime several of us have also joined MeWe with is a similar interface as Facebook but is more user friendly. They also guarantee that none of our data will be sold. It is early days, but if you are an author you might like to check it out, as Colleen Chesebro, Debby Gies and myself are part of a Literary Diva’s Library on the new site to help you promote your books, reviews and interviews. Just click the image and it will take you there.. my personal profile is

Anyway.. no more drama…… and on with the week’s posts…

This week William Price King introduces us to the unique talents of jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding.

This week Paul Andruss introduces us to the Hellebores… and some of the poisonous beauties much loved in ancient times as instruments of death…including deadly nightshade.

The next in the series to prevent nutritional deficiency by creating dishes containing the nutrient for the whole family… Carol Taylor has produced some wonderful recipes using ingredients rich in Vitamin B1.

In the second of this series, Silvia Todesco shares a traditional ricotta and beef meatballs in tomato sauce….


My personal stuff – Short stories and poetry

My response to Diana Wallace Peach’s monthly speculative fiction photo prompt..a story titled A Moment of Alignment.

Colleen Chesbro’s weekly poetry challenge is an escape from my WIP that I look forward to…. this week my poem was an etheree… March Hares

This week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction was to create a story about a mouse.. in 99 words, no more, no less….

This week a look at how our childhood can influence both our willpower and how we regard the food that we eat. Understanding your relationship to food is important for health and also for weight loss.

This week a look at more of the official human rights as laid down by the United Nations, and our obligation to protect that right and to abide by the law… and when you look at the mortality rates of car accidents vs. murder rates and the high percentage of fatalities associated with texting and drink driving, you will find it hard to separate the two.

An unexpected gift of a turkey causes untold mayhem in the farmyard which as always creates an entertaining episode from the family archives of Linda Bethea

There are a number of flash fiction challenges on WordPress that are really fun to take part in and certainly do hone our skill at brevity.. Here is a post from Joy Lennick’s archives on the subject and an example of her own flash fiction.

I am delighted to welcome author L.T. Garvin (Lana Broussard) to Smorgasbord with a series of guest posts, and her first is a heartrending poem about the past, her family and the devastating loss of a mother in wartime. Lana will be joining us every two weeks until April 8th.

My guest this week is author Ann Barnes who shares the animal she would like to have a conversation with, her weirdest dream, what is in her handbag, and what she would have done differently.

This series offers you a chance to share posts from your own archives that you would like seen by a new audience. Perhaps a post your wrote a year or so ago. If you are interested you can click on the link in any of the posts below to get the details. It is another opportunity to promote your books or other creative work as well.

Can you remember your first flight in a plane? Poet and author Balroop Singh shares hers which was a magical experience… she would love to hear about yours.

Childrens/YA author Darlene Foster, shares more of her extended family that emigrated to Canada in the 1900s… this time her father’s relatives.

Jennie Fitzkee who has over 30 years experience as a pre-school teacher, and loves sharing stories with her class, shares her childhood in relations to fairy stories and how many have an element of violence. She explores the need for a reality check for children from an early age about life in general, but there need to be guidelines on how they are introduced.

Robbie Cheadle spends a great deal of time tempting us to eat scrumptious baked delights, and this is no exception as she shares the family recipe of Granny Una’s apple pie…bibs on…

Sharon Marchisello learnt some valuable financial lessons from her parents, and this week the advice given to her by her father.

Children’s author Bette A. Stevens shares her poem in tribute to her grandmother.

New Book on the Shelves book on the shelves

Author Updates – Reviews

Thank you very much for visiting today and I hope you have enjoyed the posts. Thank to those who have shared to Facebook, sometimes using alternative methods!  I appreciate the support.

Hopefully all is more or less back to normal!!!!!!


Smorgasbord Music Column – Romantic Ballads Part Two – Brigid P. Gallagher, Mary Smith, Jennie Fitzkee, Darlene Foster and William Price King.

Two weeks ago I featured some of my most played romantic songs through the decades for a Valentine Special and I asked you for your favourite tracks to dance to. Here is Part One. And now for part two, so grab the one that you love… or a friend and have a twirl around the room.

The first request is from non-fiction author Brigid P. Gallagher who is also a wonderful gardener. And if you head over to her blog, you will find some wonderful images as well as book reviews, posts on health and writing, as well as her travels in Ireland. Her book Watching the Daisies shares her experiences of living with and strategies to improve fibromalgia.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

Brigid has requested Lady in Red by Chris de BurghAmazon

The next request is from author Mary Smith who you can meet and follow on her blog Mary Smith’s Place and you can enjoy a variety of great posts including on her Scottish wildlife and countryside such as this Murmuration and also on her website:

Please visit Amazon or Mary’s website to view all her books.


Read the reviews and buy the books:

Mary actually was partial to two songs, and since I have always loved the music of Barbara Dickson, here is Another Suitcase, Another Hall. Amazon

The next request comes from Jennie Fitzkee who has been a pre-school teacher for well over thirty years and shares wonderful stories on her blog. You will find everything necessary to encourage a child to read, play with others, and grow up with a great outlook on life… we adults can learn a great deal from these posts too.

“This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting.”

Jennie added two more tracks to the favourites list and I chose the one that always gave me goosebumps when I heard it sung. Maria from Westside Story…..Amazon


Next is children’s author Darlene Foster whose series about Amanda’s travels, have taken her fans all around the world. Brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing stories, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She also believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true. You will find great posts on her blog about travel and creative writing.

Please visit Amazon or Darlene’s blog to view all her books.


Read the reviews and buy the books:

Darlene was in love with Elvis.… and has requested Love Me Tender….Amazon

And last and certainly not least, our own music maestro William Price King requested a George Michael song… but I thought we would end the requests with one of William’s own videos, accompanied by Manolis.

You can find all of Williams posts and his own recordings in this directory.
I hope you have enjoyed this short concert and as always your comments are treasured.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Jazz, Chicken Poop, Chopped liver, Old Age, Australia and Sheep farming!

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

Despite some grey and misty starts to the days, there has been a trending upward curve in the temperatures and the hedgerows and gardens locally are beginning to show signs of spring. For someone who does not do short days, devoid of sun, and usually wet, this is a great shift in the weather. All my years as a child and adult living in sunnier climates makes it a challenge. I must admit to becoming a bit of a hermit from October to March and guess in a previous life I must have been a bear!  I can be be grumpy enough at times, especially when I wake from a long sleep and am hungry and thirsty.

Thankfully there have been some offline activities this week that have been great fun and people and laughter make all the difference.

Apart from that…. it has been a great week here online with a new job for me, having been invited to be an administrator for The Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook, alongside Colleen Chesebro and D.G.Kaye… and Colleen has added me into the group banner and if you click that, it will take you to the page where you can share book reviews for yourself and crucially for others, and also author interviews and news. The more members we have the more effective the group will be in supporting authors.

If you are an author and would like to be part of a group that supports and promotes other authors then please head to Facebook by clicking the image.

As always I would like to thank the contributors to the blog who inform and entertain you. This includes those participating in the new Posts from Your Archives series which is all about the family.. If you click on one of the posts it will give you the details on how to share your posts to a new audience. You can also become a guest writer with any new material that you would like to share… you can email me for details if you are interested sally.cronin(at)

Welcome to the music column with William Price King and this week the featured artist is Ted Nash, Saxophonist and Composer  and his work Portrait in Seven Shades.

In this week’s re-run of Paul Andruss’s gardening column, he promotes the beneficial properties of chicken poop for the garden…

A new series of Cook from Scratch with myself and Carol Taylor. This time looking at nutrients and the symptoms that you might be deficient in them.. I share the signs and the foods to include to avoid becoming deficient, and Carol turns them into delicious meals for all the family. This week Vitamin A..

In this week’s chapter I look at the amount of sugar that is hidden in our diet and how Candida Albicans thrives on this food, fueling the overgrowth in our gut.

My guest today is author Sheila Williams who lives in France, but in the past has enjoyed several careers, including that of sheep farmer (more about that later!). Sheila shares a mortifying experience in a restaurant, her fashion sense, the contents of her handbag and a tussle with a persistent romeo ram (of the sheep variety!)

This week Linda shares ‘Family Talk’ the expressions that become a code that every member of the family understands.

Australian author Frank Prem shares his love of his hometown, and the inspiration behind his recently released collection of poems and stories.. Small Town Kid.

Joy shares a poem that expresses the joys of being young at heart at eighty-three years old…

As a follow on from the Valentine’s Day post of romantic ballads, here are some of the requests with more to come on Tuesday.

My guest today is poet Miriam Hurdle who wrote a post in 2017 at Thanksgiving. It was an eventful time with Miriam in recovery from an operation for cancer and her daughter about to give birth.


D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies, shares the signs that you are in an abusive relationship, and from personal experience, she inspires those who are trapped in a cycle of abuse to break free.

Delighted that author Sue Vincent is sharing a post from her archives, particularly as it is all about dogs that have been a part of her family, going back generations.

In respect of this series, where I explore some of the key elements of our modern lives, I take a light-hearted look at love and romance. Well partly light-hearted, as there are some elements of this universally sought after state of bliss that can be from the dark side.

New book on the shelves

Author updates

This week my etheree is on the Joys of Spring….in response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 124

Thank you for all you support and look forward to seeing you again next week.. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Music Column – The Romantic Ballad Request Show – Part One – Becky Ross Michael, D.G. Kaye, Abbie Taylor, Cindy Knoke, Sue Vincent.

Last week I featured some of my most played romantic songs through the decades for a Valentine Special and I asked you for your favourite tracks to dance to. Here they are now, so grab the one that you love… or a friend and have a twirl around the room.

The first requests is for Becky Ross Michael originally from Michigan and now living in Texas, Becky’s writing has appeared in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, U.P. Reader, and Mystery Readers Journal. Becky has requested Sky Blue and Black by Jackson Browne – Amazon

The next request is from non-fiction author D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies

Debby’s books are available:

Debby has asked for Barry White and Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love…Amazon

Now for a request from author Abbie Taylor who is the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir and is working on another novel. Her poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various journals and anthologies.

Abbie’s books are available:

Abbie has requested I Want To Spend My Lifetime Loving You from the film The Mask of Zorro.

Cindy Knoke is the most stunning wildlife and scenic photographer who has travelled the world, capturing sights most of us will never experience. I highly recommend that you head over to spend time in her archives, but be warned, take supplies as you will be there for some time.

Cindy has requested Bryan Adams and Have You Ever Loved A Woman. – Amazon

The next track has been requested by Sue Vincent. “I am a Yorkshire born painter and writer, living in the south of England. I paint the strange things that come as images in dreams and fantasies and write about life as it happens.”

You can buy all of Sue’s books:

Sue has asked for Billy Joel, Just The Way You Are – Amazon

Thank you for dropping in today and there will be more requests next week.. If you would like to share your most romantic track ever… please add into the comments.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round up – Waterford Castle, Romance, Great Food, Music and a few Laffs.

Welcome to the weekly round up and I have been off on a jaunt this week. As a birthday treat we went down to Waterford, which is David’s home town for a couple of days and stayed at the Waterford Castle Hotel on its own private Island.

You reach the island by a chain link ferry which only takes two minutes and runs every 15 minutes during the day and 30 minutes at night. We had a suite overlooking the magnificent gardens and all the rooms have wonderful features introduced over the long history of the castle. Such as this fireplace with a Wedgewood insert.

History of Wateford Castle

Throughout the centuries, the Island’s strategic location, in a pivotal position near Waterford City, brought it historical fame playing a major role in the history of the region.

From the 6th century settlement of Monks to the Vikings in the 9th – 11th Centuries. Followed by Norman Invasion of 1170 were Maurice Fitzgerald became the potentate of the Island and the Fitzgerald family legacy lasted for over 800 years.

You can download the full history of the castle
Click here to download our History brochure.

The food was wonderful and we ate in their award winning restaurant on the first night – freshly sourced produce, deliciously prepared. The service was brilliant and it was a meal to remember. We were treated to some live music in the form of a talented pianist and each course was much appreciated. Certainly a stunning venue for a Wedding.

The next day we had a wonderful breakfast (great poached eggs) in an atrium overlooking the gardens, with some of the wildlife in attendance. Including a red squirrel, unusual to find in Ireland but clearly the grey squirrels who decimated the red population have not learnt to use the ferry to get to the island. As we walked to the car park, we also encountered to deer intent of feasting on the new crocus shoots.

We spent the day touring the coast and revisiting some of David’s childhood and teen haunts as well as the cottage, right on Woodstown beach where Geoff Cronin (you might have read his memoirs here) grew up. Also Dunmore and Tramore, holiday spots in the summer when the family lived in the centre of Waterford.

That afternoon we went in to the city and checked out the regeneration that took place in the 1990s up to the present day. We had a birthday tea in The Vintage Parlour Tea Rooms and I had the best Victoria sponge I have ever eaten… with fresh cream… and David had a delicious piece of apple tart. Fortified with a couple of cups (porcelain) of tea, we explored the local estate agents with a view to moving to Waterford once we sell our house here in Wexford next spring (or sooner). Certainly Waterford is on the list of options as the city has great facilities and is close to some stunning coastline.

We ended the day with dinner at The Bodega Mediterranean Restaurant and I can highly recommend, especially the monkfish scampi starter. The  food, atmosphere and service was excellent and brought back happy memories of our years in Madrid.

If you are planning on visiting Ireland I do recommend that you put Waterford on the schedule. If you are travelling with family then I suggest you book one of their lodges which sleep six people and are self-catered, but you can still eat in the restaurant or clubhouse if you wish. There is a golf course, tennis courts and fabulous walks around the island. You are central for the coastline to the south of Wateford towards Cork, and when the new bridge is completed (the longest in Ireland) later this summer, it will be a much faster trip to Dublin.

Now time to catch up with the posts on Smorgasbord you might have missed during the week.

This week Paul Andruss shares part two of his recommendations for early spring bulbs.

And on the subject of food…. something from the Thai kitchen of Carol Taylor.. a three course meal that should get Valentine’s evening off to a good start.

A new series of Posts from Your Archives and to kick the series off, one of D.G. Kaye’s heartfelt and heartbreaking – Memoir Bytes where she shares her childhood memories. Details of how you can share previous articles from your archives are in the post.

This week my guest is author Abbie Taylor who shares her inspiring story as well as some interesting responses to the questions.

Here is my response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 123

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction this week prompted 99 word stories on the subject of Valentines.

In this week’s music column, I share a song from each of the decades that I have been listening to music… and next Friday I will be sharing the requests that you shared, the songs that you felt were the most romantic.

Now time for the round up of the posts this week that you might have missed.

An extract from Tales from the Irish Garden to celebrate romance. Queen Filigree meets the roguish Prince Ronan.

Last year I wrote this post for USA Today Bestselling romance author Jacquie Biggar on keeping the magic of romance alive…

This week in the R’s of Life, part two on the subject of relationships, and the impact of a dysfunctional childhood on our ability to connect as adults.

I reviewed two books this week.. the first being The Beast Within (Mended Souls Two) by Jacquie Biggar.

And the second book was first book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, Academic Curveball by James J. Cudney

Author Updates and reviews

Many foods have been labelled aphrodisiacs through history, some deservedly so…but they also tend to be highly nutritious and have a positive effect on the whole body and not just the libido.

This week’s chapter looks at the impact of an overgrowth of Candida Albicans on our overall health. The symptoms number around 125, and I included some of the key signs that your gut may have been compromised.

Thank you very much for dropping in today and for your visits this week. Your comments and sharing on your own social media is much appreciated as always. Have a great week and hope to see you again soon.

Smorgasbord Music Column – The top six Romantic Last Dance Ballads of all time – In my opinion….

When I think back to my teens and the intervening years, there are some romantic songs that take your breath away. I have picked six end of the night dance tracks to share with you today from each of the decades that I have loved music.  Feel free to whisk your partner onto the dance floor.

I would love to hear from you. What is the one song that makes you feel weak at the knees…or brings back memories of that first dance with the one you love. Just put the title in the comments and I will find it if I can..

Next week I will be doing a special music column on Thursday sharing those requests along with the links to your blog and books etc.

My first crush was on Lieutenant Cable in South Pacific in the 1960s, and I still get goose bumps when I hear Younger than Springtime… the fact that Lieutenant Cable did not make it to the end of the film broke my heart aged ten, and watching it for the first time.. Love and loss all in two hours was almost too much to bear.

Now the 1970s and that was probably the decade that had the most impact on me musically and romantically. Number one smooch at the end of the evening…… Al Green with Let’s Stay TogetherAmazon

Moving into the 1980s and my choice is The Power of Love by Jennifer Rush, although the song has gone on to be recorded by Celine Dion and other artists, this version is one of my favourite smoochie dances, with the right person of course…buy Jennifer Rush on Amazon

1990s and it has to be Luther Landross and Mariah Carey with My Endless Love…….Amazon

And as we move into the new millennium there were plenty to choose from but I love this track to dance to…Snow Patrol with Chasing Cars …Amazon

And bringing us up to the present time…..and although there have been some fabulous romantic ballads in the country and popular charts…. I think that I will go back to the 60s and finish with the master of the smoochie last dance with a touch of swing.. Frank Sinatra and The Way You Look Tonight.

Thanks for tuning in and please don’t forget to leave your most romantic song selection in the comments… keep dancing…..thanks Sally..

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Gardening, Farm antics, #Numerology and Apricots…guests, music and humour

Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week and it whilst snow causes havoc in the UK we have enjoyed cold but sunny days…. perhaps I shouldn’t talk too soon.

As always my thanks to those who have contributed their time and writing talent this week and also to you for popping in and keep the posts circulating.. It is much appreciated.

A repeat of Paul Andruss’s popular gardening column from last year.. this week an introduction and next week early spring bulbs.

This week I look at the health benefits of eating apricots and Carol Taylor includes them in recipes for all the family.

This week a look at the impact of constant change on the way we eat and how a child can suffer from chronic stress.

Down on the farm you need grit to cope with the guts… and poor Billy more than most..

Annette Rochelle Aben sets us on the right path with our universal energies for February

This week my guest is author Anne Goodwin sharing her swimming challenges, singing prowess and her preference for town or country…

The R’s of Life – Relations – the importance of the herd

It is 1999 Sam gets kittens, another job move for David and I start to work with an agent with music from Ricky Martin.

My response to or Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 121 and my prompt this week was this video…..

It is early February 1986 and I go with David up to Dallas for a couple of days and we visit South Fork ranch of the TV drama fame.

Author Update

The health benefits of rocking… not just for babies but as an aid to a good night’s sleep too. And I also take a close look at the stages of sleep, and why watching a horror movie last thing at night is not the best thing.. for anyone!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column 1999 – Literary Agents, Sam and his babies and David goes to Madrid .

It is 1999 and we settled into life in Ireland, with David commuting into Dublin every day, whilst I built up my business in Drogheda. Every morning Sam and I would get in the car and drive a few miles to Bettystown beach and walk in the dunes and along the sand… Sam by this time had made some friends and so had we. There were some lovely people living in the lane and they made us most welcome.

I had also spent the last few months editing my book Size Matters and was ready to try and get it published. I contacted a well known Dublin agent in early 1999 and he kindly said he would represent me. He read the book and made some suggested changes which I was grateful for. By the end of the year he began to send out manuscripts out to the top publishers in Ireland and the UK.

David joined the mountain running club and at weekends we would head out across the country for a race and stay in rented cottages that allowed dogs. Sam and I would wait in the car, usually in wet, freezing weather and then head to the finish line at the bottom of that weekend’s particular mountain and cheer the runners on as they hurtled downwards, often leaping from rock to rock. They all benefited for an excited collie’s barked encouragement that usually drove any other dogs into a frenzy too.

He was also a great father…. to some kittens that I brought home as company for him. He was a year old and he already loved Henry the feral cat. However, Henry did not want to come in the house and I thought these two kittens would be the answer. I was a bit tentative when I introduced them but I needn’t have worried. He was every bit the attentive and protective father and even allowed them to eat his dinner.

Everything was great and we felt very happy and settled. Then a bombshell… The company that David worked for decided to sell the division that he ran and instead of growing the business, he was now put in charge of selling it. This was unsettling although the parent company promised to find him a position with them. However, once word got out, he began to receive calls from recruitment consultants and one job was too good to refuse.

However, it was in Madrid and was for initially a two year contract. We looked at our current situation and my business was just breaking even after buying it, we would have lost money on the house if we sold it, and I was reluctant to sell up and move to Spain until David was settled and likely to be there for more than a couple of years.

We agreed that I would stay in Ireland and David would go ahead and for the first year anyway we would see each other every three weeks for a long weekend. His company agreed to pay for our flights and this meant that I would travel to Madrid every six weeks.

With all the driving back and forth to the beach and to the mountain running events, we listened to a lot of music in the car.

There were some forgettable hits in the charts in 1999, but there were also some classics including I Want It That Way by The Backstreet Boys, Fly Away by Lennie Kravitz, That Don’t Impress Me Much Shania Twain, When You Believe by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, When The Going Gets Tough by Boyzone and the solo from Ronan Keating with When You Say Nothing At All from the soundtrack from Notting Hill. But the song that I have chosen sums up our year… and since the title is also Spanish…...Livin’ la Vida Loca by Ricky Martin.  Courtesy Ricky Martin

Buy Music by Ricky Martin Amazon

Next time… finding Sam a family to look after him the weekends I was in Madrid…a new home, the publishers respond and family reunions.