Thoughts

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.

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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.

 

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Love Alison x

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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

Its on its way!

 

Do you have a favourite season?  Autumn is definitely mine.  I just love this time of year when things begin to change and  ‘you can just smell Autumn’.  I seem to remember using that line in an earlier blog post, but its the way I feel each year as the North Pole begins to lean away from the sun, and the autumnal Atlantic winds begin to blow.

As mother nature begins to prepare herself for the months ahead, life gets quite busy. Our feathered friends will begin to migrate to warmer climates.  Squirrels will be scurrying around burying their nuts and forgetting where they put them, and hedgehogs, dormice and bats will eat lots of fruit, nuts and insects to store up body fat, as they prepare for their long lay in during the winter months.  I can just imagine them snuggled in their duvets in their cozy holes with a warm pot of insect tea beside their beds.   Those of us with two legs will be starting to think of warm woolies and winter fuel and dare I say it…Christmas.

Ok so maybe we are not quite out of the summer yet and hopefully there is still some good weather ahead, but something has definitely changed and as always, it excites me.

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The landscape will begin to change from tranquil green to a vivid array of reds, browns  and orange, as leaves change their colour, and fall gently to the ground.  Below my feet will be a crisp crunchy carpet which while my man would prefer to sweep it up, I would prefer to kick it around with childish glee, and when no one is looking I certainly will.  (sorry Mark!)

Autumn brings thoughts of scarves and wellies and brisk country walks, followed by a mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and cream.  Hmmm if I carry on with this line of thought I’ll begin to look like a dormouse, comfortably nourished and ready for the coming months in my snug little home, but you get my drift I’m sure.  I just think Autumn is such a cosy season.

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Tom Hanks (in the film ‘Youve got Mail”) might think that New York in the fall is something worth shouting about, but this Sussex girl in the midlands thinks that Autumn in England is pretty cool too, and it’s definitely a season which encourages creativity.  My next few posts will be tinged with autumnal colours and vibes and I hope you will enjoy reading them, and by the way if you can’t get hold of me over the weeks ahead don’t worry,

I’m probably not far away!

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Love Alison x

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Thoughts

Lifes Dance.

 

Change draws near,  as

summer greens fade,  and

cool winds begin to blow.

Movement replaces the stillness,  of

a sun scorched day,  as trees begin to dance to

the tune of the autumn breeze.

Leaves, having adorned the summer, slowly

lose their grip on the life they’ve known, and

 a new landscape emerges .

Life’s encircling brings change, colours brighten, and fade

with each passing season.

From the warm joy of the sun,  to

the cool bite of the wind, we dance to the tune of

that which life brings.

We dance till the day,  just as green summer leaves,  we too

loose our grip, on the life we have known.

But its the dancing that makes life worth living,  and

its the dance that one day,

                                                                  takes us home.

 

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Love Alison x

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Thanks to my daughter Charlotte for dancing her way through life and for providing me with a great feature photo.

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

Grandog Day!

For those of you who follow my blog you will know that I have just been blessed with a lovely healthy grandson.  We are all so thankful for the safe arrival of Arlo Frank and Im sure our roles in his little life will gradually find their definition, but while mum, dad and baby are learning the ropes of parenthood I am left with a very different kind of role,  that of looking after my grandog!

A couple of weeks before Arlo frank was born, my eldest sons girlfriend lost her best friend during childbirth.  Sadly having just given birth to a healthy baby boy and having held him for a few minutes there were complications, and mum lost her life.  This was shocking on so many levels, heartbreaking for the family, devastating for Shona and of course with the awaited arrival of a new baby in our own family it was deeply shocking. The funeral is today and my thoughts are so with them all as they say goodbye to such a young and beautiful life.  We could ask so many questions, but I think the best way forward is to love and support those who need it, and my part in doing that for now is looking out for this little chap for the day as they say their goodbyes.

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This is Elvis.  Sausage dog extraordinaire!  Looking a little serious in this photo but don’t be fooled, he’s a little scamp.

Elvis came along at a good time.  When family spirits for various reasons are a little low there is nothing quite like a four pawed furry friend to add a bit of spice and laughter to life, especially a puppy that needs lots of love and attention which for at least a short while removes us from our own worries.

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Elvis taking time to ‘smell the roses’ or in this case apple mint.

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Hmmm this little chap seems to have a thing about flowers! although something tells me he might have had a little help from the photographer to get in there as those little legs are really not built for climbing.

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Everything in Nonnas’ garden is so exciting and so worth a sniff and an explore.

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Luckily there is someone a little older and wiser to keep Elvis in check every now and then.  Thanks Jess.

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Phew!  All this adventure is tiring for a little chap with little legs.

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My favourite pic, and Elvis..thanks for keeping me well and truly entertained, and for bringing lots of pleasure to all who know you.  I know that you will work your magic over the coming weeks as you bring your unique sense of fun and joy into the lives of those who love you.  Your cheeky presence will be invaluable in the healing process of hearts that are broken.

Your one ‘Houndog’ for sure!

 

 

Love Alison x

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