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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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













Life after death. (A journey through grief)

My posts seem to be tinged with a little sadness at the moment, but I guess it’s just the way life is at times, and don’t we all have to take the rough with the smooth as we work our way through this amazing, beautiful, scary thing called LIFE.

Life isn’t a permanent smile on a social media selfie, however much a little internet surfing can make us feel that it should be.  It’s a complex mix of Sadness and laughter, Sorrows and Joys, Births and Deaths, Fear and Overcoming.  We all know that it takes ‘Sunshine and Rain’ to make a rainbow, and life is equally as colourful.  It’s this patchwork of emotions and circumstances that make up the rich tapestry of our lives, each complex square stitched together with threads of love and endurance.


One of the squares on my life’s quilt will have the word  ‘MUM’  running through the stitches like a stick of rock.  My mum died two years ago on the 1st June, and I still think about her everyday.  Life after death is a path we all have to tread when we loose someone we love, it can be a long, and difficult journey, and unfortunately not one that we can avoid or decide to take at another time, however much we might prefer to postpone it.

For a long time there was a gaping hole, a rip that only time could mend.  Sometimes its tempting to make a quick repair and hope nobody will notice, but just as any seam sewn quickly and without care, would sooner or later fray, so a heart that is broken needs time to mend and there is no easy or quick fix, especially in matters of the heart.

Grieving takes time.  To begin with the loss of our loved one is the first thought each morning, and the last at night. Days can feel like weeks as we begin to work our way through the intensity of our emotions.  These are the days that we need to make our self-care a priority.  Taking some time each day to do things that bring comfort and peace can help us cope, along with trying to eat well, and getting a good night sleep.  These things may be difficult at first but as time goes by they do become a little easier… honestly.  We begin to make small steps towards recovery,  and each new little burst of sunshine in our daily life helps to slowly dry the puddles of sadness that we are wading through.

It’s a time in our lives when we need the support of those closest too us.  Just a hug or a kind word of understanding can do wonders for a grieving heart.   Human touch is  powerful and healing.  We could all benefit from more of it on a daily basis, but for someone who is grieving just a hand-held, an arm touched or a hug given can often bring greater comfort than words, and allow space for a little sadness to be relieved.  Tears at this time are tears of healing and far better out than in.


Noticing the beauty around us can be really beneficial,  and help to bring us into the present moment.  Mother nature is around every corner,  waiting patiently for us to be ready to acknowledge her.  At first we are often too engrossed in our sadness to be able to do this, but as time moves us on we begin to see and hear all her amazing handiwork once again, and gradually we are drawn back into life.

The loss of any parent is hard.  My mum moved up to be near me in her later years and within a couple of months we found out that her days were limited.  We didn’t even have time to adjust to living close to each other before we were thrown into a myriad of appointments and specialists.  We then had to adjust to the fact that we were saying a very long goodbye, knowing that the end was near, but not knowing when it would be.

I’m so thankful that I was with her on her final journey.  It wasnt easy and there were times when I would have happily postponed it or decided to take a different route if that had been an option, but I know I did my best, and knowing my mum, that is all she would have expected of me.

I love you Mum x.






Love Alison x



Patchwork quilt made with love by Raye Smillie.




Parfum de tomate.

Grief can be a tricky emotion to navigate,  but for many of us the experience is very much like the waves on the sea.  To begin with those waves are like a tsunami, hitting us unexpectedly with a force that we can’t control and can’t escape however hard we try,  but as time passes they become a little less powerful and we become more adept at surfing the waves than being knocked down by them.  Since my mum passed away it has taken me a good year to get to a place where I’m aware that the gaps between the waves are getting wider, and I can enjoy the moments of still clear water before I have to jump the next one or just let it wash over me.

A few weeks ago I bought a tomato plant.  I didn’t think anything of it as I was choosing it, or paying for it, or taking it to the car,  but as me and my tomato plant began the journey home a wave hit.   The sweet aroma of tomatoes suddenly found its way to my olfactory nerves and there it was the  ‘Ivy wave’  forceful enough to create a need to pull over and be still as I let the wave pass.  My mum wasn’t one for perfumes but for as long as I can remember she always grew tomatoes.   One day in the home when she was feeling particularly low she said  “I don’t even have any tomatoes to water”  well that was my cue,  off I went to the garden centre and by the evening she had 2 tomato plants growing on her window sill.  It didn’t take much to put a smile on a sad face and the standing joke in the home was that she would soon be selling tomatoes on a stall outside her room.   Had she lived to see the first tomato that wouldn’t have surprised me.

A couple of days ago I discovered the first shiny red jewel hanging amongst the green leaves of my tomato plant and picking it with pride I popped it into my mouth, how could I not be filled with thoughts of my mum.  When I was a little girl she used to cut them up into little pieces and sprinkle sugar on them which I’m sure would be frowned on now but It certainly tasted good.  As i crunched down on my first home-grown tomato my mouth was filled with the fresh sweet taste of the little red fruit and my mind was filled with fresh sweet memories.

I may not be reminded of my mum as I go past the perfume counter in boots and get a waft of  ‘eau de something’,  but I think as I follow in my mums footsteps and become the next generation of tomato growers that I will remember my mum for the smell of ‘Parfum de tomate’ .