Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday October 16th – Beetley Pete #Bookreview – Mary Smith #Afghanistan – Janet Gogerty #Essentials


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post is from Pete Johnson – Beetley Pete with his review for Turncoat’s Drum by Nicholas Carter…

This title was ‘suggested’ to me by Amazon. It is set in a period I am interested in, and on offer at just 99 p for 377 pages, I thought it was good value too. This is book one in series of six, by the same author. It forms part of the ‘Shadow On The Crown’ set of novels, all set during the turbulent years of The English Civil War, from 1642-1651.

Like many similar books in the genre, it takes a series of real events, then peoples them with characters who actually existed, mixed in with fictional ones who mainly drive the plot. In this case, we see the effects of the Civil War in the Western sector of the conflict through the eyes of the opposing generals of the Royalist army, and the Parliamentary rebels seeking to overthrow the monarchy. Also individual soldiers and cavalrymen on both sides, as well as the officers and noblemen drawn to conflicting causes.

Head over and read the entire review and also follow the link to buy the book for only 99p currently: https://beetleypete.com/2019/10/14/book-review-turncoats-drum/

Get in touch with Pete and discover more about his writing – Blog: https://beetleypete.wordpress.com/ – Twitter: https://twitter.com/beetleypete

Time to catch up with the intrepid traveller author Mary Smith as she shares her journey into and through Afghanistan to reach the clinic she was going to be working in. It would have scared the ‘whatnot’ out of me…links to previous episodes at the bottom of Mary’s post.

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Taking sheep to pasture

The additional weight of our armed guards made the bus even slower. I felt I could walk faster. Eventually, I dozed. The bus juddering to a stop jolted me awake. From outside I could hear yelling – it didn’t sound friendly. I peered through the window, spotting the tail end of a jeep blocking the road. Convinced we’d been ambushed, I turned to seek advice and comfort from Hussain only to discover he’d disappeared.

Before total panic paralysed me I heard his voice calling from the back of the bus, ‘Oh, Mudder, beroon beyee.’ (‘Oh, Mother, come outside.’) As I started to climb over the seat in front, thumping an unfortunate woman round the head with my bag, he called again, telling me to head for the back of the bus.

Changing direction, stumbling and staggering over bundles, tripping over shins and trampling on feet, I fought the terribly British urge to apologise to everyone I inadvertently assaulted in my scramble to the rear door. I paused. There were no steps. My exit became even less dignified as I launched myself into the arms of Moh’dullah, who deposited me swiftly on the ground. Hussain was by now beside himself with impatience. ‘Zoot! Zoot!’ he ordered. (‘Quickly! Quickly!)

Head over and enjoy the rest of this riveting post: https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/2019/10/12/marysmithsplace-travels-in-afghanistan-

Mary Smith, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0
Website: http://www.marysmith.co.uk/Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith

Please visit Amazon or Mary’s website to view all her books.

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The final post today is from author Janet Gogerty with a look at ‘Getting out of the House’. I have to admit that we don’t do it often enough. We did go out yesterday and being so out of practice we forgot some of the essentials including an umbrella and a shopping bag. These days you almost need a checklist by the door.. But as Janet discovered, leaving the house in the USA requires even more diligence…..

Getting Out

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One Saturday morning at 7am I got up and looked out of the bedroom window to see our next door neighbours standing across the road in their dressing gowns. I then noticed a fire engine standing outside their house. We had slept through the fire and the arrival of the fire brigade. A fire in their loft had prompted the hasty exit of three generations.

I sent Cyberspouse down in his dressing gown to bring them into our house, while I put some clothes and the kettle on. Over the next couple of hours, other branches of the family, who luckily lived close, arrived and we chatted more to all of them than we had since we lived there.

Head over and read the entire post and discover what is recommend for you to always take with you in the USA: https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/getting-out/

Buy Janet’s books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Janet-Gogerty/e/B00A8FWDMU/ – Blog: https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beachwriter/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and read the posts in full.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday October 4th 2019 – Pete Springer, Beth I Didn’t Have my Glasses on, Janet Gogerty and Jim Borden


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post today is from Pete Springer who woke up to find that his fence was badly damaged… however, all is not as it may seem and as the day wore on, and evidence came to light, the damage was put into the category of Minor Inconveniences.

We woke up this morning to see that our still relatively new redwood fence (just over a year old) had been thoroughly mashed. When I came in to tell my wife what I had discovered, she remembered hearing a sound that woke her up in the night. I slept through the entire incident. Our neighbors have gently backed into the fence a couple of times, but they have taken responsibility and repaired the damage themselves.

This accident was no minor fender bender; one of the fence posts had broken in two. Knowing there wasn’t much room even to back up a car fast, it was hard to imagine how it had happened.

Some crimes are more troubling than others. Hit and run is one of those types that bothers me. I still remember coming out of a store when I was twenty-years-old and found that somebody had broadsided my beloved first car—my pumpkin orange Chevy Nova.

Head over to Pete’s post to discover how the rest of the story unfolds: https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/minor-inconveniences/

Blog: https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/peter.springer.5876

The next post is from Beth of I Didn’t Have My Glasses On... and shares the news that in Japan KitKat will have another look and one that is better for the environment...Origami and Chocolate

it’s important we each do our part to help Mother Earth

and here is a way we can all pitch in,

with two of my favorite things on this earth,

paper and chocolate.

you are welcome.

Japanese KitKats Are Replacing Plastic Packaging

with Origami Paper You Can Turn into Cranes!

From plant-based, bio-plastic Lego to Adidas’s first fully recyclable running shoe, companies worldwide are working hard to make their products and packaging more sustainable. Last year, food and drink manufacturer Nestle announced that it plans to use 100% recyclable packaging for its products by 2025. As part of that goal, nestle Japan recently released new packaging for its popular miniature KitKat chocolate bars, which will now be wrapped in origami paper instead of plastic.

“Plastic waste is one of the biggest sustainability issues the world is facing today,” Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider says “Tackling it requires a collective approach. We are committed to finding improved solutions to reduce, re-use and recycle.” Japan is the biggest market for KitKats, with 4 million being sold every day. By swapping out the candy bar’s shiny plastic wrap for eco-friendly matte paper, Nestlé expects to cut down on roughly 380 tons of plastic each year.

Head over and read the rest of the post, and perhaps KitKats worldwide might follow suit, as origami is a wonderful art that children could benefit from: https://ididnthavemyglasseson.com/2019/09/29/origami-and-chocolate/

Find out more about Beth: https://ididnthavemyglasseson.com/about/

 Janet Gogerty takes us on a tour of the lovely Yorkshire harbour town of Whitby… get your climbing boots on though..The 199 Steps…

Whitby is a scenic harbour town on the east coast of Yorkshire; the harbour piers face north so it has an east and west cliff, both of which are worth clambering up. You don’t have to climb the cliff face, you can arrive at the west cliff hotels or the east cliff abbey ruins by coach, bus or car, but it is more interesting to tread the many paths and steps that wind upwards. Count Dracula took such a route up the east cliff after his ship was blown off course in the north sea. Disguised as a black dog he ran up the 199 steps to the church of St. Mary and the ruins of St. Hilda’s Abbey, thus creating a tourist attraction for the fitter holiday maker.

Head over and enjoy the rest of the photographic tour: https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/2019/10/02/the-199-steps/

Buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Janet-Gogerty/e/B00A8FWDMU/ Blog: https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beachwriter/

And finally today an inspiring post from Jim Borden about the MacArthur Foundation and one of this year’s recipients, Lisa Daugaard, a Criminal Justice Reformer who has established an effective programme to work with those who are arrested for minor drug crimes.

Every year, the MacArthur Foundation selects between 20 and 30 individuals as MacArthur Fellows, commonly referred to as Genius Grant winners.

The MacArthur Fellows Program is intended to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations. In keeping with this purpose, the Foundation awards fellowships directly to individuals rather than through institutions. Recipients may be writers, scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers, entrepreneurs, or those in other fields, with or without institutional affiliations. They may use their fellowship to advance their expertise, engage in bold new work, or, if they wish, to change fields or alter the direction of their careers.

Although nominees are reviewed for their achievements, the fellowship is not a lifetime achievement award, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential. Indeed, the purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society.

Please head over to find out more about the MacArthur Foundation, Lisa Daugaard and the LEAD programme, which sounds like it should be applied across jurisdictions: https://jborden.com/2019/09/26/now-this-is-my-kind-of-genius/

Connect to Jim via his Blog: https://jborden.com/about-me/ – Twitter: https://twitter.com/jimborden – Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jborden119 LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimborden119/

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to enjoy the posts in full.. more next week. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – #Journals – Into Infinity 2017 by Janet Gogerty


Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the first of the four posts that I have selected from the archives of author Janet Gogerty about keeping a journal. As some of you will have seen, I have been sharing the letters I sent to my parents in the UK when we lived in Texas for two years. It has brought back so many small details that have been forgotten over the last 32 years and, a journal I kept during my weight loss journey 22 years ago evolved into my first book. So I am definitely a fan of keeping some form of record of our lives, even if it is photographic.

Your thoughts please in the comments..

Journals – Into Infinity by Janet Gogerty

Do you keep a diary or resolve to keep one every New Year? Many years ago I was given a five year diary which lasted at least a decade of good intentions and still has many blank pages, but it does record some major life events; if anyone can ever decipher the tiny writing crammed into the allotted space per day and year.

In more recent years I received a handsome note book blissfully free of dates. I vowed to keep a journal for the purpose of preserving the art of handwriting and recording family history. Released from the obligation of daily jotting I would devote several pages to important events and places and people visited. I haven’t yet recorded Christmas.

But I am onto the third gift journal. Each entry begins with a few neat sentences but quickly deteriorates into a cramped scrawl, especially if I am lounging with my feet up on the sofa. I imagine the diarists of old would need to sit upright at their bureaus to be able to handle their quill and ink.

In the unlikely event of me becoming a famous author posthumously, will my family be tempted to burn these diaries and journals to protect my reputation? If they bother to look at them they will find no scandal (there is none to help in the fame stakes), no salacious details of non writing activities at home. Hopefully my jottings will be a unique personal account of everyday life in the early years of the Twenty First Century.

And which will last longer, the paper books or this Blog? When I needed to look up a previous Goodreads blog about the River Thames I typed in ‘Janet Gogerty Sandscript River Thames’ and up it came, from over three years ago; will it be there forever? Will our WordPress Blogs float through the ether into eternity or only until the internet is switched off?

Like radio waves going on forever into space will the billions of words on the internet still be out there somewhere when the whole infrastructure collapses and the electricity is switched off for good? Will our Facebook posts and e-mails be accessible to clever alien archaeologists or future earth scientists? If so then, Greetings from 2017 A.D.

©Janet Gogerty 2017

How about you… do you keep a journal?

About Janet Gogerty

I have been writing frantically for 10 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events! When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story.

The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online. I have just published my fourth collection of short stories Someone Somewhere which includes two novellas. I also write a regular blog ‘Sandscript‘ at Goodreads. My website long ago took on a life of its own with new words and pictures regularly; visit to read short stories and other items.

A selection of books by Janet Gogerty

One of the reviews for Quarter Acre Block

I can remember the winter of 1962-63, also known as the Big Freeze. It was one of the coldest winters on record for the UK. The temperature plummeted and lakes and rivers froze. The sea actually froze in a few places, something I never expected to see!
Blizzards and the freezing cold probably had most of us dreaming of living somewhere warmer. I know my mother did.

She had heard about this new scheme where you could travel to Australia to start a new life and all for £10. That must have appealed to many people after suffering through that particular winter. I was only a child then, and don’t remember why we didn’t go, so when I saw this book all about a family who did go, I had to read it.

I followed this family as they made plans, packed up their belongings and travelled all that way. I discovered what it was like to find yourself in such a vastly different environment to the UK, and found it all fascinating.

The early arrivals were given a quarter Acre block of land to live on, which is a substantial amount of space, practically unheard of in the UK unless you had pots of money.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Janet-Gogerty/e/B00A8FWDMU/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Janet-Gogerty/e/B00A8FWDMU/

Read more reviews and follow Janet on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7236471.Janet_Gogerty

Connect to Janet

Blog: https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/
Websitehttps://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beachwriter/

Thank you to Janet for allowing me to share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over to explore them for yourselves.  Sally.

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Special Feature – Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events- Contributors, Bernard Foong, Darlene Foster, Janet Gogerty and Debbie Harris


Over the next two weeks I will be featuring the contributors to this anthology of true and significant events. Writers share intimate and life changing events in their lives with courage and honesty whilst inspiring others.

The proceeds from this anthology will be going to Cancer Research and it is a very worthy cause.

Here is the link to the previous post where you can also find the link to the first: Contributors part two

About the anthology

The following authors and bloggers answered questions posed by Stevie Turner regarding significant life experiences they had undergone. These events include sexual abuse, a near death experience, alcoholism, being diagnosed with cancer, depression, losing weight, getting married, being a mother to many children, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and many more!

In the coming week I will feature the other authors in separate posts.

All proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research:

You can buy the anthology for only 99c: https://www.amazon.com/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

And on Amazon UK for 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

More of the contributors.

The first contributor is Bernard Foong who shares what is a remarkable story of being initiated into a secret society at an elite private school that led him to serve in several wealthy and aristocratic harems.

About Young alias Bernard Foong

By Christine Maynard (screenwriter and novelist).

“Young alias Bernard Foong is, first and foremost, a sensitivist. He finds nuance in everything. To experience the world he inhabits is an adventure which is mystical, childlike and refreshing. He has a rare ability to create beauty in a unique fashion. His palettes have been material, paint, words and human experiences.

While attending an elite private school in England, some 40 years ago, he was swore into a clandestine sexual society that soon spirited him away to the Middle East to serve in several wealthy and aristocratic harems. He never thought he would be telling his story, but he believe now is the correct time to share his unique experiences.

A selection of memoirs by Young

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Young/e/B00CENKJKM

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Young/e/B00CENKJKM

The next contributor is a familiar face here on the blog, Darlene Foster who writes about grief and the tragic loss, and impact on her whole family, of her brother when he was only 19 years old.

About Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster is a writer, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme”.

She was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. She currently divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca in Spain, with her husband Paul.

“Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel. Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble. Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” and “Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind”  to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.

A selection of other books by Darlene Foster

Read the reviews and buy all of Darlene’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

Read more reviews and follow Darlene on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

Connect to Darlene via her website: www.darlenefoster.ca

The next contributor is author Janet Gogerty who covers the subject of getting married. Janet was born in the UK but moved to Australia when she was 11 years old, returning to Britain when she was 20 for a visit but marriage changed the course of her future.

About Janet Gogerty

I have been writing frantically for 10 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events! When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story.

The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online. I have just published my fourth collection of short stories Someone Somewhere which includes two novellas. I also write a regular blog ‘Sandscript‘ at Goodreads. My website long ago took on a life of its own with new words and pictures regularly; visit to read short stories and other items.

A selection of books by Janet Gogerty

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Janet-Gogerty/e/B00A8FWDMU/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Janet-Gogerty/e/B00A8FWDMU/

Read more reviews and follow Janet on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7236471.Janet_Gogerty

Connect to Janet via her blog: https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/

The next contributor is Debbie Harris who shares a horrific accident on a school trip in France when she was aged 17, and the impact on her life. Despite this experience Debbie enjoys travel and adventures which she posts about on her blog.

happydebbie

About Debbie Harris

This is the world according to me…in photos, words, stories and sometimes even poetry. It’s a fun creative outlet, and as a bonus I get to meet some amazing bloggers from all around the world.

I love an adventure and I always seem to find one – or it finds me! It keeps me feeling young 🙂 I’m living life to the fullest and embracing the challenges that come with midlife! I’m now a new grandmother as well and I am as happy as a pig in mud. Please take your time exploring my world – it’s full of stories, travels, adventures, photos and love.

Find out more about Debbie and enjoy her posts on her blog

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have enjoyed meeting some of the contributors to this anthology…I will be featuring more of the contributors next week.

 I hope you will purchase a copy and contribute to a great cause… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord End of Summer Party – #Music requests from Sue Hampton, Janet Gogerty, Jane Risdon, Gigi Sedlmayer and Jena C. Henry


Unfortunately there was not the space or time to play all of the guest requests at the four meals over the weekend but I promised to do so during the week. Here were the missing tracks from Brunch.You can find more about these guests in more detail Afternoon Tea

My first guest whose request I did not have time to play is Sue Hampton whose website is Sue Hampton Author and you can find her books and reviews on Amazon

Sue requested Bach’s Concerto in D minor for two violins, second movement, because it played at the end of her wedding to Leslie Tate.

The next request comes from Janet Gogerty who blogs at Tidal Scribe  And here is a selection of books by Janet and you can discover more on Amazon

Janet requested Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams and she explains why. When I first returned to England I went to visit my great uncle in Minehead, Somerset and he took me walking up in the Mendip Hills and pointed out a Skylark. I knew nothing about birds, not a lot now, but skylarks are unique perhaps, ordinary brown on the ground, so high you can hardly spot them in the sky and yet you can hear their beautiful song if you stop and listen.

I found this lovely version by a very accomplished young violinist and his channel is Stepan violin

My next guest is author Jane Risdon who shares a little bit about herself on her Blog.  You can find Only One Woman and anthologies Jane has contributed to on Amazon

Jane requested Never My Love by The Association and says: It is THE song – OUR song for Husband and I. the words are wonderful.

Both my next guests requested the same artist so I picked one of the tracks out of a hat… Children’s author Gigi Sedlmayer’s website is Gigi Sedlmayer and you can find all of Gigi’s books at Amazon

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Gigi requested Faith of the Heart by Rod Stewart and found it has been a great comfort when things have been tough.

Jena C. Henry is an author, blogger and reviewer at Jena’s Books  and you can find her books on Amazon

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Jena requested Tonight’s the Night by Rod Stewart and shared that if it was Friday night in my college dorm, this song was popping and calling us to action!

And the winner is…. Tonight’s the Night.. but I hope Gigi will enjoy as well.

I hope you have enjoyed this selection and will join us tomorrow for the Saturday dinner music selection and another request from a guest who could not make the party. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Getting to Know You – Sunday Interview – Author Janet Gogerty


My guest Janet Gogerty, entertained us earlier in the year with posts from her archives, including avoiding embarrassing silences on the telephone thanks to the Invention of the email

Before we discover which questions Janet has chosen to share with us today, here is the official bio.

About Janet Gogerty

I have been writing frantically for 10 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events! When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story.

The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online. I have just published my fourth collection of short stories Someone Somewhere which includes two novellas. I also write a regular blog ‘Sandscript‘ at Goodreads. My website long ago took on a life of its own with new words and pictures regularly; visit to read short stories and other items.

Now to find out something more about Janet…..

Welcome Janet and can you tell us what is your favourite music genre and why?

People who know me, or have to put up with me, would say Classical is my genre, but rather like my novels I don’t stick to genres. The narrowest definition of Classical is music written in the European tradition, approximately 1750 to 1830, when the symphony was standardized. Yes I do like music from that period and the symphony orchestra is an amazing creation to listen to and watch, but most people think of the bigger picture.

According to taste, classical music could be any music you find boring, anything they play on BBC Radio Three and Classic FM, or works performed at The Proms. Perhaps all music that has stood the test of time is the best definition.

Two easier questions to answer

‘Can you live without music?’

No.

‘What music don’t you like?’

Anything involving Pan Pipes, Sondeim or the Eurovision Song Contest… plus a collection of pieces and songs from all genres that make me lose the will to live. For example, ever since I was a child I could not stand Moon River.

But I do love all sorts of music, whether it’s on the radio livening up cooking and housework through to the ultimate, live performances.

I have sat wanting Riverdance to never end ( I’m sure the dancers did want it to end ), seen Phantom of the Opera four times, been taken totally out of the dreary surroundings of a school hall when a Bhangra band burst onto the stage and been blasted out of this world by Verdi’s Requiem.

If the symphony orchestra is at the heart of classical music the concert hall is pure theatre; from the moment you trip over feet finding your seat, watching the orchestra tune up, the ritual of the leader coming on, applause, the conductor coming on, even more applause and no one’s done anything yet. If there is not a great choral work being presented then some audience members sit in the choir seats behind the orchestra, looking down upon the percussion section. Plenty of composers have written BIG symphonies and how happy the percussion players look as they get a chance to strike the timpani and clash the huge cymbals; we wait with bated breath to see if the cymbals will fly out of his hands back into the audience in the choir seats. There is drama at the front of the stage also. The development of the iron frame piano in the 1800s was the best thing to happen to keyboards, gone were the long dreary evenings of harpsichord. Beethoven led the way to testosterone fuelled concertos, Rachmaninov, with his famously long fingers, stretched them beyond imagination. Sitting in row C gazing up at the shiny grand piano played by an international soloist beats seeing a tiny figure in the distance at a pop concert.

Meanwhile back in the kitchen, what do I recommend for dancing round doing the dishes?

The original recording of Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall in 1938, ‘Sing Sing, Sing’; twelve minutes of Swing heaven and heart stopping drums. I guess ‘you had to be there’, but for those of us that weren’t you can get the CD. ‘Forty Second Street’ is one of my favourite musical numbers and a playing of the original film at our little local Art Decor cinema remains a highlight of my cinema experiences. Or how about a waltz? The waltzes from Carousel the musical and Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite are both life affirming and energising.

On Saturday evenings BBC Radio Three often broadcasts Live From The Met. While audiences in New York are enjoying a matinee opera, I am cooking dinner. I enjoy the presenters with their mellifluous voices telling us the story, talking about the scenery and costumes; then when the opera actually starts I’m usually bored after fifteen minutes! Sometimes it’s better just to hear the best bits.

We all have rhythm, we all have a heart beat. Babies like simple tunes, our ancestors sung round the fire outside their caves when there was little else to do. But music evolved, chords and harmony appeared, musicians started writing it down. You don’t need to be a music expert to enjoy listening, all you need to know is that music is an amazing combination of pure mathematics and mystery. Who can analyse why certain music sends shivers down our spine?

Those of us who tried and failed to learn any instrument properly will have been left with great admiration for real musicians, who have reached their pinnacle with hard work as well as talent. But in my novel, Brief Encounters of the Third Kind, a very ordinary couple, who know nothing about the musical world, find themselves with a child genius. And Emma’s mother has good reason to fear that her daughter is not an ordinary human, not even human at all…

Sally here: Janet has given me plenty of music to choose from, and avoiding those pieces that might cause her to leave the room.. here is Benny Goodman with Sing, sing, sing.. not at the Carnegie Hall but should have you jiving and doing the Lindy Hop all around the kitchen…

If you were given a million dollars what would you do with it?

A million dollars really isn’t that much, if my maths is right that would be about £740,000 Stirling, lots of people have houses worth more than that. People win more than that on Mega Euro Lottery. So I’m going to give it all away.

I might keep a little, throw everything out of the kitchen and buy multi-coloured stuff from Steamer Trading and perhaps a drum set (see question 1). But I am banking on getting everything I want with my three wishes.

I shall give it to a clever person who has great ideas, but not enough money to develop them. The idea could be anything from building a solar powered airship to instant environmentally friendly home pods for the homeless and young families. Fellow bloggers can help me with the difficult choice. A million dollars will probably not be enough, but a clever person will get investors interested.

Do you prefer the beach or the mountains and why?

Beach or mountain? If you have looked at my website or read my blogs you may have detected a seaside theme.

No holiday is complete without a walk up a hill and enjoyment of the view. But I have never been up a mountain unless you count the Nevis Ranges. The Nevis Range Mountain Gondola is built on the north face of Aonach Mor, the 8th highest mountain in Britain. Built for skiers, but in summer you can go up and enjoy walking, ‘mountain climbing’ and a cafe… It is fantastic being up there and you can come down again when you like, not like going up Everest. On one Scottish holiday my daughter and our friend climbed Ben Nevis, while my sister and I went on the ferry to the Isle of Mull for the day; ankles, knees and the lack of toilets and coffee shop at the summit ( or half way up ) played a part in our decision.

So the answer is beach. When I was in infant school I had this dream we were going to the seaside, I was all excited, but when we got there the sea was just a narrow strip of water in the school playground. When we finally moved to the coast I fully expected to wake up and find it had all been a dream.

I love the British coast because it is so varied and I never tire of visiting new places. Sand, shingle, craggy rocks, scenery like you see in Poldark and an endless variety of human intervention, for better or worse. I like looking at the waves, paddling, swimming. Unlike mountains, the seaside is accessible to everyone, whether you want to sit in the car with your sandwiches looking at the view, or try the various water sports such as windsurfing.

We were six years on the waiting list for a beach hut, a six by six wooden box on its side, on a piece of concrete rented from the council at an exorbitant rate. But it is worth it to have a refreshment and changing base and a sea view.

What is your favourite holiday and why?

My favourite holiday would be a combination of five Scottish holidays we have had. Three weeks away, visiting friends or relatives on the way up and down and staying at bed and breakfast.

The middle week is spent in a cottage, travelling all the time is no fun and having a washing machine and your own space is vital. The cottage will be on an island or remote cove. If, rather when, it rains I have a lap top and can do some writing. Part of the holiday will be trips to islands; I love going on Caledonian MacBrayne ferries. When the lilting accent comes over the tannoy telling us the emergency drill ‘…please don your life jackets…’ you know you’re in Scottish waters. On this holiday we will go to the very top of Scotland; there is some dispute if John O’Groats is the most northerly tip of the mainland, but it has a beautiful white beach with glistening fragments of shell.

If you were granted three wishes what would they be?

Be careful what you wish for, use your three wishes wisely. I am glad I had time to think.

The first is pure indulgence. A famous British composer, a living one hopefully, excited to find a novel about musicians, reads my novel Brief Encounters of the Third Kind. He or she is overwhelmed and inspired to write what I cannot; the music Emma Dexter has composed. I don’t know how Emma’s music sounds, I do know it is deep and moving and full of melodies: that is why she and her cellist husband are so popular with the general public. The music is received rapturously, some of the works are premiered at The Proms and the great composer is inspired to write the entire opera that takes place at the end of the novel.

Actually I would settle for a totally unknown poverty stricken composer, who becomes famous after being inspired by my novel and writing the opera.

Be careful what you wish for? Supposing I disliked the music and the critics panned the opera?

Sally here: I happen to be a fan of violinist David Garrett and here he is with some say the finest conductor of our times..Riccardo Chailly…you never know Janet..

The second wish is for my own island. Not tropical; rugged, but not bleak. No cars allowed. Perhaps it would be a mix of Iona, Lindisfarne, Rottnest off the Western Australian coast and Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour. Not easily accessible, especially in winter, but not too far from civilisation. There will be an old house, a castle or perhaps a neglected Art Deco hotel.

Sally here: I had several options to offer you Janet, but this one really took my fancy…

I must not waste the third wish. Looking after the dream island and affording to live there will be up to me. I shall establish a settlement of artistic and practical people, we will restore original buildings and create new homes that blend in with the environment, grow food and be sustainable. Not too many people, otherwise the peace of the island will be spoilt, but enough people so I don’t get bored or have to do too much work. I shall spend the days writing and walking or riding around the island on a horse. My wish since I was two was to have a horse, but I can’t spare my third wish, I shall have to buy or rescue a steed. I shall swim in the sheltered cove and chat to the wildlife enthusiasts who are monitoring various exotic creatures.

After Cyberspouse ( I’d better invite him to stay ) has cooked dinner in our cosy turret, evenings will be spent with our talented community, storytelling and playing music. At weekends we will have a film evening on our giant digital television in the community hall, our only concession to the outside world.

But what will happen if these folk don’t all live in harmony or some are too lazy to contribute? Or worse, we get invaded?

My third wish is for a small solar powered airship which will literally be a ship as it will also be able to sail on the oceans. It will be nifty enough to pop on and off the island, but capable of reaching family in Australia and the USA. I hope my island will be in safe hands while I’m away.

The airship will have been designed by the person I gave the million dollars to, he or she will get more orders, the business will flourish and I have shares in it. What could possibly go wrong?

Sally here: I am sure that Lockheed would make you a custom sized personal version, hopefully within the money left after buying your island.

Books by Janet Gogerty.

About Brief Encounters of the Third Kind

In the early years of the Twenty First Century, widow Susan Dexter has more to worry about than the recession. For thirty years she has kept a secret; she is not sure if her daughter is human. New events lead her to other people who need to find the truth.
How do ordinary people cope with the extraordinary?
Mystery, music and medicine are at the heart of this family saga; sub plots are woven amongst several very different love stories, as the characters question what it is to be human and what is reality.

One of the reviews for the book

Brief Encounters of the Third Kind is anything but brief. It is a meaty story that kept me entertained until the end. It left me wanting a sequel. I believe Janet Gogerty has a great story that could lead to further adventures.

The pace is moderate, but there is terrific character development. Each persona is different and robust. Emma is an unusual character and we can see the strain that she is placed under due to her uniqueness, which results in perfectly normal behaviour for someone who is anything but ordinary. We see her in a very human and fallible light.

At times, I was so engrossed in the story and the characters that I forgot that I was reading science fiction. With a few shocking moments toward the end, Brief Encounters of the Third Kind will keep you reading past your bedtime.

I’m rather hoping there are further adventures and that Janet Gogerty writes a follow up. I think we would all like to hear about little Adam. What happens to him? What does he become in time? I found baby Adam fascinating and well written.

If you are looking for a great story, with wonder character development, and a little bit of science fiction, then read Brief Encounters of the Third Kind.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brief-Encounters-Third-Janet-Gogerty-ebook/dp/B00AWVNH3E/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Brief-Encounters-Third-Janet-Gogerty-ebook/dp/B00AWVNH3E/

A selection of other books by Janet Gogerty

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Janet-Gogerty/e/B00A8FWDMU/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Janet-Gogerty/e/B00A8FWDMU/

Read more reviews and follow Janet on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7236471.Janet_Gogerty

Connect to Janet

Blog: https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/
Websitehttps://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beachwriter/

Thank you so much for joining Janet and I today, I hope you have enjoyed the interview and I am sure that Janet would love your feedback and questions.. Thanks Sally.

I shall be continuing the theme of this Sunday Interview until at leas the end of the year, so if you would like to participate then here are the details. I am currently book slots for the end of September. Look forward to hearing from you.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/getting-to-know-you-sunday-interview-2018/