Jackie Parry – author


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Beating Migraines Update 1

Have I conquered my migraines?

It’s a bit early to say, but I believe I’ve made an improvement. Never has my head felt so clear!

What’s Worked For Me?

For over two weeks I’ve monitored what I eat, but that’s not the key – not yet, anyhow.

I’ve reduced my meat intake (but eaten lots of fish), this is mainly to help my digestive system.

I’ve moderated chocolate. I’ve eaten two squares of dark chocolate and didn’t like it one bit, it just tasted of sugar.

I’ve eaten one ice-cream and one iced coffee – that’s as bad as it got.

Other than that, it’s been fish, pasta, salads, porridge, eggs, fruit, noodles, vegetables and potatoes (on the whole).

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Keeping Hydrated

I’ve consumed at least three litres of water a day, monitoring it very carefully.

Findings

That’s the key so far, although it is too early to tell, but I am starting to feel that I didn’t drink enough and that is the main reason for my migraines.

Image courtesy of nixxphotography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nixxphotography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Headache

I did have a headache last Thursday. It certainly wasn’t a migraine and miraculously two panadol’s knocked it on the head almost immediately. Previously, Panadol’s/Paracetamol hasn’t worked for me for years.

What caused the headache?

That’s easy, it wasn’t anything I ate or drank, but I over did it. Moving from one house (house-sit), to our caravan (temporarily between house sits) on an extremely high-humidity day didn’t help. I cleaned the house we were leaving, then we had to empty the caravan (the annex was in bits, in the caravan) and then scrub the 24 ft caravan that hadn’t seen any cleaning products for many years.

Blowing Puffle-Valves

I blew one, actually several. The rain clouds were building. We had nowhere else to stay (well, we did have a lovely offer from a dear friend, but for some reason we were on a mission!). Noel put up the roofing iron, above the caravan roof, to help to keep the van cool. The hatches leaked slightly, so it put a stop to that too.

At 7:30 pm we both fell into bed exhausted (yes, we did shower). Our limbs screamed in protest, and I don’t think I drank enough water to replace what I lost.

Image courtesy of nuchylee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuchylee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Next steps

I am still monitoring what I consume. I’ve succumbed to a massive T-bone steak – delicious and, well, I think that’s about as bad as it gets! Oh yes, I’ve had a few slices of bread, but still a fraction of what I had before. And, of course, I’ve had a little wine, but when doing so I’ve consumed more water to fend off dehydration – and I’ve only had a few sips here and there.

Taking Care – the Answer

If I had to give you an answer right now about the cause of my migraines, I’d say drinking enough water and not pushing it is the key. So today, on a stupidly hot day, we’ve worked on the caravan this morning (preparing to paint it) and come back to the house (next house-sit) and turned the air conditioning on. Time to do some laptop work and keep cool – taking care.

Other Answers

I’ve had a great response and bundles of advice about what sets off migraines. Some of it contradictory – which is more than interesting; some of it very detailed. I am hoping that I don’t have to get too technical by reading the labels on everything I eat. I’ll share some advice/suggestions soon – it’s all rather an eye-opener.

In the meantime –  has anyone else combatted headaches with water?

(Interesting in from boat-to-land escapades? Check out our latest adventures here).


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Health and Monitoring Migraines

Accidental New Year’s Resolution

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Not usually.

I prefer to look back on the year and remind myself of all my achievements.

Quite by accident, on the first of January I decided to take action against my migraines.

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Morphing Migraines

Over the years my migraines have changed.

  • They were a short burst (one day) of extensive pain and vomiting
  • Then the vomiting eased but the pain intensified – sometimes to a frightening level
  • Then the pain eased – so less pain but now they last 4-5 days
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I can just about function with these ‘new’ migraines but I don’t really like how they travel from one side of my head to the other – I can feel them creep across my brain!

Drugs

The other problem is that I am taking more and more painkillers. I’m avoiding prescription drugs, but this has to change because:

  • Right now I take codeine with aspirin and throw down some panadol if I need an extra boost
  • Codeine will become a prescription drug next year
  • I’m fed up with popping so many pills
Image courtesy of yodiyim at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of yodiyim at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Action

As of the first of January (quite by accident) I’m listing everything I eat and drink. I include the time spent on the laptop, quantity of sleep, level of stress, bed time and the time I wake up.

Boring Diet

Consequently, I am making other changes:

  • I am avoiding chocolate
  • I’ve cut right down on alcohol (not a drop during the week and a small quantity Friday and maybe Saturday night)
  • I am avoiding chocolate
  • I am rarely eating meat (well, I am consuming fish). As an A+ blood type, my body finds it easy to digest carbohydrates but hard to process meat
  • I am avoiding chocolate (total success so far, by some miracle).
  • Did I mention the chocolate?
Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How

  • The chocolate is hidden in the fridge. I’ve recently been told that Australian chocolate has additional preservatives to prevent it melting as quickly.
  • I’m drinking a lot more water – ensuring my intake is at least 3 litres per day
  • The less chocolate and meat I eat – the less I crave it. So it’s becoming easier.

Results so far

  1. I have loads of energy (driving hubby nuts)
  2. I wake up less grumpy (hubby happy)
  3. My digestive system is working a treat (everyone’s happy!)
  4. My head has been quite clear for a week (again – everyone’s happy)
  5. I’m losing weight (yay me!)
  6. My perpetually dry lips are starting to repair (whoop whoop)
I'm back to my old self - only a better version!

I’m back to my old self – only a better version!

Relapse

I know I will struggle at times (Noel ate a meat pie yesterday and my stomach growled in protest!). When it happens I will just revert back to the better behaviour the next day and carry on.

I’m looking forward to reporting how I do. AND – why is this subject on my author blog? Well, sore eyes and head are rather important to avoid if I want to write!


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Inspirational Gifts

It’s not just a book.

There’s a message.

An uninhabited island in the South Pacific - I dare you to travel with us?

An uninhabited island in the South Pacific – I dare you to travel with us?

“The words are inspirational.”

“These stories will make you think.”

Colour pictures included in each book.

Make this year’s gifts special, thoughtful…..  be unique!

When your man looks better in a skirt than you do!

When your man looks better in a skirt than you do!

Best places to purchase the colour paperbacks:

UK/USA (and most other places): click here

Australia: click here 

Available in kindle format and audio: click here

Suwarrow - no strangers here....

Suwarrow – no strangers here….

Follow our escapades here: are we on a boat? On land? Or on a horse or camel?…. who knows what will happen next!


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Unhealthy Writing!

Writing and Middle-Aged Spread!

I sit a lot. I have to, I’m a writer.

Coupled with middle age, this is not a good recipe for a healthy life.

So in order to combat midde-aged-spread (how lovely) I have a game plan.

  1. I’ve taken up baking again. Not pastries and cakes, well not all the time. But vegetarian and healthy foods. I have a huge appetite, and eating less is just not going to happen. Here’s one of my favourite recipes.

    Red Bean Moussaka

    Red Bean Moussaka

  2. Painting! Owning a boat keeps you fit, when we move, furling ropes, climbing ladders (for locks) and handling lines keeps me fit. Plus painting is a regular task. We’re thankfully at the point where we just need to touch up our paintwork. Here’s my latest project. I love this anchor winch, it’s functional and beautiful!

    Anchor Windlass- before

    Anchor Windlass- before

    Anchor Windlass - after

    Anchor Windlass – after

If you are a writer/author or sit in an office, what are your tactics to stay fit and healthy?


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Interview on WriterStory!

Addicted to travel, adventure, and writing, Jackie doesn’t sit still for long. Originally from the UK she is now an adopted Australian. She’s sailed around the world one-and-a-half times and trekked in the bush with five rescued horses for months. She has trained as a professional maritime captain and teacher. Currently she is exploring the European canals on a 1920s Dutch barge with her Australian husband, Noel. She’s written about her sailing and horse trekking escapades, and is an encourager, ‘there are far too many critics in the world already!’

  1. What inspired you to start writing?

I was first inspired when I was about nine years old – I just loved writing stories. Also, not long after that I remember starting to read adult books and feeling the rush of adrenaline, the prick of tears, the clutch of stomach laughter – all from a book!

That amazed me.

At school I loved English lessons (my friends ribbing me endlessly about being the teacher’s pet!). Then, at work, I joined the team that wrote the bi-monthly company magazine. I progressed to writing destination and technical articles for sailing magazines all over the world as I sailed around the world – to help fund the trip. It felt a natural progression to write books about what I knew – inspirational travel and living life to the full!

  1. What did you like to read when you were a girl?

Ironically, it was mostly the school books that I read. I grew up with horses and being outdoors was more important than anything.

But I enjoyed most of the books I had to read for English lessons. At junior school I could hardly wait for our weekly session of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Later, in senior school Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck really stuck with me. I can’t say I enjoyed Shakespeare’s Macbeth, however, the story and the pictures I conjured in my head by the words (once I had worked out what they meant) were vivid and really got me thinking about how black words on white paper are so powerful.

  1. What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?

Every part is a challenge, but what struck me most was, that on completing my first book, the next challenge commences – getting it seen!

As for ‘writing’ the book – for me it is the sequential part. I tend to jump in here and there within the story when I am drafting. So, to jiggle the contents into a meaningful and true timeline is a task I don’t really enjoy. My brain jumps from subject to subject (often driving my husband nuts!) and that’s how my initial draft of the book is written!

Funnily enough, I enjoy the editing process. Working the bulk of the book into order, initially, is a lot of work – once that is done I feel great pleasure from manipulating and massaging the paragraphs.

  1. How much research do you do before writing the book?

So far my books have been about subjects I am fully acquainted with – non-fiction books (1) “A Cruisers’ AA (accumulated acumen)” a book with over 1,800 tips, tricks, and, advice on living on board a boat. (2) “Of Foreign Build – From Corporate Girl to Sea Gypsy Woman” a nine-year odyssey sailing around the world (3) “A Standard Journey – 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent” we adopted five horses and trained them (they trained us) as one team. We all set out into the Australian bush together for several months – an extraordinary story of 5 horses and 2 people becoming family and relying on each other. (4) “This Is It – 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat” Our two-year escapade, buying a boat in San Francisco and sailing back across the Pacific, via Easter Island, Pitcairn, etc, to Australia.

So, I knew my subjects inside out. I am, however, planning a fiction book. The research so far has been immense. For me, the actual writing will not start until I have most of the research completed – several more weeks, maybe months to go! And then I am sure there will be more.

  1. What motivated you to write the book “This Is It: 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat”?

It was an extraordinary adventure. We’d previously sailed around the world for almost nine years. So, one would think that a two-year voyage across the Pacific Ocean again (albeit a more southerly route), would be an easier trip.

It wasn’t.

The journey was tough but dappled with extraordinary events. I wanted to show that our life of travel (Noel and I have been travelling most of our 18 years of marriage), is not always fun! It’s okay to have difficult days. I wanted to show my theory on why some ordinary days are so difficult but extremely important.

I worked especially hard on the ending, which is a culmination of the theme throughout the book, which summarises why people do what they do – why we did what we did. What makes a good/happy/successful journey (and it isn’t about good weather and nice people!). How you have to be happy with yourself – that’s the first step in the adventure, no matter what you are doing.

I’ve received many personal letters from all over the world thanking me for highlighting the positive and negatives of a travelling life. My words are ringing true for a lot of people, who couldn’t figure out where they were going wrong, or what was tarring their experiences! I’ve helped them in a little way – so it’s been a complete success!

  1. Can you tell us more about your latest book “This Is It: 2 hemispheres, 2
    people, and 1 boat”? 

This Is It is a story to show that although journeys can be hard, they should still be appreciated – This Is It – right now, we all have to appreciate, more, what we have and make the most of it. That’s the underlying premise and from the letters I regularly receive the story is inspiring people to do what they’ve always dreamed of.

I reveal the marvellous and rarely visited destinations we sailed into (Suwarrow for instance) and how the mind plays tricks at sea, how we dealt with filling with water 2,000 miles away from the nearest land – and a couple of terrifying incidents of wild weather that tested our resolve and fortitude to the limit.

We are two ordinary people living an extraordinary life. Our story shows that anything is possible if you want it badly enough. Living on your terms is within reach and you can ‘survive’ when you make every aspect of your life an adventure – and fun – even the bad bits are important! For we all need those struggles in life because that’s what makes the good bits even better!

It’s about life and the reason we do things. What scares us silly, what makes us feel alive. Deep fears, dynamics of a close relationship – how we turned our lifestyle into our work, so we make a living doing what we love.

It features a bit about sailing, but it’s not a technical book for only those who enjoy the water. It’s a book for adventure seekers, or those who are just happy to live vicariously via others’ adventures. It’s also inspirational, an eye-opener and quite often funny! It’s a real look at life.

  1. How did you come up with the idea of writing adventure fiction genre book?

My books appear (and have been noted for) reading like fiction. But they are non-fiction. Every event in those stories happened, getting run over in Paris, sinking, pirates, whale collisions, man-eating crocodiles, working in a Barbados brothel, muggers….

Initially, I wanted to have a record of our adventures, just for Noel and I. Then my stories started taking shape and my dream of publishing a book became reality with a lot of hard work. Initially, a publisher was interested in my first two books – however, I chose independent publishing to maintain control of my life’s story. Since publishing four books, three have now been picked up by a publisher who is producing audio books for my stories. (Of Foreign Build is already available in audio).

Actually, I am still amazed at the things I’ve witnessed, the places I’ve been and how much my life changed when someone very close to me died. I wanted to show everyone that there are alternatives to the 9-5 trudge – there really is, if you really want it.

  1. Who are your favourite authors?

I read a lot of fiction. My favourite genres are thrillers and historical fiction. Favourite authors are Albert Facey who wrote A Fortunate Life, Dick Francis, Steinbeck.

Also, I have joined a wonderful FB group called We Love Memoirs (WLM). It is a group of both readers and writers – and many of the authors there are becoming firm favourites too. Anyone can join – it is one of the friendliest groups on FB.

  1. How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?

I am not that organised! I travel, almost constantly and most days are unplanned.

Noel and I currently live on a 1920s Dutch barge in France. If we are moving I maybe busy working the lines, or on the helm, in and out of locks, or just watching the world putter by at five knots. If we are in port, we maybe bike riding to the shops, keeping on top of boat maintenance or taking shelter from the rain.

Rainy days can give me time to write, but there is a compromise. Take right now for example, as I write. We thought we’d be moving today, but the rain over-night has added to the flood rains (of two days ago) to cause the canal to rise again. So we are stuck on a floating jetty in the beautiful green countryside near Ypres. It is all very nice, we have everything we need, but little power. Boats are a mini village, with their own power, water, heating etc, but our solar panels do not work very well when it is so overcast. (Actually, they work surprisingly well, but struggle with TV and two laptops and a fridge running!) We can tap away on our laptops but then, at some point, we’ll have to run the engine.

It’s a wonderful life, but with few certainties, (except adventure), which is just the way I like it.

I snatch time to write: Early in the morning, late at night – or when stuck in a port due to weather. It really is as and when for me.

If I have moments of planned days, I will try 1-2 hours per day. But that never works out! I’ve been known to write all day long.

  1. What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?

Don’t give up. Keep going. That sounds over simplistic, but let me explain a bit more.

It’s not until you’ve tried to write a book that you have any inclination how hard it is – it is tough. Most writers start okay, then reach the stage where it becomes tricky and you need to find real resolve and fortitude to continue – most writers stop there.

Those that get over that ‘hump’, acknowledge it – work through it – go on to finish their book. Each day (if possible) work on what you can. Some days you will feel able to tackle the tough parts, other days you won’t. On those days that you can’t face the tough bits, work on something easier – a different chapter, the contents, spelling, front cover, back cover blurb, research, marketing plan – anything – as long as you are moving it forward, somehow, each day.

If you keep going, one way or another, you will get there – I promise. It is tremendously tough, even once you’ve completed your book too, but all so worth it.

Best of luck!

Author blog: www.jackieparry.com

Travel blog: www.noelandjackiesjourneys.com

Horse blog: http://helpinghandforhorses.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.parry.7543

Travels: https://www.facebook.com/NoelAndJackiesJourneys

Horses: https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-the-love-of-horses/1048526295173146

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00OT9CWV8

Amazon book links

A Standard Journey: viewBook.at/astandardjourney

Of Foreign Build:  viewBook.at/OfForeignBuild

Cruisers’ AA (accumulated acumen): viewBook.at/cruisersaa

This Is It: viewBook.at/thisisit

Audio Excerpt Of Foreign Build: http://goo.gl/AnsKRr

Twitter

https://twitter.com/NandJJourneys

https://twitter.com/StandardJourney


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What I’ve Learned Voyaging Around the World

I’ve sailed around the world one and half times with Noel, I’ve not only grown, I’ve learned so much… here are my thoughts after our second trip across the Pacific Ocean…  some of these learnings I use in talks at schools…

The tough times, make the good times, so much better!

The tough times, make the good times, so much better!

  • Sailing is my drug. When I’m scared, I feel alive; when times are tough, my senses are heightened. Surviving the demands of furious seas enhances calm anchorages.
  • I must feed my addiction of adrenaline-thumping emotions of electrifying fear and invigorating fright.
  • It doesn’t matter what we tackle as long as tension, terror, anticipation, and elation can have a punch-up in my gut and come out battered and bruised – but, still mates.
  • The most important part of seizing life by the scruff of the neck and relishing it is learning to love yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are living in paradise or a shoe-box; if you don’t like yourself, you won’t like your life. You must love the boat you have, and love the body (and mind) you have, too. If you don’t, a trip won’t change that, and it will never be special.
  • We must all face compromises to move forward in life. Many concessions are our own decision, but there are also penalties in how people perceive you, especially if you are a little different.
Being happy with what you have - what you are, and what you are doing - is the secret to happiness... oh, and have a purpose too...

Being happy with what you have – what you are, and what you are doing – is the secret to happiness… oh, and have a purpose too…

Be Different
I urge you to be different; step outside the box; allow your light to shine. We all make career, family, and money decisions. Whatever you do, someone somewhere will judge you.

Have faith, follow your inner compass, and be gracious, because then you can’t fail.

If that means standing away from the crowd and making yourself a prime target for opinionated people, then keep this in mind: those who are ostracised, judged, and questioned are remembered.

Be different (Ecuador)

Be different (Ecuador)

This Is It – 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat details our two-year trip crossing the Pacific Ocean

Of Foreign Build – From Corporate Girl To Sea Gypsy Woman details our nine-year circumnavigation on a small boat

A Standard Journey – 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent details our adventure living with five adopted horses in the Australian bush for several months.

If you want to know what we’re up to right now – on a Dutch barge in Europe, look here.

Author blog: www.jackieparry.com

Travel blog: www.noelandjackiesjourneys.com

Horse: http://helpinghandforhorses.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.parry.7543

Travels: https://www.facebook.com/NoelAndJackiesJourneys

Horses: https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-the-love-of-horses/1048526295173146

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00OT9CWV8

Amazon book links

A Standard Journey: viewBook.at/astandardjourney

Of Foreign Build:  viewBook.at/OfForeignBuild

Cruisers’ AA (accumulated acumen): viewBook.at/cruisersaa

This Is It: viewBook.at/thisisit

Audio Excerpt Of Foreign Build: http://goo.gl/AnsKRr

Twitter

https://twitter.com/NandJJourneys

https://twitter.com/StandardJourney

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7157763.Jackie_Sarah_Parry?from_search=true

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jackieparry7543

Linkedin https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jackieparry

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113148478675680852619/posts/p/pub

Photo album of A Standard Journey: http://goo.gl/1QgMp2

Photo album of Of Foreign Build: https://jackieparry.com/of-foreign-build-photo-album/

Photo album of Cruisers’AA: https://jackieparry.com/pics/

Photo album of This Is It: https://jackieparry.com/photos-this-is-it/

A Standard Journey FB Page: https://goo.gl/uV7NGY

Cruisers’ AA FB Page:  https://goo.gl/2vEnkB

Of Foreign Build FB Page: https://goo.gl/VvLT3M

Listen to me chat to Carol Graham (Never Ever Give Up) about sailing, pirates, adopting horses, and surviving life! http://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/69073/41215218

 


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From Author to Calendar Girl?

A cheeky smirk played on my lips when I read the new message,

“From Wednesday you are our Calendar Girl!”

I’m giggling again now, as I can imagine your eyes scanning down to find the Calendar Girl shot – whether excitedly or in horror!

You must banish all of these visions dear reader, as the reference to me being Calendar Girl, is my photography! But do not despair – read on…. there are ‘exciting’ shots to follow!

Sweet Flower Cottage

Sweet Flower Cottage

This was taken on the Canal du Centre, France, as we puttered by on our 1920s Dutch barge – which is our current home, project, and escapade.

DSC_0573r

Maybe this (below) is what you’d expect as a Calendar Girl!

9780987551542-Rev7_FrontCover for Danielle and marketing REDUCED - Copy

Admittedly, I am a few years older now, maybe a little softer in places and definitely sporting more grey hairs – I’ve earned every single one of them!

If you want to know why or how I’ve earned my grey highlights, laughter lines, and a life that is extraordinary, take a look at my sailing and horse-riding memoirs (Amazon link WITH excerpts):

A Standard Journey, 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent
Of Foreign Build, From Corporate Girl to Sea-Gypsy Woman

And just for being good sports and reading to the end of my post – here’s another recent picture that had Noel rolling his eyes! Well, a Calendar Girl has to have a beauty regime!

In the Rhone River, France, clay 'beauty' treatment (aka 'playing in mud!')

In the Rhone River, France, clay ‘beauty’ treatment (aka ‘playing in mud!’)

To find out more about this, you’ll have to start reading our travel blog

Do you have any grey-hair making moments on your travels you’d like to share?