"Although I was born and raised near San Francisco, California, USA, I have lived in Britain since 1988 when I married.
"The deal was if he passed his Bar exams, I would quit my job in insurance, and go to Northumberland, see how I liked it for a year and then we would decide where our future together would be. We spent our honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies discussing how and why if he were an examiner, my husband would surely have failed. He flew back to the UK and arrived the morning the results were printed in The Times. The first time through, he missed his name but then saw it -- the examiners had not followed his fears, but had passed with him with a high mark. My hand trembled as I hung up the phone. It had come to pass. I was about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime.
"I gave my notice to my manager who was sorry to lose me, made arrangements for furniture to be sent across the Atlantic and started reading Catherine Cookson novels to get a flavour of the area. For although I spent my junior year of college at Lancaster University, I had not bothered to travel to the North East.
"After reading about ten novels and Catherine Cookson’s autobiography, I thought -- oh no what have I done here and rapidly checked with my manager I could return to my job if things did not work out. I need not have worried. Northumberland is beautiful, truly a forgotten corner of the British Isles with green fields, stone buildings and a landscape littered with castles, and Roman remains. I fell in love with the North East, and in particular with the Tyne Valley. So after, all this time, with three children, two dogs, two cats, and assort of chickens and ducks, I believe we are settled."
TAKEN BY THE VIKING
A Viking raid
They claimed they came in peace, but soon Lindisfarne was aflame. Annis of Birdoswald fled in fear, but she could not escape the Norse warriors.
An honorable captor
One man protected her—Haakon Haroldson. The dark, arrogant Viking swept Annis back to his homeland, taking her away from all she held dear.
A new life—as his mistress!
Now Annis must choose between the lowly work that befits a captive, or a life of sinful pleasure in the Viking's arms!
Making a Meal of It -- two thousand years of English Cookery English Heristage
Consuming passions -- Judith Flanders
The Victorian House -- Juidth Flanders
Behind the Scenes Domestic Arrangements in Historic House by Christina Hardyment
Decency & Disorder --The Age of Cant -- Ben Wilson
Life in London by Pierre Egan
The Industrial Revolutionaires -- Gavin Weightman
Dancing into Battle --A Social History of the Battle of Waterloo -- Nick Foulkes
Women in the Viking Age -- Judith Jesch
Queen Emma and the Vikings -- Harriet OBrien
TheVikings Magnus Magnusson
The Vikings Else Rosedahl
In Search of the Dark Ages Micheal Wood
Rubicon --Tom Holland
In the Name of Rome: The Men who won the Roman Empire -- Adrian Goldsworthy
Roman Cookery --MarkGrant
Cambridge Illustrated History:Roman World
Michelle will give away one copy of a reader's choice from her books to one person who posts a comment today! She's a sweetheart, isn't she?