About Alison

A feisty mother earth type, who has an opinion about everything I would like to think I use my "chopsy" attitude to throw some light and perhaps a new slant on current social and cultural issues.

Since I moved to the country for a quiet life I have been lucky enough to create a more healthy more relaxed environment for myself. I love country life, Family, Friends, Horses and Dogs. I also love, photography, writing/chatting and connecting with others.

Please have a look at a collection of my photos blog,


or join in on my chats here or on my otherblog


which follows my efforts to learn to ride and care for horses in my 50s! or just follow me on Twitter and I will follow you back (if you are a real person) on @alisonbarton1. Enjoy and talk to me.

Monday, 17 October 2011

To Blog or not to Blog?

I started blogging with a flourish, aiming to post a new one every day and announcing the fact on Twitter. It was a challenge to think of something “worthy” a discipline to attend to it in a timely fashion. I tweeted about my posts and started reading other people’s blogs. I now find myself unsure whether to continue or stop, I ask myself am I fooling myself, that this is anything other than a futile enterprise, hoping others will be drawn to read my ramblings and find them witty, inspiring or thought provoking.

It seems everyone and their dog, has a blog these days so who is going to have time to read them and why is, the blogging community compelled to keep going. I think there are different types of bloggers, the “professional” ones, marketing their business. There are those needing a voice to air a problem and connect with others sharing the same problem. Campaigners looking to protect the vulnerable.  People with life experiences who care and feel they have something to give to others. Creative types who want to express themselves or feel their opinion should be shared with the world to benefit mankind.

Am I conceited writing a blog I don’t want to think that, I enjoy writing my posts and finding a piece of music to complement each one. There is a pleasure in it for me and if someone else reads it it’s a bonus. The few comments I have received have been thrilling, I’ve been bowled over to get a response. Is it like the cave paintings, after all who did the cavemen and women artists’ do them for who was going to see them? Perhaps we just want to leave a mark somewhere to say, “we woz here”. Well I’ve decided to keep writing and keep reading and I will be honest I do hope someone other than me reads my posts and if you do please let me know I’m not alone in Blogland.

Alison x

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

I Miss you, I really do

There are some anniversaries, you do not want to celebrate, mark or even remember in any way. Nature though has its own way of bringing things to mind. The seasons , the weather the plants and trees, all conspire to take you down a worm hole and travel backwards in time to an event you would rather forget.

I love the seasons, though, you can tell the rough date by the setting sun, by the plants that flower and whether there are leaves on the trees. Orange blossom came into full bloom on my Mom’s birthday, a lovely way of marking the wonderful day.

Since she died, too long ago now, I am cheered by the orange blossom every year, not saddened, I remember all the wonderful different years we celebrated together. Similarly I love the smell of pipe tobacco; I can just see my dear old Dad puffing away at his pipe. Loosing your parents is a huge event, it’s been along time now and I still think of them often, I feel their presence and that is comforting.

What I do not want to remember is the tragedies of their deaths, in my Mom’s case her battle with cancer and my Dad’s forlorn struggle with a broken heart after loosing her. I want to celebrate their lives and am thankful I was lucky to have such strong and fearless parents. Without wanting to, however this time of year takes me to the time I was called at work because my Dad hadn’t turned up at my sister’s for lunch. It’s the weather, the wind, the grey sky, the leaves starting to fall. I grab hold of my thoughts and try to concentrate on other things. Then I’m there in the car driving through the miserable weather to my old family home. My sister told me he’s not answering his phone, two hours late and absolutely unheard of.

I knew it was not good, but hoped perhaps he had been taken into hospital and no one had had the time to tell us yet, but I knew. I arrived his car was parked on the drive, curtains to his bedroom drawn. I rang the bell in a vein hope, but let myself in and called out. I refused to go straight upstairs; his chair was as he had left it the night before. His pipe was on the stand on the side table, his socks were laid on his footstool, he always had warm feet!  The calendar on the wall was written on, he recorded how he felt at the end of every day, “not too clever today” it read. I walked upstairs calling him, pleading him to answer, knowing he wouldn’t, there he was in bed, he had died in his sleep. I couldn’t go near him I didn’t want to confront the truth, but I could see he was gone, his spirit had left “his earthly body” as he called it.

For a long time I was angry with him, I didn’t realise this though, but I was. He had given up and left us. It was only when it struck me how I was feeling I could let it go, how ridiculous, he struggled on for years, tried his best to be sociable make new friends but he was lost without Mom and no matter what we, “children” did, he felt alone. His heart condition got worse and worse, finally it gave up. It’s a very sad chapter of our family life, one that doesn’t get easier to bear as the years go by. Because we couldn’t save either of them and we lost them. So it’s not an anniversary I want to remember but nature wont let me forget.

It reminds me that they both went before their time, I still grieve their passing and feel sad that they missed out on so much after working so hard. The grandchildren and great grandchildren a phase of life completely lost.

All you shared with us, all the love and guidance still help us all today and hopefully we pass this on. I love you both and still miss you everyday.

Alison x

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Anxious ? I’m afraid I am, is that alright?

Not all of us are fretful, but an awful lot of people I know seem to be, I have to raise my hand here I know I get anxious and can make things difficult for those around me as a result.

Anxiety can be contagious, as I say if I’m having a wobble I see others feeling uneasy and it goes through the room like a Mexican wave. So what is the antidote, why are we (anxious people) so alert like a wired antenna, ready to pick up any wobbly vibes! How can we dim the receiver without dulling our other senses? When do we become these jittery beings are we born that way or does someone creep up on us and twiddle our knobs, so to speak.

I certainly wasn’t born anxious. I have been an extremely able and apparently confident person, a multi tasking, controlling, know it all. There was a time when I felt almost “bomb proof” As direct and focussed as an Exocet missile, prepared to make decisions when others floundered! Did I experience any anxieties early on in adulthood then? Increasingly, yes, but not initially, not in that first flush of sureness.

All these anxious folk seem to be women of a certain age. For me and my similarly aged girlfriends, we all seem to be afraid of offending anyone now. We want to “check out “we weren’t taken the wrong way. We worry about being early (waiting alone) we worry about being late,(leaving friends waiting alone). We worry about not feeling like”it”, we worry about not being asked for “it” even when we don’t want “it”. We worry about our children, even though they are older than us when we became parents!  You name it we worry about it.

When and why did this change occur, people used to call me a “ballbuster” not a term I am particularly proud of. It was in the area of work you understand, I wouldn’t take no for an answer, nothing was impossible tra la la and so on. Who was that women?. I don’t want to be her anymore anyway, but I could do with some of her backbone. Life happens and doubts creep in, the energy required to keep on top of your game starts to sap. Your priorities change, more towards family life but the demands stay the same. The conflicts and guilt grows and at some point around 40 or so there is an explosion. What do you do then?  You learn from experience and try to find the real you, its cliché but its true because the “exocet” is just a shield, a coping strategy. I wish somebody could have stopped me before I had a meltdown and helped me. .But everyone, including me thought I was invincible. So for those struggling at the moment take a long hard look at how you do things, soften, be humble, be kind. It’s a hard world out there but you really don’t have to cover yourself with a hard shell. Be kind to yourself and cut yourself some slack. In the long run it will be easier than turn into a jittering mess. I’m not so bad now but I’ve had my moments something that really struck a cord with me was ten tips to reduce anxiety on the blog of Green fingers fights fatigue, follow the link

This is aimed at those experiencing chronic fatigue, anxiety and depression. But don’t be put off if you are not experiencing any of these symptoms. The advice can also be proactive methods to stay well, so have a look. I particularly like item 9, avoiding stressful situations. If you are up to your armpits in a demanding career you can say “oh yeah, that’s going to happen” But if you continue in a world that is toxic you will get poisoned so you  must take protective measures and bring balance into your life even though it takes energy, you don’t feel you have. The people you allow into your life, is a huge factor too, some people can restore you others leave you feeling empty, you know radiators or drains. Avoid those that drain you and gravitate towards those who radiate warmth and positivity.

So what if, like me you hit the wall and need to pull yourself up from the bootstraps. Seek help, that’s hard if you have always been seen as “strong”, but do it. Talk, talk to your loved ones, talk to your GP, whether you take medicine or not consider doing something, you find healing. Talk and listen, be aware you are not on your own.. Start thinking, about others too, they may be finding it difficult, stay calm, tap into your inner strength.

“If you want others to be happy practice compassion. If you want to be happy practice compassions
Spiritual quote by the Dalai Lama.

Alison X