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.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Good luck to the 40 million pound lottery winners!

Me and my beloved often play” if we won the lottery,” we enjoy toying with the idea of having “loads of money” we love rehearsing our initial actions. As things go we get by ok? Really have nothing to complain about, but we still do, its human nature isn’t it? We are comfortable as long as we remain “sensible” But the thought of casting off the straight jacket of prudence, is a dream I have .
So as the plan plays out I realise the biggest thing a lottery win would give me would be the freedom to be spontaneous and extravagant. I am confident I would handle this as a treat and not go completely out of control.(well I hope so). This is where the game we play starts to unravel though. My beloved is the polar opposite to me when it comes to spending money. As much as I love being impulsive ,he on the other hand is extremely cautious.
He is tied to research best buys and weighs up pros and cons for every purchase. I find food shopping with him a torment. I go every week and it looks like I throw things mindlessly into the trolley. I guess this comes from always being rushed as a working mom and feeling the need to get back to work ”time is money!” When he comes along to “help” he paws over every bottle of ketchup or loaf of bread as if his life depends on it. He can’t help it he’s programmed that way.
Generally our polar positions to financing, works well, he is the stabiliser and I am the impetus. We meet somewhere in the middle or left a bit right a bit.. If we won such a lot of money though I am not sure he would ever relax and really enjoy, my approach to spending and I would always be aware of his stress and that would take the edge of my spontaneity and pleasure. So the game looses its sparkle some more, but we continue and think about other issues, or should I say problems.
Problems? Winning loads of money, yes because we then start thinking about how we share the winnings and the responsibility that comes with that. We worry about helping the young in the family, would giving them money lead them to life of sloth and hell raising? Then there’s fairness? do you give everyone the same irrespective of need? Or do you have some sliding scale. Who are we to make these decisions anyway and how will this “bountiful” act affect all our most dear relationships?
Then we start considering charity and approaches from worthy and not so worthy causes for cash. Our energies start to flag and we stop playing the game. Its much easier to complain about our lot, we conclude!
So to that lovely couple who won the 40 million congratulations, we want to believe this will be a good and wonderful turn of events for you both. You have been lucky to win and we feel the luck will continue with how this windfall affects your lives together. We are not jealous, jealousy is so ugly we are happy for you and wish you all the best!
Love Alison

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Jobs worth award goes to

Everyone takes time to learn the ropes and we have to accept a degree of incompetence while trainees practice their trade. After all we all make mistakes. Today however I encountered the sort of entrenchment that would make, the boy with his finger in the dam, proud. After trailing round the supermarket with my 22 year old daughter we loaded the checkout belt. Mushrooms, bread, chicken made it passed the beeping checkout, without incident. Then the gatekeeper of all that is fresh and conveniently available, picked up a bottle of red wine. Looked at it suspiciously, then at us in turn, then put the bottle down and fixed a glare at my daughter.
“Any ID?” she asked.
We were a bit bemused to say the least and both said “really?”
“Well “she said looking cleverly at my daughter,” you do look under 25”
This we did have to accept and nodded dumbly, but then I did offer a fact I thought she may have overlooked, just to speed things along a wee bit. “I am well over 25”ha ha” and I am the one buying the wine, sorry we don’t have any ID on us ha ha” My daughter co-operated by holding empty hands and patting empty pockets.
“Makes no difference she” nodding her head in her direction ”is shopping with you and looks under 25”
I tried not to be frustrated at the nonsense that was playing out in front of us, but I did feel tinges creeping up on me.” If I was shopping with a child would you ask for her birth certificate” I offered, thinking this may make her realise how intransigent she was being.
No, no joy there ”it depends how old your child was”The cashier had clearly got it fixed in her head that anyone in the queue buying alcohol had to be Id checked if they looked under 25. How ridiculous!
“Oh flippin heck, please get your supervisor” I blurted out trying my best to say no more.
The supervisor duly arrived and looked at the cashier holding the bottle of wine and then at my wrinkled 52 year old face and rightly stared back at me baffled.
I said “she wanted ID, because I am shopping with my daughter”
“Yeah but you are buying it ”looking at the cashier ”the mother is buying it” she didn’t say dummy but I heard it in the air.
Silently she beeped the wine through the bleeping machine and we continued packing away our shopping. We paid and thanked her and said a cheery goodbye (forced). But strangely the cashier said nothing. I wonder why not?
Have you encountered a jobs worth wierdo worse than this?

Alison x

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Comfort Zone, a gilded cage?

Comfort zones are resting stops not places for permanent habitation. If you like your little bolt hole a little too much do you wonder how it would be if you were a little bit more adventurous. I did. Since moving to the Forest of Dean, which in itself was a bit of a leap of faith, I have changed more than just my view, and I love it every little challenge brings its own lovely surprise

I am taking my time though and often withdraw into the security of my own space be it physical or emotional. When I first retired (four years ago) I was tired, very tired and shut myself off from everything. My solitude and safety of my home surroundings were very much a comfort to me. So moving was a pretty big deal, meeting new people was an effort and changing my routine unsettling. However, having a go at new things has been very good for me.. Initially small steps were challenging, like meeting a new Doctor, inviting neighbours for coffee or getting used to chatting to locals out on my walk. With every step I became more confident and emboldened. New things came my way that made my life more exciting and enjoyable.

A chat with a fellow dog walker in the forest led me to join in, helping out at the Riding for the disabled.(RDA). Weekly contact with everyone at the stables led to making new friends and taking up horse riding again, which I love so much..I have now embarked on an incredibly exciting project and dragged my beloved into it with me. It has been so exciting we were both awake at 4 o’clock the other morning and got up to talk about the adventure to date. We have become involved in the making of a TV program, filming has taken place at our home and we have also been taken to another place for filming. All this from my Twittering!

The presenter and the production team have been so lovely, I just can’t tell you, they work so hard and stay so cheerful and professional. I don’t want to say too much about it yet, it will be on air in April so I can go into more detail closer to the time. I feel a bit reluctant to talk about other people in my blog I’m not sure if its the done thing anyway I am not comfortable saying more.

The purpose of this blog though is to stress how we can and should reach out and try new things. Make sure our safe place remains a source of succour, where we retreat to and not a prison we are locked into.

Love Alison x

Friday, 6 January 2012

Dear NHS do the right thing!

Surely the most moral and efficient way to address the Breast Implant problem is for the NHS to take control and “offer medical care free at the point of delivery” The arguments about whether or not there is a risk of a leak are really irrelevant. This dithering is a thinly veiled attempt by the Government and the NHS to avoid the full cost of putting this problem right. Quite right you might say, why should we, the tax payer, fork out again for a French companies mistakes, they should be made to pay surely? Perhaps, if they can be made to pay, and who better to take them to task on behalf of all their British victims than the NHS who has had to bare the cost of putting it right.

I also hear a chant in respect of the women who have been the recipients of the implants, “why should we pay for their vanity, they wanted bigger boobs, they can pay to have the implants out!” This is an extremely simplistic response and I beg anyone who thinks like this to think again about the varied reasons why a women would undergo this invasive procedure and the emotional and physical needs being met by it. Do I really need to say more?

Let’s examine this, without going into any great detail I instinctively believe our welfare state should act as a safety net and if someone needs help the fit and healthy of society must rally round and provide it. If we step away from my beliefs why should society take responsibility? Legally, someone somewhere has purported to provide a product and service of a quality that is safe and fit for purpose. This is now to be found to be fraudulent or mistaken. The recipients may, therefore have been victims of criminal behaviour.

Imagine you buy a bottle of Champagne or a “full bodied red wine from France” bring it home and consume it. Then you hear on the news that to save money the producers replaced the contents with a toxic mix that although looks, tastes and smells like the real thing can cause serious health problems. Do you think you are entitled to receive appropriate medical treatment in a timely manner from the NHS? Or do you think you should go to the errant Wine producers and ask them to see to your medical concerns?

Do you think the police or European authorities should investigate the matter on your behalf or do you think you should have to fund a solicitor and commence your own investigation. No of course not. As individuals we are vulnerable and at the mercy of wrong doers that is why we have laws and safety procedures. When these are flouted experienced and resourceful bodies paid for by tax payers need to fight for us and protect us . Lets not dilly dally anymore, we need to do the right thing in providing timely medical care for these people and seek justice on their behalf.