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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Chapter Twelve – Car Rides and move to Spain

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

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

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

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

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

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


In Remembrance – The War Poets – Vera Brittain

UnSeasonal Affective Disorder #Lockdown #Elderly – Part One

UnSeasonal Affective Disorder – The Missing Link – Vitamin D

Chamomile Essential Oil


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


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

#Mythology – King of the Asphodels by David Jordan

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

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

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

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

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

Some old favourites and a joke or two host Sally Cronin

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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Poetry – In Remembrance – The War Poets – Vera Brittain

This time of year, I re-post the series The War Poets. Just some of the men and women who served on the front line on all sides of the conflict who fought, died or returned scarred by their experiences.

They are going out at 4.a.m each morning my time, which is the coldest before the dawn, and as they would have woken in the trenches to prepare for another day of horror, bravery and sacrifice.

We often dismiss the words of the young due to their lack of life experience. However there was no such lack in the lives of the youthful poets who experienced the dreadful events of the First and Second World War. Today a woman who lived through both of these conflicts and lost ones that she loved.

51ctwSjImuL._UY250_Vera Brittain

The first poet in the series on the War Poets is a woman, Vera Brittain, feminist, poet and novelist, who was born in Newcastle under Lyme on 29 December 1893, and was raised in Macclesfield and Buxton. Educated at St. Monica’s School and Somerville College, Oxford. She left to serve as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse (VAD) during the First World war, being posted to France and Malta. Vera became engaged during the war, in 1915, to Roland Leighton but sadly he was killed by a sniper in December of that year. Tragically she was also to lose her brother Edward in 1918 and two other very close friends.

Following the end of the war, Vera returned to Oxford to read history, and worked briefly as a teacher before devoting her time to writing. By now a committed pacifist, she was involved with the Peace Pledge Union until her death, and served as vice-president of the national Peace Council, campaigning for peace during the Second World War.

Her first poetry was published in August 1919, Verses of a V.A.D, containing a poem dedicated to Edward, To My Brother. Her first novel, The Dark Tide, was published in 1923.

In 1925 Vera married George C.G. Catlin a political scientist and they moved to New York for a year to live. Her famous memoir Testament of Youth was published in 1933, a story of ‘the lost generation’. The book also recounted her wartime experiences and her marriage to George C.G. Catlin.

Vera Brittain died in Wimbledon on 29 March 1970. Her ashes were sprinkled over her brother Edward’s grave in Italy, where he died. I have chosen her poem The Superflouous Woman because I think it reflects the enormity of the loss of nearly a whole generation of young men who died in the First World War and the millions of young women at the end of the conflict, who lost not only their boyfriends and husbands, but in many cases the chance of every finding love again.


Ghosts crying down the vistas of the years,
Recalling words
Whose echoes long have died,
And kind moss grown
Over the sharp and blood-bespattered stones
Which cut our feet upon the ancient ways.
But who will look for my coming?

Long busy days where many meet and part;
Crowded aside
Remembered hours of hope;
And city streets
Grown dark and hot with eager multitudes
Hurrying homeward whither respite waits.
But who will seek me at nightfall?

Light fading where the chimneys cut the sky;
Footsteps that pass,
Nor tarry at my door.
And far away,
Behind the row of crosses, shadows black
Stretch out long arms before the smouldering sun.
But who will give me my children?

A small selection of Vera Brittain’s work.


Buy Vera Brittain’s books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK


Sources and for more information and the work of Vera Brittain: First World War Poets and Prose


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope…Sally


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 11th -17th October 2020 -Jazz, Elephant’s Ears, Pumpkin Flower Fritters and Rennaisance Festival

Welcome to the round up with posts that you might have missed during the week on Smorgasbord.

I hope that despite the increase in cases in most of our countries, you are staying safe. With politics and Covid-19 it is hard to find some good news headlines but tucked away you can find a gem or two.

Canadian Researchers Gave Homeless People $7500 Each And The Results Are So Uplifting

Challenging the stereotypes of homeless people in Canada, a research project from a Vancouver-based charitable organization found that simply giving money to homeless people isn’t as bad an idea as some people might think. Read more: Good News Network

New Fix-It Clinic is Using Zoom and Global Community to Help You Repair Items For Free

How many YouTube tutorials does it take to screw in a lightbulb? One—if that many.

Fixit Clinic

But when you need to fix something that’s beyond your level of DIY expertise, with nearly a bazillion videos offering differing and sometimes conflicting repair advice, it can be hard to know where to turn—or, at least it was until the advent of Fixit Clinic Read more about this great initiative: The Good News Network

So if you need a bit of a lift and a change from the daily litany of pessimism head over to The Good News Network

On the home front the last couple of days I have been moving pot plants around, taking some around the back of the garden to see out the next few months and setting out the winter flowering plants. Not a very bright day but with rain coming in for the next ten days I took the opportunity to take some photographs…

Time to get on with the posts from the week….

William Price King with American Jazz drummer and bandleader Art Blakey

‘T’ for Tea and Toast, Turmeric, Tobasco, Tahini, Tamarind and Elephant’s Ears (it is a T)

how a pumpkin flower fritter looks like

Pumpkin Flowers Fritters: at the Pumpkin Patch

Life Changing Moments – I knew that there was a book inside me waiting to be written by Joyce Hampton

#Thriller – Skeleton Run by John L. DeBoer

#Afghatinstan #MilitaryDogs Patricia Furstenburg, #History #Tudors Tony Riches

My parent’s visit – Part Two – Rennaisance Festival, Anniversary Party and nearly lights out!

Poetry – In Remembrance – The War Poets – Rupert Brooke

Photograph by Cris Saur @crisaur

Pot Luck – Poetry Friday ~ Wild Fire by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

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

Chapter Eleven – Favourite Walks in Ireland

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Hotel Senior Receptionist

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Hotel Assistant Manager

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs -The Sheep Farm

#Reviews Dawn Doig, Emily-Jane Hills Orford and Wanda Luthman

#ParanormalThriller – This Last Chance by D.L. Finn

#Memoir Brigid P. Gallagher , #Sci-fi Richard Dee, #Mystery Diana J. Febry

#Pre-Historic Jacqui Murray, #Fantasy Deborah Jay, #Mystery Amy M. Reade

#Paranormal Marcia Meara, #Fantasy A. J. Alexander, #MurderMystery Jessica Norrie

Image wikipedia.

Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Essential Oils and Aromatherapy – Bergamot essential oil

Omega 3s

The endocrine system and hormones Part Two

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Oct 13th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

October 15th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

October 16th 2020 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp

Thank you very much for dropping and all your support, have a great weekend and I hope you will join me again next week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Poetry – In Remembrance – The War Poets – Rupert Brooke

This time of year, I re-post the series The War Poets. Just some of the men and women who served on the front line on all sides of the conflict who fought, died or returned scarred by their experiences.

They are going out at 4.a.m each morning my time, which is the coldest before the dawn, and as they would have woken in the trenches to prepare for another day of horror, bravery and sacrifice.

We often dismiss the words of the young due to their lack of life experience. However there was no such lack in the lives of the youthful poets who experienced the dreadful events of the First and Second World War.  Today a poet whose work I first read as a teenager in an old poetry book I found on the shelves in our home. It had a profound effect on me and the way I viewed conflict.

Rupert Brooke

Poetry has played an enormous role in our history particularly when telling the stories of heroes and heroines through the ages. Very popular during Victorian times, verse was used prolifically to proclaim love, poke fun at politicians and big wigs as well as to honour bravery in service to Queen and Country. Poetry was as widely read as novels and in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, a number of our most well-known poets were born producing some of our most loved verses.

I am by no means a poetry expert but I have found that verse is very individual and that you enjoy those pieces which reflect events and emotions in your own life.

For example; as a teenager I found a book of Rupert Brooke’s poems on a bookshelf at home and there were one or two at that age that I understood and enjoyed. However, as I have got older and revisited his work and other poets, I realise that my own life’s experience enables me to appreciate their work in a more profound way. Although Rupert Brooks is best known for his war poems such as The Soldier, there are others that also reflect his experiences of love and life beautifully, despite his own youth.

Like many of the poets of the first part of the 20th century Rupert Brooke was caught between the Victorian strait laced puritanism and the liberal 20’s. He was a bit of a jack the lad, considered an Adonis by both men and women. In his short life he loved both; mainly those within the growing social and intellectual societies such as the Fabians.

Anyway a little biography of this talented young poet.

Rupert Chawner Brooke was born on 3rd August 1887 second son to William Parker Brooke a housemaster at Rugby school and his wife Ruth Cotterill. Rupert attended both the preparatory and main schools before going up to King’s College, Cambridge where he studied the classics, somewhat badly, as he was more interested in literature and acting. At the end of his third year he turned his attention to literature and moved out of Cambridge to Grantchester. Here he and his circle of friends embraced the country life whilst developing interest politics and in the growing socialist reforms as members of the “Fabian Society”.

In 1911 Rupert spent time in Munich learning German before returning to Grantchester to work on his fellowship at King’s. At the same time he completed his first volume of Poems which in the next 20 years was reprinted 37 times at around 100,000 copies.

Two poems that reflected his life in Grantchester was Dining Room Tea and The Old Vicarage Grantchester but for my first poem I have chosen Kindliness. I loved this poem as a teenager although I could not conceive that one day I would in my sixties and look at love and poetry with a little more understanding.


When love has changed to kindliness —
Oh, love, our hungry lips, that press
So tight that Time’s an old god’s dream
Nodding in heaven, and whisper stuff
Seven million years were not enough
To think on after, make it seem
Less than the breath of children playing,
A blasphemy scarce worth the saying,
A sorry jest, “When love has grown
To kindliness — to kindliness!” . . .
And yet — the best that either’s known
Will change, and wither, and be less,
At last, than comfort, or its own
Remembrance. And when some caress
Tendered in habit (once a flame
All heaven sang out to) wakes the shame
Unworded, in the steady eyes
We’ll have, — that day, what shall we do?
Being so noble, kill the two
Who’ve reached their second-best? Being wise,
Break cleanly off, and get away.
Follow down other windier skies
New lures, alone? Or shall we stay,
Since this is all we’ve known, content
In the lean twilight of such day,
And not remember, not lament?
That time when all is over, and
Hand never flinches, brushing hand;
And blood lies quiet, for all you’re near;
And it’s but spoken words we hear,
Where trumpets sang; when the mere skies
Are stranger and nobler than your eyes;
And flesh is flesh, was flame before;
And infinite hungers leap no more
In the chance swaying of your dress;
And love has changed to kindliness

In 1913 Rupert was finally awarded his Fellowship at King’s but did not take it up immediately choosing to travel to New York, Canada, San Francisco and New Zealand before settling on Tahiti; living with a Tahitian beauty Taatamata.

However, running out of money and suffering from a bad infection from coral poisoning, Rupert returned to England in mid-1914. He took up his fellowship at King’s but his idealism gained new focus with the onset of War. On September 15th he applied and was accepted for a commission in the Royal Naval Division and embarked with his battalion to defend Antwerp from the German Advance.

The War Years

Antwerp fell to the Germans and the battalion returned to England and over the next three months Brooke’s company re-equipped and despite a period of illness Rupert embarked on a ship to the Dardanelles on February 27th 1915. Over the next two months the battalion spent time in Malta, Lemnos and Eygpt as they attempted to reach the front.

Rupert suffered another bout of ill health including sunstroke and dysentery. Senior officers, aware of his growing fame as both a poet and potential influential politician, decided he should be kept away from the front lines, offering him a staff job that he refused.

On Saturday 10th April 1915, Brooke’s troopship left Port Said for Lemnos via the Island of Skyros. They arrived there on Saturday 17th April, The officers and men landed on Skyros and conducted exercises but on 20th April Rupert Brooke fell seriously ill with blood poisoning. His system already weakened by several bouts of infection he could not overcome this latest illness, and on April 23rd he died aboard ship aged 27.

He had commented on the beauty and peace of a particular olive grove on the island and was buried there by his fellow officers amongst the scent of flowering sage.

220px-P8170206Image Sherrill Schell

The poem The Soldier has stood the test of time and is as evocative today as it was nearly 100 years ago. Especially as we prepare to  honour the young men and women who have served and died. Not only for our own countries, but all those in any conflict around the world.

1914 V: The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Buy Rupert Brooke complete works : Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

Find out more about Rupert Brooke: Wikipedia


Thank you for dropping in today… Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Poetry – In Remembrance – The War Poets – Edmund Blunden

This time of year, I like to post the series The War Poets. Just some of the men and women who served on the front line on all sides of the conflict who fought, died or returned scarred by their experiences.

They are going out at 4.a.m each morning my time, which is the coldest before the dawn, and as they would have woken in the trenches to prepare for another day of horror, bravery and sacrifice.

I would never glorify war – I see it as greed and a failure of diplomacy. Someone wants power, land, money, oil, mineral wealth etc and is unwilling to compromise or listen to reason and chooses to just take it. When diplomacy fails as it often does, those that are forced to defend their rights or territory turn to their young men and in modern times, women to fight the good fight. It never seems to end, which is why reminding ourselves from time to time about their sacrifice is both respectful and hopefully a thought provoking exercise.

As the war poet today describes – war does not end for those who have fought when a treaty has been signed; it will continue in their lives forever.

51Ed+GXy-AL._UY250_Edmund Blunden was a poet, literary editor, journalist, biographer and lecturer, travelling and teaching in England, Japan and Hong Kong. He was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford University in 1966. He died in 1974 aged 78 having left behind an incredible legacy of work that in my mind is one of the most vivid recollections of the First World War.

He was studying Classics at Queen’s College Oxford but like so many of his age, he abandoned academic life in 1915 and joined the 11th Royal Sussex Regiment. He saw active service almost immediately at Givenchy and later at the Somme. He won the Military Cross for ‘conspicuous gallantry in action’ after a near suicidal mission under enemy shelling. From late 1916 he was with the regiment in Ypres until January 1918 when they returned to the Somme.

The two poems I have chosen are very different. The first At Sawnlees Once is poignant as it describes a brief moment of respite from the chaos. A barn on a farm where women are working and all appears normal. An oasis of crops and chickens and a simple barn where safety and a chance to forget the war for a few brief hours was so precious.

At Sawnlees Once

How comely it was and how reviving,
When with clay and with death no longer striving
Down firm roads we came to houses
With women chattering and green grass thriving.

Now though rains in a cataract descended,
We could glow, with our tribulation ended–
Count not days, the present only
Was thought of, how could it ever be expended?

Clad so cleanly, this remnant of poor wretches
Picked up life like the hens in orchard ditches,
Gazed on the mill-sails, heard the church-bell,
Found an honest glass all manner of riches.

How they crowded the barn with lusty laughter,
Hailed the Pierrots and shook each shadowy rafter,
Even could ridicule their own sufferings,
Sang as though nothing but joy came after!

The second poem Can you Remember is after the war – not written until 1928 when it was only becoming clear the long term effect those devastating years had on the young men of all nations who fought and survived. It is clear that for the vast majority, the war did not end, but remained in their minds and hearts their whole lives.

Can You Remember?

Yes, I still remember
The whole thing in a way;
Edge and exactitude
Depend upon the day.

Of all that prodigious scene
There seems scanty loss,
Though mists mainly float and screen
Canal, spire and fosse;

Though commonly I fail to name
That once obvious Hill,
And where we went, and whence we came
To be killed, or kill.

Those mists are spiritual
And luminous-obscure,
Evolved of countless circumstance
Of which I am sure;

Of which, at the instance
Of sound, smell, change and stir,
New-old shapes for ever
Intensely recur.

And some are sparkling, laughing, singing,
Young, heroic, mild;
And some incurable, twisted,
Shrieking, dumb, defiled.

Buy poetry Edmund Blunden: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK


Thank you for dropping in and your feedback is always welcome. Sally