the fate of the alisandwiches

There comes a time when sometimes, you have to let something go, to allow space for something else, either different or better.  Or sometimes you just need to let it go, to give breathing space for the light to enter.


A seed was planted in my mind in a quiet moment today.  That it was time to let go of the daily aspect of the journey of the Ali Sandwiches.  Initially, I dismissed it.  That was the ‘beauty’ and purpose of this blog;  that set it apart from many others.  It’s USP so to speak.


However, as I was driving in the dark, the light around the seed of thought grew.


My first question, what really was the purpose of the Ali Sandwiches when I started?


It was to share my story of living in the middle of initially 2 dependencies, multiple challenges in my life with a mother with diminishing health, my young demanding children, playing single Mum while my husband was absent during the week, running a business and a life.


It was a way for me to unravel the many thought processes, worries I had during stressful times as well as an outlet for me to understand what I was learning through life experience and ponder what I was learning through books and teachers online and how to implement to improve the chaos that was happening around me.


It was a creative space for me to write, to find my voice, to share my voice.


My second question, therefore, was is the Ali Sandwiches still relevant and worthy of my time.




My story is different now.  I am no longer stuck in a sandwich – My legendary Dad is thriving, my husband is sat next to me and more loving and attentive than ever, engaged in our lives as a couple and as a family.  My boys are wonderful, happy, thriving and a joy to be with and around (90% of the time!).  My life is full with a business and purpose I am passionate about and volunteering projects that fulfil my soul.


My teachers are still the same and I still ponder and wonder.  But perhaps because the chaos has died down, the white noise has cleared, I find I no longer need to write it out.


AS for creative space and my love of writing, I have expanded my avenues and channels to spread my message and be a ‘light worker’.


So, it could still be relevant, but in a different way but perhaps no longer under the heading of a sandwich.  I no longer feel trapped or confused as to what part I play in the sandwich.  I am outside of the sandwich, no longer choosing it.  Bread has always played havoc with my gut and IBS.


And is it worthy of my time?  It could be.  But perhaps less on a daily basis.  My seed is growing towards the light that could be let in, if I let it go.  The light tells me that it is perhaps one of the last things that tie me to my old story, my old chapter.  But the dark reminds me that I committed to a daily blog challenge for life.


Who will win… light or dark?  Old story or new?  The fate of thealisandwiches is unknown…


Or perhaps it isn’t.  For there is no winning or losing, just love and appreciation for the experience and a document to remind myself that I can get through anything, inspire myself to continue to keep doing the same.







beautiful souls

I am a proud mama bear tonight.  Football is not really my cup of tea.  But with two sons, I guess it is inevitable that it was going to feature in my life at some point.  And today, it was really enjoyable, with the majority of Yorkshire ‘society’ on the sidelines, the boys all gave us good matches to watch.


I am currently loving this phase of their life…. Their characters are beginning to form around their strengths and what they enjoy doing.  They stay similar and yet so different.  One tinkling on a piano, one with his nose in a book.  One arty, one mathematical.  I am loving seeing their confidence grow but at the same time, allowing their vulnerability to be seen.


I find it fascinating how one minute they love each other, show concern for each other, laugh and play with exuberance… and the next be wrestling with vigour and intensity.


As I have done since they were tiny babies, I am never ready for the next phase, loving the one I am in… but also relishing their growth, in size but also in personality.  I would love to freeze frame time and one day come back to this one in particular…


Perhaps I write today about the boys, as I had to think about updating our Will in the event that anything should happen to us both and they are left orphaned.  I hate that idea. Hate it.  I want to be there all through their lives, but I know plans need to be made.  And in some way, having a plan to know they will be well loved is reassuring.


It was also reassuring to hear Christiane Northrup’s ideas on life after death and reincarnation;  how souls are lined up to choose their body on earth;  how souls come back time after time to live through a new bodily life, reliving through the same experiences, hardships until they learn the lesson, grow from the experience; how souls never really die, that they just leave their chosen body, only to come back again and usually surrounding themselves with the same souls.


She calls it the bigger picture.  And how the idea of mind, body and particularly belief in the reincarnation of the soul can help people with grief, hardship and difficulty.  Knowing that they will meet their loved one again or that they will get their chance again to conquer a challenge they just cannot defeat.


I think I would like to believe that.  I have a wild imagination. But it might take a while.  So in the meantime, I will stick with Wills and living every day to the full, embracing life and in particular with those beautiful souled boys of mine.



A valuable lesson

It is probably one of my biggest fears.  The boys getting in to trouble in water.  Perhaps because we always walk by water, go on holiday by water, on the sea.  We have always been very strict on swimming and rules by the water.


Today, with the amount of snow melting and unwavering rain, perhaps walking by the river wasn’t the wisest of choices.  But the tree cover was welcomed, as was the opportunity to get the boys outside to run and play with friends.


I am sure I am not the only Mum who does it.  But I have escape routes and quick exits planned in my own home and anywhere we sleep or spend time.  And as the boys played on the banks of the river and slipped and slid in amongst the trees, I thought through my emergency action plan if one of them fell in to the fast moving, swell and swirl of the river.


I would start running to get ahead of the river, while taking off my big eider coat, firstly because it would prevent me moving when wet, but also had pockets full of phones and keys and shopping lists.  Then I would remove my scarf, not because it was cashmere, but because if it got caught, it would strangle me. But I really didn’t want to go in, because it looked bloody fast and bloody cold and I put it to the back of my mind, never thinking I would have to enact out my plan.


It was a fun walk, watching the boys climb fallen trees, throw sticks for the dogs, slipping  in the mud and generally being boys and having fun; reminding them to be careful by the river, to stay back.


And then it happened.  In a blink of a second, as I shouted to Willy to get off a low step because it could be slippery… that was it.  His leg disappeared and then the rest of him followed in to the brown water.


And the image of his blue ski coat floating at speed, with his little blond head bobbing, calling and crying…. It is still haunting me now.


In those moments, the adrenalin kicks in. I don’t really recall anything…. Other than suddenly being up to my boobs in water grabbing at my little boy and dragging him out of the current and pushing him up the mudbank, onto tree roots and the arms of my friend.


Now maybe by thinking of my emergency plan, some could argue I brought the situation on myself by attraction.  But all I know and am comforted by, is that without thinking, my brain automatically engaged and my coat was dry enough on the bank to wrap a derobed little man in something warm and dry and my cashmere hat and scarf were on a bush.


AS I held my little man in to the car, he snuggled in, ‘I thought I would never see you again… I am sorry I didn’t listen, I will do whatever punishment you want.’  My little drama queen.  He was lucky.  We were lucky.  He is a good swimmer.  I had a plan.  And we all learnt a valuable lesson and reviewed those over hot chocolate in front of the aga as we waited for the hot water to heat up.  And that was the first time I felt the cold of the water.


valuable lesson

Grief is the price we pay for love

This evening, I am replete.  Full of love from my family, full of appreciation for our health, life and love, full of gratitude for a day that was a super Sunday for Mother’s Day and far cry from the previous 2.


Rather than being empty from grief and loss, as I felt In the month after my Mum died, when all I wanted was to be held and made a fuss of, but was ignored;   Rather than being empty from grief and loss, as I felt in the confusion after my life fell apart, when all I wanted was to mend my broken heart, but was scared;  this year, I am full.


This year, I am full of making happy memories and future plans.


Grief is the price we pay for love and I wouldn’t trade 40 years of love, for any less grief.


Pain and suffering are also the price we pay for love.  And as we strip back our house to its basics, remove the overgrowth, the embellishments of the façade, it is left bare, exposed and vulnerable.  And that is a painful process; I can almost hear the roots of the ivy and hedges squeal, and the surprise of the passers by…  but the rawness shines in the new pathways of light. And so our home continues to be a metaphor for a relationship that has been broken and stripped back to basics, but stronger for its rawness, exposure and simplicity.


And so in some way, perhaps I wouldn’t trade the last few years of growth for any less grief….


As always, life provides us conundrums, choices and decisions.  It is simply just a question of deciding…




The table is set. The candles have the wicks lifted ready to be lit. The fires are laid.

The starters are ready. The main is prepped. The desert is in the fridge, the cheese unwrapped and the white is cooling, the red is breathing.

But I won’t be drinking wine. Oh no! I have learnt… I can’t do a day in bed and a week recovering. Yet it looks so tempting… so tempting…

I heard a great phrase yesterday… ‘Mistakes are the season of life, without them, it would be bland. And no one likes a bland dish.’

I am sure a few mistakes will be made tonight….

The year of authenticity

Today I spent a very engaged, inspired 90 minutes listening to my new favourite teacher.  Her name is Christiane Northrup, MD, OBGYN.


She makes so much sense to me.  And I knew I was going to be hooked the minute she talked about how food and love go hand in hand.  How our biggest problem in society is that people don’t love themselves enough;  if more and more research points to the fact that food determines your health, then to feed yourself well, you need to love yourself well.


But it is an inside job.  And it takes time. I know that.  I feel like I have only just started, but my first book on self love was a couple of years ago already.  And I feel like I am only just getting to know myself… I am in those early dates, the intrigue and curiosity addictive.  Is it love yet?  Probably not, but a healthy appreciation and realisation I want to nurture myself to keep it alive..


Another teacher in my car today was Lisa Nichols, the wonderful voice from the Secret who also talks about falling in love with her mocha skin, big lips, hips and afro..  And I love her philosophy.  You can only invite love in, when you love yourself.  Perhaps so many relationships fail, or people struggle to find love because they are so busy trying to be someone they think somebody else will love, rather than just being themselves, their true selves.  I know this to be the case for myself, for the Big Man.  We were trying too hard to be something for someone else, rather than being ourselves.


Authenticity is the word of 2018.  It is a time to be reborn and connect with ourselves.  It is a year to live the truth.


lisa nichols

Healing myself happy

Today, I felt a strong sense of why I called my new business ‘Heal Yourself Happy’.


I am so happy.  Whereas, just 12 months ago, I was desperately unhappy, broken.  Even 4 or 5 months ago, there were still long periods of sadness in the spells of light and my wounds wept.


I am happy in my bones and in my core, no longer just in my smile.  My scars no longer weep and where my broken heart once lay shattered, they are pieced together, the cracks letting in the light and refracting it out to warm the rest of me.


I am healed by every tear I shed, every painful step forward I took, every fall, every stumble, every re-opened wound.  I am healed by love, by passion and purpose.


I was right to put my heart first, listen to my gut and gently manage my brain.

I was right to put me first, my boys second and everyone else followed.

I was right to heal myself happy and the rest fell in to place.


6 areas of wellness


No blog!

For the first time in a very long time, I almost forgot to write…

I am going to take that as a really good thing. There is nothing on my mind that I need to write through, think through or share on paper…. and that can only mean it’s all good!

Starting and ending with gratitude

At the end of the day, journaling is all about putting pen to paper, writing out the thoughts in your head, understanding feelings.


When I don’t know where to start, in good times or dark times, I always start with gratitude for what went well and end with gratitude for what didn’t go so well and for the lessons that taught me.


Today, my gratitude list of what went well is endless.  My days continue to be days full of joy, knocking off many of noted joy list activities.  I learn from my clients.  I learn from others.  I learn from my mistakes.  I connect with others.  I connect with myself.


I learn to drink more water.  I learn about how food is information, how it triggers functions in the body – the start of functional medicine.  I learn to remember to check the aga ovens for food I cook, and forget about.  I enjoy time with friends and loved ones. And time alone.


The feeling of calm and happiness is my major feeling, no longer one of despair.  That, I am most grateful for and the strength my time in the dark brought me, for the changes I was courageous enough to make.  That brought me here.