Standing on the shoulders of Giants.

While sat watching the service of remembrance at this 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, 100 years to the day since the silent guns marked the end of World War 1, I am filled with gratitude.


Gratitude for the Men who left behind families they loved,  giving my family the lives we have today, and gratitude for the women who kept the home fires burning, taking on many of the traditional roles of the men as they were away serving their country.

This picture posted on Facebook a few weeks ago really hit me.  How easy it is to go through our lives day by day, completely forgetting the price that these men paid.  Yet we are living in a better world today because of their sacrifice.

I don’t find war easy to contemplate, I have a mind that is much happier thinking of pleasant things, and struggle to allow myself to think of the realities and horrors of countries at war.  But today I am watching, thinking and remembering as I quietly pay my respect to those ‘Giants on whose shoulders I am standing’.

I believe that we stand on the shoulders of so many giants.  Not just the soldiers who fought for our country in the first and second world wars, but of the many great men and women who have gone before us, who have laid the stones of the pavements on which we walk, and the foundations on which our lives are built

Each new generation is in some way standing on the shoulders of the last, reaping the benefits of the work that was done and the lessons that were learned.

While out in my car this afternoon with the radio on I was reminded of a song by Mike and the Mechanics  ‘The Living Years’ .   The lyrics were written by band members between the time of losing their own fathers and being about to become fathers themselves.  It’s a great song but today the words  ‘Every generation blames the one before’  weighed heavy on my heart, as surely along with the soldiers we are honouring we should be thanking them for what they have sacrificed and achieved in order to make our world a better, safer place.

I leave you with some inspirational quotes that touched me today.

George S. Patton, an American soldier
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

G.K. Chesterton, English author
“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”

Lane Allen Evans, American politician
“Without the brave efforts of all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines and their families, this nation, along with our allies around the world, would not stand so boldly, shine so brightly and live so freely.”




With love and gratitude

Alison x






Englands autumn shared.

Today is a typical English autumn day.  Its cold, calm and colourful, and I couldn’t help but get out with my camera to capture some of the beauty that’s surrounding us every day.  Why not join me as I walk through my local park and take some time to notice the splendour of the season.  It’s not quite cold enough yet for wooly hats and scarfs so just pop on a warm cosy jumper and we’re away.  Enjoy!!





Last year I wrote a post called Squirrel Sunday. .  I love watching them scurrying around in the autumn leaves and today was no different.





I actually think they were enjoying posing for me as they munched on all the lovely autumn foliage.


My last post was a poem about autumn called Autumns song .   I couldn’t help but recite it to myself today as I looked around me and took in the array of beautiful colours falling from the trees.  They really are very akin to the colours of the fruit we eat.



I do hope you’ve enjoyed this Sunday afternoon walk in England as much as i have. I think its time now to go home and enjoy a lovely cup of hot chocolate to which you are also welcome.

Happy Sunday x



Love Alison x






Autumns song

Driving a familiar route

I turn off the radio,

and tune into Autumns voice.

She’s singing a colourful melody

and notes of pumpkin, orange and lime

infuse the air.

Her jewel laden arms wave at me,

and I smile back

  as once again,

  asking nothing of me,

     she performs her most beautiful song



Love Alison x



Lifes ever changing landscape.

On friday last week I was sat by my mums grave having put some flowers in the vase, it would have been her 89th birthday.  I miss her, but the sun was shining and as I looked across the fields I felt at peace,  knowing that she had lived a good long life.

A few days earlier my neighbour was found laying in his garden, he had been suffering with ill-health for a while.  His life came to an end at the age of 48, and although we didn’t have a lot to do with each other I am really feeling his absence in the street.  He lived opposite me so I would often see him coming and going, but the fact that he is no longer there has changed the landscape of my life.

The natural landscape is changing all around us at the moment as mother nature begins to paint a new scene before our eyes.  She is taking her time over it but autumn is slowly emerging, and life is becoming full of colour and breath-taking beauty.  One thing we can always rely on is the ever-changing landscape of the seasons and we adjust and adapt fairly quickly.  A quick dig around for our favourite jumpers, jeans and boots and we are ready to go, but when the people who are part of that landscape are no longer there it takes a lot more time to adjust, and we are forced to take stock of our own lives.


When those we know or love are taken from us whether through old age or an unexpected event it’s as if the artist has erased that figure from the canvas, everything else looks the same but a vital part of our life’s painting is missing.  We have to gently and gradually work our way through until one day we can look at that painting again realizing that it actually looks ok, different but ok.

Isnt it so easy to take people for granted at times?  We can be so wrapped up in the busyness of our lives that we can forget to acknowledge our neighbours, those people who make up our daily landscape.  It seems a sad but true fact that we are sometimes more aware of their absence when the unexpected occurs than we were of their presence.

As we work our way through the beauty of this amazing season and take time to applaud the vibrancy of autumns best, why not take time to acknowledge those little strokes of colour that add interest and depth to our life’s landscape.  They may be a family member a neighbour, a shop worker or even the postman.  They all play a part.  And who knows how much colour you could add to their landscape with just an unexpected “hello” or “how are you?” or even an unexpected hug and “I love you”  (the postman would be smiling all the way down the road!!)


Why not give it a try, I’m quite sure that the landscape of your life will be all the more beautiful for it.





Love Alison x













Shiny brown autumn jewels.

Don’t you just love Autumn?  I think ive been asking that qute a lot in my last few blogs, but to me its just the season that  ‘keeps on giving’.

Over the last few days during walks with my dog Jess, I have been waiting.  Waiting for something to drop so I can scoop them up and put them in my bag, ready to be placed on a suitable dish when I get home.  Its something I do at this time every year as I like to bring a bit of autumn inside, and I love the feel of those shiny brown autumn jewels in my bulging pocket.  Yes you’ve got it, CONKERS!  I think in a previous life I may have been a Magpie as I love picking up something shiny and squirreling it away to be admired at a later date, although new research has shown that Magpies are actually afraid of shiny objects so maybe I would just have been a Squirrel.


Do you remember playing conkers at school?  I can, and I can remember being very afraid as I saw my opponents conker flying towards mine as it dangled timidly on its string, my arm outstretched to the point of being painful.  I would hope if I played it now that I would be a little less afraid, but I think I would probably still prefer to enjoy  them as they sit huddled together on a dish looking nice and autumnal, while possibly scaring away some of the spiders in my house, of which there are many.

Did you know that on finding your first conker of the season you are supposed to say  “oddly oddly onker, my first conker”  this is apparently supposed to ensure  ‘good fortune and few tangles through the coming season’.  I think that just avoiding playing conkers would do that for me! but I will leave you to give it a try.

For those of you who love the game here are a few tips to give you a chance of getting a Killer Conker.

1:  Place conkers in a bucket of water: those with damage inside will float to the top so best to choose one that sinks to the bottom.

2:  Soak your conker in vinegar.

3:  Bake in the oven.

4:   Use one of last years conkers.  Roald Dhal was a big conker fan.  He says, in his book ‘Roald Dahl, My Year’  that a ‘Formidable conker is one that has been stored in a dry place for at least a year’

Let me know if any of these tips work. Of course many schools have banned this game but I’m sure many still play it at home.  I do have a slight tinge of guilt at times when I see children looking for conkers under the tree near my house,  little knowing that the 55-year-old Magpie/Squirrel has already scooped them all up.

Autumn is such a lovely season for so many different reasons.  I do hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.  The colours, the aromas, warm cosy jumpers, sitting by the fire with a good book and a mug of something tasty.  And if your out on an autumn walk and can’t find any conkers please forgive me……I just can’t resist those shiny brown autumn jewels.






Love Alison x



Old friends and slippers

Long-Time-Friend-Quotes-006Last week I had a surprise autumn visit from a childhood friend.  We hadn’t seen each other for nearly 20 years but after just a few minutes together, intermingled with hugs, tears (mainly mine) and more hugs, we were chatting away as if we had never been apart.  That to me is the sign of true friendship, the kind that you can just slip on like that favourite old pair of slippers. You know, the ones that you mislaid somewhere along the line of life, but when you eventually find them again they are as comfy as they ever were.  Marina is just that kind of friend to me.

Do you have ‘Marinas’ in your life?  Friends that for one reason or another and without intention have faded from view, as families grow and life just gets, well,….busy! Somehow however many new friends we make, and as valuable as they are to us there is always something that remains strong and unique about the ones you grew up with.  Those friends who knew about your first kiss and who it was with,  or who shared your sleeping bag at a summer camp, even if, as is the case for me and Marina, we have allowed too many years to slip by without a hug.

Marina and I grew up in church circles and both went on to marry men who became ministers.  Oh the joys of being a ministers wife (another blog maybe!).  Marina is still married to her minister but mine unfortunately ‘threw in the collar’  in more ways than one, and during that time of change, for one reason or another, I mislaid many old friends from the past.

Over the years as we all do, I have made some very special new friends.  Friends who saw the mess and were there to help me clear it up.  Friends who came along at the right time and season.  2721725-Alan-Kay-Quote-A-new-friend-is-new-wine-when-it-grows-old-you-willThose friends are like new wine and as the days go by they are ageing into something very pleasant on the palate.  I’m not a big drinker but I’m always ready for a glass of Sue, Megan, Vivienne or Lynn when we get time to sit down together and share our news over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine

There are however for me just times in life when I have to search out that cosy pair of slippers, someone who knows me of old.   It’s even better when they just turn up unexpectedly as my lovely friend Marina did the other day.  Those friends we grew up with, who know where we’ve come from and share the memories of our youth.  Looking into the face of one of those friends is like looking in a mirror, they reflect something of ourselves and remind us of  what once was, while accepting us for the choices we’ve made, and who we have become,  because that’s what friends do.

I think I have quite a few old pairs of slippers that I havent looked out in a while.  What about you, do you have ‘Marinas’ hiding away at the back of the cupboard?  Why not  seek them out and dust them down, put them on, and remember just how very comfy they were.

You never know, they might be searching for an old pair of slippers too.




Love Alison x