Saturday, April 6, 2013

12 Days of Krista May Rose by Rebeccah Giltrow:Tens List and Excerpt



Rebeccah is a writer by trade, with skills of varying degrees in knitting, baking, EFL teaching, performing, photography, dog-walking, sleeping, painting, and procrastinating.

Rebeccah has been a writer since she can remember, but after graduating from University of Essex in 2005 with B.A. (hons) English Language & Literature, and again in 2008 with M.A. Literature: Creative Writing, she decided to take the craft more seriously. Rebeccah honed her writing skills and became an avid follower of the Oulipo.

As well as writing, she regularly performs at the New Words, Fresh Voices open mic night at The Seagull Theatre in Lowestoft, where she reads her poetry and short stories.

When she's not writing, Rebeccah enjoys producing visual art, and occasionally takes photos, paints pictures, and makes collages. Her work has been shown at The Halesworth Gallery, The Ferini Gallery, and Lowestoft Arts Centre.
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What are your 10 least favorite foods?


I generally eat anything and I’m always up for trying something new, but there are some foods that I can’t even bear to think about, let alone put on my fork!


  1. Celery – I know it’s good for you, and apparently you burn more calories eating it than it actually contains.  But it is disgusting!  I can’t even eat anything that contains celery and pick it out.  It leaves its flavour on everything it touches, evil vegetable.
  2. Cabbage – I don’t know if it has something to do with how my Mum used to cook it, but she would boil the life out of it so it turned into a grey, sloppy mess.  So I guess I dislike the texture more than the flavour.
  3. Stew – I’m not a fan of food that is all one colour.  Someone once said that first we eat with our eyes then with our mouth.  I like my plate to contain a few different colours, not just one brown/orange gloopy puddle.
  4. Dark chocolate – I’m a woman.  I love chocolate.  Those two things, naturally, go hand in hand.  But dark chocolate is just too bitter.  It doesn’t give me that satisfying kick that milk or white chocolate gives.
  5. Jelly beans – Again, this is a texture thing more than a taste thing.  I like other chewy/jelly sweets but jelly beans are a bit too grainy for my liking.
  6. Kiwi fruit – Its furry skin is very off-putting.  If it looked/felt different I might want to venture inside.
  7. Salt and vinegar crisps – No matter how healthy my mouth feels, salt and vinegar crisps always manage to find the tiniest cuts, with their super sour powers!
  8. Oranges – I like orange juice and orange flavoured chocolate/sweets, but actual oranges are too sour.  And I don’t like the work you have to put in to eat one.  Peeling off the skin, then the horrible white stringy bits; it just takes too long!
  9. Chili peppers – I have a sensitive little tongue, and anything with too much heat or spice plays havoc with my tastebuds.
  10. Anything with ‘low fat’ in the title – Low fat also means low flavour.  I’m a full fat kind of person, and I think everyone else should be too.  We should enjoy what we eat, and it’s impossible to genuinely enjoy low fat foods.  We try to convince ourselves that we like it because it’s healthy, but we all know it’s a lie.  We’d rather be eating a cream cake or a juicy steak, right?!



It's Christmas, times twelve.  The traditional song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ inspires this series of poignant, festive tales.  Follow Krista May Rose as she experiences ups and downs over her life's Christmases, from her Christmas school play, to an Aussie crimbo barbie, to her hen night, to a trip to the hospital for her sister's ultrasound, to an awkward lunch at the in-laws', to the anniversary of her mother's death.

Accompany Krista on her journey from childhood to old age, stopping off at twelve Christmases throughout her life, and free your emotions along with her as she relates her stories attached to this eventful time of year.

It’s Christmas.  It’s 1981.  I am not yet born and yet I am very much alive.  I let my mother know this on a regular basis in a variety of ways.  Right now I am wriggling and twisting and making myself comfortable on her bladder.  She, not happy by my movement, is clenching her muscles and running up the stairs, letting out a frustrated whine as her fingers forget how to unbutton buttons.

When she returns she sits in the armchair watching my father prepare Christmas dinner.  The smell of the meat roasting makes her feel a bit nauseous so she sits at a safe distance from the kitchen; close enough to keep an eye on my father just in case he causes irreversible damage on a similar scale to his exploits eight months ago, but far enough away to avoid vomiting all over the floor.

Sally, our border collie cross Labrador cross retriever cross I don’t know what else, sits at her feet, taking care of us.  The low growl from her stomach reverberates through my mother’s feet, up her legs and into her lower torso.  I can hear everything.  Her tail flaps slowly, not really in any sort of rhythm.  She just wants to let us know she’s there. 

“She’s changed,” my mother remarks, “all because of you.”  She strokes my head and smiles.  “She never used to be this calm,” she continues, “especially if there was a chance of food falling onto the floor.” 

My father accidentally knocks some potato peelings off the worktop and as they float down Sally lifts her head but doesn’t move from my mother’s feet.  “I remember,” my father laughs, “when she would have pre-empted the falling food and would have been sitting at my feet with her mouth open to catch it.”

My father walks over to us and kisses my mother on the head.  Sally gives a bark of permission.  He asks my mother if she wants a drink and I’m thirsty so I know she must want one too.  He brings her lemonade in a china teacup.  When she’s not drinking from it, she stores the cup in a cupboard on its own, away from all other drinking vessels, to avoid cross contamination from the glass and the plastic and the earthenware.  She takes a sip, sending the cool liquid straight into me.  It bubbles and she burps.  I am used to this.  She gets indigestion and trapped wind all the time.  It makes her body jiggle.

She watches my father as he uses every pot and pan and utensil to prepare the dinner.  He knows it’s pretty pointless as it will only be him and Sally enjoying the meal, but it’s Christmas and it’s tradition and it must be done.

Christmas songs are playing in the background.  My mother sings along even though she doesn’t always know the words.  She’s dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones she used to know.  She leans forward to look out of the window, momentarily squashing me.  It’s ok, I’m used to it, but it’s a small price to pay in exchange for this snuggly, warm womb.  I never want to leave. 
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12 Days of Krista May Rose

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