Posts from the Archives – #Gods and #Legends – Ionia by Paul Andruss

As Paul Andruss is on an extended break working on other projects..I will be sharing some of his earlier posts for those of you who were not visiting the blog at the beginning of 2017. Also I am sure that those of you who have read before will enjoy as much as I have the second time around.

Ionia by Paul Andruss

picture1This land of gods and heroes fills me with irrational love and irrepressible longing. Here a sister married her brother and built him a tomb so magnificent it became a wonder of the world. Here, a nymph saw a young man drink from her spring. Fiercely desiring him, she prayed they would never part. With cruel humour, the capricious gods joined flesh to flesh, creating the first hermaphrodite.

This is Bodrum, once Halicarnassus, home of the mausoleum. Behind the town, hidden in hills of olive and pine, is the spring of Salamcis where the son of Hermes and Aphrodite took that fatal drink.

The heartland of Ionic Greece was already ancient when the Parthenon shone brand-new on the lion coloured rock of the acropolis. Cities, old as time, ringed the Gulf of Latmos. Even then a dying seaway choked with mud from the Meander River. First Priene and then Milatus were left high and dry. Abandoned since antiquity they provided tourist attractions for Ancient Romans.

To one side of the silted estuary is Lake Bafa, formed by the tears of the Moon goddess weeping for the shepherd boy, Endymion. On the other, the city of Miletus, where in the Acts of the Apostles, Saint Paul awaited the Ephesian elders.

Once, Lake Bafa was seashore. The freshwater lake only formed when the estuary silted. The men of Heraclea faced with the retreating sea, desperately dug navigable channels, causing seawater to turn the lake brackish.

Legend says the moon goddess, Selene, was so smitten with Endymion she threatened to forsake the sky. In response, the fearful gods made him sleep for eternity, and as she wept for her lost love, she cried a lake. It was a good day in November and Bafa was body warm, we swam and can confirm the water does indeed taste of tears.

The Meander estuary is now a fertile plain. Having never seen it in November we were surprised by hundreds of cotton wool balls littering the roads. It was cotton-pickin’ time. Turkish women, in traditional rural dress of headscarf and baggy trousers, picked tufts of gossamer from branches of stunted, scrawny bushes. It could have been a hundred years ago, if not for the huge blocky harvester devouring the adjacent field. Its parallel rows of vertical teeth left only broken, skeletal stalks. In factory courtyards were cotton castles of pearl-grey lint, while caught in the wire of the perimeter fence, grimy candyfloss streamed in the wind.

picture2First stop was the ancient city of Eurymos. All that is left is the Temple of Zeus. We were the only people there. It was like discovering it for the first time. As if we were some Victorian explorers with Sir Richard Burton – the one who translated the Arabian Nights, not the one who married and remarried Elizabeth Taylor.

The only problem with fantasy is truth. Although sites look undiscovered they are actually the result of extensive excavation. Unexcavated, they are under 2,000 years and at least 20 feet of wind blown soil – like the rest of Eurymos. One undistinguished field is the forum and another is the theatre. Each has its herd of indifferent sheep, munching as they have munched for millennia, placidly unaware of their contribution to history falling out the other end.

picture3The temple of Apollo at Didim was never finished because during the centuries it took to build, Christianity became the state religion and pagan temples were abandoned. It is impossible to convey the sheer size of the site. Nothing is on a human scale, the column bases; the cyclopean stones walls – now only a third of their original height. All of it dwarfs you; awes you. It is like something built by the giants who stormed Olympus.

picture4There is a sacred spring in the temple grounds. It had recently rained and the area was marshy. It should have prepared us for what was to come at Miletus. It didn’t. Here we saw tortoises mating. And it was lucky they were tortoises. When Tiresias saw two snakes copulate, he changed sex.

Because of his unique perspective, Zeus and Hera asked Tiresias to settle an argument about who needed love the most. Tiresias replied that if love had ten parts, women needed nine. Hera was so furious she blinded him. Leaving Zeus to compensate with the dubious gift of second sight and a lifespan increased sevenfold. However, thoughtless Zeus forgot to bestow Eternal youth so Tiresias grew old and stayed old for a long, long time. More of a punishment than a gift one would think.

picture5Back at the car, we saw a stone placed at the base of a wall. As it was obviously for looking over, we discovered part of the sacred way stretching from Miletus, 26 km away, to the shrines of Apollo and his sister, Artemis.

picture6We had read Miletus has a fantastic theatre but not much else. Because of this, our friends decided they had had enough of scrambling over ruins and went to the site café, leaving us to explore alone.

Reaching the top of the theatre we saw the rest of the city hidden to the side, the wreckage of the harbour mouth monument, now miles inland, the forum, the stoa and senate house lining the start of the sacred way.

picture7The site was boggy and halfway through, mosquitoes attacked. According to the guidebook the café owner was trying to sell our friends, when the Meander River silted up, the city became a malarial swamp and that was another reason it was abandoned.

One of our friends said we came tripping from the ruins like Tippy Hedron in Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ – obviously in search of a phone box to shelter in. In our defence, the mosquitoes were the size of seagulls.

One friend on the trip was thinking of writing a travel book. Caught up in the idea, he had a tendency to pause after each utterance as if waiting for an unseen amanuensis to jot down his thoughts for posterity, which is probably not far from the truth as he was feverishly committing the phrase to memory for future use.

picture9From Miletus we drove through the alluvial plain to Priene, crossing the mighty Meander, now tamed to the size of the Regent’s Canal. Approaching the site, we saw the remaining columns of the Temple of Hera on the hillside and a ruin-lined road snaking down to the old port, now farmer’s fields.

picture8Priene is another huge area of tumbled stones, smashed columns and fractured walls sheltering under black cypress and pine. Unchanged since the time of Caesar and Christ, the view across the plain takes your breath away.

The next morning, no doubt due to a sleepless night of trying not to scratch souvenir mosquito bites, we were up at daybreak. Duly covered up like Turkish cotton pickers, we walked down to the lake to watch the full moon turn the waters silver, while the light bringer, Lucifer, the morning star, ushered a dawn of lemon, pistachio and rose – the flavours of Turkish Delight.

picture10©images Paul Andruss Ionia 2017

About Paul Andruss.

Thomas the Rhymer Finn Mac Cool

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

You can find all about Paul and links to his books here:

And all his previous posts:

Thank you for visiting today and your feedback is always welcome.. thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Summer Book #Sale, One of my books FREE,A Writer’s Life,Travel, Music, Cookery, and Guests

Welcome to the weekly round up of posts you might have missed.

There has been some rain this week, nothing to get too excited about, especially as it missed the St. Swithin’s Day curse. For those not familiar, if it rains on St. Swithin’s Day it will rain for 40 days following. That is usually quite difficult to measure here in Ireland as it is extremely rare to go forty days without any rain.

This latest heatwave and dry spell is the longest I think in recorded history for many countries in Northern Europe and certainly whilst most of us take advantage the farmers are being hard hit.

Anyway it has put a halt to our plans to lay a new lawn as there is not point in putting down turf with a hose-pipe ban and no serious rain for another week or so. At least the sparrows are enjoying their dust baths on the wide expanse of dry soil in front of the house. It does mean that David has been able to get the ladders out and start the task of painting the back of the house and all the garden walls. The end is in sight of our two year renovation project and it is only when we look at the before photos that we fully appreciate the difference.. I will do a post when all is complete as a celebration.

Just in case you missed. What’s in a Name Volume 1 is still FREE until officially midnight tonight UK time but if you email me in the next couple of days I am more than happy to send you a digital copy. I am not part of Kindle Publishing so it is the easiest way for me to offer my books free.

If I already have your email address just put your preference in the comments section.

About What’s in a Name? Volume One.

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

One of the reviews for the collection

This was a beautiful collection of short stories with an intriguing premise: each story is titled by the name of its main character, and there is one story with a male name and one with a female name for each letter of the alphabet (through J–Vol. II completes the alphabet).

The way I describe it is far less simple than Sally Cronin makes it. The stories vary widely. Some are funny, some poignant, some teach a lesson. A couple of them made me cry, which is why I recommend that you have a box of tissues nearby when you read the collection.

The one thing that each story does have is a surprising twist at the end–something the reader doesn’t see coming. I thoroughly enjoyed the collection and look forward eagerly to reading Volume II.

To obtain your FREE copy of the collection in either Mobi, Epub or pdf email me or leave your preference in the comments:

In the meantime thank you for dropping in so regularly and for all the wonderful comments and shares. It keeps me motivated.

This week we must say a temporary goodbye to Paul Andruss as he has some offline projects he is pursuing. Hopefully he will be back from time to time and for those of you who have only been following the blog for the last year or so, I will be repeating some of his early posts in his usual monthly slot. I am sure that you join me in thanking him for his amazing posts on legends and myths and the gardening column which has given so much information and pleasure.

Here is his most recent post on Friday with some thoughts on putting a value, not just on our writing but also on the time spent reading.

Three minutes Forty Nine by Paul Andruss.

Also whilst William Price King has been on his summer break I have been sharing the Roberta Flack series with some of her most iconic hits. This coming week it is the start of the Diana Krall repeats, another fabulous artist with a wonderful voice.

This week Carol Taylor shares some colourful recipes for rice. Rice is one of the staples in our home and I am sure in yours, and it is great to get some new ideas on how to prepare.

This week too.. Carol shared one of her travel posts in Thailand to the Red Lotus Sea Lake.


D.G. Kaye shared another very informative and entertaining post for her travel column this week, with a great many tips on how to prepare for any holiday. Security for your luggage and credit cards, valuables and tips for getting the best value for money when booking.

The Getting to Know You Sunday Interview with author Chuck Jackson.

It is my pleasure to welcome author Chuck Jackson to Getting to Know You. Chuck is the author of three memoirs including his latest Guilt: My Companion. On his blog you will find posts on writing, book marketing and also mental health and social issues such as this recent article:

My Personal Stuff

The summer holidays where people are away for a couple of weeks at a time is the busiest time of the year for criminals. Especially when so many of us kindly leave the door open in the virtual world, by announcing our departure and then posting photographs of our fun in the sun!

Letters from America – Seattle and Washington State Park

Odd Jobs and Characters – some I missed out – Advertising Sales and Artificial insemination marketing!

Sally’s Drive time Playlist – 1979 Queen and Dr. Hook

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story Chapters 12 and 13 – Car Rides and Move to Spain

Chapter Fourteen – Our new home and friends.

My review for The Contract by John W. Howell and Gwen Plano

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Summer Sale.

This last couple of weeks there has been a sale in the Cafe and Bookstore, with books that have been reduced in price or even FREE. Some of those discounts will still apply so please check the posts. In these current posts you will also find links to last week’s sale offers as well.

The Blogger Daily – A small selection of the many blog posts that I enjoyed this week.

Cathy Ryan

Health and Healthy Eating

The Immune System and how it works

Nutrients the body needs – Manganese and the link to Asthma.

Prescribed medication – opioid statistics and our responsibility as a patient


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Writer in Residence – Three Minutes Forty-nine by Paul Andruss

It is time for another post from Paul Andruss who has informed, entertained and amazed with his posts on legends ancient and modern in the last 18 months.

Paul has some exciting projects on the horizon, and is taking an extended break over the summer. During that time I will be sharing some of his earlier posts in his usual monthly slot, and he will be back from time to time later in the year.

I know you will join me in thanking him for all the marvelous and wondrous subjects he has introduced us to, and hope he will share more with us in the future.

You can find all of Paul’s Writer in Residence Posts in this directory:

And his informative and colourful gardening posts here:

Paul leaves us with some questions… about the financial aspects of our writing, professional and peer group opinions of our writing, and where our efforts place us in terms of writer vs. author status.

Something to think about………

Three Minutes Forty-nine by Paul Andruss

    I am Spartacus!
                                                No, I am Spartacus!
                                                                        No, I’m Spartacus!

(The entirely fictional finale to the 1960 Universal film Spartacus)

While watching something on You-Tube, probably a pop video if the title is anything to go by, I was struck by a comment that said…

‘Thank you for the upload. Your reward is I have given you three minutes and forty nine seconds of my life.’

You can imagine my reaction. I cannot abide arrogance in anyone, except me.

Then I got thinking. They had a point. One, as authors, we should bear in mind. Everything we read costs time. And time is irreplaceable.

In case you think I refer to time in some nebulous way as in ‘I gave you the best years of my life you bastard!’ Let me say, it is quite easy to put a cash value on time. The Government did. They called it the minimum living wage.

In the UK in 2018 this is £7.50. Although it varies state by state, the United States federal rate is $7.25. Bear in mind $7.25 at current exchange rates is £5.35. Citizens of the richest country in the world you are being robbed!

Hand on heart how many of you are worth the national minimum wage?

Or are your worth more?

Given most of you are authors, are you worth as much as what Dan Brown or JK Rowling clear in an hour?

Obviously, at least twice that much; that goes without saying. But to get a realistic figure, let’s look at the price of a proofreading service.

Proofreading costs £5.00 per 1,000 words.

The average person reads 200 words a minute.

That neatly works out at £1.00 or $1.35 a minute, or £60.00 or $80 per hour.

As authors, if you could set your own hourly rate would you consider that reasonable recompense for your labours?

If so what the about compensation for your readers’ time?

What price would you put on that?

I timed it. This article has cost you 6 minutes 30 seconds of your life, or in cash terms £6.50 or $8.78.

The $64,000 question is…

Do we, as writers, give value for money?

I have read on numerous blogs we need to write every day to exercise our writing muscle. And with a proviso I agree. In theory practice makes for better writing.

O, the proviso?

Glad you asked.

It only works if you extend and explore your craft. Writing out a hundred times a day ‘I must become a better writer does not make a better writer.

A muscle develops by increasing the demands put on it. If after a few weeks you are doing exactly the same exercise routine, your muscles cease to improve. Why should the writing muscle be different?

People doing physically demanding work do not have the bodies of Greek gods or goddesses. Their muscles are small and dense. They are restricted, even dwarfed by repetition. And in the end they are crippled by it.

Even if writing the same piece every day did make you a better writer, one must wonder would it make the product worth reading?

Every time we write we cannot wait to publish, and hear our adoring fans go ga-ga. Do we never stop to think that as writers we are judged solely on our writing quality? Is it not better to leave it a couple of days and review before publishing? During those days our subconscious quietly beavers away, streamlining arguments and developing new insights.

Rest and review might turn something so-so into a right little gem. Finally before hitting the publish-button we need to ask: Are we saying something that need not be said at all?

Writing is our product: our brand. Experts say the best way to expand a brand is word-of-mouth marketing. If we write well, people like our product. When they recommend us to friends, our brand grows. Conversely if we fail engage due to overkill, or poor, dull work, they stop reading us. Success is entirely in our hands. There is no second chance to make a first impression.

Self-publishing and blogging has blurred the difference between a writer and an author so both appear synonymous. They are not.

Author is a profession. Authors were paid writers. Writers simply wrote. It was irrelevant whether it was poems, stories, or a diary. Even famous diarists like Samuel Pepys and Ann Frank never meant for their words to be read publically. You wrote for yourself until published.

In the days of traditional publishing the difference between author and writer was clear cut.

The publishing process defined it. The writer became an author in stages when…

The manuscript was accepted by an agent based on their professional opinion of its quality and commercial appeal.

The agent approached publishers; one of whom accepted the work based the same criteria.

The manuscript underwent proofreading and editorial development before the author received back the final proofs for checking prior to publication.

Books were sold.

Money exchanged hands.

And voila, you were an author.

It was a long and often fraught journey for both sides. In an over-crowded and competitive marketplace, agents and publishers relentlessly pushed the writer to produce professional standard work.

Agents and publishers might love literature, but primarily they are in business to make money. There were consequences should standards drop. Publishers went bankrupt. If agents could not provide commercial writers they lost their reputation and publishers’ good will.

The problem with self-publishing and blogging is the lack of such external quality controls.
A proof reader will pick up typos, spelling and grammar. But how many can afford to pay a professional proof-reader £400 for 80,000 words. To keep the maths simple 80,000 words is roughly a 300 page novel.

Quality substantive editing costs about £45 or $60 an hour with the editor working at 1 to 6 pages per hour: a 300 page book (at 6 pages per hour) costs £2,200 or $3,000. Intensive developmental editing at £60 or $80 for 2 to 5 pages per hour equals £3,500 or $4,800.

These prices are for experienced professionals. Exceptional editors are like gold dust.

They should probably share writing credits with the author. Yet authors’ relationships with editors are often problematic. Gore Vidal complained his editor removed 4 chapters of his best-selling historical novel Creation. Vidal put back the 4 offending chapters once the rights reverted to him and he negotiated a new deal for the reprint.

As independent authors can we entirely trust any editor we pay, to work in our interest; not their own? Would an editor forfeit a lucrative fee by telling the unvarnished truth? Or would they diplomatically pocket the cash and salvage what they were able in the time allowed; pretty certain the book will never be traditionally published. They know you are not in a position to critique their work unless you pay for another editor.

We writers often rely on peer review. What is peer review but the opinion of a number of people in exactly the same boat as us? There is something to be said for a dozen beta readers highlighting the same problem. But what if they see different problems and suggest conflicting changes?

In the end, it is for you, the writer, to develop critical faculties so as to be able to ruthlessly and dispassionately assess your own work. Examine everything you read, emulate the good and learn from the bad. Listen to people you trust, based on nothing but on your opinion of them as writers. Always ask yourself:

Does the new piece enhance your brand as an aspiring author?

Would you pay £5 or $6.75 per 1,000 words to read it if someone else wrote it?

I have never been paid for writing.

I hold my hands up. I am a writer: not an author.

I am Spartacus

What about you?

Are you Spartacus too?

©Paul Andruss 2018

About Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul is the author of two books and you can find out more by clicking the image. Thomas the Ryhmer is currently FREE to dowload from Amazon.

Finn Mac CoolThomas the Rhymer

Connect to Paul on social media.

Facebook Page:

You can find two directories for Paul Andruss on Smorgasbord – Writer in Residence:

and Paul’s Gardening Column:

My thanks to Paul for this thought provoking post, and for all his amazing contributions and look forward to seeing him back again soon.. Thanks to you too for dropping in and I am sure you will have some comments to add. Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Roberta Flack, Roses, Bacon, Cruise Ship Tips, Jersey and a whole bunch of other stuff!!

The Music Column with William Price King – Roberta Flack – Part Two.

The Gardening Column with Paul Andruss

This month a look at the history, myths and truths behind one of the most popular flowers in the world. The Rose.

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor

There are not many of us who don’t love a piece of crispy bacon or tender boiled ham, and this week Carol shows us how to cure our own bacon and prepare ham for our summer salads.

The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Cruise Ships – Part Two – Ship Tips

This week Debby shares her insider knowledge about dining, tipping, excursions and shopping. Invaluable advice before you take that cruise.

Getting to Know You – Sunday Interview with Darlene Foster.

Darlene shares a favourite childhood song, an action hero she would like to be, something that she could never learn….you will be surprised considering the number of books that she writes! And the animal she would like to have a conversation with..

Travel Posts from Your Archives Sherri Matthews – A Tour of Jersey and the history of the island during World War Two.

Corbiere Lighthouse, Jersey (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Personal Stuff

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story Serialisation

Chapter Seven – Snow and Favourite Things.

Chapter Eight – Language

Odd Jobs and Characters – Department manager for a store leads to crime solving!

Letters from America – 1985- 1987 – Hawaii

Poetry and Haiku

Sally’s Drive Time and Playlist

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Author updated reviews

The Blogger Daily and Meet the Reviewers.

Cathy Ryan

Health Column

Magnesium is one of the minerals that is likely to be deficient with a resulting long list of health problems.

Often mis-diagnosed Interstitial cystitis is difficult to treat.



Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Garden Column with Paul Andruss – Only A #Rose



Only a Rose by Paul Andruss

This most romantic of flowers has been lauded by poets across the ages as a symbol of love, sacred and profane.

The Plantagenet King Henry II, that great robber baron who ruled an empire covering England and half of France, loved only one woman, and it wasn’t his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. No, she spent most of her married life as her husband’s prisoner to stop her plotting. The woman Henry loved was his beautiful mistress, the fair Rosamund: Rosa mundi – Rose of the World.

Legend has it Henry attempted to conceal his affair from his wife by keeping Rosamund in a maze, specially constructed at Woodstock in Oxford (and just for the record Bob Dylan didn’t play there either). Eleanor, no slouch in the brains department, confronted the girl in the middle of the labyrinth and offered her the choice of dying by poison or a dagger. Like most legends it is unfortunately untrue. Rosamund retired to a convent when Henry tired of her and died before her 30th birthday.

The earliest record of breeding roses comes from China 2,500 years ago. Due its long cultivation there are now a couple of hundred species and thousands of cultivars, with new ones introduced every year. This makes it very difficult to know much about its historical origins. All we can say for certain is the rose is been used as a perfume and flavouring for almost 4,000 years.

The earliest records are from Iran where rose jam, made from the fruit or the hip (now known to be richer in vitamin C than oranges), is still popular. Rose water, traditionally made by steeping petals in water, is used in Middle Eastern cooking, flavouring things such as Turkish delight. Attar of Roses is the essential oil used in perfumes. Records show the Greeks were using distillation about 100 BC, so it is likely rose was as a scent since Roman times. Which might explain the following…

Damask Rose (By Kurt Stüber)

The crimson velvet-petalled Damask rose, so beloved of perfumers for its heady musk fragrance, was believed to have been brought back to France from Damascus, during the Crusades. Genetic analysis showed it was a melange of a Mediterranean rose, growing from France to Turkey, another from the Western Himalayas and a third from the Central Asian steppes that grows all the way to China. Its parentage makes it likely it was first cultivated in the Ancient Persian Empire and perhaps even brought to Britain by the Romans.
Given all that is there any wonder, there is nothing like the rose?

Well actually…

Today we think of roses as large blousy blooms. But modern roses largely originated in the late 18th century, thanks to Napoleon’s first wife the Empress Josephine. After Napoleon crowned himself emperor he divorced Josephine ‘a commoner’ to marry into the ancient royal family of the Holy Roman Emperors. Josephine retired to her beloved Chateau of Malmaison outside Paris, which she filled with exotic animals and flowers, the rose being chief among them. A mere 20 years later over 2,000 new varieties had been produced by her gardeners.

Botanical wild Rose (essential

To see any family resemblance we have ignore modern roses in favour of the wild rose, growing in hedgerows. A wild rose has 5 single petals surrounding a central boss of anthers and stamen, and a hard teardrop-shaped berry called a hip; a fleshy calix surrounding plump seeds. Looking at this it becomes easy to spot its cousins the prunus and the rubus.

Against a Cheery blossom background are peach, bramble apple & rose (various)

The most unlikely relative to the rose and yet probably the best starting point is the Hawthorn. Sacred to the old white goddess of old Europe the hawthorn was known as the May Tree because it bloomed at the traditional start of summer. Its flowering gave rise to the old verse: ‘Ne’re cast a clout ‘til may is out’, meaning don’t discard your heavy winter clothes until the May tree blooms for that’s a sure sign summer’s coming. The Hawthorn is related to the blackthorn, or Sloe. Between them their respective fruits point to all the rose’s most delicious relations.

Hawthorn fruit (unknown)

The Haw of the Hawthorn is an unremarkable small waxy red berry. Yet imagine the fleshy seed coating expand and juicy and the hard waxy skin thinner. Suddenly you have apples, pears and quinces – the original golden apple of Greek mythology.

For those not familiar with the quince it is like a large woody pear that can only be eaten after bletting, similar to the crab apple and the medlar. Bletting it the lovely process of letting the fruit ripen until rotten. The more brown and squidgy, the sweeter it tastes.

Medler Unripe & bletted by Takkk

And they wonder why some fruits fell out of flavour.

Originally marmalade got its name from quince jam ( Easy to make it becomes a luminous stained-glass rose colour and tastes of Turkish delight, but is not sickly.

Eating and cooking apples were developed from the crab by increasing their size and sweetness and it was the same story for the savagely thorny wild pear with its two inch long fruits. Incidentally the word pear means fruit.

Sloe by-SA 3.0

The sloe or wild plum is another deeply thorny plant. Its inedible blue-black fruits are usually steeped in gin to impart flavour. The sloe represents the other side of the rose family having reduced the number of seeds to one per fruit.

Another close cousin is the bramble or blackberry and raspberry. Here each individual seed is held is a tiny soft-skinned juicy parcel. The seeds are designed to pass through the animal’s digestive system and be delivered safe and sound in a starter-kit of manure.
The bramble berry represents an intermediate strategy between the apple’s many seeds in one fruit and the plum’s one seed per fruit. It has one seed per individual fruit but clusters multiple fruits into berries for easy eating.

On the sloe side of the family tree (pardon the pun) is not only the plum, but the cherry, almond, apricot and peach. Nectarines are merely a version of smooth skinned peach.

Hanami Festival by-SA 3.0

Cherries are split into two types, those with spectacular blossom and those with edible fruits. The Japanese Hanami festival, or the viewing the cherry blossom dates back to the 700s and is meant to remind the Japanese that the beauty of life is fleeting and something to be treasured in the moment.

Peaches were first cultivated in China. According to legend a froth whisked from their flesh was believed the food of the celestials, or the gods to prols like you and me… (or at least, me anyway).

Its cousin the apricot comes from a harsher climate around the Black Sea. It was first cultivated in the ancient kingdom of Armenia in Northern Turkey, which a millennia before was the home of King Midas, whose touch, in legend, turned everything into gold. Almonds found in the same area range eastward through Persia, now modern Iran.

People do not realise that almonds are the seeds of a thin green fleshed apricot like fruit. Almonds are the nut kernel of the fruit and look very similar to its cousin the apricot’s seeds. To distinguish them almonds are called Sweet Almonds while apricot kernels due to their high cyanide content are the Bitter Almonds so beloved of crime thriller writers.

Recently apricot kernels have been touted as containing a substance that fights cancer. However excessive consumption can cause cyanide poisoning. It is claimed you should not exceed a daily intake of 10 to 12 kernels a day. But for heaven’s sake DON’T take my word for it!

Almond orchards were badly hit in California due to the decade long drought and the ensuing world shortage forced up the price. This made marzipan, a luxurious confectioner’s paste of ground almond and sugar increasingly expensive. But take heart all ye with a sweet tooth, a Dutch scientist has now perfected away to remove the cyanide from ground apricot kernels, meaning they can be used to make cheap marzipan. And best of all: it shouldn’t kill you!
©Paul Andruss

About Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul is the author of two books and you can find out more by clicking the image.

Finn Mac CoolThomas the Rhymer

Connect to Paul on social media.

Facebook Page:

You can find two directories for Paul Andruss on Smorgasbord – Writer in Residence:

and Paul’s Gardening Column:

I hope you have enjoyed this comprehensive guide to the rose as much as I have…..your questions are always welcome. Thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up -Summer Jazz, Photoshop, Moreish Mince and Interviews, Music, Health and Humour

Welcome to this week’s round up of posts that you might have missed.

After almost five weeks there the day is partly cloudy and it is only temporary as we do not have rain forecast until 16th of July. I know we moan about the weather, but this is the first time in the years that I lived here previously and in the last two, that you can say with certainty that you are having a BBQ next week!

We are renowned for the amount of our rain here but in some parts of the country treated water for drinking has become a problem.. including in Dublin where it is tough to keep up with the demands of millions of hot and thirsty people.

You may not know this but in Ireland we are not charged for our water usage. They did bring in charges in 2015 and many homes had meters fitted, but in 2016 this was repealed and a new system of thresholds for usage were introduced. The first 213,000 litres per year are fee of charge per household, and an additional 25,000 litres per person, for homes with more than four residents.

Clearly there are business premises who will be paying for water, but as yet there is no definitive plan that I have heard, to pay for all the necessary renovations to the existing pipe work.  In the cities, such as Dublin this is Victorian and of course leaks like a sieve in places! This led to headlines last week of a possible shortfall in drinking water as the current equipment is unable to keep up with the demand.

We do however pay for waste water removal which of course requires treatment before disposing of.

Thankfully, despite the fact that we have been basking in sunshine and high temperatures, as sure as there are Leprechauns, there will be rain again soon and everything will be back to normal.

Anyway I know many of you will be off now on holiday or taking breaks from your online life for a while.. have a great time and look forward to hearing about your adventures.

Anyway.. thank you for being here and I hope you enjoy browsing the posts from the week. As always my deepest thanks to my contributors who work so hard to bring you entertaining, informative and creative posts.

The Music Column with William Price King.

The first in a Summer Jazz series beginning with the incomparable Ms Roberta Flack. Part One the Early Years.

Writer in Residence, Paul Andruss with a Photoshop Tutorial for book covers and marketing material.

As a follow up to Paul’s post last week on how to engineer a book cover to maximise interest and therefore sales…he is kindly demonstrating how to accomplish this with photoshop.

The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor

This week Carol shares some great recipes to elevate this family favourite to spicy new levels.

Esme’s Party Piece – July Forecast by sign.

Getting to Know You Sunday Interview

My guest today probably needs little introduction to most of you who are regulars to the blog. Debby Gies…D.G. Kaye is a very popular blogger and non-fiction author who generously supports us all across social media.

Posts from Your Archives – Sanctuary in Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei #Normandy by Sherri Matthews

A fabulous tour around the idyllic village of Saint Ceneri Le Gerei in Normandy with Sherri Matthews.

St-Ceneri-le-Gerei (77) Edited

Sally’s Personal Stuff.

This week I was very honoured to be interviewed by two very lovely writers – the first is Joy Lennick who invited me over on Monday.  Please pop over.

And later in the week I was interviewed by Esme  over on Esme Salon… I hope you will head over and find out more of my secrets…

Letters from America – Hawaii part one.

Odd Jobs and Characters – My employment history that provided me with an endless list of characters..

Sally’s Drive Time Play list.. Music to get the weekend started. 1976

Sally’s Book Reviews – Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton.

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

Chapter Five – Henry’s New Family

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Summer Sale

I notice that the summer can be a little flat for some of us on the book selling front and that many of you will be putting our books on offer at a reduced price for a week at a time or longer.

What I am proposing is that authors in the bookstore who are planning on doing an offer this summer, schedule it between 9th and 20th July to cover four of the Cafe Updates. Discounted books will be linked directly to Amazon to purchase.

Monday 9th July, Friday 13th, Monday 16th,  Friday 20th July

I currently have  4 slots available on Monday 16th of February and 2 for 20th.

Check out the details:

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Author Update #reviews

New Series of The Blogger Daily – Monday to Thursday.

Smorgasbord Health Column

Nutrients the body needs – Calcium the most abundant mineral in the body.

Last week my post was on the kidneys and how they function. I also looked at one of the most painful conditions… Kidney stones. Today I want to continue with the urinary tract as problems with kidney function have a direct impact on the health of this essential waste pathway out of the body.


Health in the News – Natural influenza immunity, prostate cancer breakthrough and mangoes for gut health.

Some Summer chilled soups and salads with some alternative dressings and homemade mayonnaise.



A series of videos on how animals know how to have fun.


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Music, Food, Travel, Legends, Books, Special Guests and Stories

Welcome to the weekly round up and some posts that you might have missed. It has been another glorious week here weather wise and I will admit to having put off some of the writing tasks that I set myself, in favour of being in the sun. You only live once….

It looks like a mostly sunny week again next week so I guess I will continue to be distracted.

This week saw the last in the Josh Groban series and William Price King will be taking his usual Summer break. He spends some time in the mountains with his family but is also wrapping up work on a new series of videos with his new accompanist.. I shared a taster a couple of weeks ago, and I am certain that you will enjoy the full length versions when available.

In the meantime I will be sharing a couple of previous series in a new time slot of just after midnight on Tuesday mornings. When William returns we have a new theme for you to enjoy as we introduce you to the top jazz instrumentalists. From accordion and banjo to the violin, fabulous artists who have evolved the style and backed the top names in the business. We hope you will enjoy learning more about this wonderful expression of music.

The Music Column with William Price King – Josh Groban up to date.

Writer in Residence – Paul Andruss #BookCovers – Persuasion.

This week Paul explores the increased sales that result from a perfectly executed book cover. One that engages, connects and perhaps titillates. What would Ms. Jane Austen say about her makeover??

The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor

This week Carol elevates the delicious duck to new levels with some piquant sauces. Also an interesting way to preserve duck eggs…. really!!!

The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye.

And last but definitely not least, a warm welcome to author D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies, with the first post in the brand new Travel Column. To get you into the swing of things, Debby will post three articles on the popular vacation on the high seas. In the first post she looks at types of cruises, cabins and where the best place to sleep is in choppy seas. Plus some of her usual tips and strategies.

The Sunday Interview – Getting to know you with John W. Howell.

Posts from Your Archives – Travel – This week Sherri Matthews gives us a guided tour of Lake Garda in Italy with some stunning photographs.


Personal Stuff

Letters from America – short hair, hurricane Danny and trivia pursuit.

Odd jobs and characters…. behind the scenes of my various occupations that provided me characters and events for my short stories. This week hotel assistant manager and a whirlwind romance.

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist – Hot Chocolate and Judy Collins.

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Chapter Three – My First Real Friend

Chapter Four – Henry’s Story

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Author Update #reviews

Meet the Reviewers

Cathy Ryan

Smorgasbord Health Column -Nutrients the body needs – Vitamin K1 and K2

Research is identifying that Vitamin K2 deficiency could be contributing to higher rates of dementia, prostate cancer and kidney disease.

Ancient healing therapies – Tai Chi.

Great for posture and for strengthening the core whilst losing the stress.

Organs of the body – The Kidneys – function and structure

Kidney - macroscopic blood vessels

Humour and afternoon videos

Thank you so much for dropping in this week and being so supportive here and on social media.. I am very grateful. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and the coming week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Writer in Residence -#bookcovers – Persuasion by Paul Andruss

Welcome to the monthly post by Paul Andruss. This time he looks at book covers and their influence on the buying public.. Some interesting experiments that show that time spent on this element of your book is as important as the words inside.

(Andruss) Jane Austen: literary giant or saucy little minx? 

You decide *

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

What if they were wrong?

What if a picture was worth 60,000 words?

60,000 words is almost the length of an average novel.

What if you could instantly download 60,000 words of high impact, emotion-filled advertising straight into the brains of potential readers in the blink of an eye?

Would you hesitate?

Would you heck as like!

Human beings, and other primates, are unique among mammals in that we see in colour. Our eyes have two kinds of light receptors called cones and rods.

Mammals in the Age of Dinosaurs kept safe by being nocturnal. Rods work best in low light, which is fine for nocturnal animals, but they do not process colour. To compensate mammals relied on an acute sense of smell.

Most mammals, like horses, have eyes on either side of the head: to keep a lookout for predators. Up in the trees, monkeys needed to judge the distance from branch to branch, therefore the eyes moved to the front of the face. It made the face flatter, reducing the nose.

The sense of smell suffered. (Think of how much more sensitive a dog’s nose is than ours).

To compensate, we developed cones to see in colour, like birds and reptiles. Although we could no longer smell ripe fruit from a distance, we could certainly see it as ripe fruit changes colour.

Twenty-five million years of evolution left man dependent on vision. We respond to, and process, visual data best. 20% of the brain is devoted to vision. Eyes, as outgrowths of the brain, are the only part of the brain with direct access to the outside world. The visual cortex interacts with at least half the brain including areas for hearing, memory, emotion and automatic responses, which is how we instinctively dodge something even before we see it.

90% of the information we take in is visual.

93% of all our communication is visual: not words!

Reading and writing is only a few thousand years old. Therefore it is no surprise we process images 60,000 times faster than the written word.

Now you know all this, isn’t it time you took control of your book covers and your brand images, icons and posters to effectively communicate the essence of your book in a single high impact visual experience?

I cannot be the only kid who spent his pocket money on records because I loved the LP cover. I did not care what the music sounded like. I bought books for much the same reason.

Today, book covers might not make me buy, but they certainly make me take the book off the shelf. No mean feat in a modern bookstore.

In the 1950s, Victor Weybright of the New American Library set up a quality paperback imprint that sold millions of copies at 50 cents apiece. He originally published mystery stories. One day while reading a novel by William Faulkner, a literary heavy weight and Nobel Prize laureate, he thought…

‘…considering all of Faulkner’s sex and violence, if this book was marketed like a detective novel by Mickey Spillane or Dashsiell Hammett, I could shift copies. Of course the fine writing didn’t help… but in the end presentation is all. A sexy cover can do wonders.

‘I phoned up Faulkner’s publishers and asked for the paperback rights to half a dozen of his novels. The publisher was dumbfounded; we’ve never sold more than 2 or 3 thousand copies of all his works put together and you want to put him on the mass market!

‘I put a sexy cover on ‘Absalom, Absalom!’ and a distinguished one on ‘Sanctuary’. I was astounded when the virtually unreadable Absalom sold in the thousands; while the much better Sanctuary bombed. As an experiment I swapped the covers and watched the sales figures for the two novels flip.

‘It was at this point I realised the contents of a paperback book means nothing. It’s the cover that sells it!’

As writers we pore over our words, reading, editing and honing every aspect of plot, character and motivation; sweating over every clause. But when our perfect novel is finished, how much thought do we really give to the cover? And not only the cover but the entire visual presentation?

In relation to how long it took to write the damn thing, I would say very little. Yet in the end, that eye-catching image might be the difference between buying the Scottish castle next door to J. K. Rowling or having your pride and joy relegated to the bargain bin of the local book store.

An author’s lack of concern about visuals might be a hangover from traditional publishing where the author had little say on the visual marketing strategy. As we never tire of saying, those days are long gone. As ‘indie authors’ we already embrace not only editing and publishing but also promotion and publicity: and isn’t that just visual marketing?

You might protest you are not a graphic artist.

You don’t need to be.

This is not about making your cover and brand image.

This is about choosing it.

You may already outsource your editing, proof-reading and publishing. With each, the final responsibility sits with you, the author. Why should your visual marketing strategy be any different?

Who knows your work better than you?

Who is better placed to say whether an image captures the mood you wish to convey?
Remember the mood you choose to convey may, or may not, be directly, or obliquely, related to, or not at all related to, the subject matter of your book.

A cover image and visual marketing may encourage readers to buy your book but it cannot make your book a good read. Your text stands or falls on its own merits, independent of cover or visual marketing strategy. This is why movie trailers are often better than the actual movies.

Here are psychological principles of visual marketing:

Use a gripping image to get an idea over. If we are told a piece of information, a few days later, we only remember about 10% of what was said. But if it is accompanied by an eye-catching picture the amount of information we retain goes up to 65%.

An image will capture interest in an instant. Given the average person’s attention span is 8 seconds, you have plenty of time to drive a message home.

Use colour. It is more arresting.

We are hard wired to respond to faces. A new born baby recognises its mother. It recognises her smile and even determines her emotional state. As adults we constantly read faces for emotional cues.

Where you can, have the characters’ faces in your marketing tell a story. It will leave people subconsciously curious as to the nature of that story. In the promotional poster for Finn Mac Cool below, you can see Erin’s resentment, seated Finn’s defiant innocence and the muscleman Dermot’s resignation. What impression does it make?

In visual marketing, take care to distinguish promotional materials from the book cover. They are not the same. An e-book cover icon is small. A large picture reduced down is too cluttered and indistinct to have impact. It is better to focus on one detail.


E-book Cover (Andruss)

Our brains love to be stimulated, but our attention span is 8 seconds. After this the brain switches off unless something new happens. Nerves fire at 1,000 electrical ‘pulses’ per second that’s a lot of energy. To understand the information, the visual cortex must communicate with parts of the brain dealing with memory, recognition and comprehension.

When nerve impulses reach a junction, called a synapse, they convert to chemicals to jump the gap. So the chemicals are not exhausted the synapse quickly stops working until something new comes along.

A way to keep the synapse firing is with new data. Animation does this because of the changing images. Animation is a great tool to beat the 8 second rule and create a lasting impression. Here is one that I prepared earlier for the draft cover of Tales from the Irish Garden coming soon by Sally.

I hope this gives you something to think about.


for the original shocking cover to Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

This was banned by the BBCMD
(British Bloggers Committee for Morals and Decency)
for bringing the literary writings of Jane Austen into disrepute

And as such is likely to offend… everyone.


©Paul Andruss 2018

About Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul is the author of two books and you can find out more by clicking the image.

Finn Mac CoolThomas the Rhymer

Connect to Paul on social media.

Facebook Page:

You can find two directories for Paul Andruss on Smorgasbord – Writer in Residence:

and Paul’s Gardening Column:

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – #Music, Nessie, #Thai Curry Pastes, New Books, #Reviews, #Health and #Humour

Welcome to the round up of the week’s posts. It only seems a couple of days since I posted the last one! However, we have had a busy week with plenty going on off screen including the renovation of the front garden. All the tree stumps are now all dug up and David survived the process. I have been supervising…. and providing sustenance of course in a timely fashion. He has also dug over all the ground, removed smaller roots and raked it over.

Hopefully the lawn man who promised to come in a couple of weeks a month ago will appreciate that 75% of the job he quoted for is now done and he only has to lay the lawn.

We are also waiting on the guy to come and fix our electronic gate.. He said Wednesday but neglected to tell us which Wednesday. It is frustrating when people say that they will turn up and then do not bother. We have stayed in three times now in the last couple of weeks in anticipation and it is disappointing and frankly unprofessional. The papers are full of how business is not as good as it should be…. I wonder why!

Anyway.. sorry for the little rant!  One thing I can never complain about, is the consistency and commitment by those who contribute to the blog each week with columns and to those of you who tune in regularly to like, comment and share. I really am very grateful.

Time to share the posts from the week that you might have missed…..

The Music Column with William Price King – Josh Groban Part Four.

More hits from this exceptional artist with some of his most recognisable hits that William has provided background to.

Paul Andruss – Writer in Residence.

No post from Paul this week but I always like to reblog from his own site as it is always interesting.. this week.. Nessie… the Loch Ness Monster has been the subject of many scientific studies.. but it is it a myth or a reality?

From the film ‘The Water Horse- Legend of the Deep’

The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor – Thai curry pastes from scratch.

The Literary Column with Jessica Norrie – Blast Off! – Memorable first lines of books.

Getting to Know You Sunday Interview with Annette Rochelle Aben

Welcome to Getting to Know You where guests pick five questions that reveal a little more about their personality and background. This week my guest is Miss Personality as far as I am concerned. You don’t have to be in the same room with Annette Rochelle Aben to know that she is funny, compassionate, empathetic and generous. That all shines through in her blog posts, social media comments and radio podcasts. And as you will find out… it also shines bright as day in her interview.

Personal Stuff – Odd Jobs and Characters

I leave my job as housekeeper/cook of the boarding school and hop a train all the way to North Wales where I start a new position at a swanky hotel. Arriving late at night at this gothic mansion was not the best start to a new job I have had!

Letters from America – 100 degrees, Key Lime Pie and Adverts

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Serialisation

Chapter One – In the Beginning

Chapter Two – My New Home.

A new story written as a guest post for Noelle Granger’s blog – Charlie the Junkyard Dog.

Charlie was a junkyard dog and had the scars to prove it. He was head of security of this fenced off mass of scrap metal, dotted with mounds of old tyres he called home, and he took his job very seriously. During the day, he was chained up next to the beat-up old trailer, where his human would shout loudly at other humans; sometimes throwing things at the thin metal walls. In bad weather Charlie would retreat into a rough scrap wood shelter; resting his bony body on a ragged old corn sack on the hard concrete floor as the water dripped in through the roof.

Poetry – Haiku

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist – 1974

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Cafe and Bookstore Author Updates

Meet the Reviewers

Smorgasbord Health Column – The Summer Fruit Salad

fruit and veg banner

The Candida Albicans Shopping List

Alternative Therapies – The Alexander Technique

Humour and Afternoon Videos


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine -Weekly Round Up – Josh Groban, Legendary Irises, Lucious Lamb and Shark Diving!

Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed. Another week of beautiful weather here and apart from taking time out to sit and read in the sunshine…David has been removing the stumps left after the tree felling last summer, so that we can lay a lawn. It will change the whole aspect of the front garden. We then have wall repairs and new fencing and another major job off the list. We have been in the house two years next week and it has certainly been an amazing time. The biggest problem with renovating a property here in Ireland is the weather, especially for the outside work. Hats off to the tradespeople who have to contend with all the time.


Delighted to welcome author D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) as the latest regular contributor to the blog. I am sure many of you will have enjoyed Debby’s travel archive posts, and like me read and reviewed her book Have Bags Will Travel. Now she will be sharing her expertise with a monthly Travel Column. To get the column off to a flying start (or should I say sailing!)…

Debby will post three articles on cruising the high seas beginning 18th June with parts 2 and 3 going out every fortnight.

As always my thanks to the other contributors who provide wonderful content and bring such variety to the blog.

On with the rest of the posts.

The Music Column with William Price King.

William  shares the hits of the early to mid 2000s of the phenomenon that is Josh Groban.

The Gardening Column with Paul Andruss

This week Paul brings us the beauty and legend of the Iris.

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor

More fabulous recipes from Carol Taylor and this week her focus was on lucious lamb.

The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You with author D.Wallace Peach

Diana Peach is my guest today on Getting to Know You.. She shares her fashion sense, encounters with sharks (the ones with fins not legs!) Waterskiing, and her love of country life… head over and discover more about her.

Personal Stuff – Letters from America

Odd Jobs and Characters – Some of my quirky employment opportunities – This week I cook 3000 meals a week.

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist

Smorgasbord Nature Reserve – When Starlings hit the swimming pool.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Meet the #Reviewers

Author Update

Smorgasbord Short Stories – The Sewing Circle Part three and four – Flights of Fancy

Part Three

Part Four

Albert the Perfect Candidate

The Psychic Parrot

Health Column – The Alexander Technique – #Posture, #Backpain #Ergonomics

Candida Albicans Series

Humour and Afternoon Videos