Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 10th – 16th October 2021 – Crows, Robins, Diana Ross, Relationships, Stories, Reviews, Health and Humour


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

I hope all is well with you. Quite a bit going on around here with spare parts for the wood burner, tiles to replace cracked ones and other bits and pieces arriving daily. We are still waiting on those who will be installing topsoil, lawn, fixing said wood burner and chimney sweeping but early days yet… no fixed day or week was mentioned in negotiations! When we can ‘fit you in’ seems to be the common phrase you wait patiently.  David will be fixing the tiles himself during the redecoration process so no mystery there.

An earlier photo of Charlie

We believe that Charlie has been back in the garden. We noticed a crow, slightly bigger which is to be expected, but with the same mottled grey markings foraging under the bird feeder, accompanied by a friend. He still has trouble flying but managed to clear the hedge and perch on a telephone line. What made us think it was Charlie was that he wiped his beak from side to side on the line. Because his beak was damaged he did that after eating so we are hoping it was him.

Other than that I am making progress on the writing front and you can read an example in the post that Jane Risdon kindly shared this week…with an excerpt from the next collection.

I was the guest of author Jane Risdon who shared my short story, Miss Lloyd’s Robin, from the new collection due out at the end of the year… I hope you will head over to read.. Thanks to Jane for also showcasing Life is Like a Mosaic…

Guest of author Jane Risdon with a short story

This week William Price King, D.G. Kaye and Daniel Kemp contributed their expertise in the form of music, relationships and humour… they are amazing. Thanks to you for dropping in and the support during the week.. it keeps me motivated.

On with the show

Chart Hits 1980 Part One – Christopher Cross, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross, Queen

D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – October 2021 – No Contact – The Breaking Point

Walter – Lost and Alone by Sally Cronin

What’s in a Name? – Xenia – Beloved by Sally Cronin

#TankaProse – The Hunter’s Moon by Sally Cronin Posted

New Review #Fantasy #Adventure – The Ferryman and the Sea Witch by D.Wallace Peach

Memories, Music and Movies – 1966 – Manfred Mann, kittens and Georgy Girl

Podcast – Turning Back the Clock – The Hormone Factor Part Two – by Sally Cronin

Women’s Health – The Heart and Stress by Sally Cronin

Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Two – Vitamin C to K2 by Sally Cronin

#Finance – Absolutely Necessary Expenses by Sharon Marchisello

#FlashFiction The Last Ride of the Night by D.L. Finn

Do You Know What To Do When One Of Your Blog Posts Gets Reblogged? Hugh W. Roberts

#Offer Marcia Meara, #Teaching Pete Springer, #Writers D.G. Kaye, #RoundUp Carol Taylor, #Halloween John Howell.

Thursday October 14th 2021 – #Humour Joy Lennick, #Interview Terry Tyler, #Booklaunch Mae Clair with Joan Hall.

Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room – Book Review – Drystan the Dragon and Friends Series, Book 6: Dragana Helps a Fairy by Janice Spina

New Author on the Shelves – #Portugal – #Memoir – Another Day in Paradise by Karen Telling

New Book on the Shelves – #Paranormal, #UrbanFantasy, #Shortstories -Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair

#Reviews – #Menopause D.G. Kaye, #Mennonite Marian Longenecker Beaman, #Comingofage Bette A. Stevens

#History #NorthernIreland Jane Buckley, #Mystery James J. Cudney, #SouthernCulture Claire Fullerton

#History #JewishFiction Eva Hnizdo, #Fantasy Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, #Poetry Balroop Singh

October 12th 2021 -Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Funny Bone and Famous Last Words

October 14th 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Recovery Time and Lost in Translation

 

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed the week… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 3rd – 9th October 2021 – James Bond, 1979 Hits, Green Kitchen, Stories, Book Reviews, Bloggers, Health and Humour


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

We have been busy enough around here with final end of summer jobs in the garden… more topsoil and the turf coming in next week to complete the lawn work in the front of the house.. and then we finish the back in the next month. They need to be done before we put the house on the market next year and then we can start on the redecoration inside… it is five years since we did the last round and it needs freshening up.

We have been talking about where we go next, it will still be in Ireland and we are leaning towards the coast between Wexford and Waterford giving us access to both of them but still in a rural or coastal location if possible. The motorway that now goes all the way from Dublin to Wexford is to be extended on to Waterford in the next few years and that will make it very much easier to travel that southern coast.

My mother’s family originate from a small hamlet called Ballinacura in cork. Having managed last year to gain access to some records from the 1820s, it looks like the men in the family were pilots who would row out to ships and bring them into harbour. They also worked on the river.. When we move we are going to explore further in person which is much more effective. David’s family moved to Waterford from Cork and so we both have our origins there.

Just a note about the next couple of months. I am in writing mode at the moment and so I am scheduling non time sensitive posts out two weeks or so. If you are in the Cafe and Bookstore and have a new book due to be released.. either on pre-order or available in the next month or so, please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com so I can put a date in the diary to share the news.

 

We went to see No Time To Die the latest Bond film on Wednesday. It is a long film 2hour 45 minutes but it is action packed and the time flew by. It was certainly a great send off for Daniel Craig as James Bond and tied off quite a few loose ends with some surprises along the way. We had recently rewatched Spectre and this film picks up where the story left off . I still think Skyfall was the best of his films but can recommend this to all Bond fans and it will be interesting who picks up the 007 designation next.  Here is the official trailer courtesy of James Bond 007  

Gwen Plano shared her reviews for three poetry collections in a lovely feature this week and I was in great company with Elizabeth Gauffreau and Colleen Chesebro...

I hope you will pop over to read Gwen’s reviews: Gwen Plano – Reviews for Colleen, Liz and Sally

This week William Price King, Carol Taylor and D.G. Kaye have done an amazing job with their contributions and so grateful to everyone who has visited, liked, commented and shared the posts.

And congratulations to contributor to the laughter series Malcolm Allen and his long term partner Sarah who married earlier in the week. Here is a lovely photograph of the occasion.

On with the show

Chart Hits 1979 Part Two – Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand, Earth Wind and Fire, Abba and Dire Straits

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – October 2021 – Yeast Free Raisin and Cinnamon bread, Hair Conditioner, Fabric softener, World Food Day

Usher Taking Things for Granted

Vanessa – In a Dilemma

1965 – Lancashire – The Sound of Music – Something Good and The Lonely Goatherd

Turning Back the Clock – The Hormone Factor Part One – by Sally Cronin

#Anthology – The Shadows We Breathe (volume 1) Edited by Sarah Brentyn and contributing authors

New Review #Memoir – Flashes of Life: True Tales of the Extraordinary Ordinary by Pamela S. Wight

Book Reviews Rewind – #Children’s #Adventure – Felix Finds Out by Elizabeth Merry

September Recap – #Children Dawn Doig, #Dogs Andrew Cotter, #Fantasy Richard Dee, #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Murder #Mystery Sharon Marchisello

Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part One – Vitamins A – B by Sally Cronin

Meet My Best Friend San by D.G. Kaye

The amazing Jennie Fitzkee who delights us with her stories from her classroom came to the attention of the producers of the Kelly Clarkson Show and that began a wonderful adventure with the culmination in Jennie’s appearance on the show.

Jennie Fitzkee is a guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show..

How To Write The Perfect Titles For All Your Blog Posts #BloggingTips by Hugh W. Roberts

#Writing and our #Health by D.L. Finn… on Story Empire

#Finance -Squeeze the Most out of Your Money – Part 1 by Sharon Marchisello

Tuesday October 5th 2021- #Connections Jane Sturgeon, #Cats Nikki Fries, #Food Carol Taylor, #Launch Chris Hall and Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Revews Diana Peach

Thursday 7th October 2021 – #Haunting Rebecca Budd, #Reviews Sandra Cox, #Interview Melanie Stewart with Sharon Marchisello, #Update and #Llamas Mary Smith, #OracleCards D.G. Kaye

Old Dog Tray by Sarah Taylor

New Author on the Shelves – #Historical #Witchcraft – Bitter Magic by Nancy Kilgore

Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse – The Moons of Autumn. – Colleen Chesebro and other Poets

#Reviews – #Fantasy M.J. Mallon, #Poetry Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Suspense Joan Hall

#Reviews – #Fantasy Yvette Calliero, #Romance #Mystery Mae Clair, #western #romance Sandra Cox

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra Rewind- Courtroom funnies host Sally Cronin

October 7th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Baked Beans and Great Expectations

 

Thanks for dropping in today and hope you have enjoyed the posts.. please join me again next week… Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Reblog – Jennie Fitzkee is a guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show…wow.


The amazing Jennie Fitzkee who delights us with her stories from her classroom came to the attention of the producers of the Kelly Clarkson Show and that began a wonderful adventure with the culmination in Jennie’s appearance yesterday on the show.

If you live in the USA you should be able to access the show here: The Kelly Clarkson Show

I will hand you over to Jennie to get the story started and then I hope you head over to read about the whole adventure.

The Kelly Clarkson Show – And Me

Everything people say is true. Kelly Clarkson is genuine. She’s as nice as the day is long. She is all about others (not herself), and so much fun.

I know. I am on her show tomorrow- in person with Kelly.

Kelly is the real deal, and she could be my best friend. That’s just who she is. When the doors opened to walk out onto the stage, she smiled and waved. I did, too. It was across a very crowded and busy room, a locked-on moment.

Everyone associated with the show is the same way. Surely they must have to pass a ‘kindness test’ in order to work there.

To tell you the story, I will start at the beginning, nearly a year ago. In the words of a ‘Jennie Story’, “It Happened Like This”: 

 

Head over to read the post in full: The Kelly Clarkson Show and Jennie Fitzkee

 

Thanks for dropping by today and I hope you will enjoy Jennie’s wonderful day out…

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday March 18th 2021 #Audiobook Annie Chiappetta, #Reblogging Hugh Roberts, #Indiancookery Sowmya’s Spicy Corner


A selection of posts I have enjoyed over the last few days and also today some news from author Annie Chiappetta..

Hey readers, I’m sharing a little bit of creativity today. Take a listen and have your Audible credits ready because the audio book of my short story collection A String of Stories from the Heart to the Future, is almost done, thanks to the awesome narration team Lillian Yves and Vincent Lee Graysen.

The sample is from the lead story, A Temporary Perspective. Enjoy!

Head over to listen to the excerpt from the book and follow links to buy:
Annie Chiappetta with an audio clip

Now for some blogging advice from Hugh Roberts with a step by step guide to reblogging posts and the etiquette required to make this form of sharing effective for the blogger concerned.

Hugh W. Roberts

Today, not only will I take you through a step by step guide on how to reblog a post on WordPress, but I’ll also cover some of the pitfalls of reblogging.

For the purpose of this post, and because I use WordPress, some of this information will only be relevant to WordPress.Com users. 

Head over to follow the step by step guide, including adding categories and tags to increase visibility: How to reblog a post correctly on WordPress effectively 

Now time for another lovely recipe from Sowmya’s Spicy Corner.. Rava Dosa.. Semolina Crepe.. looks delicious.

Rava dosa – a thin, crispy and delectable crepe made from rava/sooji and rice flour. This is an instant dosa and can be made within few minutes. Rava aka sooji or semolina has a distinct taste and gives a crunchy bite to this dosa. This instant rava dosa is made by mixing the rava/sooji, rice flour and maida/all purpose flour with water and yoghurt to make a thin dosa batter. This thin batter is then poured over a hot tawa/griddle, drizzled with oil to get a thin, crispy golden brown crepe. The addition of sautéed onions, ginger, herbs and other seasoning gives an extra crunch and flavour to this dosa. Serve this rava dosa with piping hot sambar or chutney. 

Head over to follow the detailed recipe for this delicious crepe: Rava Dosa – Semolina Crepe from Sowmya’s Spicy Corner 

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in full and leave your thoughts.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Reblog – Marjorie Mallon – Author Interview and Excerpt Sally Cronin


Delighted to accept the invitation to join author and poet Marjorie Mallon on her eclectic blog for an interview. We talked about my nomadic life, blogging, book marketing and maintaining my mojo in this current crazy world we inhabit.. I hope you will head over to join us..

Welcome to Kyrosmagica! It is wonderful to have you over for a chit chat, Sally.

Lovely to be here Marjorie and thank you for the invitation.

MJ: I’m delighted to be reading Life is Like A Bowl of Cherries, Sally, the title is so beguiling, particularly as I do love fruit, and cherries are a favourite!

MJ: Sally, I’d love to hear more about your nomadic life. I believe you have lived in many countries. Which of these places has a special place in your heart and why?

My father was in the Royal Navy and was posted overseas several times. On occasion we were able to travel with him as a family, including my first trip at age 18 months to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The first year was documented in photographs and I don’t really remember as I was too young, but certainly by the time I was three I was aware of my surroundings and the people in my life. We lived in a house on the edge of the jungle and we had a cook and an amah or nanny for me. My two sisters were 13 and 14 by this time and when they came back from school I was handed over to them. Anything they did I did too, and I was swimming every day in my rubber ring which I loved and still do today, but without the rubber ring!! On one memorable occasion, I followed my eldest sister up a steep ladder during a diving competition. She completed her dive and surfaced expecting applause to find a stunned silence and groans from the crowd. I had crawled to the end of the diving board, stood up and jumped off. Apparently I surfaced and told my sister ‘again’.

Please head over to find out more about my travels and thoughts on books and blogging and also finding a place to call home: Marjorie Mallon interview with Sally Cronin

Books by M.J. Mallon

Read the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Website:M.J. Mallon – Goodreads:Goodreads – Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

About M.J. Mallon

I am a diverse author who blogs M.J Mallon My interests include writing, poetry, photography, and alternative therapies. My favourite genres to write are: Fantasy YA, Paranormal, Ghost and Horror Stories and I love writing various forms of poetry and micro poetry – haiku and Tanka and flash fiction.

I am proud to be included in the best selling horror anthology Nightmareland which received best seller status with best-selling author Dan Alatorre at the helm.

It is one of my greatest pleasures to read and I have written over 100 reviews: M.J. Mallon Book Reviews

I write collaborative articles celebrating the spiritual realm and love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

I am a member of two professional writing bodies: The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators – SCBWI and Cambridge Writers.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to join us and read the interview in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – December 27th 2020- January 2nd 2021 – Happy New Year, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Books and funnies


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

If I have not already wished you Happy New Year, then please accept my wishes for a fantastic 2021.. in the hopes that it will be better behaved than 2020.. I posted a little tribute to the heroes of the year, and to our pets who have been there with us all the way. There were a few funnies and music of course to mark the occasion..

Happy New Year’s Eve – 2020 in the rear view mirror

My thanks as always to you for visiting and sharing the posts.. and this year has been made special by the warmth and kindness of the writing community…something to be treasured.

On with the posts from the week…and I hope you will join William Price King and myself on Tuesday for the new Breakfast Show with music and news from the 1960s.

Get your rock ‘n’ roll boots on with my top five picks by Sally Cronin

March 1986 – Pool Parties, lost puppies, New Furniture

What’s in Name? Ifan and the Black Sheep by Sally Cronin

What’s in Name? – Kenneth – A Love for Life by Sally Cronin

The Sewing Circle Part One.

#Fantasy – Lords of Chaos (Unraveling the Veil Book 3) by D.Wallace Peach

Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Family #Mystery – Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Fantasy – The Hat by C.S. Boyack

29th December 2020 – D.L.Finn, Elizabeth Merry, Jan Sikes

January 1st 2021 – #Books and more Books – Amy M. Reade, Jessica Norrie, Mary Smith

#Suspense Sandra J. Jackson, Reviews – #Supernatural Jessica Bakkers, #WWII Marina Osipova,

New Release – #Fairies Teagan Riordain Geneviene, #Family James J. Cudney, #1960s #Thriller Ted Myers

#Romance Ritu Bhathal, #Paranormal Romance Stevie Turner, #Poetry Denise O’Hagan

#NewAuthor Marketing Tips – Making the most of Twitter

The Children’s Reading Room – New Author – #Emotions – Feel Like Eggs by Jeff Goodman

New Release – #Dragons Janice Spina,- Reviews – #Turtles Cynthia S. Reyes and Lauren Reyes-Grange, #Bears Frank Prem

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – December 29th 2020 – Working out and Animal comedians

 

Enjoy the weekend and look forward to seeing you next week.. stay safe and thanks … Sally

Smorgasbord Reblog – Q & A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring Sally Cronin #Booklaunch – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries


I was delighted to be the guest of the lovely D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies on Friday for one of her Q&A’s… as always Debby asks great questions… If you missed I hope you will head over to read.. thanks Sally.

Q & A with D.G. Kaye

Q & A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring Sally Cronin #Booklaunch – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries

Welcome to the last – but not least, edition of my Q & A for 2020. I’ve been saving this spot for quite some time now for one of our most starred bloggers and author of our community – Sally Cronin. Yes, Sally has worked diligently to get her #NewRelease out – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries, before this year ended, and this spot was awaiting her visit. So without further ado, I’m beyond thrilled to be featuring one of my dearest friends and author who knows how to touch hearts with her words – Sally Cronin. Today we’re going to learn a little more about Sally in some Q & A, and get a glimpse into her new release, which I will be featuring my review for this Sunday on my Sunday Book Review, so stay tuned!

Sally Cronin Author

About Sally Cronin

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another thirteen books since then on health and also fiction, including five collections of short stories. My latest book is a collection of verse and speculative short stories titled Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet

I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

Find out my views on blogging, social media and changing the world! plus a short excerpt from my new short story collection: Q & A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring Sally Cronin #Booklaunch – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries

 

Books by D.G. Kaye

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

 

Smorgasbord Reblog – Melomakarona… #Greek sweet treats for Christmas! by Eat Dessert First


As we near Christmas, the supermarkets are awash with traditional favourites. This year more than most, I have been looking for ways to make this holidays special. With just the two of us it would be easy to go with the flow… but I thought I would find something different to prepare by stepping outside of the Irish borders and into the wonderful world of Greek cookery.. I have featured Eat Dessert First (also some savoury dishes) before and this post caught my eye… and tickled my taste buds…

I hope you will head over to discover more about Greek Christmas treats and follow the step by step guide to making these delicious sounding Melomakarona.

Melomakarona – Greek sweet treats for Christmas! by Eat Dessert First

It’s Christmas, and it is time to fill our homes with scents of cinnamon, orange and cloves! This means that in Greece it’s time for melomakarona, traditional Christmas cookies with a characteristic oval shape and golden brown colour. They are baked in the oven, and right after soaked in a honey-cinnamon syrup (meli means honey) and sprinkled with walnuts.

This new Christmas article is dedicated to traditional Greek melomakarona, their local variations and some contemporary ideas for original versions. And as soon as we get an appetite, we will prepare some with extra virgin olive oil, bake them to fill the kitchen with warm aromas and drench them in a syrup made with excuisite pine-heather honey. We enjoy them only once a year (unfortunately!)… so they deserve only the best ingredients!

In Greece, on Christmas holidays we face a dilemma: which are best, melomakarona or kourabiedes? Baking kourabiedes is another traditional Christmas tradition, along with making melomakarona and vasilopita (a cake for New Year’s Day). Kourabiedes are round buttery cookies with almonds and lots of powdered sugar.

Greek kourabiedes, traditional Christmas buttery cookies (source)

Something important we want to point out on the matter is that melomakarona are healthier than kourabiedes. This is one of the reasons we prefer them, As Despoina Martselou, Dietician-Nutritionist (BSc, MSc), describes, melomakarona may have almost the same calories as kourabiedes, but they have a higher nutritional value with less saturated fat, as they don’t contain any butter. In melomakarona, olive oil offers healthy fats and antioxidant vitamins. Honey has also a high nutritional value, and so do walnuts too as they are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Spices are rich in essential oils and cinnamon combined with orange also offers some iron. The conclusion is that we should eat melomakarona in moderation, but with less guilt than eating kourabiedes. To compensate, we can go for a Christmas hike too!

melomakarona

Head over to discover more about these treats, the ingredients and a step by step guide to making them… also how to use the recipe to make a semifredo cake using melomakarona : Eat Dessert First – Melomakarona

About Eat Dessert First

We are a team of writers, sociocultural researchers, travellers, children’s educators and amateur bakers, based in Athens. What describes us best is that we eat dessert first! But not only… our name symbolises our wish for all the nice and sweet things in life to come first.

Our purpose is to approach aspects of the everyday life that are on our minds, by looking at them in a new perspective and studying them in their historic and cultural evolution… all that through our love for desserts. And of course to discover the history of our favorite sweets! Also, we take a sweet trip every now and then, to meet new places, customs, sights, activities, nature and -what else- little local treats! We don’t forget to exercise too, in order to eat our desserts without remorse…

Given our huge sweet tooth, we wish to learn new recipes, to experiment with new techniques and variations, and of course to share our creations. We also want to discover the roots of our favourite desserts, their influences and their variations around the world.

In a special section we focus on subjects of psychology, social awareness, education, creative activities and much more. But Rupert will tell you all about that along the way!

So, come along on this exciting, sweet adventure… Have a nice trip everyone!

Connect to Eat Dessert First: Blog: Eat Dessert First Greece Twitter: @eatdessert1stGr – Facebook: Eat Dessert First Greece

 

I hope this has whet your appetite and you will head over to enjoy this post and also browse through the archives for more delicious savoury and sweet recipes. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Reblog – Afghanistan Adventures -MarySmith’sPlace – When roads become rivers


Mary Smith with another wonderful episode of her time in Afghanistan in 1990.. a trip during the spring melt in the mountains with rivers in flood is no picnic..ingenuity and freezing dips are required. I hope you will head over to read the post in full.

When roads become rivers

I thought I’d provide some random snapshots from my second tour of the clinics in Afghanistan, in particular some of the problems we faced while travelling. We left on May 01, 1990 in two vehicles. I was in the Mobile Team vehicle along with Dr Epco, a doctor from Holland who was going to spend several months in the clinic in Lal, Jon and Jawad, the driver from Hussain’s clinic. In the other vehicle, Moosa from the field hospital in Jaghoray was returning after finding an organisation willing to sponsor the hospital.

We’d only reached the border town of Badani when we had to hire a replacement jeep and driver because without four wheel drive, the journey would be impossible. Delays waiting for a new driver – who came highly recommended because as a former highway robbery he could guarantee our safety – coupled with a series of punctures and a leaking water tank meant it took almost four days to reach the Mazar Bibi clinic. The hole in the water tank was temporarily but effectively fixed by melting a plastic water jug to use as a sealer. When darkness fell the first night we discovered the second driver had no lights on his vehicle. In the bazaar of Shahjoi, there was no room in any of the hotels – the driver went home, Moosa slept in one jeep, Jawad and I in the other and the rest of the group under a tree. Around 2 am I was awakened by a persistent tapping on the window – two armed mujahideen were demanding car park fees. Jawad paid them and we went back to sleep.

Although travelling could be wearisome the constantly changing landscape makes up for it – from flat, scrub covered desert to rugged mountains to white rockscapes wind-carved into fantastic shapes. Large tortoises, recently awakened from hibernation lumbered across the road – ponderous but determined. The weather was glorious making memories of last year’s battles in the snow fade.

Head over to enjoy the post and the photographs of the ingenuity required to cross these rivers: Mary Smith’s Place When Roads Become Rivers

A selection of books by Mary Smith

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Mary Smith, Buy:Amazon US – and:Amazon UK –  Blog: Mary Smith’s PlaceFollow Mary: Goodreads – Twitter: @marysmithwriter

Smorgasbord Reblog – Quizzing around the Christmas tree! #Children’s #Books – Jessica Norrie


Jessica Norrie has a wonderful quiz for the entire family for the holidays, Children’s books are timeless and those we enjoyed 50 years ago are still being read today. How many questions can you get right.  Head over to print off the quiz.

Quizzing around the Christmas tree! #Children’s #Books – Jessica Norrie

This Christmas will be quieter than usual so here’s a quiz to print off and mull over. See how much you can do without Google! Please do post comments and scores, but not answers – they’ll be on the blog after Christmas. You may have to think back to your childhood, maybe even your parents’ and grandparents’ childhoods as I’ve realised many of my choices are old fashioned. If any 21st century children and grandchildren would like to contribute up to date and more diverse examples of well known books for a future quiz that would be great and you can email them to me via the blog.

There are a whopping 75 questions (I worked HARD on this, or you could just call it self-indulgence). Score 1 point for every correct fact you get – eg a point for authors and for picture books illustrators’ names. A point for the title or series, extra for the countries the books come from in Round 8 and any other answer to a specific question. I make the maximum score 150 but it could be more. Let me know what you get – and note, some books and authors may appear in more than one question.

Here’s an example, for two marks: TMG by PP would be Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce.

Round 1: Did you, like me, read these as a child?

  1. TJSS by RK
  2. TCOGK by LMB
  3. PP by JMB
  4. JW by RC
  5. TTTE by RWA
  6. IOTBD by SOD
  7. TWOWC by JA
  8. TLWH by EG
  9. BS by NS
  10. TB by MN

Round 2: A Picture Tells a Thousand Words

Please head over to discover the rest of the quiz and get your thinking caps on…thanks Sally: Quizzing around the Christmas Tree with Jessica Norrie

Books by Jessica Norrie

Jessica Norrie, Buy: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Website:Jessica Norrie on WordPressGoodreads: Jessica Norrie – Twitter: @Jessica_Norrie