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




Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – With friends – William Price King, Paul Andruss, Carol Taylor, Esme, Billy Ray Chitwood and other brilliant writers.

Welcome to the weekly round up and the posts that you might have missed.  I am finding it hard to believe we are into June already and I have to say we have had an amazing week as far as weather is concerned here in the south east of Ireland. A little overcast today but we have been spared the terrible thunderstorms and flash flooding suffered by our friends across the Irish Sea. Our first crop of sparrow babies is now fledged and that usually means that mum and dad will be producing a second clutch of eggs. Judging my the noise they are making at dawn, they have already made a start on that project!

We have a water bath for the birds and the starlings take full advantage, and no sooner than I have refilled it (several times a day) they are in their splashing and preening. The bird feeding tree and bath were our joint Christmas presents to each other this year, and I have to say that it is a gift that keeps giving. The view from our kitchen window is entertaining and heart warming.

As always a massive thank you to the regular contributors who share their expertise with us.  And to you for dropping in and showing your support by liking, commenting and sharing.

Here are the posts from the week.

William Price King shares the early successes of Josh Groban who won the hearts of his fans and stormed up the charts within months of his debut album being released.

Paul Andruss our Writer in Residence, with a post on his own blog which is well worth you reading, especially if you are a classical music lover… Frederick Delius

Please head over and read on Paul’s blog:

Carol Taylor took one of our most popular proteins and gave Chicken a makeover in her weekly column.. Thai Basil, Lemon, Jerk seasoning and Tarragon are the stars.

Esme’s Party Piece – Predictions for June

Getting to Know You – Sunday Interview with Billy Ray Chitwood.

Welcome to the Sunday interview and this week my guest is author Billy Ray Chitwood.  Before we find out which of the questions Billy Ray has chosen to respond to including something he lost, his favourite music, Mountains or Beach and his alternative career path.

Personal Stuff..

Odd Jobs and Characters – some of the jobs that were featured in my novel Just an Odd Job Girl. This week, I am  the landlady of a pub at the entrance to Cowes Harbour… Saturday nights the booze cruises would come over from Southampton with interesting results.

Letters from America – July 1985 – and a visit to Hanna Barbara Land with three young children and lilo racing!

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist. – 1972.

Sally’s Cafe and BookstoreNew on the Shelves

Author Update – Reviews

Smorgasbord Short Stories

Flights of Fancy – The Sewing Circle  Part one and Two.

A group of elderly women have formed a sewing circle that meet regularly. They offer support, friendship and love to each other on an estate that is being plagued by hooligans.

Part One

Part Two

Health Column

The five part digestive system series.

Nutrients the body needs – Vitamin E.

Food in the news – Research is showing that you do need the good carbohydrates that are whole grain and contain essential nutrients.

Alternative Therapies – The Alexander Technique – Introduction.

A technique used by performers all over the world to improve their posture and open up their lungs and strengthen muscles.

Humour and Afternoon Videos

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Josh Groban, Getting to Know Carol Taylor and Barbara Villiers unveiled.

Welcome to the weekly round up and to get you in the mood, I thought I would kick things off with the wonderful new teaser from William Price King and his new musical collaborator, guitarist Manolis. Really looking forward to sharing the full videos with you over the next few months.

It has been a glorious week here up to yesterday, so I have been in the garden.. Fiddling I think it is called… adding some new plants here and there and I have now been banned from going to the garden centre. I keep coming back with the multi-coloured pots that are so much more decorative than the plain brown ones… blues, purples, pinks to complement my colour scheme this year. Trouble is pots need plants!

We are having our lawn laid in the next couple of weeks and if we get a run of dry weather, the wall which is cracked will be repaired and then brand new fencing. We have been in the house two years next month and we knew we had a job on our hands!  Delighted to only have a couple of inside jobs to do and then the house is finished. Hopefully that will not signal itchy feet as we do like a project.

Anyway, in the meantime I have managed to post a few (I know I bend the rules and post too many!) but hopefully out of the collection you will find one or two that are of interest to you. The reason for creating this as a magazine is that it opens it up to several topics and if you would like to see more than the current offerings let me know.

On with the week…..starting with the regular columnists.

William Price King begins a new series about the American singer, songwriter and actor Josh Groban and in the the first post shares this very talented artist’s early years.

Writer in residence Paul Andruss with Part Two of the Barbara Villier’s Story

This week the Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor has rather a different ingredient.. Carol herself as I decided to share her Getting to Know You in her regular spot. She has quite the stories to tell and my advice….. don’t get in a lift with her!!

Getting to Know You – Sunday Interview

Delighted to welcome author Lucinda E. Clarke to the blog today, sharing her experiences of life and work in Africa, with some hair raising moments.

Personal Stuff.

I continue my letters to my parents from Texas in 1985, having just celebrated our first July 4th.

The final in my Get Caught Getting Reading month and this week Bernard Cornwell, a long time favourite historical author of mine. I have read all of the Saxon Chronicle so far, but review the first The Last Kingdom.

Another background story to my book Just an Odd Job Girl… and this week a ghost and counting peas in the Steak House part two.

Sally’s Drive Time #Playlist – My 18th Birthday and HMS. Belfast

Another story from my collection Flights of Fancy… Curtains – An old woman recalls her life and reflects on the changing patterns and colours of her bedroom curtains.

And the second story this weekend from the collection features a woman whose marriage has ended and she has escaped to southern Spain to lick her wounds.


A Haiku with image by Wayne Barnes of Tofino Photography

Posts from Your Archives – Travel

Author and Financial expert Sharon Marchisello steers us through the complex Cuban currency exchange.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Cafe and Bookstore author update

Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Reviewers

A celebration of the book reviewers who support authors.

Health column

The difference between an allergy and an intolerance and some of the culprit foods.

There is a great deal of research going on around the effects of a Vitamin D deficiency which is linked to autism, brain disease, IBS, and cancer.

Crash dieting does your body no good, in the short or the long term… avoid the blandishments of the magazine headlines and the latest celebrity diet and ease yourself into your swimsuit healthily and nutritionally.

Humour and afternoon videos

Smorgasbord Writer in Residence – Barbara Villiers Part 2: Uncrowned Queen by Paul Andruss

That time of the month when we are given a fantastic glimpse into the lives of those celebrities who have gone before. In the last post, Paul Andruss introduced us to the infamous Barbara Villiers.. mistress of many.

You can catch up with part one here:

Barbara Villiers Part 2: Uncrowned Queen by Paul Andruss.

Barbara as the Virgin Mary & her rival Frances Stuart (Nation Portrait Gallery)

When Charles became king, the great and good of the land queued up to pimp their wives and daughters to him for political favour. Barbara had the brains to get in first and do it on her own behalf while he was in exile as the Prince of Wales. Perhaps this was the reason she was almost universally hated by her peers.

Barbara was an irresistible combination: womanly wiles and balls bigger than any man. Safe under the king’s protection as the mother of his children, she played male courtiers at their own game and won. Something no Restoration gentleman could easily swallow.

Despite her volatility and adultery with the king, the famous diarist of the age, Samuel Pepys, was besotted by her loveliness although even he admitted ‘while I admire her beauty I know she is a whore’.

Courtiers sourly described her as a woman of unremitting personal vileness and greed, who wasted little time on social inferiors. Even close friends described her as querulous, fierce and infamously rude. Yet she was fun and generous, with a heart to match her temper. When scaffolding collapsed in the theatre, Barbara was the only court lady to rush to assist an injured child.

Critics claimed Barbara held sway over the king because she was skilled in the arts of Aretino, a 16th century Italian erotic poet. The truth is probably simpler. While gentlemen of the time were expected to publically flaunt their mistresses, Barbara was probably one of the very few people Charles could be entirely himself with.

It was the same with Louis, the much admired Sun King, whom Charles modelled himself on. A King was the source of all bounty, splendour and favour, and as such could trust no one; especially those closest. Charles knew Barbara’s limitless ambition, rapaciousness and sexual appetite matched his own. The fact he understood her so well made her safe. It certainly amused him to use her to put down others.

Having given birth to their first child while Charles was in exile, Barbara became Charles’ uncrowned queen. Charles could not marry her as she was already married and divorce was out of the question. In need of cash and allies, he married the rich, plain, convent-schooled Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza to whom he was betrothed as a child.

In the process he gained a valuable ally against Spain in Portugal and a dowry rumoured to be £360,000 (over £29 million in today’s money) of which he lavished an annual income of £5,000 (£400,000) on Barbara. He also bought her expensive presents: £10,000 on a pair of diamond earrings (around £800,000 today).

Charles and Catherine were married less than a month after Charles’ coronation. He spent every night before the wedding in Barbara’s bed, despite the fact she was heavily pregnant with their second child. While the royal couple honeymooned in Hampton Court Palace, Barbara insisted she was also lodged there, on hand, so to speak.

Against Catherine’s wishes, Charles appointed Barbara a lady-of-the-Queen’s-bedchamber: allowing him easy access to his mistress. When Barbara was presented, the Queen fainted and refused her. But Catherine was no match for Barbara, who had a quiet word with the King: suggesting he rule his wife before she ruled him. Charles took her advice, dismissing all of Catherine’s Portuguese ladies and in effect isolating the queen until she complied. After this Barbara used every opportunity to humiliate the queen.

She flaunted her position by helping herself to money from the Privy Purse and taking bribes from the Spanish and the French. She meddled in politics and sold audiences with the King to those seeking advancement. When Barbara’s cousin, Charles’ most trusted advisor, declared her an embarrassment to the court and begged Charles to give her up, Charles replied Lady Castlemaine’s enemies were also his. Barbara never forgave her cousin and did not rest until he was dismissed from the king’s service.

Barbara loved to show off her wealth. She would go to the theatre wearing £30,000 in jewels. She thought nothing of losing enormous sums gambling; once losing £25,000 (or around two million) in one evening. The King in an attempt to cover her mounting debts gave her the old Tudor royal palace of Nonsuch in Surrey, which she proceeded to tear down, selling it off piecemeal.

The new broadsheet newspapers eagerly reported Barbara’s exploits. The public adored her. Her official portraits, in dresses revealing her bosom, were copied onto engravings and sold to a besotted public, making Barbara one of the most recognised women in England. In one famous portrait she cheekily posed as the Virgin Mary with her bastard first born as the infant Christ.

In 1663, the fifteen-year-old Lady Frances Stuart was appointed a lady-in-waiting to the Queen. Pepys described her as ‘the prettiest girl in all the world’. Frances was immortalised as Britannia on the obverse face of the old British Penny (until decimal currency arrived in 1971).

Charles was smitten with Frances. Her refusal to yield to him only inflamed his desire. Seeing the way the wind was blowing, Barbara abetted the king in seducing her young rival. She invited Frances to her rooms. As the evening turned silly, they played at marriage, with Barbara being the husband and Frances the bride. Unknown to the girl, it was arranged for Charles to surprise them and consummate the nuptials. Somehow Frances escaped.

Barbara was not pleased when a few later the Queen became so ill Charles believed she would die. He declared if she did, he would marry Frances, simply to get his way. Fortunately the Queen recovered and soon after Frances eloped with the Duke of Richmond, the King’s cousin: earning the queen’s undying gratitude. A furious Charles vowed never to forgive Frances. It says something for his temperament that he did. When Frances was widowed, he settled a life pension on her, and had his physician attend her when she suffered smallpox, which left her scarred for life.

In 1168 Charles became enamoured with actress Nell Gwynne. The King delighted in being called Charles III, as Nell had two lovers before him also called Charles. At 28 Barbara’s beauty was fading and her appeal coming to an end, yet despite being supplanted in the king’s bed she still held a lot of power. The King’s mistresses were expected to turn a blind eye to his dalliances and remain constant. Not so Barbara she was furious and jealously took lovers of her own, which only amused the King.

Young John Churchill (National Portrait Gallery)

Three years later Barbara took as a lover 21-year-old John Churchill, grimly ambitious and ten years her junior. She settled an income of £5,000 a year on him (£400,000): the same amount Charles initially gave her. Winston Churchill’s ancestor is another fascinating story but not one for here. The story goes when Charles surprised Barbara and John in bed, he laughed it off, telling the young man he knew he had to earn a living. The great whore now had a whore of her own.

In 1663, when Charles’ was pursuing Frances Stuart, 23-year-old Barbara became a Catholic. It is not known why; although Charles was a secret Catholic sympathiser. At the time it was laughed off by the Royal court who claimed the Rome gained nothing, and the Church of England lost nothing, by her conversion. The King joked he was interested in ladies’ bodies, not their souls.

It was to prove Barbara’s undoing when a decade later a new law forbade Catholics from holding official positions. At the age 33 Barbara lost her position as Lady of the Bedchamber, and the King cast her aside in favour of a new mistress Louise de Kérouaille.

The King advised Barbara to live quietly and cause no scandal, in which case he ‘cared not whom she loved’. Barbara did everything except live quietly. She lost everything due to her huge gambling debts. Happily she was briefly reconciled with the King. They spent a night together (for old times sake?) shortly before he died. Barbara died of dropsy aged 68 in Walpole House in Chiswick: a place she is said to haunt.

Barbara descendants include Prince Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and Prince Charles’ Lady Diana Spencer. One cannot help think, given the way things turned out, if would be far more appropriate for Barbara to have been an ancestor of Camilla Parker Bowles: Charles mistress and love of his life during his marriage to Diana, and now his current wife. Unfortunately Camilla is not. She is descended from Charles II through an illegitimate son to Louise de Kérouaille: the woman who replaced Barbara in Charles’ affections.

As I said previously: small world!

©Paul Andruss 2018

As Paul says… a very small world, and nothing new in history!  Thanks as always to Paul for his informative and highly entertaining post. Barbara Villiers was quite the woman….

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:

Find out more about Paul and his books – Writer in Residence:

and Paul’s Gardening Column:

Paul would love to receive your comments and questions…. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Weekly Update. – Aretha Franklin, Restoration Women, Hot Soup and Texas Thunderstorms

Another week gone but one with some sunshine which is always worth celebrating. I have also finished writing Tales from the Irish Garden and phase one is over. Catching my breath and then back into each chapter to tidy up and elaborate before another run through for the first edit. I really don’t mind this part and at least I am on target to publish mid-summer.

I am so grateful for the amazing columnists who contribute to the blog each week and it would not be the same without them.

Great to have William Price King back after his week away and we just have one more post to come in the Aretha Franklin series. I am delighted that it has brought so many memories back and thank you for your comments.

Paul Andruss posted on his own site this week.. Plight of the Restoration Women.. when your money and assets belonged to the man you married. A companion piece to last week’s post here on Barbara Villiers.

Elizabeth Pepys by Rita Greer 2007 (Historical Painter)

Carol Taylor, like so many has been battling a chesty cough but still managed to get into the kitchen and produce some of her delicious soup recipes, it may be spring but the weather is still a bit cool and soups make perfect light lunches.

The Sunday Interview Getting to Know You.

Welcome to the Sunday interview and this week my guest is poet Ritu Bhathal who I enjoyed meeting at last year’s Bloggers Bash in London. And it was fantastic to be there when she won the Best Overall Blog Award 2017. Find out more about her phobias, her love of dusting!…. her passion for singing and meet her cat..

My personal stuff – Letters from America.

The weather becomes more turbulent in Houston. with the hot humid days and we experience our first thunderstorms and torrential rain. My friend Kelly’s due date comes closer.

Posts from my archives – Short stories – Odd Jobs and characters.

This week I work in the shoe department of our local store and find that I am still using x-ray equipment and some ladies do not wear knickers!

Get Caught Reading Month – Authors who inspired me to writer –  The books of Wilbur Smith.

Since my teens I have read and collected the books of Wilbur Smith. As part of Get Caught Reading Month, I will be sharing some of his work and three other authors who inspired me to write.

Sally’s Friday Drive Time Playlist – more of your requests. Howell, Annette Rochelle Aben, D.G. Kaye and Judy E. Martin

Short Stories – Tales from the Garden – Mollie’s Gardens.

My mother loved her gardens and in this post I share some of her memories spanning 94 years.

Posts from Your Archives

Debby Gies, D.G.Kaye shares another of her entertaining and informative travel posts. The joys of carry on luggage and the moving goal posts of their dimensions.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves.

Cafe and Bookstore Author Update

Meet the Book Reviewers

Smorgasbord Health Column

Aromatherapy – Marjoram essential oil – Muscles and stress.

Our heart is very dependent on us to provide it with the nutrient it needs to do its vital job of keeping us alive. It does not ask for much…just lots of fresh food, prepared from scratch and less packages, cans and bottles.

Our heart is only as good as the food we eat……


A-Z of nutrients that we need to be healthy – Vitamin B12.

Why we need cholesterol….


Thank you so much for dropping in today and as always my thanks for the amazing support and feedback. Enjoy your week and see you soon. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Aretha Franklin, Peppercorns, Literary Ageism, Las Vegas

Welcome to the weekly round up of posts and thank you very much for stopping by and for your support during the last seven days.

As always thank you to the contributors who provide regular columns including William Price King with the first in the new series about the legend Aretha Franklin.

Our resident foodie Carol Taylor treated us to an interesting column on the variety and use of peppercorns – Did you know about pink peppercorns?

Our writer in residence and gardening expert Paul Andruss was posting on his own blog this week and another fabulous post on cuckoos and the music of Delius.. I did reblog but here is the direct link to the post:

And Jessica Norrie took us on a tour of books that feature protagonists through the age groups from 0 – 100 years old. Can a lead character every be too old?

The new series of the Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – Getting to know You…with my five questions that I have responded to.

Here is reblog from Mr. Militant Negro who also shares his response to the five questions to give you another idea of how the finished post will look like. I will share his post in full later in the series but it is a moving and fascinating response.

Smorgasbord Poetry – Dorothy Cronin

Personal Stuff

Letters from America 1985 – 1987 – Las Vegas Part Two.

Sally’s Drive Time and Playlist – Two songs that make me think of my husband David.

Short Stories – Background to my characters in Just an Odd Job Girl

Tales from the Garden – The boy, his dog and a fairy princess.

Tales from the Garden – Cuentos del Jardin – is now available in Spanish.

Very grateful for two reviews this week which has been fantastic

One for What’s in a Name Volume One from Amy M. Reade:

And one from the writing duo of Jaye Marie and Anita Dawes for Tales from the Garden.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

New book on the shelves – Twenty-Four Days (Rowe-Delamagente Thriller Book 2) by J. Murray (Jacqui Murray)

Posts from Your Archives – Travel

Welcome to Marian Beaman with an archive post for the #Travel themed Posts from Your Archives.. a turbulent trip to London and a bit of a do with a Copper. When travelling in other countries some things get lost in translation.. even when you are speaking the same language.


Welcome to author and financial expert Sharon Marchisello who shares her experiences of Docents… the locals who can see us coming a mile off when we land in a strange country and are not used to the local currency or transport systems.

Health Column

The A-Z of nutrients that we need to be healthy – B5 – Pantothenic Acid.

The Heart Structure and Function

Heart labelled

Shopping List for the Brain and its support systems.

The first key element to eating for brain health is to omit industrially processed foods that contain harmful toxins and additives that have zero nutritional benefit and effectively ’empty’ calories. They might supply sugar and trans fats and look appetizing on a plate, but the brain will not recognize them as anything it can process. Processed foods Vs. Industrially manufactured foods

Aromatherapy – Frankincense essential oil – Immune, reproductive systems, antiseptic, anti-aging.

The alternative shopping list – by nutrient




Thank you again for dropping in and all your support.. I am very grateful… Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Reblog – Writer in Residence Paul Andruss – The Cuckoo and Fred

Here is a snippet from the latest post from Paul Andruss on his own blog… I hope you will head over and enjoy the rest… bring some spring and birdsong into your life..

I heard the first cuckoo* today. Its onomatopoeic call signalling Sumer is Icumin In*.

Despite the weather, it lifted my heart and cast me back to the first time I heard Frederick Delius.

The LP, as they were in those days, was a collection of Delius’ short works for orchestra. I had no idea what to expect. Anything I suppose, except waves of unadulterated emotion effortlessly making the eyes mist and filling the heart with an irrepressible longing for the type of languid summer days found only in the idylls of imagination.

In the opening piece ‘On hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring’ an oboe echoes a cuckoo calling over a languid wash of strings playing an old Norwegian folksong ‘In Ola Valley’.

I closed my eyes for ‘A Summer Night on the River’ feeling late warmth of a setting sun, hearing the zip of dragonflies iridescent in the low light, roosting birds squabbling on willow lined banks, golden sunbeams scattered by ripples of greedy fish snatching spent mayflies, the gentle rocking of the boat beneath me as I trailed my hand through limpid water.

Fred (christened Fritz) was one of 14 children born to wealthy German-Dutch immigrants in the Yorkshire city of Bradford in 1862. Fred’s dad wanted him to follow in the family wool business, but Fred wanted to be a composer.

Somehow in 1884, and it is not clear whose idea it was, 22 year old Fred ended up in Florida on an orange plantation. Here began his life-long love of ‘negro-spiritual’ music, burgeoning ragtime, and the earliest forms of what would evolve into the Blues.

The phrase ‘The Blues’ might have originated in an old slang term ‘Blue Devils’ describing alcoholic depression. Later ‘devils’ was dropped and the term denoted general melancholia.

Delius composed The Florida Suite barely 20 years after the American Civil War. During the reconstruction era unscrupulous businessmen called Carpetbaggers (after their form of luggage) came to the South buying bankrupt plantations and businesses for a song. It was a time great social upheaval and hardship for the poor, Black and White alike.

Please head over and enjoy the rest of this harbinger of summer concert:

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

and Paul’s Gardening Column:

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up- William Price King sings, Paul Andruss and Hellebores and Carol Taylor and Mustard.

Welcome to the weekly round up and I hope that your weekend is going well. We have had a very special visitor from America who arrived on Friday and it did David and I the power of good to be in the company of such a delightful, articulate and successful young woman. We have known her parents for over 30 years and have seen her grown from a beautiful baby into this accomplished adult.. What a pleasure.

Anyway… In honour of the visit, the sun came out on Thursday and I was able to get some of my pots refurbished…the job is not finished yet.. I have some more planting to do next week… provided we get a little dry weather.

Anyway.. time to get on with the week and as always my thanks to William Price King, (look out for a special post in thanks to William for all his amazing contributions… Drive Time this week features two of his own performances). Paul Andruss and Carol Taylor who have, as always provided outstanding columns for music, gardening and cookery.

The Music Column with William Price King – Johnny Mathis up to date.

The Gardening Column by Paul Andruss – Heavenly Hellebores.. or should that be Devilish?

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – It is all about the mustard.

The Open House Sunday Interview – Gregg Savage – Daily Tales

Personal Stuff – Tales from the Garden – The Goose and the Lost Boy.

Letters From America 1985 – 1987 – Trip to Las Vegas – Part One #Hilton, #Dunes

Sally’s Book Reviews – UK2: Project Renova Book Three by Terry Tyler

Sally’s Drive Time #Playlist – Music to get the Weekend Started – William Price King.

Esme’s Party Piece: Prediction for the two weeks April 12th – 26th.. and your Flower Power.


Smorgasbord Guest Post – Leslie Tate – Growing up as an author.

Posts from Your Archives.

Posts from the Archives… new series… travel themed blogs posted before October 2017. And to kick the series off.. traveller and author Darlene Foster with a surprise visit to the home of Jane Austen..

Smorgasbord Poetry – Dorothy Cronin – Tuffy

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Spring Showcase – Final post

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves

Smorgasbord Health Column

Nutrients A-Z  that we need to be healthy.

Part three of the Brain series… this week a brief overview of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Turning Back the Clock – Chapter Ten – Maintaining your Health Advantage.

Aromatherapy – Eucalyptus oil – usage and safety.


Thank you very much for all your support this week and look forward to seeing you again soon.


Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Johnny Mathis, Fish & Chips with Coffee, Cafe and Bookstore Spring Showcase and Boxing Cats.

Welcome to the weekly round up and it is Easter Sunday when around the world, millions will be celebrating the religious festival. Wherever you live and however you celebrate I wish you a Happy Easter and start to springtime.

It is also  April 1st…traditionally the day of the year where practical jokes are played on the unsuspecting around the world.

One of the first and best on television was shared by the usually very serious BBC programme ‘Panorama’ in 1957… absolutely brilliant….

If you have had a really good April Fool’s prank played on you.. please share in the comments…

Meanwhile, here on the blog it has been a busy week with wonderful contributions from our columnists William Price King with the first in the series on Johnny Mathis, Carol Taylor who shared some great ways to use Vinegar and to make home made Fish & Chips.. and to finish of this feast, Paul Andruss with a dissertation on one of the most popular beverages on the planet… Coffee.

Without further ado.. on with this week’s round up.. Thank you for dropping in and for all your support.. it makes my day.

The Music Column with William Price King and the first in the new series on Johnny Mathis and his career.

Writer in Residence Paul Andruss shares myths, legends and things we take for granted… in a unique and illuminating manner.. today he expresses himself on the subject of coffee… (Sorry could not resist)…. Over to you Paul…

The Food Column with Carol Taylor – Find out all you need to know about Vinegar.. using ‘shrubs’ strawberries and how to make the perfect homemade fish & chips.

Esme’s Party Piece – Two week prediction based on the charateristics of the zodiac signs. For fun only….

Personal Stuff.

Letters from America – 1985 – 1987 – A long weekend in San Francisco with an unexpected first night with strange encounters.

I was very honoured to have been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award… a lovely Easter surprise and an opportunity to nominate some of my new blogging contacts. My thanks to Laura Bailey of ‘All the shoes I wear’ and here is one of her recent posts.. at a dog show.. for all you dog lovers out there..

Tales from the Garden – Trouble in Paradise – Part One.

Trouble in Paradise – Part Two

Smorgasbord Open House Sunday Interview.

Delighted to welcome author Stevie Turner to the Open House today. We will find out about those iconic figures in history that she would like to pop back in time to meet, her blog, the inventions that she wishes had never existed and the five experiences she believes we should all enjoy in our lifetimes.

Posts from Your Archives

Sadly this is the last of the posts from the archives of Debby Gies (until she kindly delves back in again for the next series!). This is about things we miss… and take for granted… until they are no longer there.

Anyway.. Debby shares her thoughts on her house, garden and old shopping buggy.

Welcome to the final post in the current series of posts from the blog of Susanne Swanson which she published in 2016. Seattle is a wonderful city and I have been a couple of times.. but it does rain a lot.  But if you are visiting and it should be a wet day, Susanne has a great suggestions to occupy you.

A warm welcome to Adele Marie Park who has sent a short story for the Easter and Spring weekend.  Tissue alert!

Darlene Foster shares a post from her archives that brought back memories for me of our seventeen years in Spain. Easter is a big festival and is an occasion for all the family to take to the streets.

Today Karen Ingalls shares a fable that carries a message to us all.. particularly at Easter and the beginning of Spring.. and a new cycle of life. A chance to perhaps change our perspective about the burdens we carry… Also two new reviews for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir and Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Spring Showcase – a daily Easter parade of talented authors in the bookstore to showcase their most recent reviews.

Thomas the Rhymer

The Story Reading Ape

Smorgasbord Health Column

Part one on a series on the brain, its structure, dementia and the foods needed to supply the nutrients it needs.


Aromatherapy – Chamomile essential oil.

Vitamin B1- Thiamin

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that along with the other B vitamins and Vitamin C it travels through the blood stream and any excess is eliminated in our urine. The body cannot store thiamin but it is found in tissues within the body such as in the liver, heart, kidneys and the nervous system where it binds to enzymes. This does mean that these types of vitamins need to be replaced from our food continuously.

The next chapter in Turning Back the Clock – Taking care of the externals.

Humour and Afternoon video

A small and very frightened chimp is rescued and finally finds the hugs he needs.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto and a little Church Humour.

Men vs. Women in the Happiness Stakes and Marriage.

Where does a bear sit? Anywhere he likes!

That’s it… thank you very much for helping to showcase the authors this week.. a few more of those posts to come as I move through the bookstore. Enjoy what is left of the Easter break and look forward to seeing you again soon…