Abundance – A dance in a bakery Apex – A gorilla’s old girlfriend Blood Brother – A vampire’s relative Buttress – a female goat Catastrophe – First prize in a cat show Denial – A river in Eygpt Fjord – A Norwegian car Grammar – a female grandparent Inkling – a small pen Jubilant – a celebrating ant Offal – something dreadful Optical – itchy eyes Polygon – a dead parrot Syntax – a collection in church
Thank you for joining us today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face… thanks Sally and Debby.
Welcome to the New Year’s Eve party and an opportunity to thank the friends who have contributed amazing posts throughout the year and those who have visited, commented and kept me motivated.
It would be impossible to mention everyone but I do hope that you know how much your support means to me as a person, blogger and author.
I cannot take all the credit for the blog as I have an amazing group of contributors who bring their expertise and talent to the weekly line-up.
William Price King – American Jazz singer, musician and composer has been writing the Music Column for the last eight years.
This year The Breakfast Show every Tuesday hosted by the two of us has been showcasing the hits of the 1940s onwards. On Fridays William shared the lives and music of the music legends of the last 100 years.
In 2023 William and I will continue to co-host the Tuesday Music show and we have selected the top Big Band Era hits to share with you. Along with the dance crazes and the incredible dancers who delighted us with their footwork. The first show is on January 3rd and every Tuesday throughout the year.
William has some stunning performances on his YouTube Channel and here is just one of my recent favourites Autumn in New York
In 2023 I will continue to promote the authors in various ways. I also want to utilise my podcast as an additional platform and this includes recording the blurb of new books on the shelves to share in the promotional post but also on Anchor and Soundcloud along with the book cover and links. The authors can also embed the audio blurb on their own blogs if they have WordPress or are on a blogging platform that is compatible.
My focus in 2023 is also going to be on my book reviews with some more reading time if I can wangle it. There will also be the usual Summer Book Fair, Christmas Book Fair and a new interview series.
Now time for some music to liven this party up….one of my all time favourites from Creedence Clearwater Revival and you will have to excuse me for a few minutes as I have to get up and dance.
Now time to thank another contributor who has been providing wonderful recipes and support for the blog for the last seven years and Carol Taylor’s first contribution was a post about her dog Saangchai and Soi Dogs in 2016. She then began to share her food expertise the following year.
Carol Taylor lives in Thailand following along career in the catering industry who has written the Food and Cookery Column for the last six years. In 2021 Carol brought The Green Kitchen to Smorgasbord with a wonderful mix of food, recipes, sustainability, conservation and commonsense.. This year Carol shared her A-Z of food and culinary termswith some great recipes and that continues through to mid- 2023.
One her own blog Carol Cooks 2 Carol shares a wonderfully varied exploration of food, culinary terms and processes, conservation, sustainability and healthy eating, along with some entertaining Saturday Snippets to end the week.
Time for some more music and another of my favourites Christina Aquilera courtesy of her official channel..Christina Aguilerayou can check out her albums Amazon – I will be back after his brief dance break.. if I don’t pull a muscle….
Another amazing supporter to the blog for the last seven years is D.G. Kaye… Debby Gies we began emailing each other back in 2015 and Debby’s first Travel Column was posted here in 2018 followed by the Relationship Column. Debby has also been co-presenting the Laughter posts for several years and has great foraging skills when it comes to finding gems.
D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies – Non-fiction and memoir author who loves to pack her suitcase and take off to warmer climes and wrote the Travel Column for two years before sharing her wise words on relationships in 2020 and 2021. This year Debby began a new series of Spiritual Awareness which has opened our minds and hearts to the essence within us all that reaches out to others… That will continue through 2023 and Debby has some new ideas for later in the year to share with us.
Debby published a new book just before Christmas which I loved and I know will be enjoyed by many.
Time for some music, and as I still need to catch my breath back from dancing around the kitchen to Christina… time to slow things down. Celine Dion with The Power of Love and wishing you all that magic in 2023. Released at the end of 1993 in Canada and the US and hitting the UK Charts in 1994 –CelineDion
Time to thank two contributors who also bring the funny side of life to the blog… and first the best selling author Daniel Kempwho allows me to steal funnies from his Facebook page to share with you.
For the last four years author Daniel Kemp has permitted me to share his funnies from his facebook page in the Open Mic Night once a month
Daniel Kemp is an ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver never planned to be a writer, but after his first novel –The Desolate Garden — was under a paid option to become a $30 million film for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company what else could he do?
In May 2018 his book What Happened In Vienna, Jack? became a number one bestseller on four separate Amazon sites: America, UK, Canada, and Australia.
Here are a few examples of the hilarious funnies to be found on over toDanny Kemp.. Facebook page.
The next song is from one of my favourite all time bands and we had a rerun of the two Mama Mia films again recently and I expect we will watch them again in a year or two. Brilliant… here is Mama Mia. ABBA’s Music:Amazon US – And: Amazon UK
In the last two years it has been entertaining to have another Open Mic regular join the comedy team..Author Malcolm Allen
Malcolm’s funnies never fail to make me laugh and I know that he has also entertained the audience for his Open Mic nights here once a month. Here is just a small selection.
About Malcolm Allen
The author was born in London UK and experienced a challenging childhood, leaving school with no academic qualifications at the age of 15. He had mixed fortunes in his early working days but managed to secure a job in the banking industry at the age of 19. During a period of 32 years he enjoyed a demanding and successful career in London, the pinnacle of which was becoming a Company Director at the age of 37. Following a life changing experience in November 1998 he emigrated to Perth, Western Australia in September 2001, relocating to his current home in Melbourne, Australia in November 2015.
And the last song today is Katrina and the Waves and even when it is bitterly cold outside with pouring rain, it always cheers me up…If you are lucky enough to be spending the holidays in the Southern Hemisphere then I guess you will already be walking on sunshine. Buy the music Amazon
Thank you so much for spending some of your holidays with me and I hope that you will join me and my friends again in 2023… Happy New Year.. Sally ♥
Debby’s latest post in her series Spiritual Awareness. Old Souls
Now for some fun from Sally….from the Christmas archives
Just in case you didn’t make a note of this festive recipe…
Besht Cishmash Reshippy.
1 Cup butter
1 Cup Sugar
4 large eggs
1 Cup dried fruit
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Cup brown sugar
1 Cup nuts
1 or 2 quarts of aged whisky
Before you begin, sample the whisky to check for quality. Good isn’t it?
Select a large mixing bowl and a measuring cup. Check the whisky again as it must be just right. To be absolutely sure, pour a large glass and drink as fast as you can.
With an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and beat the hell out of it again. Meanwhile at this parsnicular point in time, wake sure that the whixy hasn’t gone bad while you weren’t looking. Open second quart if nestessazy.
Add 2 large leggs, 2 cups of fried druit and beat until high, If druit gest shtuck in peaters, just pry the monsters loosh with a drewscriver.
Example the whiksty again, shecking confistancy, then shitf 2 cups of salt or destergent or whatever, like anyone gifts a shplit.
Chample the whitchey shum more.
Shitfin shum lemon zhoosh. Fold in chopped sputter and shrained nusts. Add 100 babblspoons of brown booger or whushever’s closhest and mix well. Greash ubben and turn the caky tin to 350 decrees. Now pour the whole mesh into the washing machine and set on sinch shycle.
Cheque dat whixney wunsh more and pash out.
And if you get stuck for conversation around the Christmas dinner table…(answers please in the comments below and they will of course be kept completely confidential!)
Thank you for joining us today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face.. Debby and Sally.
A man had been contemplating the world’s population,
It’s amazing, he told his friend. Every time I breathe in and out someone dies.
Have you tried mouthwash said his friend
‘Every man should have a girl for love, companionship and sympathy,’ said a wise and mature bachelor. ‘Preferably at three different addresses,’ he added
The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: ‘Take only ONE. God is watching.’
Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.A child had written a note: ‘Take all you want. God is watching the apples.’
Students in an advanced Biology class were taking their mid-term exam. The last question was, ‘Name seven advantages of Mother’s Milk.’ The question was worth 70 points or none at all. One student was hard put to think of seven advantages. He wrote:
1) It is perfect formula for the child.
2) It provides immunity against several diseases.
3) It is always the right temperature.
4) It is inexpensive.
5) It bonds the child to mother and vice versa.
6) It is always available as needed.
And then the student was stuck. Finally, in desperation, just before the bell rang indicating the end of the test he wrote:
7) It comes in two attractive containers and it’s high enough off the ground where the cat can’t get it.
He got an A.
And a couple of students not quite so bright.
Two engineering students were biking across a university campus when one said, “Where did you get such a great bike?”
The second engineer replied, “Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike, threw it to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, “Take what you want.”
The first engineer nodded approvingly and said, “Good choice: The clothes probably wouldn’t have fit you anyway.”
Thank you for joining us today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face.. Debby and Sally.
Actual question on a University of Washington chemistry midterm: “Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Support your answer with a proof.”
Most of the students’ proofs involved Boyle’s Law (gas cools when it expands and heats up when compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:
“First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So, we need to know the rate that souls are moving into hell and the rate they are leaving. I think we can safely assume that once a soul gets into Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.
As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to Hell.
With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume of Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added.
This gives two possibilities:
1) If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
2) Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until hell freezes over.
So which is it?`
If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. Therese Banyan during my Freshman year, that “it will be a cold night in Hell before I sleep with you,” and taking into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in that area, then 2) cannot be true, and so Hell is exothermic.
Listening at the bedroom door one night whilst my son said his prayers I heard him say, “God bless Daddy and Mummy, Grandad and Grandma, Uncle Albert and goodbye to Rolf my dog”.
I thought it a little odd but forgot about it until the next morning when, on opening the door to go to work, Rolf shot past me straight into the road and into the path of an oncoming car. I ran to him straight away but he was as dead as a door nail. I thought a lot about my son’s prayer during the day but in the end put it down to coincidence.
A few weeks later I was again listening to him saying his prayers when I heard him say, “God bless Daddy and Mummy, Grandad and Uncle Albert and goodbye to Grandma”.
I waited in anticipation the next day to see what would happen. At four o’clock just as I was beginning to think what a fool I was the phone rang. It was my father to tell me that my mother had just died. From that point on I was convinced that somehow my son could foretell misfortune. I made a special point of listening to his prayers every night from then on.
About six months passed when listening to his prayers I heard, “God bless Mummy, Grandad, Uncle Albert and goodbye to Daddy”. I was mortified, scared out of my wits. I dare not confide it to my wife, she would only laugh at me. I had terrible nightmares that night and woke up haggard and drawn.
I thought about staying home out of harm’s way but realised that if I was going to die it could happen anywhere. On the way to work I took great pains to stay out of danger, keeping well away from the kerb as I walked to the station; picking the middle section of the train as possibly the safest if there was a crash; waiting until there was absolutely no traffic anywhere near before crossing the road and the like. I didn’t dare leave the safety of the office at lunchtime and sat drinking coffee and worrying myself sick. At five o’clock I left for home taking all the precautions I had used that morning. By the time I got home I was all in, I even had to ring the doorbell because I no longer had the strength left in me to search in my pocket for the key.
My wife opened the door with a scowl on her face and I staggered past her saying “I’ve had a really awful day, I feel totally drained, physically and emotionally. “My wife replied bitingly
“Don’t give me your hard luck stories I have had a really bad day, it started when the milkman dropped dead on the doorstep!”