Tag Archives: uk

Stay Left, Hug Right: Driving in the UK


If you want to venture outside of the cities and towns, you might need to rent a car. There are coach tours that take you around, which are a great way to see the country’s main attractions, but if you crave more independence and solitude, you can hire a car. 

The first time I drove in the UK was 1990. I was 20 years old without a fear in the world. I remember the novelty of driving on the left, and the biggest problem I had was when I turned a corner. My instinct and training wanted to bear right, so I had to keep repeating “stay left” to myself as I turned. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 20, 2015 in Travel & Tourism


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Major Changes in the Autumn of Life

Hyde Park in Autumn

Hyde Park in Autumn, October 2015

The past five years have been the most difficult of my life. The person I was in 2010 is dead, but it was a slow, agonizing death brought about by deceptions, betrayals, and even sexual assault. Just when I thought I couldn’t lose anymore, after having lost my community, my faith, my job, my home, and my very identity, my husband of 15 years moved out.

The one thing I thought was strong enough to survive anything, wasn’t. The one person I thought I could trust to be honest and genuine wasn’t. In his own words, he’s been pretending to be someone else for the bulk of our marriage.

I don’t even know how to process that.

He’s made it clear he doesn’t want me around, and I had nothing left in the States except a handful of dear friends scattered around the country, an unfulfilling job, and an empty apartment.  Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on November 4, 2015 in Healthy Living, Personal


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Elimination Diet: Days 1 & 2

20130908-154651.jpgAbout two months ago, I started really looking into my diet and seeing what I could do to minimize some chronic health issues. This all was soon before I was leaving for England for six weeks, so it was mostly experimentation with some new recipes and tracking GI activity, mood swings, and energy levels. Through this trial dietary change, I discovered that I’m quite likely fructose intolerant and have a significant intolerance to onions. Those were the most glaringly obvious ones, but I know there are more. However, there were too many variables without going on a proper elimination diet. After reading some horror stories of gluten, sugar, and dairy withdrawals, I decided to wait until after my trip to the UK to do one properly.

I told myself not to worry, as I’d be walking so much in London I wouldn’t put on any weight. For the first two weeks, I stuck more or less to my new reduced-gluten/dairy/sugar diet and ate a lot of whole, fresh foods. Then I went to Ireland and spent a week with family, attended a wedding, and ate a lot of PB&J, fresh carrots, and sweet potatoes. I had such a lovely time with my sister and her family not worrying about food, I vowed to lose my anxiety around caloric intake for good. Well, I paid for that, even with all the walking. Upon returning to London, I put away my food diary and calorie counting app and just ate when I was hungry. Sometimes yummy things like Cornish pastys and vegetarian bangers and mash, others even yummier things like muesli (totally addicted, btw) and stuffed zucchini. Overall, except for the chips here and here (how can you visit England without indulging in chips!) and a half pint of Guinness here and there (how can you visit Ireland without indulging in Guinness!), my diet was still quite healthy. The difference was in the amounts, I’m afraid. Without counting calories, not to mention my inability to comprehend how much 100mg was, I stopped with portion control.

After four weeks of not counting calories, even with walking or cycling between 4-10 miles a day, I knew I had put on weight. To my horror upon my arrival home Thursday night, I saw that I had put on TEN POUNDS! And to think two months ago I was freaking out over three.

Not okay.

Strangely, I’m not terribly upset about it. I know it will come back off as I get settled and move through this proper elimination diet. In fact, just after the first day, I was already down five of those ten, likely water weight and other GI issues from the antibiotics I briefly took after my emergency root canal. I keep reminding myself I did what was necessary to survive in a foreign country alone. Pass the muesli please!

OMG, I sure do miss muesli.

I’m on day two of The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen’s 28-DayElimination Diet, which means I’m still in green smoothie fast mode. The book, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, which includes the complete 28-day Elimination Diet is on its way from Amazon,and I’ll have that by Tuesday with more information. As of now, I’m following their website for guidance. I’ve had nothing but green smoothies for about 48 hours, and I feel pretty good. After having a smoothie with an apple and pear in it, I confirmed my suspicion of fructose intolerance. Throughout my life, whenever I have an apple or a pear I feel inexplicably tired soon thereafter, and often hungrier than before I ate it. The same happens in the green smoothies containing these high-fructose fruits. As I don’t have the book yet, I’m not really clear at how much of these smoothies I’m supposed to have, but since I’m also dealing with jet lag, I’ve decided to have them as often as I’m hungry.

I’m feeling rather good so far, although I’m anticipating some withdrawal symptoms from wheat and sugar, especially, over the coming weeks. Things are moving through my body again. I feel happier than usual, but sometimes tired in the middle of the day still tired. I’m listening to my body and relaxing or napping as needed. Mental clarity and the ability to focus comes and goes, so I’m still finding it difficult to read. I am looking forward to eating some solid food again tomorrow. I think I’ll start the day with some roasted sweet potato along with another green smoothie to break the fast, then perhaps Spiced Pumpkin Soup for lunch after some Blueberry Syrup with Rice and Quinoa for a midmorning snack.

I had my final mocha Friday morning, and I won’t be having another until the challenge phase in four weeks (EEEEK!!!). Still not quite sure how I’ll survive that long without my beloved mochas, but I’m determined to lose these 10 lbs and discover if food allergies/intolerances is exacerbating or even causing my life-long struggle with depression and anxiety. No doubt the foundation of those things are in the trauma, as I’ve been diagnosed with Complex PTSD, but it can’t hurt to see if I can make those dark clouds a little lighter while I work on recovering from the traumas.

Please consider joining me on this journey to better health.

I’ll be checking in often to give you updates of how the diet is working for me and to share some yummy, healthy recipes. Plus, Ethan and I are finishing up Spirit of the Otherworld this and next month, the fifth and final Rowan of the Wood novel. It should be available by Christmas.

May you all find peace.

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Posted by on September 8, 2013 in Healthy Living


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Reuters, Baby!

Today I am thrilled to repost this fabulous article on me from Reuters, courtesy of the lovely Julie Mollins. Please RT, post on your FB wall, and share far and wide! Cheers!

Original Source


(Reuters) – It’s no secret that good storytelling involves characters who are in opposition to generate controversy — but author Christine Rose has taken this a step further by developing an opposing second identity as O.M. Grey.

Grey is author of the sexy, paranormal “Avalon Revisited” steampunk novel about English King Henry VIII’s brother Arthur, who is depicted as a vampire. Grey also has a steampunk persona in real life, with a multimedia blog that offers candid advice on romantic and erotic troubles.

The entrepreneurial Rose, however, is the author of “Publishing and Marketing Realities for the Emerging Author,” and co-author with husband Ethan Rose of the “Rowan of the Wood” young adult fantasy series, which won the 2009 Indie Excellence Award for Young Adult Fiction.

“I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t,” Grey said.

“I’m able to compare that with my other persona, Christine Rose. As Christine Rose I take a more traditional route. I’ve seen a lot more success with Olivia (O.M. Grey).”

Read the rest of the article here.


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Mind the Gap…in Service

After leaving Cabourg in Normandy where my transportation was limited and dependent on my friend, I was really looking forward to being alone in London where I could continue my work of regaining my balance and be able to get around on my own.


Well, I exaggerate. I can get around here, but it is an exercise in frustration. In Texas, one drives everywhere. In Paris, the Metro is seamless and convenient, unless you want to travel after 1am. In London…O.M.G!

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Posted by on July 31, 2011 in Personal, Travel & Tourism


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Rocky Start in the UK

After all the planning and hopes and dreams of all that a European working vacation might bring, one is rarely prepared for what reality has in store. I arrived in London on Thursday, July 7th. Exhausted. After twenty hours of straight travel and with four more to go, my stress was rapidly reaching it’s limit. Only an hour in customs wasn’t terrible, and although I had had very little sleep or food in the previous 48 hours due to some highly upsetting news the day before I left, I was anxious to get to my hotel in Brighton. My plan had been to take the Tube to Victoria Station, walk down to the O2 shop, and get a UK sim card for my iPhone. Which, I did. The shop was a bit further than I had anticipated, but that might’ve just been due to my level of exhaustion and having to carry my luggage on my back there and back. I did pack rather light, a carry on shoulder bag, backpack, and purse, but they all did become quite heavy rather quickly.
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Posted by on July 14, 2011 in Personal, Travel & Tourism


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Emerging Author Spotlight: Craig Wallwork

This week’s Emerging Author Spotlight is on Craig Wallwork and his short story “Morning Birdsong and the Hell Demons” in celebration of Short Story Month 2011 (#ssm2011)

I seriously laughed out loud while reading this piece. Several times.

It’s published with The Jersey Devil Press, and it’s definitely worth a read. Craig has many more short stories available to read on his blog

After leaving school, CRAIG WALLWORK studied Art before becoming a filmmaker and writer. “Birdsong and the Hell Demons” is taken from his forthcoming novel, Dog Mile. Other short stories by Craig can be found in many a sordid corner of the world, or from his website:

Craig writes and lives in West Yorkshire, England. Craig’s main aspiration is to be mediocre at everything he does. He thinks maybe he’s succeeding. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Publishing Industry


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