Thoughts

I Want My Way

While sat on my sofa, comfortably watching tv in the home that I have known and loved for the last 12 years, my thoughts turned to Gary and his family, who over the last few weeks have suffered a loss that I personally find unimaginable.  I have followed Gary’s blog since I joined this lovely WordPress family and have so enjoyed reading about his life’s journey, until a couple of weeks ago when I read his blog and my heart broke.

I am quite sure if you have time to read it that you will understand why.

Thoughts are with you and your family Gary.

Love Alison x

Another Picture On The Wall

I lived in a house, no let me start over. I lived in a home that echoed with 30 years worth of our laughter, sweat, anxiety, celebrations, arguments, prayers, tears, Easter egg hunts, middle of the night conversations, daughters’ boyfriends I did not approve of, memories initiated from old photos, music, and hundreds of birthday candles being blown out just after a personal wish that was never, ever shared but always well contemplated before being chosen.

A fire swept through that home 12 days ago and now those echoes have been turned to ashes and blown miles from Paradise California. Perhaps some will eventually mingle with the echoes of your life and loves.

I want to go home. I want all those things back. I want thousands of people’s sufferings to be reversed. I want to wake up from the nightmare. Just like that toddler throwing a tantrum in the…

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Thoughts

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.

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Love Alison x

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Thoughts

The sweet smell of stationary.

“Dont you just love New York in the fall?  It makes me want to buy school supplies.  I would send you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils if I knew your address, on the other hand this not knowing has its charms.”

Well I’m definitely not in New York,  and it’s not quite ‘the fall’ or ‘autumn’ as us brits call it, but I’m sure many of you will recognize this quote from what has to be my very favourite movie ‘Youve got Mail’.  This film and of course the charming Tom Hanks is the reason for all my romantic notions in life.  It has been watched so many times that I have lost count, but I still keep popping it into the machine.   It continues to charm and cheer me, and leave me with a lovely warm romantic glow.  Tom Hanks always comes to mind at this time of year as I enter the super market and get a waft of  ‘eau de stationary’ whilst standing in front of all those lovely pens, pencils and notebooks,  all freshly laid out in readiness for the new school term.

Can I ?  Should I ?  Nothing tempts me more than the thought of a lovely unused new notebook, waiting to begin its journey of ideas, or a cute, colourful pencil-case filled with fresh items ready to be put to use.  I think I will treat myself.   Even though most of my writing is done on my mac I love to have a pretty new pen for diary writing, and I’m always jotting things down that I think I will want to revisit at another time.  Do you do this?  Hopefully I’m not alone as I stand wishfully in the stationary aisle, mouth-watering as if a child standing at the sweet counter.

I’m quite sure that many of my blogging friends would feel the same, and I have to join with Tom and say that “I would send you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils if I knew your address, on the other hand this not knowing has its charms.”   At this point in the film, for those who (I can’t believe have never watched it),  the two main character’s are still communicating by email and havent actually met.  I feel like I have made so many new friends since I started my blogging journey and yet the  ‘not really knowing you all’  does have certain charms.  Would we like each other if we met?  Would we get on? or is it the not knowing each other that keeps us in this place?  A place of safety maybe?

Whatever our reasons I know that I have personally learnt so much from all of you and your varied pastimes and thoughts, and so value your continued interest in reading and following my thoughts on this blog.

To that end I would like to send you all your very own ‘bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils’.  I’m hoping that you will enjoy the beautiful colours and scent as much as I do.

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Love Alison x

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Thoughts

Who sacked the Teapot?

Do you remember when?… Oh gosh I must be getting older if I’m starting a sentence like that…Oh well here goes.  Do you remember when you used to use a Teapot?  You know, that chubby, homely looking piece of pottery, with a spout and a handle that used to sit comfortably in your kitchen.  Perhaps you are one of the few who still use one, or could possibly locate one at the back of your cupboard if you looked hard enough.  Maybe after reading this blog you might even be inspired to get it out and give it a dust.. Do let me know.

‘Legend has it that in the year 2737 BC tea leaves from the Camellia Sinensis tree floated down into a bowl of water being boiled for Shen Nung the Emporer of China.  Finding that he rather enjoyed the taste he continued drinking “tay”.  Tea didn’t reach Europe until 1610 when Dutch traders brought it back to Holland and of course now it is the drink of choice for us Brits and many others throughout Europe’.  An interesting bit of trivia!

The Teapot which came later was at first used for just one or two cups, and often carried around for personal use.  The drinker would apparently drink straight from the spout. Hmm, maybe worth a try although I think I prefer mine in a mug unless im on a posh day, or having a ‘remembering my mum moment’ in which case a china cup and saucer is definitely preferred.

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I guess we have the  ‘T bag’  to blame for the decline of the Teapot, it’s so much quicker and easier to just chuck one in a mug and drown it in water, but is that the answer?  Is quicker and easier better? or are we loosing something in the passing by of the Good ol’ Teapot, and the time it takes to make an old-fashioned brew.

I think we are.  The Teapot symbolizes friendship, companionship, chatting and sharing.  It says  ‘Im making time for you’.  Picture a plump, brightly coloured Teapot sat in the middle of a table, surrounded by a group of friends sharing their deepest troubles and joys.  The Teapot sits quietly, nonchalantly.  Faithfully doing its job of keeping the tea warm while listening in to the chattering voices that surround it,  understanding the importance of quietly kept confidences.  From time to time it smiles as it’s lifted up and tilted towards a favourite mug or tea-cup, as friends happily share from one vessel.  The Teapot unites us.

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Time is such a precious commodity and yet how often do we hear people say  ‘I havent got time’  or  ‘I havent had time’  or  ‘there just aren’t enough hours in the day’.  Maybe they should go and buy a Teapot, and enjoy the old-fashioned ritual.  The warming of the pot, the waiting for it to brew, deciding to have just one more cup before it goes cold.  It really is an art form and one that is sadly fading.

I think my recipe for a good cup of tea would be this:

1 whistling kettle, 1 Tea pot, 1 mug, 1 tsp tea leaves, a little milk (I prefer goats milk) 1 tsp of time and 1 tsp patience.  A little sunshine always helps along with a good friend.(recipe to be adjusted for two). Oh and dont forget the strainer!

Try it and let me know how you got on.. you may find that taking some time, actually produces more,  as relaxation and the taste of a good well made cuppa recharges your batteries and restores you.

I always feel quite sad when I break a tea-pot.  I just think they hold such precious daily memories.  It’s usually the lid that gets broken and once that has gone you really need to go and buy a new one, but I always find it hard to throw the old one away and often try to think of a good use for a lidless Pot.

I was faced with throwing this one away the other day.  Its been sat on a shelf for a long time,  but I really didn’t want to part with it as it holds memories of a certain time of my life.  Thankfully I found a new use for it and although I don’t have a picture I was excited to see a little blue tit flying in and out of it the other day enjoying a good meal.

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Its seems to me that there was no good reason to sack the Teapot,  but I can think of lots of reasons to reinstate it.

 

 

Love Alison x

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Thoughts

Has anyone seen my glasses?

Oh how often I can be heard using this phrase.  I don’t wear glasses all the time but as I’ve got older, and as is so often the case, I have become long-sighted.  I have to wear glasses for any close up work such as reading, blogging, sewing and so on.  I have such a clear memory of my mum at the same age, and remember watching her lowering her deep red hymn book in church to a position where she could clearly make out the words, luckily like me she had very long arms.  This week however it’s not my reading glasses that I’ve misplaced, but my  ‘Rose Tinted’  ones,  and I desperately need to find them again as life is, well just rosier with them on.

I think they must have loosened a little as my week started off with the sad news of a friend’s death.  This was a double-edged sword as I hadn’t been in contact with this friend for a long time, and although we had at one point been quite close somehow we had drifted apart, and neither of us had made the effort to stay in touch.  I’m sure this happens to many of us,  but these moments of realization often have a way of hitting us smack in the face, with a touch of reality and a tinge of regret.

A few days later while at the doctors for a routine appointment,  my glasses slipped down a little further as I threw a smile at someone I recognized across the crowded waiting room.  Walking over to greet her properly I came face to face with the knowledge that she was a very weakened version of the person I had known.  Taking the time to put my arm around her and listen to her story I discovered that she had been through breast cancer surgery having inherited the ‘BRCA’  gene, and although in recovery of sorts she had a long way to go.  I was in awe at her courage and acceptance of her condition,  and as I walked away I hoped that my small contribution of friendship had helped, if only a little.

This situation immediately reminded me of a very strong, very brave young lady, who is a special friend of my daughter Charlotte.  Due to being a carrier of the ‘BRCA1’ gene,  Abbie has had to make an incredibly difficult decision at a very young age, but whilst sat with my friend at the doctors and seeing the card that life had dealt her I felt certain that she has done the right thing.  Abbies’ heartfelt story  is well worth a read.

With my  ‘Rose Tinted’ glasses now well and truly misplaced I was thrown into my own personal conundrum when a day intended to be spent in the sunshine changed into a day helping my son Simon out of a very black hole, as the reality of independent living hit an all time low.  That boy needs a lot of  love, kindness, patience and friendship to see him through,  but im hoping that time, encouragement and support will bring more confidence in his new situation.  (Simons Story)

Well what a week, im hardly surprised that ive lost something important to me as things are usually misplaced at times like these, but as things settle down we usually find them again.  One thing ive learnt this week is that life is so precious.  We can waste so much time wishing our lives were different, wishing that we had that house or that car or were going on that holiday, but you only have to look into the eyes of someone who really knows what suffering is to know that you have everything you need.  Right here, right now, in this moment.  We just have to appreciate it and be thankful.

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Love Alison x

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Thoughts

Painful blog beginnings.

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My blogging journey began after a very nasty fall that found me in a heap at the bottom of my proudly painted stairs, which incidentally were painted with a non slip floor paint, hmm!!  My country living ideas may need a little..tweeking.  Coming down in socks was not one of my better ideas and I also seem to remember that I may have been holding something in each hand which left me unable to grab the hand rail as I fell, my second faux pas!  Sometimes life brings us to a halt when we are least expecting it.  That fall certainly stopped me in my tracks, and although loads better I am still not quite there. It was an unexpected trip in itself but as the saying goes  ‘When life gives you lemons Blog’!  well almost.  A bitter life experience gave me the time to begin my blogging journey, and what an interesting and sweet lemonade tasting journey its been.

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On my travels through the blogging world over the last few months I have met some really interesting people, some of which I have grown quite fond of as I have read and followed lives and stories from many different countries around the globe.  Geography was one of my least favourite subjects at school, but I have taken so much pleasure from seeing my humble thoughts being read in countries I have hardly even heard of.  Knowing that something I have written may have put a smile on the face of someone on the other side of the world has kept me warm on cold days, and touched my heart as much as I hope I have touched theirs.

I have loved reading about the ups and downs of the daily lives of people who,  like myself, enjoy putting pen to paper or finger to laptop.  It kind of puts my own life into perspective.  I could mention so many different blogs but here are a few of my favourites.

  1.  How to renovate an old run down house in France if you decide to live your dream of  ‘the good life’.  Judi Castille writes about her own ‘good life’ experiences in her lovely blog A French Homestead Life  .  Judi was one of the very first people to comment on my first post as I took the plunge into the WordPress waters.  I’m so glad she did as her positive comments and encouragement pushed me forward to find my voice and I’m still using it 7 months later.
  2. How to stay tucked up in your house as a big brown bear ambles past your car on the driveway (can’t say Id be happy with that), or how to bring a very poorly chicken back to life with a lot of patience and love.  I stumbled across Gary’s Blog One Life quite by accident but I’m so glad I did.  He has so often made me chuckle as I drink my morning cuppa but I am also touched by his heartfelt words and his Spiritual journey.
  3. How to write a good Haiku.. I enjoy writing poetry but have never tried this style. I have however loved reading the poems and thoughts of another lovely lady in her blog The cronechronicler .

The thing I have come to love about blogging is that you get to meet such a wide variety of people, of all ages, and from all walks of life, and I have begun to realize that we all have so much to gain and learn from each other.

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This week I received this badge of honour to say that I had reached the milestone of 100 followers and it was a great little moment.  I blog because I love to write, I’m not expecting fame or fortune, but it somehow works for me at this moment in time.  100 followers is a rather lovely boost and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for taking the time to stop by, and especially to those who have taken their coats off and lingered a while.  If I could offer you a vanilla latte and a slice of cake I definitely would.

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My reasons for starting this blog may have been rather painful at first,  but each post has carried me through a little further and reading about the lives of so many different people from so many different places has been a heart warming journey in itself.

Thankyou.

 

Love Alison x