Thoughts

Primroses in the Peaks.

I was short on ideas for my blog this weekend until yesterday when I found myself walking along the banks of a stream that runs along the field at the back of our cottage.

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There they were ‘Primroses’, and there was I, back on the banks of the Old East Grinstead Railway that ran along the end of my childhood home. My mind was suddenly awash with memories and a real sense of joy, all evoked by a simple yet delicate little yellow flower.

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Do you have anything like primroses that when sighted brings you a sense of pleasure as they whisk you back to your Childhood days? A friend was telling me the other day that Gorse bushes always make him happy as they remind him of his younger days, he always has to stop and smell them and get a waft of that coconutty, vanilla smell.  I’ve been walking around smelling gorse ever since as we are surrounded by it, and it definitely has a very pleasant aroma. Folklore says ‘you should only kiss your beloved when gorse is in flower’, luckily gorse or a close relative I’m told, tends to be in flower pretty much all year so don’t worry, kissing can continue. Phew!!

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Those primroses gave me a real spark of pleasure as they reminded me of days spent in shorts and wellies, scrambling or often slipping down one bank, across the old disused railway line, and up the bank on the other side. I can remember a time when those banks were completely covered in a pretty yellow carpet, but I can also remember them disappearing as people began to dig them up and plant them in their gardens. At least that is what I remember being told. I have many memories of picking small bunches and taking them back home to my mum, although by the time I had slipped down one bank and crawled up the other I doubt the primroses looked quite so attractive but the thought was there.

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In the old Victorian ‘Language of flowers’. the primrose symbolized ‘Young Love’ and the sense of ‘I can’t live without you’ but somehow as we get older we realize that life does go on even without those who we have held dear, and maybe that’s why primrose moments however fleeting are so special as they remind us for just a brief moment of those we have loved and lost, and help us to realize that we have moved forward and are remembering them with happiness rather than sadness.

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I couldn’t help but pick just a very small bunch of these pretty yellow flowers, just to keep those happy memories around for a while, and although much more grown up now I doubt you will be surprised that I was still in my shorts and wellies.

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Wishing everyone a happy and blessed Easter Weekend.

 

 

Love Alison x

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Thoughts

Lambs in the Peaks.

The days are getting lighter and longer, and row upon row of daffodils, like long-legged ladies in bonnets are swaying from side to side in the easterly wind.

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However,  nothing says ‘Spring is coming’ more to me than the arrival of adorable fluffy white lambs in the fields.  I’ve always got my camera at the ready at this time of year and normally a visit to a special countryside friend is needed.  This year however I am lucky to be surrounded by lambs in the fields of the Peak District and can’t help but stop as I see them gamboling and skipping innocently across the countryside.

Oops no gamboling or skipping here just lambs sleeping like babies in the midday sun.

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There is something about a mothers love whatever the species, the word unconditional ‘springs’ to mind’ as I watched this little guy pushing the limits while his mum just continued to munch away.

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Love is patient!

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Making friends is fun.  Some of our strongest friendships are the ones we make when we are young.

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And it’s always good to spend time with a special friend, one to one.

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Nothing is better than when one of your children wanders up to you and says ‘I love you mum’

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After a long day gamboling and skipping and sleeping!  It’s time to follow mum, stay close.

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Stick together.

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Don’t get left behind!!

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Gratitude at the end of a long day.

 

 

 

Love Alison

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Thoughts

When the timing is right.

2018 has been a year of significant change for this Sussex girl in the Midlands, and avid ‘rose tinted spectacle’ wearer.  Looking back as I come to the end of the first week of 2019,  I am amazed at the changes that have occurred, and am immensely proud of the way in which my family and I have adapted and adjusted to those changes.

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Oh how true I find this quote to be.  Sometimes we yearn for change when we are stuck in a difficult situation, especially when it goes on for a long time, and we can see no light at the end of the tunnel.  For those of you who have been following my blog, you will know that I have been mum and carer to my son Simon for the last 32 years.  As a single mum for 20 of those years I’m sure you can imagine that there were many times when change was needed, if only in the form of a break.  I longed for the wind to blow in a different direction, but as my mum would often say to me,  “keep plodding on Alison”  so I would adjust my sails and continue to float, wondering if the wind would ever blow my way.

This time last year we were busy packing, buying and preparing for a change that I really never thought would happen.  Simon had been given the opportunity to move into supported living accommodation.  He would have his own flat, but there would be on site carers to help him with the daily tasks in life that he finds too challenging, and sometimes too unsafe to cope with alone.  The day he was handed his key is a day that I will never forget, and a day that brought positive change for both of us.  And although Simon will always keep us on our toes with his antics, I guess I could say that it’s a day when the wind definitely blew in a different direction.

This massive, unexpected change has taken some adjusting too.  Over Christmas, Simon was sat chatting with me and said: “Mum, when I spent my first night in Parklands I felt like crying, I felt so alone”.  My heart broke a little as I sat listening to him, but also gave a little jump of pride as I sat looking at my son, who with all his difficulties has stuck with his new situation, however hard he found it at first.  He now has far more support not just from me but from his family as a whole, and our relationship is vastly improved.

Meanwhile, as we were working our way through the Simon Changes there was another rather lovely life change on its way.  My first grandchild Arlo Frank was born on the  21st of July.  A lovely healthy baby boy and thankfully safely delivered at home.  Over the next few days Mum, Dad, and baby Arlo began to work their way through those first tentative days as a new little family.  I have to say that I am so proud of those two newbie parents, and the amazing job they are doing of caring for my grandson and each other.

Well, what a year!  I became an empty nester and a Nonna in the space of a few months. I’m sure those of you reading this who are already grandparents, will know what I mean when I say that the unexpected love I feel for that little boy is incredible.

Just over two years ago I had a bad fall downstairs which my body is still recovering from, but looking back on 2018, a year of major change, I am also proud of myself for what I have achieved during a time of personal difficulty.  I have also learnt to look after myself, to pace myself and to have faith in the adage that ‘time is a great healer’.

We can I’m sure be proactive in making changes in our lives, but sometimes we have to be willing to sail through the storm however long or hard it may be.  We have to learn to adjust our sails and take a day at a time, until one day the wind begins to gently blow our way……….when the ‘timing is right’.

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Now here’s to a great 2019!!

 

 

 

Love Alison x

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Thoughts

The faces of Christmas.

Another Christmas now is past

a Santa sack full of  memories made,

of smiles and laughter, and love expressed

as gifts were shared, and games were played.

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And carols were sung across the world,

and fires were lit, in houses both big, and small

and hearts overflowed, with emotions raw, and new

remembering those who’ve gone, but warmed by those held close.

And as the days of Christmas fall silently behind

hope stirs in our hearts, of what is to come.

A new year ahead, an unwritten page,

an adventure waiting,

a new journey…….yet to be taken.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL X.

 

 

Love Alison xx

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Thoughts

Wrapped in Love.

A few days ago I was having a conversation with one of my grown-up sons about our families’ Christmas traditions.  After talking for a while he said:  “Mum, Christmas is all about the presents”.  For a minute I was a little shocked.  Having been brought up in a religious family, but not having religiously followed that route I felt momentarily sad, and a little guilty that my son held that view.  But then I started thinking about our Christmases as a family over the years, and the joy of our present giving ceremony,  and I realized that my sons’ sentence held a lot more meaning than I had at first thought.

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I always love this time of year when conversations start to turn to what everyone would like.  I have always encouraged my children to either buy or make presents for each other, as well as expecting a present from me or a stocking from Santa.  It’s never been a competition, there has never been any expectation to spend a certain amount, but I love the fact that at this celebratory time of the year they all have a reason to stop for a moment, think about one another, and decide what they can give to show their love.

It made me realize that the presents we give to each other are not just about the gift inside, but about the process of giving.  We take time to think about that special person, we consider their needs and wants, we talk about it, we shop for it, and then we choose the paper and ‘wrap it in love’.  Seeing my Christmas tree surrounded by presents is like seeing all the love our family holds for each other in one place on one day

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As a family, we sit down after a scrumptious breakfast and then one by one, each family member gets their presents from under the tree and hands them out to those around them.  We wait patiently until the last person has their present then we all open them together.  A chorus of thanks is heard, quite often accompanied by a little surprise or laughter at what was inside and at times maybe a few tears.   It’s a special time and I always feel a real sense of pride as I see the love they have for each other, expressed in the gifts they are giving.

After a little thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that Christmas might not be all about the presents, but it is definitely about the gift.  The gift of love that is expressed through our traditions, whatever religious beliefs we might hold in our hearts, and the gift of a family,  who having faced the highs and the lows of the year,  take time to wrap each other in love around the Christmas tree.

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Love Alison x

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