Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up 25th – 31st October – Inspiration, Legends, Boogie, Ugli Fruit, Books, Reviews, Health and Laughter

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

Happy  Halloween and I hope that despite the restrictions on Trick or Treating in some of our countries, children will still get to dress up and enjoy the night with their families.

The headlines are certainly not festive.. The world experienced a record breaking 573,000 worldwide cases yesterday worldometers info coronavirus

Not sure where some are getting their information from about a slow down when America had over 100,000 new cases and UK and the rest of Europe racked up 100,000s more. And those who feel that wearing a mask is not their responsibility, or that the pandemic is a hoax, should listen to those who have suffered from Covid-19 and are experiencing the long term effects, even if they dismiss the experts.

Here in Ireland there has been a slight dip in cases but we have come to the realisation that even with a vaccine we are likely to be following our current restrictions until at least Spring next year. Along with this realisation comes a decision to make the best use of the time to work on sidelined projects both in our house and personally.

Keeping fit is obviously high on the list and eating well and exercising is a priority. But also that feeling of completing projects with something tangible to show for it. I don’t want to look back on this year with nothing to show for it. Finishing writing projects is one way, but also coming out the other side fitter and more resilient is also a goal we are pursuing. Both of us are heading into our 70s and I am damned if we are going to slide gracefully into ‘vulnerability’, a word that has been attached to this age group by both the medical profession and the media. Since our age will play a factor in our treatment options in very severe cases, it is up to us to ensure we do all we can to reduce our risk factors where we can.

I am not prepared to spend the next twenty or so years, or the time I have left, sitting waiting for the inevitable…I want to go out on my own terms with more adventures, love, laughter and good friends. I also intend to keep on writing books, this blog and in particular promoting health with a focus on resilience as a follow on from the series Smorgasbord Health Column – Project 101 – Resilience – An opportunity to get fighting fit –

On that note, many of you have been following the posts of two amazing women, Mary Smith and Sue Vincent as they take on Cancer with such courage and grace. They are sharing their experiences on their blogs to educate and inspire, something they are certainly achieving.

Here are the links to their latest posts and I am sure they would be delighted to have your positive thoughts added to the many already supporting them.

Sue Vincent – First Catch Your Cancer

Cancer Diary 8 – Scan Results

This community is incredible and there is always someone awake around the world 24/7 ready to chat, share a smile and a word of encouragement..

Whilst I loved the Simon & Garfunkel original version, and Aretha Franklin’s, I was amazed when I heard Elvis sing this song so brilliantly… And I think it sums up the warmth and generosity of spirit I have experienced here in blog world over the last 7 years.

And as I complete the stories for my new collection… trying to maintain a positive and hopeful vibe (for most of the tales anyway), I received a wonderful boost this morning.

Despite a wild night with gale force winds and heavy rain I woke up to a ray of sunshine. I received an amazing review from John Maberry of Eagle Peak Press. To be sandwiched between Stephen King and Blake Crouch is something I never expected to happen, and to be on the same page as Paulo Coelho and Viktor Frankl is surreal. Some great books and (including mine of course lol)  I hope you will head over John Maberry – Five Books we Recommend

Time to get on with this week’s posts.  And as always a huge thank you to William Price King, Carol Taylor and Debby Gies for their contributions.

William Price King with legendary American band Earth, Wind and Fire

U’ for Upside Down Cake, Udon Noodles, Ugli Fruit and Unleavened Bread

Chapter Thirteen – Our new home and friends

Tales from the Irish Garden – All Hallows Eve – Part One

All Hallows Eve – Part Two

My Parent’s visit – Part Four Sam Houston Museum and #Galveston

Guest Interviews 2015 – #Pembrokeshire, #FamilySagas with Judith Barrow

#History – The Story of the Huguenots: A Unique Legacy by Joyce Hampton

Past Book Reviews 2018 – Past and Present: A Marketville Mystery by Judy Penz Sheluk

Past Book Reviews 2019 #Contemporary The Magic Carpet by Jessica Norrie

2019 #Prehistoric Survival of the Fittest (Book 1 of the Crossroads Trilogy) by Jacqui Murray

Siegfried Loraine Sassoon CBE, MC

Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Essential Oils and Aromatherapy – Clary Sage


UnSeasonal Affective Disorder – Keeping your focus – Tryptophan

UnSeasonal Affective Disorder – The Key elements of Activity and People


Share your Children’s book reviews – #PictureBooks with Jennie Fitzkee Part Three – Upper grade books for older children.

#Chocolate Robbie and Michael Cheadle, #Tractor Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, #Lamb Tales Jude Lennon

#Thriller Carol Balawyder, #Thriller Mark Bierman, #Romance Linda Bradley

Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Reviews – Poetry M.J. Mallon, Shortstories Elizabeth Merry

#Fantasy Fiona Tarr, Reviews -#Adventure Audrey Driscoll, #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Mastiffs and Lightbulbs

October 29th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Halloween Special

October 30th 2020 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp


Thanks so much for dropping in today and for all the great support during the week.. I am very grateful.

Tales from the Irish Garden – All Hallows Eve – Part Two by Sally Cronin

I am sharing two chapters this weekend in celebration of All Hallows Eve from my Tales from the Irish Garden. Here is the link to Part One

All Hallow’s Eve Part Two – Freakish Village prepares for the Zombies

Down in the village of Freakish, the villagers had been preparing for this night for the last week or so. Mothers slaved over costumes for their children, often biting their lips to prevent a slip of the tongue when pricking their tender fingertips with a needle. Every year one of the residents of the community on the hill would act as consultant, and this year Zenia and Zoran had both volunteered.

With pegs on noses, the mothers had gathered for a meeting to discuss the best way to make the costumes, and as an outcome, all the rags and old unwanted garments were gathered together and picked over by the consultants and placed into piles. They explained that some of the clothes would need to have cuts placed in strategic places, such as over the knees and thigh parts of the trousers for the boys. They also suggested taking already tatty shirts and ripping the sleeves and collars off and perhaps a couple of buttons. For the girls, they suggested that the mothers sew together oddly assorted coloured rags into shift dresses with ragged hems.

With the main costume out of the way, the committee moved onto the decoration phase. Mrs Dumphries, who made the dyes from the local plants, said she would take care of the reds, greens and dark browns required. Mrs Stipple who was married to the local butcher promised to get thin strips of cow hide to dye and hang from arms and legs. The thing that made them all scratch their heads was how to find a way to copy the dollops of flesh that hung so decoratively from Zenia and Zoran’s faces. Miss Fortescue, who acted as backstage makeup artist for the local dramatic society, said that she would take care of that little problem on the night.

Well pleased with the progress of the Freakish village preparations, Zenia and Zoran assured their friends that the night was going to be one of the most successful in decades.

As the sun set and the moon rose high in the sky, the villagers dressed their children in their costumes; with some taking the extra precaution of placing garlic amulets around their necks. They knew that those who were different from them, meant no harm, but just in case one of them got a bit carried away, four strong men were provided with sprays of frankincense and marjoram, which whilst not fatal, was known to give 99% of all zombies and ghouls the heebie-jeebies.

If past Halloween nights were anything to go by, these precautions were unnecessary, and as the villagers laid out tables of pumpkin fritters, apple pie, goat’s cheesecake and fresh cream, they chatted and laughed excitedly. Around them the children of the village, hideous and foul smelling, raced around trying to pick bits of artificial skin from each other’s bodies. The odd squeal indicated where an unfortunate child had some of his own ripped off over enthusiastically.

The church bell began to toll and a figure was seen to flit in and out between the gravestones. The game was on, and suddenly screams and howls of terror filled the village square. Dressed in robes of white, with a flaming torch in one hand and a dismembered head in the other, a man raced towards the knot of families as they stood frozen outside the community hall.

With a fearful screech, the creature skidded to a halt in front of the terrified villagers and threw the head at their feet. In the light of the torch a diabolical face could be seen glowing gruesomely with green and red slime. With a cackle a disembodied voice lashed into them.
‘Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha….’

Mrs Dumphries, with her hands on her hips advanced towards the rotund prankster, noting in passing that the bodiless head was made of papier-mâché.

‘Father, you nearly frightened us all to death, whatever were you thinking, we weren’t ready yet!’ She wagged her finger in his face, and with a collective sigh of relief, everyone surrounded the priest and patted him on the back.

It was now time for the real fun to begin, and everyone piled back inside the large hall and sat cross-legged in a circle. Miss Fortescue and the committee blew out all the candles and joined their friends on the floor. You could have heard a pin drop, and even the children sat quietly in petrified silence. After what seemed like an hour, but was only really a few minutes, they all heard the creak of the main door as it was pushed open by an unseen hand. A window at the back of the centre banged shut, and a sudden rush of soot was heard as it settled with a thump into the grate. There was a sharp intake of breath as a cold slimy hand brushed against a man’s cheek, and Mrs Dumphries shrieked as she felt the gentlest of bites against her neck.

The children were of course completely delighted by the whole shebang, and the ghouls and pranksters paid particular attention to making their parents scream and cry out for mercy. Small packets of sweets were left in the laps of the youngsters along with little practical jokes for use during the rest of the year. If you have ever wondered where itching powder and whoopee cushions came from, now you know!

An hour later and every one of the villagers had been scared half to death, and Bethany decided that they would indeed be much more grateful for their lives in the year to come. She relit the candles, and with a massive sigh of relief, and nervous laughter, the villagers got to their feet, with one or two stalwart men required to get the fat little priest upright.

Cecil the black cat sat on the mantle above the fire yawning with boredom, having seen it all before many times. Bethany and her friends went from person to person shaking hands and hugging some of those they had known for decades; patting eager children on the head, complimenting them on their magnificent costumes.

It was time to hit the party food and whilst Zenia and Zoran did not usually partake, they gladly passed amongst the guests, topping up glasses with the amber nectar. The Storyteller had been hiding in the community centre kitchens for the main festivities to finish. To be honest he had a bit of a dicky heart, and was not sure he could take all the frivolity. However, he had brought a surprise for the gathered villagers and their visitors, and huge cheer went up as he appeared followed by his band of musicians.

He asked Bethany if she would join him for the first dance and with grace and much admiration they executed a Viennese Waltz perfectly. The Storyteller gestured to everyone to take to the floor and soon there was a heaving mass of men, women and children prancing and reeling, rockin’ ‘n’ rollin’ and twerking in time to the beat.

As the church clock struck midnight, the visitors shambled away to the hills where they would remain out of sight for another year. Bethany was cornered by one or two of the ladies, and with Cecil waiting impatiently by her broom; she dispensed some pre-prepared potions that she knew were always in demand. Miss Fortescue in particular was very keen to find a fragrance that she could wear behind her plump little ears to attract Jack Hammer the local blacksmith.

©Sally Cronin – Tales from the Irish Garden 2018

I hope you have enjoyed these two snippets from Tales from The Irish Garden  – enjoy Halloween…thanks Sally.

You can read recent reviews for all my books: My books and reviews

Tales from the Irish Garden – All Hallows Eve – Part One by Sally Cronin

I am sharing two chapters this weekend in celebration of All Hallows Eve from my Tales from the Irish Garden.

All Hallow’s Eve Part One.

You have now met some of the more prominent residents in the magic garden, and forest, but it is now time to meet those who are members of a community of rare and often maligned creatures. Those that write horror stories, delight in scaring young children, (and adults too if truth be known) with blood, decay and things that go bang in the night. Even those who practice the art of healing, are not excused from the propaganda of those who are ignorant and cruel.

The Storyteller had been their protector for centuries, providing them with lands, unwanted by farmers or other locals, where they could live in peace. There was one condition to this arrangement, and that was they must work in harmony with their nearest neighbours in the village of Freakish. Over the last couple of hundred years, an understanding had been reached between the villagers and those who preferred to walk in the shade. I would like you to meet a special friend of the Storyteller who has a tale to tell about Halloween.

Bethany looked around her cosy cottage and smiled with satisfaction. The lanterns around the walls glowed eerily; candlelight flickering through fangs and gaping wounds in the flesh of the pumpkins. The table was laid with fresh baked treats; the result of many hours toiling over her wood stove. A large pot now bubbled away on top of the said appliance. A wonderful aroma of rosemary and thyme filled the air with an enticing promise of tender meat and dumplings.

Of course you could not have a Halloween party without lots of sweet pastries and candies, and these too added atmospheric colour to the festive table. Blood red velvet cupcakes competed with the dark chocolate of the Devil cake, and green whipped cream glistened in a skull shaped bowl.

Her friends would be arriving shortly; making their way carefully along the path in the forest in the dark, and then through the narrow opening in her protective hedge. A woman living alone in a remote cottage needed to be careful of intruders, human and creature. The poisonous oleander was perfect for that purpose; both beautiful and deadly.

Those who were welcome and came to her for remedies, and for the mushrooms that she grew so abundantly in her garden, were given the knowledge of safe passage. Those who were uninvited or strangers, were warned by a sign along the path; ‘Minefield’. That usually did the trick!

Bethany turned her attention to her outfit. She loved her little black dress that came out for parties. For her age she had very good legs, even though she said so herself, and whilst her hips were a little wider than they used to be, she still looked spell-binding. She laughed to herself; her cat Cecil stirred and stood up from his preferred position in front of the wood stove. She walked across, stroking his arched back as he wound around her aforementioned legs as if agreeing with her assessment.

‘I hope you’ve rested up Cecil, it will be a very busy night,’ she gently massaged the cat under his chin. ‘Lots to do yet before the guests arrive so we had better get a move on.’

The cat moved over to the red velvet sofa and leapt nimbly up onto the soft cushions. With his paws tucked beneath him, and a gleam in his eyes, he watched as his mistress continued her preparations.

The first to arrive, as the sun set below the mountain behind the cottage, was Viktor looking stunning in a black velvet tuxedo with a cape that swung from his shoulders. He walked in without knocking as was his want, and did a twirl just inside the door.

“What do you think you ravishing creature,’ he flashed his pearly white fangs. ‘Do I look terrifying or just incredibly handsome?’

Bethany cocked her head to one side and felt a slight stirring of interest. No, best not go there as it would only end in tears; hers. Besides it was probably the result of drinking too much ginger and honey-mead whilst she was putting on her makeup. She thought she had overdone the potent root a little and it tended to make you feel a little saucy.

She went over and gave Viktor a hug. ‘You look stunning as always my friend,’ extinguishing the look of yearning in his eyes as she emphasized the status of their relationship.

He smiled ruefully. ‘The others are right behind me all dressed up in their most appropriate Halloween finery,’ he laughed as his fangs flashed in the lamplight. ‘We will certainly give the villagers their money’s worth this year.

Just then the door was pushed open and her other friends arrived in a group. Zenia and Zoran in their decaying Zombie outfits emerged into the room first; emanating an aroma that competed with the smell of the stew rather unfavourably.

Bethany wrinkled her nose and reached behind her for her homemade deodoriser made from geranium and peppermint. The two lovers entwined their bony fingers protruding from the end of their tattered costumes, and oblivious to the mist of floral scents that encased them, went over to admire the food laden table.

Behind them came her best friend. Geraldine was not beautiful by any stretch of the imagination but she was the life and soul of the party. Bubbly and a teller of tall tales, she was not in the slightest bit ghoulish as her makeup and costume would suggest. Bethany gave her a huge hug and stroked her friend’s green and red highlighted long hair.

‘Ger… You look stunning tonight,’ she stepped back to admire the entire ensemble. ‘That purple and blood stained dress suits you so well.’

Arm in arm the two women headed for their other friends who were already sipping mead and chatting away by the table. As the evening wore on, the food, and probably too much elderberry wine, was enjoyed. Laughter filled the small cottage as their plans for this Halloween night were discussed and enhanced.

As the clock struck nine times, Bethany clinked her empty glass and called for order. With some delay her friends ceased their inebriated conversations and stood waiting for her pronouncement.

‘It is time good friends, to wend our way through the oleander and the forest to the village and pay our respects. You know the terms of our agreement with these good people. We live safely here amongst them, but we must, this one night within the twelve months, frighten the life out of them, so that they appreciate the lives that they have for the rest of the year.’

Costumes were straightened and her friends assumed their most fitting expressions for the occasion. Glasses were put down on the table and one by one they filed past Bethany who was now holding the front door open to the cold night air. Apart from Zenia who gave a little hiccup as she passed by, the group was silent.

However as Viktor sidled past he flashed his fangs at Bethany and whispered close to her delicately pointed ear. ‘You needn’t think that clove of garlic on a chain around your neck is going to stop me.’

Bethany smacked him on his shoulder and he laughed as he exited the cottage.

Exasperated, but not totally immune to his charms, his proposed conquest moved to the cupboard by the door and extracted her broom. Checking that her hat was on straight, she draped a long cloak over her mini-dress and turned to the red sofa.

‘Come along Cecil, you lazy moggy, hop on; we have places to be and fun to be had’.

©Sally Cronin image Tales from the Irish Garden.

To find out just how the friends will frighten the life out of the villagers.. tune in tomorrow

You can read recent reviews for all my books: My books and reviews


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 2nd – 8th August 2020 – Music, Octopus and Oysters, Dog Stories, Waterford, Book Reviews, Children’s books and funnies.

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

It is finally a lovely sunny day and I intend to take full advantage and be out in the garden most of the day.

I have finally given myself a very good talking to and put into action a long overdue plan this week. It involves books and reviews and my unsuccessful efforts to whittle my TBR list down effectively. I was only reading at night and it was five pages and then lights out so to speak. Something needed to be done.

I now have a mandatory reading hour in the afternoon either in the garden or in our sitting room if the weather is not warm enough. I have finished two books this week instead of the usual one, and I feel far less guilty about the books sitting their so patiently waiting for my attention.

I am delighted that the new Children’s Cafe and Bookstore is going well with 5 new authors joining and you will meet them in promotions over the next week. One of the problems for children’s authors, especially with picture books for younger children, is getting reviews.  In part because many children’s books are given as gifts and parents may feel that there is no where for them to share a review if they have not bought from Amazon or other book sellers online.

This is why it is important to have a Goodreads author page as a Children’s author so that reviews can be posted worldwide and without having been bought.

Having said that, if the parents or grandparents don’t know that they can put a review on Goodreads, it is not as useful as it might be.

If you are an author of children’s books could I suggest that at the back of your books you put a short note asking for reviews and providing the link to and explaining that it is also a wonderful resource for other children’s books, often at special prices.

In the coming weeks I am going to be putting together some specific children’s book promotions to encourage reviews and it would be great if you help spread the word.  This includes a children’s review watering hole…where even if the books are not in the Children’s Cafe and Bookstore, reviews can be shared and I will add the blurb and the links to the books. The promotion post for this new series is scheduled for Tuesday at 18.00 UK time.

I cannot imagine my life without books and my love of reading began at age four. It is such an important skill to have in life and children’s authors deserve all the support we can give them.

And on the subject of reviews...I was delighted this afternoon to receive a wonderful 5* review from Marjorie Mallon for Life’s Rich Tapestry..If you have time I would be so pleased if you would head over and read in full..thanks Sally.

Marjorie Mallon Review Life’s Rich Tapestry

Here are the posts from the week and as always a huge thank you to the guest writers for their amazing contributions.. this week William Price King and Carol Taylor. And to you for dropping in, liking, commenting and sharing the posts, the support is very much appreciated.

William Price King – Josh Groban Part Four

– A – Z of Food – ‘O’ for Oats, Offal, Octopus, Oranges and Oysters.

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Chapter One – In the Beginning

#Ireland #History – The Colour of Life – The Dance Scene 1950

Some photos and a haiku from Lanzarote

Letters from America 1985-1987 – August 1985 – Hawaiian Luau and Trash Can Punch

Children’s – A Beechworth Bakery Bears (The Beechworth Bakery Bears 1) by Frank Prem

Past book reviews Book Reviews – #FamilySaga Judith Barrow, #Historical Tony Riches

#HaikuSequence – Rain by Sally Cronin


Herbal Medicine – Stinging Nettle and Scorpion Stings

Drystan the Dragon and Friends: Delbert Finds Himself by Janice Spina

Author Reviews – #YAAdventure Darlene Foster, #Children’s #Kindness Dawn Doig – #Horses Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

#ShortStories – #Ireland – We All Die in the End: Scenes from a Small Town by Elizabeth Merry

#Fiction #Community Phyllis Staton Campbell

#Shortstories – A String of Stories: From the Heart to the Future by Ann Chiappetta

#Anthology M.J. Mallon, #Fantasy D. Wallace Peach, #Memoir #Teaching Pete Springer

#Crime Jacquie Biggar, #FlashFiction Sarah Brentyn, #Contemporary #Humour Lizzie Chantree

#Finance – Should You Take an Early-Out Package? by Sharon Marchisello

#Personal – Twelve Questions From A Guy Called Bloke by Stevie Turner…

#Birth – On the Eve of Beltane by Sue Vincent

National Bunion Day by Mary Smith

Guns of Perdition: Interview and Review by D. Wallace Peach

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines –August 4th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines –August 6th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – August 7th 2020 – Funnies and Bad Dad Jokes Host Sally Cronin

Thank you very much for dropping in today and all the support during the week.. it is much appreciated.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 26th July – August 1st 2020 – Positive news, #Author Spotlight, Music, Short stories, Guest Bloggers, Health, Humour and Book Reviews

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

Another week has flown by, and like many of you, I have avoided reading the headlines and news stories on a daily basis. I am usually an upbeat positive person when it comes to life in general, but even I have to ration my exposure to the constant stream of negativity.

Thankfully our community of writers do share the positive aspects of life, and here are three posts I would like to draw your attention to if you missed.

Each month D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies participates in the #WATWB – We are the World Blogfest spreading positive news about people and events. This month an inspiring woman in the UK has been collecting an item usually scrunched up and thrown away. Her project is Keeping the Homeless a Little Warmer: D.G. Kaye WATWB – We are the World Blogfest – Keeping the Homeless a Little Warmer

Carol Taylor shares amazing recycling projects including this week The bad and the good in the story of plastic.. and on Tuesdays she has been sharing some of the positive outcomes of our recent isolation. In this post you can enjoy the wisdom of a wonderful man called Sadhguru, and a video of abandoned places being reclaimed by nature. Sobering thought and Nature’s resilience

Retired teacher and author, Pete Springer shares the inspiring story of a former pupil of his, Samy Awwad, who at the age of only 16 has already created an incredible reputation as a champion for millions of children around the world whose lives can be saved by vaccinations. A wonderful post that I recommend you head over to read: An Impressive Young Man

Before I share the posts from the week… here is the promotion for the new Author Spotlight beginning in September.. along with my story of a life changing moment in my life that set me on a different path after just one date!  I have already received some amazing stories and I am looking forward to sharing this new series.

A new series for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I share my Life Changing Moment.

In this new series I am inviting authors in the Cafe to share what they consider to be a defining moment in their lives that resulted in a major positive change.

Here are a few examples, and I am sure you will have plenty to add:

  • Meeting a stranger with surprising consequences
  • Accepting an invitation that took you out of your comfort zone
  • Being fired from a job or resigning without another job lined up that turned out to be an opportunity.
  • Taking a wrong turn on a journey and discovering something about yourself.
  • Being in the wrong place at the right time when an opportunity presented itself.
  • Overcoming a challenging situation such as a failed relationship and finding happiness.
  • Taking part in a charity challenge such as a parachute jump and how it conquered a fear.
  • Accidentally walking through the wrong door and finding an uplifting experience
  • Moving to a new country and feeling immediately at home.

You can choose to stick to the facts or can write a fiction story that has ‘A Life Changing Moment’ as its theme.

If you follow the link beneath the image you can read my story and the post is an example of how your own will look.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments

As always my thanks to guests and contributors who make blogging such a pleasure and to you for dropping in, commenting and sharing…here are the posts from the week.

Summer Music Festival with hosts William Price King and Sally Cronin – Headliners Madonna, Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman

A tribute I wrote for my mother Mollie (October 5th 1917 – July 28th 2012) and her gardens

#Spain – Tales from The Garden – Mollie (The Duchess) Coleman

#Memoir #Waterford #Ireland #History – The Colour of Life – Whiskey And Its Disciples – 1949 by Geoff Cronin

Some images of my feathered friends at the lake where bass were a popular attraction for local fishermen.

#Spain – Fish hide in branches

Double #Etheree The Wisdom of Trees by Sally Cronin

Two more book reviews from the past.

Book Reviews – #Memoir D.G. Kaye, #Children’s Robbie and Michael Cheadle

July 1985 – Hanna Barbara Land, BBQ and Lilo races

A round up of all the posts and pages in the series.

Project 101 – Resilience – An opportunity to get fighting fit – Round Up

The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Herbal Medicine – Lavender

#Finance – Investing in the Age of Coronavirus by Sharon Marchisello

– #School Closures – Lost? by Stevie Turner in Having a Rant

#Fear – The predator within by Sue Vincent

Fighting photo phobia by Mary Smith

#Writing – Why to avoid “ing” words in fiction by D. Wallace Peach

A new Cafe and Bookstore for children’s books up to the age of 12 years old.. already 21 authors but plenty of room for more..

Smorgasbord Children’s Cafe and Bookstore – FREE Book Marketing

Fantasy Adele Marie Park, #Fantasy Freya Pickard, #Paranormal Cecilia Kennedy

#Dark Humour Carol La Hines, #History Joyce Hampton, #Fantasy Paul Andruss

The Gilded Beaver by Margaret

#Reviews – #Fantasy Lorinda J. Taylor, #Contemporary M.C.V. Egan, #ScienceFiction A.C. Flory

#Paranormal Roberta Eaton Cheadle, #HistoricalRomance Christine Campbell, #Prose/Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro

#Thriller John L. DeBoer, #Scifi Richard Dee, #History Paul Edmondson

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 28th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 30th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

July 31st 2020- Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp

Thank you for your support during the week and look forward to seeing you again soon. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 19th -26th July -Josh Groban, Naan Bread, Fairy Tales, Waterford, Poetry, Reviews and Funnies

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

Like most of you focus on being creative has been a little hit and miss during the last few months, and I am thankful for the blog to keep me busy and in contact with you all. I have been working on my next book in my head and finally have got my thoughts together and have picked up where I left off in March. Hopefully you will see something coherent in the autumn! It is another collection of syllabic poetry and a collection of 24 + short stories based on two central themes… I plan to really get the writing finished in August (unless summer decides to return and I spend too much time in the garden!)

It is our 40th anniversary in November and we cancelled our planned trip with my two sisters in September to Malta.. old stomping grounds for both of them who were 16 and 17 when we lived there and it was going to be a step back in time for us all. November is the start of the usual flu season and I have an inkling that the 14 day quarantines for visitors is likely to be in place again. So are planned trip to the UK to see my sisters is also at risk. It will make it two years since we have had a family get together but it is better to be safe than sorry.

This now has presented us with an opportunity to get creative with our own celebrations as the occasion deserves to be marked in style…as long as the two of us are there…it will be special.

Just a reminder of the opportunities to promote your books…

  1. If you have a new book due out in August then please let me know when available for pre-order or released so I can do a new book on the shelves promotion.
  2. If you are not already in the Cafe and Bookstore you can find out how to join the other 150 authors: Free book marketing in the Cafe and Bookstore.
  3. The new series of Posts from Your Archives open to all bloggers where I pop in to your blog and select two posts to share along with your books and links: #NewSeries August 2020- Pot Luck and Do You Trust Me??
  4. If you are a children’s author you will find a new feature from Monday where your books will not only be on the shelves of the main Cafe and Bookstore but any books for ages up to 12 years old, will also be in the new Children’s Cafe and Bookstore.. A post is going out on Monday that gives the details to existing authors in the Cafe and to new ones.
  5. The new author spotlight series for September has a theme that I hope you will find interesting – Life Changing Moments.. and the promotional post is on July 30th.

As always I am very grateful to the contributors who share their expertise and creativity each week and also to you for all the support that you offer…you have no idea how that has helped me stay positive during the last few months. 💐 😍

Here are this week’s posts…..

The Music Column with William Price King – Josh Groban Part Three

‘N’ is for Nicoise, Nori, Nuts, Noodles, Nettles and Naan Bread.

#Spain – Tales from The Garden -Chapter Eleven – The Last Summer Ball and the Winter Fairy – Part Two

The Colour of Life -Cattle Dealing and The Ferguson Tractor 1948 by Geoff Cronin

#Courtown, Wexford – Sea Birds Seek Shelter and Photos

July 4th 1985 Celebrations, Mechanical Bulls and Tennis

Welcome to a new series where I will be sharing book reviews I have posted in the last few years. I would like to take the opportunity to showcase books that I have enjoyed and their authors and if you have not read the books, I hope it will encourage you to check them out.

#Afghanistan Mary Smith, #Historical Andrew Joyce

Chesebro’s weekly Tanka Challenge -#Butterfly Cinquain – Washed Up

The importance of a healthy gut (part three) #Candida by Sally Cronin

Herbal Medicine – Peppermint – fresh breath, digestion and anti-bacterial

#History – The Story of the Huguenots: A Unique Legacy by Joyce Hampton

The Places We Haunt: Short Story Collection by Cecilia Kennedy

#Mystery – Walking Into Trouble by Geoff Le Pard

#Pre-Order -Children’s – A Beechworth Bakery Bears e-Book (The Beechworth Bakery Bears 1) by Frank Prem

#Mystery Noelle Granger, ##DystopianSciFi Terry Tyler, #Mystery Anne R. Allen

#Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #FamilySaga Judith Barrow, #Fantasy, #Paranormal C.S. Boyack

#Childrens Victoria Zigler, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Fantasy Fiona Tarr, #Contemporary M.C.V. Egan

#Prehistoric Jacqui Murray, #Children’s Toni Pike, #Humour J. E. Pinto

#Memoir Joy Lennick, #WWII Paulette Mahurin, #Mystery J.A. Newman

#Thriller Richard W. Wise, #Fantasy Sue Vincent and Stuart France, #Lemons Valentina Cirasola

#Writing Jane Sturgeon, #Poetry Leon Stevens, #Coming of age Bette A. Stevens

Hugh W. Roberts

#Shortstories Hugh W. Roberts, #Thriller Gwen M. Plano, #FamilyDrama Margaret Lindsay Holton

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 21st 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 23rd 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Possible Book Titles and some Grammar funnies Host Sally Cronin

Thank you again for dropping in today and for all your support.. it is much appreciated..

Smorgasbord Short Stories – #Spain – Tales from The Garden -Chapter Eleven – The Last Summer Ball and the Winter Fairy – Part Two by Sally Cronin

It is over two years since I share the stories from Tales from The Garden that I wrote in tribute to our home in the mountains to the north of Madrid from 1999 to 2016. I went back and forth from Ireland for the first three years as I had my diet advisory clinic here, but finally sold our house, put the dog in the car and ferried and drove across the UK and Europe to live permanently. We inherited a number of statues from the previous owners that were too big to take with them, and I also found some discarded around the garden. Perfect characters for stories, some of whom moved on with us to Ireland and appeared in Tales from the Irish Garden.

Last week as preparations were being made for the last fairy ball of the summer… devastating news arrived from Ireland about the Winter Fairy who was bored and decided to cause mayhem two months earlier than usual.

The Last Summer Ball and the Winter Fairy Part Two

The Fairy Queen, Filigree, called her counsellors together to put into action the Disaster Prevention Plan they had hoped never to activate.

Before making her final decisions about the operation, the queen called upon the toothless gnome who was the fairy soothsayer. Spread out on the table in front of her, placed on the magic blue silk cloth, was the gnome’s crystal ball.

Her majesty was getting impatient and snapped at the quivering figure standing before her. ‘Well, what are you waiting for? she glared at the poor creature. ‘Are we definitely going to be in for an early freeze?

The gnome had rarely been called upon during his five hundred years in his capacity of soothsayer, and was not sure if his magic divining powers were still working. He waved his hands over the crystal ball and muttered the magic words loudly for maximum dramatic effect.

‘Bumble, grumble, fumble, crumble’.

Queen Filigree and her courtiers leaned in and gasped in horror. The crystal ball had clouded into ice crystals before their very eyes. None were more surprised than the gnome who hid a delighted and relieved toothless grin behind his gnarly hands.

‘Right,’ said the queen having composed herself. She pointed at one of her closest advisors.
‘Ampletum, I want you to go immediately and take a message to the Queen Bee,’ She closed her eyes for a moment as she gathered her thoughts.

‘Tell her majesty that this devastating cold front is coming in within hours and her hives are in danger. Suggest that she have a final sweep of the last of the summer roses with her swarm and then retreat down into our honey cellars. This will provide us with much needed stores for the winter and a safe place for them to stay warm’.

Ampletum hurried off to do his queen’s bidding; trembling nervously at the important task he had been assigned.

The queen looked around her chamber and her eyes fell upon one of the cheekiest of her fairy advisors. Pinchit was a bit of a rogue but he knew everything that was happening in the garden at any given time and this task would require his specialist knowledge.

She beckoned him over and whispered in his tufted ear. ‘Find me Fluffy,’ she looked at his wily little face. ‘I know you know where that rascal is and I need you to go to whatever rock or log he is hiding under and bring him to me immediately.’

Pinchit bowed his head and scurried off to climb up the staircase through the magnolia roots to the magic garden. He headed off around the corner of the villa to the uncultivated wasteland by the back fence. It was a safe bet that he would find the sun loving Fluffy basking himself on the hot sand.

Pinchit spent a few minutes explaining the dire situation they were all facing. Fluffy, first and foremost was concerned about himself. Dragons do not like the cold which is why they have their own internal combustion system. He thanked Pinchit for the warning and was about to turn away to find some safe place in the foundations of the villa when the fairy tapped him on his nose.

‘The Queen is demanding that you come with me Fluffy as she has a special job for you.’ Pinchit hooked one of his fingers through the dragon’s nostril and muttered menacingly. ‘She said not to take no for an answer.’

Ten minutes later Fluffy settled down on his haunches and glared at the Fairy Queen. In her long reign these two had been at loggerheads as her royalness was unimpressed by the dragon’s habit of starting little fires in the garden when he sneezed. This happened a lot in the spring when the pollen count was high, and despite the fairies giving him a very potent anti-histamine, he refused to take prescribed medication of any kind.

Queen Filigree came down off her high horse, commonly called her throne, and sat in front of Fluffy. She held out her hands and smiled at the bemused dragon. ‘I would like you to do me a great favour,’ she paused and prayed she would choose the right words for this vital request.’

Meanwhile just an hour away to the north tiny snowflakes began to fall on the parched earth. It settled quickly as the inhabitants looked out of their homes in amazement. Animals and insects alike were caught unawares and already the fatal cold claimed its first victims.

Out in the magic garden the Queen Bee had rallied her swarm and accepted the invitation issued by the Fairy Queen. Bees visited every last summer rose in the garden and made their way, heavily laden through the roots of the magnolia tree into the honey caverns beneath. Here special honey fairies directed the thousands of insects into the roof of the specially constructed cellars, where they began to build an intricate honeycomb.

The fairy kingdom would now have sufficient supplies for the long winter ahead and the bees could reside in safety away from the devastating cold.

As these preparations continued the Fairy Queen knew that she had to do something to raise the spirits of those beneath the magnolia and also amongst her stone guardians in the magic garden. Wrapping herself in a cloak of gold silk that kept the chill from her delicate bones, she visited each member of her loyal entourage.

The Stoned Dwarf band huddled beneath the old oak tree in the fading sunlight and looked at her sadly. They had been rehearsing for the last three months to perform at tonight’s final ball of the summer and now this would not take place. She gently touched them on their pointed heads and requested that they strike up a song to keep the rest of the garden in high spirits as they went about their urgent tasks. Before long the cheerful sound of music reached every corner of the magic kingdom.

The queen also flew down to the sandy wasteland at the back of the garden and perched for a few minutes on a small mound of rocks. Beneath her, with chest expanded to its fullest extent, Fluffy blew hot breath northwards. With the help of a snuff box of fairy dust, the dragon was able to extend his normal range by fifty miles. He was tiring but he had managed to keep the freezing cold front at bay for that very important extra few hours.

His reward was to spend the winter months in a specially prepared fire-proof chamber in the royal palace. The queen happily reflected that the extra heating would be very welcome once they got into the deepest and darkest nights of winter!

Finally the preparations were complete. The Fairy Queen had visited all her statues within the garden and with the final trail of insects and one very tired but satisfied dragon, she retreated to the warmth and safety beneath the magnolia tree.

As a special surprise and a thank you to all her subjects and the special guests, her Majesty had opened up the giant ballroom and had the firefly chandeliers dusted off. Instead of the Dwarf Stoned band, in the corner of the ornate chamber, an old fashioned gramophone was wound up and the air was filled with the sounds of a Viennese Waltz. The delighted fairies and their guests took to the floor as the fireflies created an aerial display that took their breath away.

With Fluffy safely tucked up for the winter and without his magic dragon breath, the cold front advanced rapidly. The Winter Fairy flew into the magic garden delighted with his childish prank. He stood in the deep snow and looked around him excitedly. Instead of frozen fairies, insects and out of place statues there was….nothing. Just one obnoxious fairy, alone and barely visible in a blanket of white.

©Sally Cronin Tales from the Garden 2015

Other short story collections

You can find out about all my books and read recent reviews: My books and reviews 2020

It would be great to catch up with you at these sites too.

Twitter: @sgc58
Facebook: Sally Cronin
LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed this snippet from Tales from the Garden.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – 12th – 18th July 2020 – Children’s Book Store, Relationships, Italian Cookery, Book Reviews, Health, Humour and Music

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

I hope you are all doing well and that your families are safe and well. There are mixed messages as always about what we can and cannot do and clearly there are still some hot spots around our countries and the world where life continues to be very difficult.

I thought I would give you a hint of the new promotions that are coming up in the next couple of months and to remind you of those running at the moment.

I am creating a spin off Cafe and Bookstore for Children’s books and Early Teens… As Robbie Cheadle pointed out in a comment this week, it is very difficult to market children’s books, especially at the moment with virtual launches. Also because many children’s books tend to be print only. The authors with books suitable up to 12 years old will have separate entries for their children’s books in this new Cafe but will still retain their entries in the main bookstore with other books they may have.

There will be new author and book promotions, separate children’s cafe updates and special promotions at certain times of the year such as Christmas.

I really would like your help once it is set up to spread the word to children’s authors who might like to have a promotion for their books and be showcased in the new cafe.  I have a post going out about it on the 27th of July.

I am putting the entries together in the next week and will share the link in the promotional post. If I have missed any books of yours that are suitable for children up to 12 years old you can let me know at that point.

I have had a great response to the post and August is now fully booked but if you would like to participate in September then just let me know. An ideal opportunity to promote your blog posts and I will also top and tail with any book details, author bio and links. Full details are in the post.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries August 2020- Pot Luck and Do You Trust Me??

Coming in September – the return of the Sunday Author Interview… with a new theme and questions… promotional post on July 30th.

As always I am very grateful for the time and effort that the contributors to the blog put in to produce such amazing posts, and to you for dropping in. If you have time to leave a comment it is always appreciated and it also is a way to connect to others who pass through the blog. This community has never been more important as it is today, and the stronger it is, the stronger we are as individuals.

Calling All Fixers

Are you that person who has a dire need to fix the people you care about? Are you that person who thinks nobody can fix things like you can? Let me tell you, I was one of those people, and I learned that there are definite limitations when it comes to thinking we can repair others—despite how much our hearts truly wish we could.

D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – July 2020 – Calling All Fixers!

Smorgasbord Summer Music Festival with hosts William Price King and Sally Cronin – Headliners Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen and Chris de Burgh

#Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Milanesa style thin cut beef (Cotoletta alla milanese)

Tales from the Garden – Chapter Ten – The Last Summer Ball and the Winter Fairy – Part One

The Colour of Life – The Nuns At The Glue Pot 1946 by Geoff Cronin

#Haiku #Wexford #Ireland -Rescued from the Deep

Letters from America 1985-1987 – July 1985 – A new baby arrives and I meet Debbie around the pool

#Anthology – This is Lockdown – Covid 19 Diaries – Flash Fiction – Poetry M.J. Mallon and Other Authors

Colleen Chesebro’s weekly Tanka Challenge -#Butterfly Cinquain – Wise Women

Project 101 – Resilience – The importance of a healthy gut (part two) #Candida


Herbal Medicine – Make Thyme in your life for this versatile herb for health and cooking.

There is little doubt that this last three months of lock down has impacted all our lives. Marjorie Mallon has compiled an anthology that shares her own diary of events over that period about the pandemic and life as a family in lock down.. and the thoughts and poetry of others within the blogging community including myself.

Special Feature – #Anthology – This is Lockdown – Covid 19 Diaries – Flash Fiction – Poetry M.J. Mallon and Other Authors

#Historical #Fantasy – Reign of Retribution (The Eternal Realm Book 3) by Fiona Tarr

#Fantasy – Sea Dragons: Wisp II by Adele Marie Park

#Thriller John W. Howell, #Murder Mystery Barbara Silkstone, #Mystery Stevie Turner

#Familydrama James J. Cudney, #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray, #Children’s Toni Pike

#Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Contemporary Olga Nunez Miret, #Dystopian Teri Polen

#Thriller Allan Hudson, #Poetry Joyce Murphy, #Paranormal #Romance Marcia Meara

#History Barbara Ann Mojica, #Children’s Paul Noel, #Mystery Judy Penz Sheluk

#Romance Ritu Bhathal, #YAMystery Karen Demers Dowdall, #Paranormal S.A. Harris,

#Childrens Deanie Humphrys Dunne, #Dystopian Sandra J. Jackson #NewAdult #Romance Abbie Johnson Taylor

#Writing Denise O’Hagan, #Children Wanda Luthman, #RomanticComedy Jack Lindsey

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 14th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 16th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

The Senior Team pass the Courtroom funnies along.

Thank you very much for dropping in today and during the week… it is much appreciated and I hope you will join me again next week.. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Short Stories – #Spain – Tales from the Garden – Chapter Ten – The Last Summer Ball and the Winter Fairy – Part One by Sally Cronin

It is over two years since I share the stories from Tales from The Garden that I wrote in tribute to our home in the mountains to the north of Madrid from 1999 to 2016. I went back and forth from Ireland for the first three years as I had my diet advisory clinic here, but finally sold our house, put the dog in the car and ferried and drove across the UK and Europe to live permanently. We inherited a number of statues from the previous owners that were too big to take with them, and I also found some discarded around the garden. Perfect characters for stories, some of whom moved on with us to Ireland and appeared in Tales from the Irish Garden.

Chapter Ten – The Last Summer Ball and the Winter Fairy – Part One

It was a lovely end of summer afternoon and all within the magic garden was quiet. It was siesta time and most of the inhabitants, both in the fairy kingdom beneath the magnolia tree, and the stone guardians were napping. They needed their rest, as tonight was the last ball of the season, and for days everyone had been racing around in preparation.

There had been an early start to this summer with very high temperatures in early May. The heat had continued to suck the moisture out of the air for the last few months. For the humans this meant extra work watering the foliage which brought colour and wildlife to the magic garden. But now the temperatures had settled down to provide warm but gentle days, which were welcomed by all who shared this special place.

The head of the guardians was worn out. The fairy queen was being particularly demanding about the preparations for the dance tonight and he now dozed in the late afternoon warmth.

‘Psst, psst,’ came a persistent buzz in the large guardian’s ear. He decided to ignore what was surely an uneducated insect who clearly did not who he was pssting.

‘Psst, master, psst,’ clearly a very, very ignorant insect.

The lion opened one eye and glanced to his right. He groaned inwardly and resigned himself to some wasted time of nonsense.

Eager to impart some nugget of news to the head guardian, Fizzy the rabbit looked up adoringly at the lion.

‘He’s been seen, he’s coming, we have to do something, he is on his way, we have to panic.’

The lion looked down at Fizzy and shook his head slowly from side to side. Of all the creatures under his care this was the one who caused the most problems. Since a young rabbit, he had been a sugar addict; craving what was commonly called the Amber Nectar.

If you wanted to find Fizzy you just had to head towards the nearest Amber joint and he would have his whiskers deep in the blooms.

It was clear that Fizzy had made a stop off at the nearest amber bar and was going to be hyper for the next hour. The lion knew he would get no peace until he had listened to the whole story and just hoped he had enough time to finish his nap before the ball.

‘Slow down Fizzy and tell me what the problem is,’ the guardian said patiently to the rabbit who was bouncing up and down on his tail.

‘The Winter Fairy is on his way and is bringing a very, very cold front with him,’ the rabbit drew breath. ‘He will reach us tonight during the ball and everyone in the garden will be frozen in place and visible to the humans forever.’

‘Okay Fizzy just who saw him and where?’ The lion was slightly more concerned now this was potentially catastrophic.

‘My Irish cousins were playing near their burrow a few days ago and heard him cursing and ranting in the trees above their heads.’ Fizzy held out one of his paws to the lion and touched his leg.

‘They sent a pigeon to bring me the message and it says he is bored stupid with hanging around for October and wants to get on with his job now.’

This was not good news. The lion knew that he had to warn the Fairy Queen and the other inhabitants of the garden. The most immediate decision concerned tonight’s festivities. At night all the statues came to life for a few precious hours. If they and the fairies were unexpectedly frozen in place and visible to humans, the magic garden would cease to exist.

He had to think and he couldn’t do that with the excited rabbit bouncing up in down in fear.

He gently sent Fizzy on his way and called in his butterflies who acted as his messengers within the garden. Their first priority was to find the Fairy Queen and call the counsellors together for a cabinet meeting.

The last the lion had heard, his queen was indulging in some retail therapy in preparation of tonight’s ball. A tad disrespectfully for this venerable guardian, he did wonder what she needed with another pair of shoes and a new hat.

To be fair, the Fairy Queen was thinking just that herself when the delicate butterfly alighted on the back of her chair with a vital message from her head guardian. With a wistful last look at the jewelled shoes and matching hat, she turned and headed back to the palace beneath the magnolia tree accompanied by the messenger.

The queen called together her ministers and they all listened as the guardian spoke remotely through his intermediary. Clearly this was a dangerous situation. Not just because they would have to cancel the ball, but because the preparations for the winter were not complete. Without the usual stores of honey stored in nutshells in the cellars of the palace, there would not be enough food for the fairy population during the longer than usual dark months.

Just then another butterfly flew into the chamber and delivered even more devastating news. Reports had arrived in from the French Fairy Federation or the FFF’s; that the Winter Fairy had put a spurt on and was only a few hours away.

Part two next Sunday – can the fairy kingdom ward off the evil winter fairy?

©Sally Cronin Tales from the Garden 2015

Other short story collections

You can find out about all my books and read recent reviews: My books and reviews 2020

It would be great to catch up with you at these sites too.

Twitter: @sgc58
Facebook: Sally Cronin
LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed this snippet from Tales from the Garden.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – July 5th -11th 2020 – Josh Groban, Mango, Pigeons, Dublin 1944, Books, Health and Laughter

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

It has been a very mixed week as far as the weather is concerned. However, I was in and out more times than a cat, grabbing the odd ten minutes of sunshine here and there. It can change in a second with rain in the back garden and sunshine still in the front. There are a lot worse places to live, particularly during a pandemic as it is easier to avoid 5 million people than it is 65 million. Especially when there is more rural space.

Apart from my daily ins and outs, I also had my first hair appointment this week. I go to a family owned hairdresser and they certainly have gone to a lot of trouble and expense to prepare the salon for clients. I was wearing my own mask, but had my temperature checked once I was allowed in. A young assistant was kept busy disinfecting chairs, basins and stations between customers, and we all wore disposable gowns and the same with the towels. Thank goodness that despite the rule about no tea or coffee, and no magazines, we could still chat and it was great to catch up with my stylist Sam and her experiences over the last four months.

It feels great to have some shape back into my hair and if I can bring myself to put on some makeup on the next sunny day, I might get a new profile photo done… don’t hold your breath on either event …!

Now to the week….

I am very aware that I don’t get around to as many blogs as I would like on a daily basis and as I plan to get down to finishing the new book I am writing in August.. I thought it would be a good time to get the new Posts from Your Archives up and running. With the added bonus that I get to browse your blog archives from the last six months and catch up on all your great posts.

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 900 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history and the most recent series was on any aspect about family.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the first six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts.

So what is different about this series?

  • This time, rather than you send me two links to posts from your blog archives, all I need you to do is give me permission to dive in myself and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord.
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random across a number of subjects from the first six months of 2020.
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually.. thank you.

To show how your post will look when featured… please head over to the post with an example from the Friends and Family archive posts earlier in the year. Jacquie Biggar with the story of her grandson and his brave approach to his Type I diabetes.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries August 2020- Pot Luck and Do You Trust Me??

William Price King is on his summer break which is a very busy time and his is offline, but I will be sharing some previous artists and every other week a Summer Music Festival… no mud, or portaloos…just good music. Some from William’s column and some from my own playlists. William sends his best wishes and apologises for not being able to respond to your comments.

This week Carol Taylor cooks up a storm as she showcases the letter ‘M’ in food and culinary terms…and there are plenty of books on show to overload your TBR’s

I am in the last three weeks of the series Meet the Authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and hopefully all your details will then be up to date… if you are in the cafe and have not yet been featured.. don’t worry everyone will be included..

The Music Column with William Price King – Josh Groban – Part Two

Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘M’ is for Mayonnaise, Mango, Mousse, Morels, Khao Neow Manuang and Marengo

Chapter Nine – The Boy, his Dog and a Fairy Princess

Geoff leaves Waterford for the bright lights of Dublin and the adventures of being a boarder with other lads of the infamous Mrs Keller….

The Colour of Life The Digs In Dublin 1944

A Haiku and some examples of my late father-in-law’s wonderful wood carving.

#Ireland Tree Stumps by Sally Cronin

Letters from America 1985-1987 – June 1985 – Photos from Disney Adventure, Alone in America, Television Fitness Classes

Project 101 – Resilience – The importance of a healthy gut (part one)


The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Herbal Medicine -Dandelion

A Year in the Life of Leah Brand: A #Psychological Thriller by Lucinda E. Clarke

Colleen Chesebro’s weekly Tanka Challenge -#DoubleEtheree – The Visitor

#Fantasy – Jack Hughes & Thomas the Rhymer (Book 1) by Paul Andruss

#DarkHumour Someday Everything Will All Make Sense by Carol LaHines

#Dystopian – Acts of Convenience by Alex Craigie

#Fantasy – Soul Swallowers (The Shattered Sea Book 1) by D.Wallace Peach

#YAParanormalFantasy, Heather Kindt, #HistoricalMystery Amy M. Reade, #Children’s Janice Spina

#Contemporary Olga Nunez Miret, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Poetry Balroop Singh

#Romance Linda Bradley, #Fantasy Audrey Driscoll, #YAAdventure Darlene Foster.

#Shortstories Cathy Cade, #Historical Noelle Granger, #SouthernSaga Claire Fullerton

#YAFantasy Kevin Cooper, #Mystery Mary Anne Edwards, #Historical Apple Gidley

#Memoir Chuck Jackson, #Memoir Brigid Gallagher, #ShortStories Anne Goodwin

#1920s Elizabeth Gauffreau, #History Paul Edmondson, #Shortstories Karen Ingalls

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 7th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 9th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

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