Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up -8th -14th November 2020 – 40th Celebrations, Brad Mehldau, Relationships, Vichyssoise, Aromatherapy, Reviews and Funnies


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

I hope you are staying safe wherever you are. Hurricanes, Covid, Civil Unrest and Political upheavals have been the focus of the headlines this week and in the global scope of events, the celebration of our 40th Wedding Anniversary tomorrow pales into insignificance.

However, for us it is an important milestone, and despite best laid plans of a wonderful villa and pool in Malta with my two sisters, and a weekend away when that was cancelled, we are going to celebrate in style at home with just the two of us.  Which is okay, in fact more than okay.

On our trip to Ireland to meet David’s Family November 1st 1980

A few days before the wedding

Our whirlwind romance

  • September 16th 1980 David arrived as a guest at the hotel I was assistant manager of in Mid-Wales. I did arrange some meeting rooms for him but other than that he was Mr. Cronin until the night of his departure 27th September when he booked himself in for an extra night and asked if I would like to go out to lunch the next day.
  • On September 28th he took me out on my day off and we walked on Harlech Beach and then ate Chinese takeaway on the floor of my small living room as I didn’t have a table.
  • The next day September 29th he was returning to Liverpool and he arrived at my flat at 9.00 to say goodbye, or so I thought, but he proposed instead.
  • On October the 2nd when the hotel shut for the season David came back down from Liverpool and drove me to Portsmouth so he could meet my parents.
  • On October 5th we moved into a holiday flat in Dolgellau.
  • November 1st we caught the ferry from Liverpool to Dublin to meet his family with gale force winds and 12 metre waves.
  • On November 15th we married in Dolgellau registry office with both sets of parents and my best friend Joan Nicholson. With pouring rain and gale force winds.

Here are some of the surviving photographs from the day, most taken by my father-in-law Geoff Cronin which is why he is not in them…

These new fangled cameras…..

The weather here is gale force winds and driving rain, as it was forty years ago which is fitting!. As both our parents and my friend Joan have passed away, it is up to us to celebrate what was an amazing day, just the two of us which is perfect. We have already made a start with cards and roses, and the fridge is stocked, a couple of bottles of Champagne are chilling, and we have created a menu of all our favourite foods, many from the places we have lived and worked around the world.

We are very lucky.

Anyway.. on with the posts from the week and as always a huge thank you to William Price King, D.G. Kaye, Carol Taylor, Silvia Todesco and Robbie Cheadle for their amazing contributions this week.

Next week the Christmas Book Fairs begin for both the main Cafe and Bookstore and the Children’s Cafe. I will be including every author on the shelves so I need to get started to make sure I feature everyone. I hope it will give you some ideas for gifts for all the family.

William Price King with Grammy Award winning jazz pianist Brad Mehldau

November 2020 – People Pleasers. Do you know one? Are you one?

‘V’ for Vacherin, Vanilla, Veal, Vegetable Spaghetti and Vichyssoise

IMG_2561

#Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Beef, ham, and lava cheese roll (involtini)

Houston – January 1986 – Birthdays and Plans

Guest Writer – Robbie Cheadle – Inca child sacrifices and the origin of my short story

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

David – In Remembrance by Sally Cronin

Posts from my Archives – Guest Interviews – Open House 2018 with Author Joy Lennick

#Murder #Mystery – Secrets of the Galapagos by Sharon Marchisello

Past Book Reviews 2019 – #Shortstories More Glimpses by Hugh W. Roberts

Past Book Reviews – 2019 – Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events-compiled by Stevie Turner

Past Book Reviews -2018 – Devil in the Wind: Voices from the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires by Frank Prem

Share your Children’s book reviews – Jemima Pett reviews Casey Grimes: The Mostly Invisible Boy by AJ Vanderhorst

#Release #Bears Sue Wickstead, #Reviews #Horses Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

New Author on the Shelves – #Contemporary – Sweet Erin by Sian Turner

-New Book – #Meditation Sue Vincent, Reviews – #Poetry Balroop Singh, #Suspense Stevie Turner

#Reviews – #Crime Sue Coletta, #Pilgrims Noelle Granger, #Collie Sally Cronin

#Fantasy Fiona Tarr, New Books #Design Valentina Cirasola, #Shortstories Leon Stevens

#Frankincense – Immune, reproductive systems, Anti-aging, Antiseptic

November 10th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Shopping wear and Butlers

November 12th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Plastic bags and one liners

Image may contain: text that says "Might as well stay and have one more. Wife is going to tobite bite my head off anyway."

November 13th 2020 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp

 

Thank you so much for dropping by and I hope you have an amazing weekend… I know we will.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Guest Interviews 2015 – #Proofreading and Volcanos with Wendy Janes


As I sort through and organise my files here on WordPress which now amount to over 12,000 since 2013, I am discovering gems, such as guest interviews that I would love to share with you again..

This week I am sharing the interview with author and proofreader Wendy Janes from 2015 as part of the ‘A Funny Thing Happened to Me‘ series.. and in this case it involves a volcano…

About Wendy Janes

Wendy Janes lives in London with her husband and youngest son. She is the author of the novel, What Jennifer Knows and the short story collection, What Tim Knows, and other stories. She has also contributed short stories to a number of anthologies, including the fundraising anthology, A Kind of Mad Courage.

Her writing is inspired by family, friends, and everyday events that only need a little twist to become entertaining fiction.

As well as writing contemporary fiction, she loves to read it too, and spreads
the word about good books online and in the real world.

Wendy is also a freelance proofreader, and a caseworker for The National Autistic Society’s Education Rights Service.

Welcome Wendy and delighted to finally have the opportunity to interview you. What made you want to become a teacher and was the reality of working in the school system as you expected or did you find that it was as challenging as many press reports indicate?

I went into teaching because I wanted to make a difference. I had an idealistic view of teaching, genuinely believing that I could inspire a love of learning in my pupils through my own enthusiasm for my subjects (drama and English). Alas, in mid-1980s South London the reality wasn’t so rosy-tinted. At the tender age of 22 my classroom discipline was woefully inadequate and I failed to engage my students. The challenge was too much for me, so I did everyone a big favour and left the profession. Years later I returned to the classroom as a teaching assistant, which was a far happier experience for me and my students.

You are a caseworker for The National Autistic Society’s Education Rights Service. I was not aware that the number of people in the UK who have autism spectrum disorders was as high as reported. Almost 700,000 people which is around 1 in 100. This must require a great deal of focus on the services available particularly in the education system. What is your role as a caseworker?

My role is to empower parents. I help them try to ensure that their children – wherever they are on the autism spectrum – achieve their full educational potential through receiving the appropriate support in an appropriate setting.

I’m part of a small team of trained volunteers who provide advice to parents via phone and email. We need to listen carefully to what parents want and help them use the special educational needs law, regulations and government guidance to achieve it. We encourage cooperation between parents, schools and local authorities, and always focus on the child’s needs. Sometimes we can do this in a twenty-minute phone call, other times it’ll take weeks of calls and emails to reach a resolution.

I love this work and feel privileged to be able to help some wonderful families and their wonderful children.

Copy editing and proofreading are very different. I would assume however that when you receive manuscripts from authors that inevitably there is some cross over. Can you summarise the differences and clarify at what point a writer should work with you as a proofreader?

Yes, in theory copy editing and proofreading are different, but in reality there is a rather large grey area where they overlap. I could fill pages with lists and explanations of the differences, but I’d really like people to read on, so I’ll just say that a proofreader should be the last professional to read every single word of an author’s book before publishing. We’re meant to be there to pick up those final typos – inconsistent hyphenation and spelling, missing full stops and quote marks, transposed letters etc.

Authors should have had their book looked at by a developmental editor and a copy editor prior to sending it for proofreading, and should only work with a proofreader when they feel their book is ready for publication. This isn’t because we want to do a minimal amount of work, it’s because if we are dealing with things like inconsistencies in the plot it is unlikely that we will also be able to pick up all the spelling and grammatical errors as well.

As a reviewer you mention that you post your comments about the books you enjoy. I assume that there are times when you might not enjoy a book enough to do so. What is your advice to those of us who read a book but feel that it would benefit from additional work? Do we contact the author direct or post a poor review in public?

I don’t feel comfortable giving advice to other reviewers, but I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I choose not to post poor/negative reviews. The internet is already overcrowded, and I prefer to concentrate on taking up my tiny corner of it by writing reviews in order to spread the word about great books. I have contacted authors directly where I feel I can provide encouragement, not criticism.

Can you tell us more about your novel What Jennifer Knows?

My lead character, Jennifer Jacobs, is the recipient of some potentially disastrous information about a couple of friends. She can’t decide whether to share that information with them or not. While she prevaricates, things become a lot more complex.

Jennifer is a dance therapist. She lives in a delightful village in the English countryside with her eccentric husband, Gerald. She values family and friendships, and all these relationships are put to the test in the pages of my story.

She’s a good person who finds herself in a difficult position. My hope is that readers will relate to Jennifer’s dilemma.

We have now arrived at the central theme of the interview which is ‘A funny thing happened to me on the way to…’ and I will hand over to Wendy to tell her own story.

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the top of the volcano

In the summer of 1980 – between finishing school and starting teacher training – I went on a two-week holiday with a friend to southern Italy.

After a week of lazing by the hotel pool by day and dancing and drinking in clubs by night, we thought we ought to try a bit of sightseeing and soak up a drop of culture. We explored local markets, tiny picturesque villages, and orchards ripe with citrus fruits and olives. The island of Capri was stunning, magical. Next on the itinerary was a visit to the haunting ruins of Pompeii followed by a trip to the summit of Vesuvius.

Dressed in shorts, t-shirts and strappy sandals, a hike up the mountainside was not an option. A tubby gentleman bustled over and in beautifully accented English explained that for a bargain price he would drive us in his cab and save our precious sandals from ruin. Eagerly we handed over a few thousand lira and followed him round a corner.

There, lurking under the shade of a stray lemon tree was the most battered car I’ve ever seen outside of a stock car race: dented, rusty doors and roof, a windscreen covered in crazed cracks. My instinct was to walk away, but my friend was already clambering into the back seat. It wouldn’t do to abandon her, so I dumbly followed. I winced as my thighs came into contact with the baking hot plastic seats and my nose was assaulted by the stench of stale tobacco. On the upside, the windows were wound down, or more likely I suspect they weren’t there in the first place.

After a few attempts at slamming the door shut – it wouldn’t latch properly – the taxi driver rummaged around in his trouser pockets. I imagined he was going to produce a tool to mend the door, but instead he pulled out a handful of grubby string. With a shrug and a smile in our direction he somehow secured the door closed by winding the string around the door handle, through the open window then across to a hook screwed into the back seat. With a satisfied sigh he sat his bulk in the driver’s seat and repeated a less complicated procedure on his door, this time from the inside with a length of string from his shirt pocket.

Even if I’d known the Italian for ‘Please let me out of your taxi,’ my English reserve wouldn’t have let me use it.

After a few attempts at starting the engine we bumped and rattled up the mountain road that rapidly got thinner and thinner, as did the air. I shuddered as our wheels skidded, and I shivered as the temperature plummeted. Goose bumps covered my sunburned skin. Each time our driver swung the car around hairpin bends our shrieks of alarm only caused him to chuckle and gun for the next corner. I don’t know how we failed to avoid hurtling over the precipitous drops beside the road or why I had to keep gazing at them in horror and fascination.

Eventually, near the summit, we were released into a swirling chilly mist. We must have walked the remaining distance to the top and somehow reached the bottom again, but my memories of that are as misty as the weather shrouding Vesuvius. Crystal clear, over thirty years later, are the terror, the biting cold and the grubby string.

Wonderful if horrifying story and I wonder how many terrified tourists have shared that mind blowing ride over the years and I bet that the old boy regaled the locals with tales of his passengers in the bar at night!

Books by Wendy Janes

One of the reviews for What Jennifer Knows on Goodreads

Janice Spina rated it Five Stars

What Jennifer Knows is a lovely story about friendship, trust and keeping secrets. Who wouldn’t want a friend like Jennifer who is kind, caring and dependable. Jennifer Jacobs works part-time as a dance therapist helping special needs children. Her life is not perfect with a self-absorbed artist husband, a selfish daughter, and a secret in her past that haunts her.

When Jennifer meets a new friend, Freya, her life changes and she becomes embroiled in deception after she realizes her new friend and an old friend share the same man. The characters were real and believable as were the circumstances that can happen in life.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read that kept me turning pages as Jennifer tries to deal with her dilemmas and come out hopefully unscathed. Wendy Janes is a talented and creative author that I will be watching closely for more entertaining reads

 Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And on: Amazon US –  follow Wendy on: Goodreads – Website: WendyProof —Twitter: @wendyproof – LinkedIn: Wendy Janes – Facebook : WendyProof

 

My thanks to Wendy for sharing her story with us and I am sure she would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Guest Interviews 2015 – #Pembrokeshire, #FamilySagas with Judith Barrow


As I sort through and organise my files here on WordPress which now amount to over 12,000 since 2013, I am discovering gems, such as guest interviews that I would love to share with you again..

This week an interview from 2015 as part of the ‘A Funny Thing Happened to Me’ series which featured author Judith Barrow. I have read all of Judith’s books and am a huge fan and I hope you will enjoy this early post. I have updated to reflect Judith’s current books and reviews.

About Judith Barrow

Judith Barrow,originally from Saddleworth, a group of villages on the edge of the Pennines,has lived in Pembrokeshire, Wales, for forty years.

She has an MA in Creative Writing with the University of Wales Trinity St David’s College, Carmarthen. BA (Hons) in Literature with the Open University, a Diploma in Drama from Swansea University and She has had short stories, plays, reviews and articles, published throughout the British Isles and has won several poetry competitions..

She is a Creative Writing tutor for Pembrokeshire County Council and holds private one to one workshops on all genres.

Welcome to the Sunday Interview Judith and looking forward to finding out more about your work.

You swapped the majesty of the Pennines in Saddleworth near Oldham for Pembrokeshire with its amazing coastline at about the same time. What if any were the differences in culture or lifestyle that you encountered initially and now when you return to Oldham which do you consider home?

We found Pembrokeshire by accident. With three children under five, an old cottage half renovated in a village in Saddleworth at the base of the Pennines, and a small business that took off more successfully than we could ever hope for, and now threatened to spin out of control, we decided to get off the treadmill. At least for a fortnight.

Pre children, cottage and business, we holidayed in Cornwall. Too far with three children and an unreliable converted van, we decided. ‘I’ve heard West Wales has wonderful beaches,’ I said.

I borrowed books on Pembrokeshire from the library. Balancing one-year-old twins on each knee, I read as much as I could about the county. It sounded just the place to take children for a holiday. ‘At least it’s not as far as Cornwall,’ I said, packing the van to the hilt with everything the children would need – and remembering at the last minute to throw in changes of clothes etc. for their parents.

It took ten hours. In 1978 there was no easy route from the North of England to West Wales. We meandered through small lanes, stopping for such emergencies as feeding the twins, picnics, lavatory stops. The closer we were to our destination the more we were stuck in traffic jams (which had no obvious reason for being traffic jams whenever we got to the front of the queue) with three ever-increasing fractious children. We got lost. Numerous times.

We arrived at the caravan site in the middle of the night and were relieved to find the key in the door. The owner, a farmer, had given up and gone home.

I woke early. Leaving David in charge of our exhausted and, thankfully, still sleeping family, I crept out. The sun was already warm; a soft breeze barely moved the leaves on the oak tree nearby. Skylarks flittered and swooped overhead, calling to one another. The caravan was one of four in the farmer’s field. We were the only people there. It was so quiet, so peaceful. I walked along a small path. Within minutes I was faced with a panorama of sea.

It seemed so still from the top of the cliff, but the water, blended turquoise and dark blue with unseen currents, the horizon was a silvery line. Faint voices from two small fishing boats carried on the air. The sandstone cliffs curved round in a natural cove. Jagged rocks, surrounded by white ripples of water, jutted up towards the sky. I fell in love with Pembrokeshire.

I’d always liked living so close to the Pennines. The moors, crisscrossed by ancient stone walls, were glorious with wild rhododendrons in summer, heather in the autumn. Even when brooding under swathes of drifting mist or white- over with snow, I was happy there.

But Pembrokeshire has a powerful glory of its own.

Within months we’d thrown caution, and our past lives, to the wind and, that November, moved to a house that was half-built in an acre of land. Much to the consternation of the family, who truly believed we were mad and, as far as they were concerned, were moving to the ends of the earth.

It took a long time to get the house and garden right and a while to get used to the massive changes in our lives. But having the children helped; we became involved in local activities and people in the area accepted us (once they could understand our Northern accents!) We have made many friends here.

All in all, it’s been one of the best decisions of our lives. We called our house ‘Saddleworth House, so we still have a reminder of our roots. But Pembrokeshire is our home.

In one of your interviews you mentioned that you had kept a diary of your experience with mainstream publishing which must have been very frustrating. Perhaps you could share some key points that you learned from the experience and some words of advice for those thinking of going that route?

It took me a while to get where I am today, being published with a small independent publishers. Honno is a Welsh based women’s publisher. I’ve been with them for nearly ten years, first publishing in their anthologies and then with my own novels. It was a conscious choice in the end, after a disastrous period of time with an agent.

It’s a long tedious story, which, to anyone else, would be boring. The long and short of it (oh dear a cliché – I teach creative writing and one of my pet ‘no-no’s with my students is clichés – I add this in case they’re reading the post here) was that she suggested the manuscript went to a commercial editor. With me paying! Being gullible, I did. It came back completely different; not my book at all. I have nothing against chick-lit; my friend writes brilliantly in that genre, but it’s not my style. The agent wouldn’t listen – I sacked her.

To my mind, you only have one first book, you’ll never have another ‘first’ – so it must be the best writing you can do. And you have to be true to yourself.

It was only months afterwards that I discovered this agent was considered to be a liability in the publishing world, one way and another, (cliché, cliché), so I’d done the right thing by breaking off with her.

To backtrack a little; the day I acquired the agent, I also had acceptance from Honno. They were very gracious about my decision and – when I turned to them later, very gracious in accepting my book. I met with their editor, liked her immediately. I was hooked on the idea of a smaller publisher, so, when, that same week. I was approached by a larger publisher I had no hesitation in turning them down. And I am so glad I did. With a small company you know everyone, get more personal attention and care. And you get to take part in the choice of the covers for the books – and I have to say, I’ve been thrilled with those.

I do have one Indie published book; Silent Trauma. This is a fiction built on fact book. I have a relative affected by a drug that was taken by her mother during pregnancy; Stilboestrol, or Diethylstilbestrol in the US – (DES).Silent Trauma was a difficult book to write. I found myself going through a whole gamut of emotions from day to day.

You were obviously personally affected by the subject matter of  Silent Trauma and perhaps you could summarise your research and the side effects of the drug Stilboestrol DES ((Diethylstilboestrol in the USA) and the impact it has had on so many women’s lives?

In 1938, Stilboestrol (Diethylstilbestrol) was created by Charles Dodds. It was expected that his synthetic oestrogen would help prevent miscarriages. At the time it was not known how dangerous this drug would be to developing foetuses. Years later, he raised concerns about DES but by then very few in the medical field were listening. .In the early 1970’s cases of a rare vaginal/cervical cancer were being diagnosed in young girls. Now researchers are investigating whether DES health issues are extending into the next generation, the so-called DES Grandchildren. As study results come in, there is growing evidence that this group has been adversely impacted by a drug prescribed to their grandmothers. And then, in later life, those women who became pregnant couldn’t carry a baby beyond the first trimester due to a malformation of the uterus – another effect on this drug.

I was lucky to be given permission from the Independent on Sunday newspaper to use an article they had written, about two DES Daughters in the UK, as a Foreword for my book. By combining that and quotes from the DES Daughters I have been in contact with at the beginning of the chapters with the fictional story I hope I have achieved what I set out to do; to bring the information about the drug to the reader and to give them a good story.

The mission of DES Action groups worldwide is to identify, educate, provide support to, and advocate for DES-exposed individuals as well as educate health care professionals. Unfortunately DES Action UK folded due to lack of funds and support but DES Action USA promise to help and advice anyone who contacts them. They have a website: Desaction.org

And there is also a wonderful DES Daughter in the UK who has a website – Des-Daughters– which is constantly updated with the latest news. She also has a Facebook page which can be found by just typing in DES daughter

In America there is been a huge campaign to prove that some DES daughters who developed breast cancer did so because their mothers were prescribed Diethylstilbestrol The first DES Breast Cancer trial was settled out of court by the drug company after the opening arguments. The company did not have to admit guilt for making and promoting DES as an anti-miscarriage drug that causes breast cancer and the DES Daughters, who accepted the settlement, cannot disclose the amount. But there are many other DES breast cancer lawsuits already filed and waiting in the wings. So, even though there was no actual guilty verdict against the drug company there is still a feeling of satisfaction in the DES community.

I did approach my own publishers. The reasons for the rejections were twofold. One was that ‘they wouldn’t be able to sell “issue –led” novels’. And two, I was told, was the worry of being sued by the drug companies. Which I can understand but, to my mind, if any of them decided to sue, they would be accepting culpability. However just in case any of them are reading this, the house is in my husband’s name only and I have no assets!

You took a Diploma in Drama at Swansea University and gone on to write plays that have been performed at the prestigious Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea and as a short film. Have you other projects in the works and what do you find most fulfilling about this area of writing?

I have written a play based on Silent Trauma, but have yet to do anything with it. I’ve written about a dozen plays, so far, for both stage and radio and done nothing with them. Mainly through lack of time. And I love teaching this genre. I think this might be that, mostly, plays are about dialogue. I love dialogue in all genres; there’s nothing more satisfying than bringing a character to life in the way they speak.

In fact I love writing and can ramble on for ages. I suppose that is why, whatever I write, there is always so much editing to do afterwards.

As my husband so often; I write as much as I talk – too much. As is proved here.

Judith there is not a problem with everything that you have written today because it has been a fascinating look behind the scenes at your life and a very important subject that has impacted many women and their families.

Perhaps we could now move onto the opportunity for Judith to do some more storytelling in the central theme of the interview. ‘A funny thing happened to me on the way to……’

A Funny Thing Happened to me on the Way Home….I was waiting to turn left into the lane leading to our house. It was a murky grey afternoon in November, cars swished past on the wet tarmac. All at once the passenger door opened and a small woman slid onto the seat and beamed at me.

‘Thank you. Thought nobody would stop,’ she said. It was her little red wellington boots, her red plastic coat and yellow sou’wester that immediately identified her; I’d seen her often over the years; she was a local eccentric who called herself ‘Mad Madge’. Red wellies in winter, flip flops in summer. Always the sou’wester. Always walking. Always thumbing for a lift.

‘You heading for the village?’ She had a dewdrop balancing precariously on the end of her nose. She waggled her head. The drip flew off onto the dashboard

‘Well no—’ I just stopped myself getting the duster from the door compartment and wiping the offending drop.

‘Me too.’ She looked over her shoulder, ‘There’s a queue behind us, you’d better go.’

And I did. Don’t ask me why. A number of reasons I suppose; I knew that, although she was strange, she was harmless, I didn’t want to tell her I wasn’t offering her a lift (yes, yes, weak but it was raining hard and she was very wet.) And she was smiling and thanking me. Anyway, it was only two miles to the village.

We travelled in silence until …’Stop here a moment.’ She pointed. ‘I need to go in there.’

And, before I could say anything she’d hopped out and gone around the back of a house. .

What to do? She’d left a bag in the car – so she wasn’t going to be long – was she? I waited, listening to the soft swish of the windscreen wipers and the low grumble of the engine. After five minutes I turned the engine off and put the radio on. I waited.   And waited. Then I sounded the horn – twice. Nothing. I got out of the car, carrying the bag. It was still pouring down. I knocked on the door. No answer. I went around to the back. She was sitting at the table having a cup of tea, still in her shiny red coat.

‘You left this,’ I said, holding the bag out.

‘Oh, you didn’t need to bring it in, I’m ready now,’ she said and, jumping up, rushed past me, leaving the door open. I closed it. If I hadn’t I might have beaten her to the car. We both raced along the path (I can still see those little red wellies galloping along in front of me) I’d forgotten to lock the door and she was in. Beaming!

I drove her to the village. She got out of the car without a word but still beaming. I went home.

I’ve seen her since – and kept on driving. I’ve often wondered how many other people she conned like that. Not so Mad Madge, after all. You have to laugh.

My thanks to Judith for such an indepth and wonderful look at her life and work and also thanks for her tireless support for all of the bloggers that she comes into contact with.  A truly delightful person and part of our community.

Books by Judith Barrow

One of the recent reviews for The Memory on Goodreads

Sep 08, 2020 N.N. Light rated it 4.5 stars

Irene is her mother’s caretaker and over a twenty-four period, she revisits the past, allowing long-buried shameful secrets to be brought to light. Years ago, when her sister, Rose, was brought into the world, Irene was overjoyed. It didn’t matter to her Rose had Down Syndrome, she loved and took care of her as if Rose was her own daughter. Her mother, on the other hand, rejected Rose and would have nothing to do with her. Rose’s death, shrouded in mystery even after all these years, bind Irene to her mother. As Irene remembers the past and tries to reconcile it with the present and future, she wonders if her memory is flawed or does the answer lie with her own mother?

The Memory is an emotional story about mothers and daughters, love and loss, raising a special needs child, and the barren canyon of emotions that lay hidden behind grief. The plot is overflowing with feeling as Irene comes to grips with the past. I cried so many times while reading, I needed two boxes of tissues. Judith Barrow framed the story as a 24-hour period but I tend to disagree as there were plenty of flashbacks and flashforwards. I personally couldn’t relate to the characters, but I could relate to being the daughter of a mother with high expectations. The tension is palpable throughout the story, so it took me awhile to read it. The writing is exquisite, the pacing perfect, and the characterizations well-developed. If you’re a fan of family-life sagas, you’ll love The Memory. Fans of Rebecca Wells, this is a must-read.

 

Judith Barrow Buy: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Judith: Goodreads – blog: Judith Barrow – Twitter: @judithbarrow77

 

Thanks for joining us today and I know Judith would love your feedback…thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up 18th – 24th October 2020 – Streisand, Seasonal Affective Disorder, War Poets, Authors, Books, Reviews and Funnies


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

Ireland is back in level 5 lockdown until December 1st, and then depending on progress, we might be let out again for Christmas, although not entirely sure that allowing more interaction will not result in another upsurge in January. I wonder if they will extend the restrictions until the New Year and have just chosen the 1st December to keep us hopeful?

I do feel very sorry for the small businesses who have spent time and money putting in social distancing measures and were only just gaining ground after the last lockdown. At this time of year especially, most will be relying on the seasonal trade and I just hope that they will come through it. Some are offering their products on Amazon for example and it would be great to think that people will choose to buy local.

We have not really come out of lockdown as I go out just once a week for  fresh produce and since June I have been for a trim to the hairdressers twice. I was just working myself up to making a new appointment for this week when the restrictions were announced. So I trimmed the front and David trimmed the back in the garden.  I did tip him of course.

Last week I shared some good news stories and this week I thought you might like this photograph that demonstrates not just the connection we have with wild animals but that some have a sense of fun. This whale enjoys playing with the tourist boats by pushing them around his patch of the ocean. I would love to have been a passenger.

Gray Whale Plays Pushing Tourists’ by Joseph Cheires – Baja California, Mexico

My thanks to William Price King and D.G. Kaye this week for their musical and humorous contributions.. and to you for dropping by and liking, commenting and sharing..

Life and Music of Barbra Streisand Part Four 1980s/1990s and films

For the next few Sundays I am sharing some of the interviews with regular visitors to the blog dating back to 2015 onwards.

Guest Interviews 2015 – A Funny Thing Happened, #Relationships D.G. Kaye

My Parent’s visit – Part Three – The Alamo and Natural Bridge Caverns

– Chapter Twelve – Car Rides and move to Spain

Milestones Along the Way – #Ireland #Waterford 1950s – The Sea Angler’s Club by Geoff Cronin

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Fashion Department and Shoplifters

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Cut Glass Crystal and a Smashing start

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Telesales and Helping Farmers pick the right Bull

#Mystery #Paranormal – Harbinger (Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3) by Marcia Meara

Past Book Reviews 2018 – #Thriller – Lies by T. M. Logan

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In Remembrance – The War Poets – Vera Brittain

UnSeasonal Affective Disorder #Lockdown #Elderly – Part One

UnSeasonal Affective Disorder – The Missing Link – Vitamin D

Chamomile Essential Oil

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Share your review – Darlene Foster reviews The Jigsaw Puzzle King by Gina McMurchy-Barber

 

Author updates – #Wartime D.L. Finn, #History Barbara Ann Mojica

#Mythology – King of the Asphodels by David Jordan

-#Vaudeville Elizabeth Gauffreau, #DieselPunk Teagan Riordain Geneviene, #Pilgrims Noelle Granger

New #Poetry Balroop Singh, Reviews #Mystery Lizzie Chantree, #SouthernContemporary Claire Fullerton

#Family James J. Cudney, #WWII Robbie Cheadle and Elsie Haney Eaton, #Fantasy D. Wallace Peach

October 20th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Fatbits and Ducks.

October 22nd 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Rabbits and Replacement Windows

Some old favourites and a joke or two host Sally Cronin

Thank you so much for visiting today and I hope you have a great weekend.. Stay safe…Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Guest Interviews 2015 – A Funny Thing Happened, #Relationships D.G. Kaye


As I sort through and organise my files here on WordPress which now amount to over 12,000 since 2013, I am discovering gems, such as guest interviews that I would love to share with you again..

This week an early interview with D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies as part of a Sunday interview series ‘A Funny Thing Happened to Me.’ in 2015.

Little did I know as I asked Debby about one of the topics for her non-fiction books, narcissism, that a few years later she would be writing the Relationship Column for us. I have updated the interviews with recent books and reviews and I hope you will enjoy revisiting the posts with me.

71F8zMPwPML._UX250_If you are a regular visitor you will have met Debby before as a contributor writing The Travel Column for two years and now The Realm of Relationships 2020. Debby also co-hosts the Laughter Lines twice a week.

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Thank you Debby for joining us today and perhaps we could start with the increasingly documented personality trait labelled Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is only recently that this disorder has become better known as more and more people realise that at some point in their lives they have been subjected to its negative impact. Perhaps you could describe the sort of behaviour that a narcissist would exhibit?

Hello Sally and readers of this wonderful blog. Thank you so much for inviting me to this new series to share my stories here with so many other talented artists and writers.

A narcissist, in laymen’s terms, sees him/herself as the center of existence. They feel as though their appearance and/or words trump everyone else’s. In my mother’s case, she had created a false persona that she had convinced her own self that she was superior. It was her mission to be the most beautiful one in a room, and craved attention so that focus had to be on her at all times.

Everything she talked about was exaggerated to make sure she could captivate her audience with her stories of grandeur. Her wants and needs came first to anyone else’s, including her children’s. She’d go to any lengths to acquire whatever it was she seeked.

Now, some people like to tell lies and paint pretty pictures of themselves for attention, but a true narcissist, as in my mother’s case, actually believes her own stories because she lived in her own ego.

I learned through the years of studying her, that this was a disease, which commonly wasn’t recognized as such. In the last generation, I don’t believe it was prominently diagnosed.

Do we all have some elements of that behaviour and if so what triggers it becoming a full blown disorder?

I don’t believe we all have the elements of becoming a narcissist, but I do believe there can be circumstances or incidents one encounters in life that propel one to becoming narcissistic. I’m no licenced psychologist, but I have to believe it can also be linked to various (undiagnosed) mental disorders, such as depression, which becomes a catalyst to narcissism, used to overcome some troubling issues. I say this because I think that besides my mother’s strife to be the best in show, I sensed a sadness within her that she was trying to conceal, not just to everyone, but also to herself.

She medicated that inner sadness with booze, pills and gambling, intermittently. She came from a poor family, and in a Scarlett O’Hara sort of way, had used her beauty as a weapon to obtain materialistic things in life.

I don’t believe anyone is born a narcissist. I think that it is the situations one lives through, which have a propensity to steer them in that direction as a means to achieve a status to feel better about themselves; and no matter at who’s expense.

It is obvious, as in your case, that a child would feel powerless in that kind of relationship. But is also true that adults of narcissistic parents can still be under the influence of that negativity especially as the parents age. What would be your advice to someone facing that challenge?

I would have to say the statistics show that many adults are still held under the powers of a narcissistic parent. It’s a major feat to become freed from the power that parents hold over us, mainly from their use of guilt as a means to obtain what they demand.

I was petrified to say the word “no” to my mother, my whole life. I danced to her every whim, and there were plenty of them. Children’s psyches are delicate, and grow from what we know and are used to. If we’re obedient, and not defiant children being raised by a narcissist, the odds are we shall remain under their power for the rest of their lives unless we are lucky enough to take a stand to them. For me, it was always unsettling to be around my mother.

We have to find a way for ourselves to live comfortably and deal with that parent (in my case.) It is very unlikely that person will ever change because they don’t believe they are the one with the problem.

I complied with my mother’s demands all my life and it ate away at me like poison, I took her wraths and tantrums because I felt I had to obey. I was the child, no matter what age I was. It took me decades and barrels of courage to get over the feeling that she had entitlement to anything she demanded from me, as a daughter. With a lot of self-therapy and self-analysis, I tried to reason with her to no avail.

I had to learn the hard way that it wasn’t my job, or in my power to fix her. The sickness wouldn’t allow anything positive I had to offer her, register with her. In the end, it was my own self-sanity I had to save, and painfully after so much emotional torment, at 48 years old, I walked away,

Sometimes you have to learn when you can’t fix a broken soul who doesn’t think it needs repairing.

In the UK there are around 120,000 divorces a year which is one of the highest in the European Union. In the US I understand that is around the 2.5 million mark per year. Whatever the figure that is a huge number of men and women and of course millions of children who are faced with this life changing event. What do you believe are the key issues that partners find so difficult to overcome that leads to this very final dissolution of their relationship and family?

Many times people get married for the wrong reasons, varying from anything such as, for material gain, pregnancy, or just settling for a relationship in order not to be alone, just to name a few. Other times, it could be that people marry too young.

Experience shows us that as we grow older, our wants and likes change as we grow. Sometimes people drift into new directions, leaving a partner behind when they no longer share interests. Also, infidelity is a major cause of break-ups, and I believe the promiscuity begins when one isn’t receiving the shared interest, respect, attention or kindness from their partner. They crave acceptance and to be acknowledged or included as a partner in their marriage, and when they stop receiving, they become vulnerable when they meet someone who feeds that need.

What would be your advice to anyone in a relationship who is facing potentially serious issues about some of the communication points they should be discussing with their partners to help prevent a complete breakdown?

We have to communicate our thoughts and feelings to our partners. We have to open our ears and listen back when they express their feelings to us. We should be supporting their work and passions. This must become a two-way street of reciprocation.

If we feel we are giving our all, and we aren’t being paid any mind or consideration for our own thoughts and feelings, this is a good sign we are not in a loving, supportive relationship. This would be the time to seek some outside therapy to salvage a relationship, before it becomes time to sever it.

Thank you so much Debby for providing such an important insight into one of the most corrosive relationships that we can find ourselves in and also the strategies that might help us overcome the challenges we face. 

Now time for the central theme of the Sunday Show interview.. ‘A funny thing happened to me..’

What are the Odds?

I title this situation with the phrase I’ve countlessly repeated many times throughout my life because I’ve often encountered situations in life where the odds were slim of things happening.

Sometimes it wasn’t always a good situation, but in this instance, I lucked out with favourable odds.

When I was twenty-five, I took a leave of absence from my then position as an executive assistant to the general manager of a downtown hotel chain. I had a fantasy that I wanted to fulfil of travelling through the Greek islands. Part of that trip I rented villa on the island of Mykonos for six weeks.

I travelled alone, as I was fiercely independent and had no trouble meeting people and forging friendships.

While I was waiting for three days in Athens for my booked passage over to Mykonos, I had befriended some interesting people staying at my same hotel. One of these people was a lovely Dutch boy, a few years younger than I, who was backpacking through Europe. Another couple I befriended were from Australia, also backpacking and taking on work around Europe to sustain their travels. They were at the same hotel at the same time as I was, all treating themselves to a few days in a nice hotel instead of the usual youth hostels.

When we all parted to go our separate ways, I had given them my address in Mykonos, and invited them to drop by if they were on the island in the coming weeks, and I offered them a room to rent in the villa for a nominal fee. I thought it would be nice for them, and it would also give me some extra pocket money.

Only a few days had gone by in Mykonos, and I had broken my foot getting off a high step on a bus while going into town for some provisions. Now, that situation alone is a story, which you will find in my book Conflicted Hearts, but nonetheless, my foot was broken, and I wasn’t going to another island to have it casted. I saw a doctor who wrapped it tightly in a tensor bandage, gave me crutches, and told me to keep my leg elevated as much as possible. Walking on crutches on the broken cobblestone roads and struggling to get up the small mountain (and down) on the rickety path to the beach was a feat in itself.

A few days had passed and as I struggled again to get to the beach, and find my rock where I elevated my foot, I laid down my things and began thinking that I should cut my vacation short because it was too hard for me to get around. I was sad and scared about my demise. Tears sprang from eyes in my feelings of defeat. And then moments later, I heard somebody shouting my name.

I was sure it was a call for someone else, as I had yet to make friends with anyone there, except for the jeweller in town who befriended me when I fell off the bus and helped me get to a doctor, then scared the crap out of me. (Again full story in my book.)

I quickly sat up to see where the far away voice was coming from, when I realized God had sent me an angel.

My little Dutch friend had come to visit. He stayed for two weeks. He was so kind and helpful. He prepared meals for me, took me to town and carried my things, and helped me up and down the hilly paths. We shared a great friendship for many years after through letters. And, of course, I never took a dime from him.

Could lightning strike twice? After my Dutch friend left, a mere one day later, the same miracle happened at the beach when my Aussie friends showed up looking for me. They stayed with me for two weeks.

Coincidence? Divine timing? Those who know me well know that I often preach that we meet people; sometimes for reasons, sometimes for a season.

Love your story Debby… Coincidence perhaps, but also down to how well liked you were by those you met that they wanted to see you again…

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the recent reviews for P.S. I Forgive You on Goodreads

Jul 29, 2020 M.J. Mallon rated it Five Stars it was amazing

This is a very personal account of the author’s experiences of coping and coming to terms with the emotions experienced after the death of a narcissistic mother. D. G Kaye’s mother is herself a product of the terrible parenting she experienced as a child. My own mother struggled with many heartbreaking problems as she grew up. She overcame these and was and continues to be a wonderfully caring mother. I have a deep, unbreakable bond with her which I also have with my daughters.

As I continued to read further into this memoir I kept on comparing our circumstances. How sad and damaging such an uncaring, selfish parent is to her children. How can a mother behave in such a way? P.S. I Forgive You is an important read for all of us. This memoir is about letting go, releasing the emotional turmoil which begun in childhood.

It is a compelling read. It courageously deals with the extremes of family relationships. Relationships are complex and difficult even in what I would deem to be ‘normal’ families. There are many who struggle to understand or relate to their son or daughter, sister, brother, wife or husband.

But this memoir takes those problems to a whole new level that no one should have to experience. After such a damaging upbringing, D. G. Kaye has suffered but has learnt to forgive. She lives a happy, fulfilled life. That is a wonderful testament to her strength of character and her can do attitude.

I’d recommend this memoir to us all whatever our circumstances

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon US AndAmazon UK – BlogD.G. WritesGoodreads:D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster – Facebook: Debby Gies

Thank you for joining us today and Debby would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – 20th Anniversary #Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – The Steak House Part One – Sally Cronin


It is 20 years since I put pen to paper.. of fingers to the keyboard and wrote my novel Just an Odd Job Girl. I am delighted that it still gets the odd recent review, but I thought to celebrate the anniversary I would offer it FREE for the next few weeks. Particularly as I am in the middle of editing my next collection due out in November.

As an indie author on Amazon I don’t get to do free giveaways, so I would ask you to email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and let me know if you would like a Mobi for Kindle or an Epub version of the book for other devices. I promise I won’t share your email with anyone else. You can find out more about the book and its most recent review at the end of the post.

To set the scene I am going to repeat my series from early 2018 which shared the background to the stories in the book that I elaborated on and fictionalised. As a bonus I will also be including some other jobs that were not in the book that might also be considered a bit different. For example, flogging bull semen at agricultural shows to selling ‘similar’ top end perfumes in the East End of London. I think you get the idea about how odd some of these jobs might have been.

Anyway back to my odd jobs and my time in The Cosmetic Department came to an end and I decided at that point I would not join the Royal Navy, and instead went to work for my sister for two years at a management training centre. Then I married and I worked for an estate agent for two years before starting my training as a manager for a well known steak house chain.

The Steak House Part One

I began my training as an assistant manager in a steak house in Kent in 1974. For the six months, I would rotate around through the two bars and two restaurants that served a simple menu of steak, chicken, and fish. Most dishes came with either French fries (chips) and peas. For the more health conscious there was a jacket potato option, but by the time several pats of butter had been added, it was as fattening as the fries. Dessert options were ice cream with chocolate sauce and sprinkled nuts, or apple pie and cream. The wine menu was short and featured the German white wines so popular at the time, with much touting of the young French red wines with alleged body and clarity.

However, despite not being a Michelin starred establishment, the training was considered to be one of the best in that particular area of the hospitality industry. It was certainly intensive, and when you consider the hours we worked daily, six days a week, the six months training was actually something you would normally complete in twelve months.

The building itself had been built in 1812 and sported the red flocked wallpaper so fashionable in the 1960s and 1970s. Smoking was still in its hey day and the ceiling was a curious shade of tobacco after 150 years of nicotine exhalation. The smell that greeted you in the morning was ‘eau de tabac’ laced with beer overtones. When you had been working until after midnight, had barely six hours sleep, you found yourself declining anything but black coffee until lunchtime.

I have to say that I loved it, despite the hard work and long hours. We had some very interesting regulars, and the locals embraced the concept of the steak house with gusto. It was cheap and cheerful, and as music blared out on a Friday and Saturday night, both downstairs and upstairs bars and restaurants were packed. The waiting list for a table could be an hour or more, but beer and schooners of sherry (lethal), dulled the senses sufficiently for the wait to be quite jovial.

During the day, only the downstairs restaurant was in use and was consistently busy. This offered the assistant managers time to do the usual administrative work needed to run the steak house, such as ordering food and spirits and cleaning the bars after the night before.

In the evenings it was my job to run the upstairs restaurant, with a team of waitresses waiting on the tables, and two bar staff, who alternated between serving pre-dinner drinks and after dinner liqueur coffees with assorted spirits (this is pre-drink-driving laws!).

The waitresses were rushed off their feet as they juggled three or four large plates laden with steak, chicken, and sides. My job to help in reducing the waiting list was to clear the tables as soon as the diners had paid, and re-equip with cutlery, glasses, and napkins as rapidly as possible. I would then dash back to the bar and announce the name of the lucky party over the tannoy system, who could now stagger after me into the restaurant.

One Saturday night in the middle of a very busy service, I had to handle a potentially difficult situation that could have ended up in the papers (thank goodness there were no mobile phones in those days). As you will remember this building was old, and there were dark recesses within the walls and ceilings, that you would have been wise to avoid for what might reside there.

I was checking the state of play on progress at a number of tables where the patrons were wiping away the evidence of their chocolate sundae. I noticed a man at a table with a party of six, bend down to retrieve his napkin. Instead, he came up with something smaller and definitely furrier than the paper serviette. I suspect that as a natural reflex, he stood with his arm held straight out from his body, clearly amazed at his catch. From my vantage point at the entrance to the restaurant, I identified the rotating body of a dead mouse.

There is a split second between shocked discovery and the public announcement of the find. Although never great at school at the 100 metre dash, I now excelled myself. Dropping the waiting list on the bar, I rushed through the restaurant and snatched the unfortunate deceased rodent from its captor, continuing on to the kitchen at warp speed. I deposited the mouse in the bin and turned and raced back the other way to find the patron staring at his hand and looking around in confusion.

Lighting in the restaurants was provided by dim wall lights in order to provide a romantic and intimate feel to the experience. It also served to conceal the tobacco infused ceiling and rather dodgy carpet. It also thankfully managed to befuddle the diner, who thankfully had not only consumed four pints of beer in the bar beforehand, but also a bottle of our best Liebfraumilch. I added to the befuddlement, by handing him his fallen napkin, and asking if the party would be interested in some liqueur coffees on the house, to compensate them for their long wait before dining.

An exterminator was called the next day and traps were hidden in all the usual haunts. But there was a postscript to this story.

One of the waitresses was a bit of a madam and was always giving the chef grief. As part of the staff’s pay, supper was included before the restaurants opened in the evening. The day after the incident, this particular waitress retrieved her indicated supper from the hot plate, and on sitting down, removed the cover. She issued a piercing scream that probably cleared the rodents from the building far more effectively than the traps. I came over to find out what the problem was, to discover her staring at her plate of battered mouse, French fries, and peas.

©Sally Cronin 1999

Next Monday ghosts in the Steak House Part Two.

About the book

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.

Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Feb 08, 2020 Pete Springer rated it Five stars it was amazing

Sally Cronin has written a delightful book with Just an Odd Job Girl. The central character, Imogen, is most likable and must return to the workforce after her husband, Peter, falls for a much younger woman. At age fifty, Imogen has not only lost her husband but faces the reality that she must find a job after more than two decades. What Imogen has going for her is a rich and varied employment history from when she first became employed at age fourteen.

What follows is extreme hilarity as Cronin skillfully recaps all of Imogen’s unexpected employment adventures. From chasing after shoplifters to unexpectedly filling in as a dental assistant when the regular hygenist faints, there are plenty of laughs. Every employment opportunity forces Imogen to acquire new skills with the most entertaining stint as a hotel assistant manager. Along the way, Imogen realizes that she can tackle any problem or situation that life throws her way. The ending is most satisfying, but I don’t want to spoil that for you.

To get your FREE copy of Just An Odd Job Girl for Kindle or in Epub please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com – your email will not be shared and whilst a review would be most welcome it is not expected.

Sally Cronin, Buy: :Amazon US – and:Amazon UK  –  Follow:Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58

Thanks for dropping in and more odd jobs on Monday and I hope you will join me then.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – 20th Anniversary #Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – The Cosmetic Department – Sally Cronin


It is 20 years since I put pen to paper.. of fingers to the keyboard and wrote my novel Just an Odd Job Girl. I am delighted that it still gets the odd recent review, but I thought to celebrate the anniversary I would offer it FREE for the next few weeks. Particularly as I am in the middle of editing my next collection due out in November.

As an indie author on Amazon I don’t get to do free giveaways, so I would ask you to email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and let me know if you would like a Mobi for Kindle or an Epub version of the book for other devices. I promise I won’t share your email with anyone else. You can find out more about the book and its most recent review at the end of the post.

To set the scene I am going to repeat my series from early 2018 which shared the background to the stories in the book that I elaborated on and fictionalised. As a bonus I will also be including some other jobs that were not in the book that might also be considered a bit different. For example, flogging bull semen at agricultural shows to selling ‘similar’ top end perfumes in the East End of London. I think you get the idea about how odd some of these jobs might have been.

Anyway back to my odd jobs and my role in the shoe department  came to an end but the store kept me on as a consultant in the cosmetic department.

The Department Store – Part Two – The Cosmetic Department.

I had been working in one of our large local department stores as I waited to begin my training in the Royal Alexandra Nursing Service.

Following on from my six weeks over Christmas and New Year in the shoe department of the store, I moved downstairs to the cosmetic department.

I was nineteen, and into make-up, as most of my generation was at the time. This offered me the opportunity to sample anything that I wanted, within reason, as I was appointed ‘roving consultant’. This meant that I would be trained by the different cosmetic houses in their individual products, and on their regular consultant’s day off, I would take her place.

For example, one of the cosmetic firms offered a powder blending service to its customers. This involved checking the skin tones of the client and then mixing a specific blend of powders for their complexion. There was a base powder and about twelve different shades that could be added. We used a giant spatula to whisk the powder over the tissue paper with little pinches of the different shades added until the perfect blend had been achieved.

The combination was noted on the client card, and would then be made up to that formula each time the customer needed it. The variety in my new position made my life much more interesting and I loved working with cosmetics and perfume.

I had been in the position about four weeks, and was practicing my powder blending technique, when a rather large, reddened hand stretched across the counter towards me.

‘Have you something that might tone this down a little please?’ said a rather deep voice.

I looked up, a little startled by the depth of this female voice, to be confronted with rather an arresting sight. She was very tall with broad shoulders that were draped with long blonde hair. She also sported a five o’clock shadow. I was rather taken aback, as this anomaly was something I had not previously encountered. My training and upbringing took over and I stopped staring directly at her face and concentrated on the hand still being proffered to me.

‘I think that we might have a foundation that would tone down the redness,’ I offered.

‘I can then blend you a powder to ensure that it lasts all day if that would help?’

She smiled at me and perched on the little round stool the other side of the counter. The following half-hour was both informative and enjoyable. My new customer was funny and totally unconcerned by her strange appearance. She introduced herself as Dolly and regaled me with her recent escapades on her path to becoming the woman she wished to be. One of these being the removal of hair on the backs of her hands and lower arms. Hence the reddened skin on show.

As I came to the end of her particular powder blend, she leant across the counter and motioned for me to come closer.

Slightly reluctantly, I edged forward until I was staring into large blue eyes, below rather bushy eyebrows that were considerably darker than the cascade of blonde hair.

‘My real name is Arthur’ she whispered quietly. ‘I have to dress and live like this for a year before  I undergo more treatment.’

This encounter was to lead to a rise in takings for the cosmetic department, as we became the best place to go for advice and products to enhance feminine beauty, for anyone who needed it.

Dolly became our unofficial PR agent, and I was invited to a party in a pub one night, where I was delighted to see all our advice and products being used to their full advantage.

What a lovely bunch of ladies and they taught a young woman much with their bravery and support for one another.

Dolly went on to star in my book Just an Odd Job Girl with some creative embellishments.

©Sally Cronin – 1999

On Friday I begin my management training in a Steak House.  

About the book

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.
Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Feb 08, 2020 Pete Springer rated it Five stars it was amazing

Sally Cronin has written a delightful book with Just an Odd Job Girl. The central character, Imogen, is most likable and must return to the workforce after her husband, Peter, falls for a much younger woman. At age fifty, Imogen has not only lost her husband but faces the reality that she must find a job after more than two decades. What Imogen has going for her is a rich and varied employment history from when she first became employed at age fourteen.

What follows is extreme hilarity as Cronin skillfully recaps all of Imogen’s unexpected employment adventures. From chasing after shoplifters to unexpectedly filling in as a dental assistant when the regular hygenist faints, there are plenty of laughs. Every employment opportunity forces Imogen to acquire new skills with the most entertaining stint as a hotel assistant manager. Along the way, Imogen realizes that she can tackle any problem or situation that life throws her way. The ending is most satisfying, but I don’t want to spoil that for you.

To get your FREE copy of Just An Odd Job Girl for Kindle or in Epub please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com – your email will not be shared and whilst a review would be most welcome it is not expected.

Sally Cronin, Buy: :Amazon US – and:Amazon UK  –  Follow:Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58

Thanks for dropping in and more odd jobs on Friday and I hope you will join me then.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – 20th Anniversary #Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – The Shoe Department – Sally Cronin


It is 20 years since I put pen to paper.. of fingers to the keyboard and wrote my novel Just an Odd Job Girl. I am delighted that it still gets the odd recent review, but I thought to celebrate the anniversary I would offer it FREE for the next few weeks. Particularly as I am in the middle of editing my next collection due out in November.

As an indie author on Amazon I don’t get to do free giveaways, so I would ask you to email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and let me know if you would like a Mobi for Kindle or an Epub version of the book for other devices. I promise I won’t share your email with anyone else. You can find out more about the book and its most recent review at the end of the post.

To set the scene I am going to repeat my series from early 2018 which shared the background to the stories in the book that I elaborated on and fictionalised. As a bonus I will also be including some other jobs that were not in the book that might also be considered a bit different. For example, flogging bull semen at agricultural shows to selling ‘similar’ top end perfumes in the East End of London. I think you get the idea about how odd some of these jobs might have been.

Anyway back to my odd jobs and my role at the Dental Surgery was over and I had moved on to a local department store.

The Shoe Department – Cheating and surprises

I loved working in the dental surgery, but I felt that I would like to take the medical side of my training further. I decided to follow in my father’s footsteps and join the Royal Navy as a nurse in the Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Service. I applied and was accepted for an interview which I attended at Haslar Naval Hospital. It was a bit of an ordeal as it involved a written exam, physical exam and an interview with senior nursing and naval officers. I returned home and waited for the outcome. A letter arrived a week later, to say that I had been accepted, but not for another eighteen months.

This left me in a quandary, and being the age I was, I felt that before I joined up I should see a little more of life. I handed in my notice at the dental surgery, applying to the local department store for a temporary job whilst I decided on my strategy for the next year or so.

I have to point out that I am one of three sisters, with a mother who loved shoes and handbags, and it appeared that she had passed those particular genes onto us. I can remember at a very early age spending many happy hours in the bottom of my mother’s wardrobe, rummaging through her high heeled dancing shoes and trying them out for size. Not very elegant at five years old, but habit forming.

When I was offered a temporary post over Christmas, in the shoe department of Handley’s Department store in Southsea, I was obviously more than excited. Little did I know that I would experience petty theft, a rather revealing encounter and potentially dangerous equipment!

The shoe department was staffed by a manager and a number of assistants, one of which had been there for donkey’s years. She was a spinster lady, who seemed ancient to me at the time, but was probably only in her fifties. She was designated to show me the ropes and duly took me under her wing. One of the bonuses of working in the shoe department was that you received commission on every pair of shoes you sold. You would cut out the front of the shoe box and write your name on it, saving these up until the Thursday and handing them to the manager to be sent up to the accounts department. It didn’t add a fortune to your weekly pay, but a few extra shillings a week was not to be sniffed at.

My mentor told me not to worry the first week, as she would make sure that the box ends were collected and handed to the manager. I kept a record of my sales and was surprised to find that I was missing half my commission on the Friday. I was new and didn’t want to rock the boat, but I obviously looked after my own box ends after that. I later found out that one of the other girls had encountered the same problem when she started. We had a couple more assistants arrive to help over the Christmas rush and we made sure took them under our wings!

Come the sales in January and we were rushed off our feet with high end shoes reduced considerably. I also got staff discount and was in seventh heaven, spending my lunch hours in the stock room trying on everything in my size. One day a very smart middle-aged customer arrived and pointed out several pairs of shoes that she wished to try on. Delighted by my luck in finding a big spender, I set about gathering my wares.

We had short-legged stools with a sloping rubber covered surface on which a foot was guided into shoes with a shoe horn, and if needed a gentle shove. As I helped madam into her first shoe, I looked up to see if she approved, to find her skirt had slid upward to above the knee. She was wearing no knickers, and I have to say that for a moment I had no idea where to look. The customer was completely unconcerned and not wishing to cause embarrassment, I tried to keep my focus on the number of box ends I would be submitting at the end of the week.

This brings me to the piece of equipment that was in my opinion highly unsuitable for use in a department store. Particularly as it was primarily used to identify if a child had sufficient room in their new shoes for their feet to grow. You placed the customer’s feet on a platform underneath the housing of the machine, looking through a viewfinder to see the x-ray. Having worked in a dental surgery with stringent precautions when using an x-ray machine, I was astonished to find one in use in public. I am afraid that after my introduction to this equipment I relied on the safer, tried and tested method of determining fit, by pressing my thumb all around the child’s foot in the new shoe to check for the necessary growing room. These shoe-fitting fluoroscopes were subsequently banned in the mid-1970s in the USA and Europe, and thankfully I only had minimal exposure. There were however grave concerns over the long-term effects on sales personnel who had used the machines over many years.

However, I did enjoy my time in the shoe department and also being in a sales environment. I had made friends amongst the staff (except for one) and asked if I could stay on. They no longer needed me in the shoe department, but I was asked if I would like to be a powder blender and roving consultant in the cosmetic department. My favourite items after shoes…

More adventures on the horizon.

©sallycronin 1999

On Wednesday – The Cosmetic  Department – and some powder blending.

About the book

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.
Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Feb 08, 2020 Pete Springer rated it Five stars it was amazing

Sally Cronin has written a delightful book with Just an Odd Job Girl. The central character, Imogen, is most likable and must return to the workforce after her husband, Peter, falls for a much younger woman. At age fifty, Imogen has not only lost her husband but faces the reality that she must find a job after more than two decades. What Imogen has going for her is a rich and varied employment history from when she first became employed at age fourteen.

What follows is extreme hilarity as Cronin skillfully recaps all of Imogen’s unexpected employment adventures. From chasing after shoplifters to unexpectedly filling in as a dental assistant when the regular hygenist faints, there are plenty of laughs. Every employment opportunity forces Imogen to acquire new skills with the most entertaining stint as a hotel assistant manager. Along the way, Imogen realizes that she can tackle any problem or situation that life throws her way. The ending is most satisfying, but I don’t want to spoil that for you.

To get your FREE copy of Just An Odd Job Girl for Kindle or in Epub please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com – your email will not be shared and whilst a review would be most welcome it is not expected.

Sally Cronin, Buy: :Amazon US – and:Amazon UK  –  Follow:Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58

Thanks for dropping in and more odd jobs on Wednesday and I hope you will join me then.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – 20th Anniversary #Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Dental Surgery Part Two by Sally Cronin


It is 20 years since I put pen to paper.. of fingers to the keyboard and wrote my novel Just an Odd Job Girl. I am delighted that it still gets the odd recent review, but I thought to celebrate the anniversary I would offer it FREE for the next few weeks. Particularly as I am in the middle of editing my next collection due out in November.

As an indie author on Amazon I don’t get to do free giveaways, so I would ask you to email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and let me know if you would like a Mobi for Kindle or an Epub version of the book for other devices. I promise I won’t share your email with anyone else. You can find out more about the book and its most recent review at the end of the post.

To set the scene I am going to repeat my series from early 2018 which shared the background to the stories in the book that I elaborated on and fictionalised. As a bonus I will also be including some other jobs that were not in the book that might also be considered a bit different. For example, flogging bull semen at agricultural shows to selling ‘similar’ top end perfumes in the East End of London. I think you get the idea about how odd some of these jobs might have been.

Anyway back to my odd jobs and my role at the Dental Surgery changes to a more hands on approach

The Dental Surgery Part Two

Previously…..

After many years of not being able to have a baby… Miss Smith (who had married several years before but was still called Miss Smith by my boss) was pregnant and could not stand the sight of blood! So began a very intensive training course and my career took a very different path.

I was now 18 years old and have been studying the dental nurse course at home and in quiet periods in the surgery. I had also been getting practical experience on the basic tasks required by a chairside assistant, and having done a first aid course, I found that I slipped into this role quite quickly. In those days ‘on job training’

was common, and because there was not such a wide range of procedures carried out, it was intensive but thorough. Also in those days there were not the technical aspects to the profession to contend with. Poor patients were lucky to get an anaesthetic for minor fillings!

By this time Roland was 68 and he was a tough boss. He had been in the army during the second world war and after retiring at 50 had gone into private practice. He did rather treat me as a ‘squaddie’ and this extended to the daily deep cleaning of the surgery. Apart from washing down all the surfaces with antiseptic wash, including chair and its attachments, I was expected to sterilise all instruments after each patient in a temperamental boiler. I was also equipped with a toothbrush, and all cracks and seams on the chair and the cabinet that contained the instruments and drugs had to be cleaned with hot water and soap each Wednesday afternoon when Roland went out sailing.

Our equipment was not exactly state-of-the-art, and some of it actually had done service in the desert. For example, at that time, in the sixties, we had frequent power cuts during the miners strikes. This of course meant that the electric, high-speed drill was non-operational.  Out came a manual drill which had terrorised hundreds of soldiers no doubt during the war. Roland would pump up and down on a pedal and this provided enough energy to operate the drill at a painfully slow speed. I operated a wheeled squeeze box that powered the suction pipe, also a relic from 1939 -1945.. Painful enough just watching, so I can only imagine what it was like for the patient.

Another of my jobs was to develop the X-rays, and on one occasion this led to a bit of a ‘miracle’. The developing was done in a small broom cupboard at the top of the stairs. It contained two tall, narrow, tanks, one for developing and one for fixing, and I had to wear elbow length rubber gloves to handle the chemicals.

For processing, the X-rays were clipped into a metal holder which had four metal clips each side of the main central shaft. A sticker was put on this shaft showing which patient each X-ray belonged to. On this particular occasion, when I was in a hurry, I inadvertently opened the central clip at the top of the holder and released all eight X-rays into the fixer tank. You have to remember that I was operating in very subdued lighting and I had to fish around in the tank with my gloved hand to find these slippery little bits of film.

At last, I got them all out and because they were now developed and fixed, I could switch the main light on. But, whose X-ray was which? I did my best, and put all eight films back in the holder to dry.

Nothing happened for about two weeks. I was doing the accounts while Roland was taking impressions for some dentures when I got the call. I entered the surgery to find a lovely lady in her seventies in the chair. She smiled at me revealing her pink gums and nothing else. I turned to my boss who was holding an X-ray up to the window and examining it closely.

‘Imagine my extreme surprise to discover, on removing this patient’s X-ray from her notes, that she has grown a complete set of new teeth and indeed has a whole jaw of second teeth to follow.’ Thankfully, the correct X-ray was located in one of our younger patient’s notes, but from then on, I always checked the X-rays in the notes before handing them over for the appointment.

There were still the odd times when I wished I was anywhere else but in that surgery, but looking back, even those times were amusing.

During an upper tooth extraction I would place two clasped hands over the patient’s head to keep it nice and steady whilst Roland applied pressure to the tooth before removing. On one occasion as I applied the necessary force, I felt the patient’s hair begin to move. I was terrified that I had scalped him but then realised it was a toupee. It slipped back and forth during the procedure and unfortunately the patient left with it askew as I was unable to get it back in its proper position. Do you know how hard it is for an 19 year old not to giggle in that situation!

After two years I felt that I would like to take my training further, and considered training as a State Registered Nurse. The Queen Alexandra Nursing Service was advertising for recruits at the time and the uniform and the thought of traveling the world was very attractive. However, fate was to take yet another hand in my destiny!

Some of the more memorable patients have appeared in my short stories..

Next Monday – The Shoe Department – Cheating and surprises

About the book

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.
Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Feb 08, 2020 Pete Springer rated it Five stars it was amazing

Sally Cronin has written a delightful book with Just an Odd Job Girl. The central character, Imogen, is most likable and must return to the workforce after her husband, Peter, falls for a much younger woman. At age fifty, Imogen has not only lost her husband but faces the reality that she must find a job after more than two decades. What Imogen has going for her is a rich and varied employment history from when she first became employed at age fourteen.

What follows is extreme hilarity as Cronin skillfully recaps all of Imogen’s unexpected employment adventures. From chasing after shoplifters to unexpectedly filling in as a dental assistant when the regular hygenist faints, there are plenty of laughs. Every employment opportunity forces Imogen to acquire new skills with the most entertaining stint as a hotel assistant manager. Along the way, Imogen realizes that she can tackle any problem or situation that life throws her way. The ending is most satisfying, but I don’t want to spoil that for you.

To get your FREE copy of Just An Odd Job Girl for Kindle or in Epub please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com – your email will not be shared and whilst a review would be most welcome it is not expected.

Sally Cronin, Buy: :Amazon US – and:Amazon UK  –  Follow:Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58

Thanks for dropping in and more odd jobs next Monday and I hope you will join me then.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – 20th Anniversary #Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Dental Surgery Part One by Sally Cronin


It is 20 years since I put pen to paper.. of fingers to the keyboard and wrote my novel Just an Odd Job Girl. I am delighted that it still gets the odd recent review, but I thought to celebrate the anniversary I would offer it FREE for the next few weeks. Particularly as I am in the middle of editing my next collection due out in November.

As an indie author on Amazon I don’t get to do free giveaways, so I would ask you to email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and let me know if you would like a Mobi for Kindle or an Epub version of the book for other devices. I promise I won’t share your email with anyone else. You can find out more about the book and its most recent review at the end of the post.

To set the scene I am going to repeat my series from early 2018 which shared the background to the stories in the book that I elaborated on and fictionalised. As a bonus I will also be including some other jobs that were not in the book that might also be considered a bit different. For example, flogging bull semen at agricultural shows to selling ‘similar’ top end perfumes in the East End of London. I think you get the idea about how odd some of these jobs might have been.

Anyway back to my odd jobs…I continued to work along the seafront through college at weekends and during holidays but in 1970 age seventeen I enter the full time job market

The Dental Surgery Part One

Following a year at secretarial college, and having gained my passes in shorthand and typing, I entered the full-time job market.

My experience along the seafront had at least prepared me for working life. I was usually punctual and didn’t take liberties with my lunch hour. I had even had my first managerial position, you could say, as I had been left in charge of my kiosk during Betty’s days off and holidays. Unfortunately this had not prepared me for the interviews that I attended and I was sorely disappointed to discover that the only job that was open, to a newly qualified secretary, was that of the lowly office junior.

I had earned two and six an hour along the seafront and at sixteen worked a forty-hour week. This gave me five pounds a week, plus tips, which were divided between all the staff. Because I was a student I did not pay tax and so I usually had at least seven pounds a week in my hand. I soon discovered that office juniors were lucky to get six pounds a week and that would be taxed.

Then fate took a hand. Smack bang in the middle of the job section of the local newspaper was an advertisement for a Dental Receptionist for a local private practice in Southsea. I will admit that the starting salary at £7 a week was an improvement on the other jobs I had chased, and the thought of a crisp white overall rather than the blue nylon one at the cafe on the seafront also appealed.

I went for the interview with Roland Phillips who at 67 was 50 years older than me. He wore half glasses and his hair was slicked back from rather an austere face. He sat behind his desk with his hands clasped in front of them and I remember thinking how dry they looked with very white nails. (I later discovered that my boss was fanatical about cleanliness which he needed to be with his hands in mouths all day.

It transpired that his dental nurse also doubled as his secretary and receptionist but the practice was far too busy for her to cope. My secretarial qualifications were acceptable but apparently I also got the job because of my accent on the phone… go with the flow I say.

I arrived on my first Monday and in between patients the very patient dental nurse took me through my duties. My new boss expected me to read every file for all the 400 patients; acquainting myself with their previous treatments and also upcoming appointments.

I would answer the phone and make appointments. I had to prepare daily lists of patients, extract their files and greet them when they arrived and show them to the waiting room. Following their appointment I would collect their file, decipher Roland’s summary and charges and prepare a bill to be sent out at the end of each month. I was also expected to manage the inventory of all equipment, drugs and other supplies and order as necessary, which proved to be very useful later on in the job.

I was expected to learn very quickly so that Miss Smith could return to her chairside duties full time, and it was quite a tough assignment. However, I did enjoy the job very much and looked forward to 9.00 each morning.

As I became more proficient, so my duties increased in responsibility, and when busy, I would be drafted in to help in the surgery with tasks such as mixing amalgam for fillings and developing x-rays. I was given the dental nurse training course to follow at home and I found myself spending my spare time on the project. Things were going along swimmingly for the first three months when an incident occurred that was to bring about huge changes.

I was preparing the end of month accounts when I heard a heavy thud from the surgery. Thinking that a patient or even Mr. Phillips might have fallen I rushed in to find Miss Smith had collapsed. They had been in the middle of a delicate operation to remove a remaining root from a tooth that had just been extracted. This was a two-person job and one of those was now sitting shakily on one of the surgery chairs. Before I knew it I was wearing surgical gloves, keeping the patient’s mouth clear of fluids and handing the correct instruments to my boss.

After many years of not being able to have a baby… Miss Smith was pregnant and could not stand the sight of blood! So began a very intensive training course and my career took a very different path.

Mr. Roland Phillips was the inspiration for the dentist in Just an Odd Job Girl… a character I will never forget.

Next time – Xray mix ups – toupees and the miners strike.

About the book

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.
Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Feb 08, 2020 Pete Springer rated it Five stars it was amazing

Sally Cronin has written a delightful book with Just an Odd Job Girl. The central character, Imogen, is most likable and must return to the workforce after her husband, Peter, falls for a much younger woman. At age fifty, Imogen has not only lost her husband but faces the reality that she must find a job after more than two decades. What Imogen has going for her is a rich and varied employment history from when she first became employed at age fourteen.

What follows is extreme hilarity as Cronin skillfully recaps all of Imogen’s unexpected employment adventures. From chasing after shoplifters to unexpectedly filling in as a dental assistant when the regular hygenist faints, there are plenty of laughs. Every employment opportunity forces Imogen to acquire new skills with the most entertaining stint as a hotel assistant manager. Along the way, Imogen realizes that she can tackle any problem or situation that life throws her way. The ending is most satisfying, but I don’t want to spoil that for you.

To get your FREE copy of Just An Odd Job Girl for Kindle or in Epub please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com – your email will not be shared and whilst a review would be most welcome it is not expected.

Sally Cronin, Buy: :Amazon US – and:Amazon UK  –  Follow:Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58

Thanks for dropping in and more odd jobs on Friday and I hope you will join me then.. thanks Sally.