And on to Memphis, USA

61

Alison and ColinBetter late than never! At least that's what I've been telling myself as I waited patiently for my poorly laptop to be mended so that I could download all my photos of Memphis and write my next installment!

Thanks so much for all your lovely comments and suggestions as to what my mystery photo may have been…! I think Sue Radford was probably closest when she said "no smuggling in said area via the boot". It was actually a little pulley that hung from the boot lid so that if you were ever shut in there you could open the boot from the inside by pulling it! A little worrying to think this is clearly a regular occurance in the US but quite amusing with the little stick man running away at high speed :)

So, on to Memphis! As I think I mentioned, I had only booked five days at the hotel in Nashville with the idea/hope that we would be able to cross the state and get to Gary in Texas to see Colin's friends who live there. We had considered taking an internal flight or possibly driving.


Mustang AliThe first option was too expensive, and we'd still have needed to hire a car when we got there. The second idea to drive all the way there was appealing, but neither of us had realised how huge Tennessee was and it would have taken at least 11 hours! Colin had forgotten to bring his driving licence too, so we couldn't share the journey and we both agreed it was just too far.

However…Memphis – the birthplace of Blues, Rockabilly and Rock N' Roll – was only three hours drive away. And so, we packed our bags, hired a car and headed out on the Interstate Route 40 in bright sunshine towards the city of dreams.

Mustang 2Actually, when I nonchalantly write about the car, I should mention this wasn't just ANY car, this was a bright Grabber Blue Mustang Convertible!!! Car hire and petrol are as cheap as chips in the US, and once you get the hang of driving on the right, their roads are marvellous. As soon as I was behind the wheel I became Mustang Ali and we sailed through all the Interstates, passing the huge trucks that use this road and stopping for a fabulous American breakfast of waffles, toast, coffee and bacon at a diner.

The temperature soared and by the time we parked up outside our motel it was 105 degrees!!! We only got a little lost once, but the diverson took us alongside the Mississippi river, so I thought you may like to see this little bit of film to get a feel for the hugeness of this mighty stretch of water.

Arkansas is just over the bridge to the left. The Native Americans chose this part of the river as the site for the city because it's above the high water mark and therefore safe from flooding. 

Our motelHaving put our bags in the room and had a refreshing shower, we took advantage of the motel's taxi service, which for $3 would take us into Beale Street in Memphis town – the ONLY place to be on a sizzingly hot sunny evening :)

You can smell the barbeque smoke as soon as you step out of the car and it's apparently known as the pork-barbeque capital of the world! Add to that a fabulous mix of traditional South American foods and you were spoilt for choice. We decided to opt for Rice N' Beans (which is like chilli but without the beef) Corn Cakes and Award-winning Gumbo (stew with 'gator, shrimp, chicken, peppers, tomato and gravy – delicious!)

Every bar and restaurant has live music playing but, unlike Nashville, this is Blues country with some Jazz and Rockabilly thrown in…I LOVED it :) The taxi picked us up at 11pm. Early I know, but we had a big day planned and needed our sleep after the drive. I think the heat made us a tad tired too – 54% humidity is a little heavy!

GracelandBright blue skies greeted us and the temperature was already at 95 degrees when we climbed into the car at 9am! Our day was to start with a visit to Graceland – the home that Elvis Presley bought for himself when he was just 22 years old, and lived in until he sadly died there in 1977.

Having worked out how to get onto the correct route we realised we had left our tickets back at the motel, and so had to negotiate some pretty tricky intersections before getting back on course.

We planned to follow Graceland with a tour of the Gibson Guitar factory in Memphis town – Colin's pride and joy is a Gibson J200 and he wanted to see where it had been made :) We'd pencilled in Sun Studio – the place where Elvis recorded his first hits – for the following morning on our way home. 

Elvis' dining roomGraceland is a beautiful house and, unlike many of the mansions that the A-list celebrities buy for themselves, was very much a home. Hard to believe that in spite of his enormous success, Elvis didn't ever move on and up…he did though get first dibs on this property, even though Frank Sinatra had apparantly wanted to buy it :)

You're not allowed to look upstairs but every other room is open to the public, as are the grounds, and a chance to see not only his vast collection of cars, but also the jet and aeroplane he bought for his daughter, Lisa Marie!

 

Elvis memorabiliaOf course the place is filled with memorabilia from that extraordinary time, and you get a real sense of the man and his life after just a short while within those walls. I did buy a rather lovely mug as a memento of our trip which I thought you might like, so I'll be setting a competition at the end of the blog for you to win it!

By the time we reached the Gibson Factory it was 108 degrees and still. The humidity was exhausting, and any hot flush I had was purgatory! Luckily there was pretty powerful air conditioning blowing through the workshops there and Colin found the whole experience fascinating, so well worthwhile.  That night we headed for Midtown Memphis and had a lovely meal in a bar that reminded me of the TV series, Cheers! Everyone is just so friendly there, it makes every occasion fun :)

Sun Studio front doorThe blisteringly hot weather stayed with us for our trip to Sun Studio the following morning but as with most buildings in this part of the US, the air conditioning is always on. It was a tiny building with a huge history that began in the 1950s when Sam Philips, a local radio DJ, set up his studio and started recording the likes of BB King, Howlin' Wolf and Little Milton.

In 1954, a young truck driver called Elvis Presley stopped by to cut a record for his mum's birthday.  Sam wasn't there but Marion, his PA, made sure he heard the recording although it was almost a year before Elvis was called back. With two other musicians they'd been playing for about an hour and Sam wasn't impressed. He left the studio for a cigarette break and it was then that Elvis picked up the guitar and started fooling around with his version of 'That's Alright Mama'. Sam Philips rushed back in and the rest as they say, is history :)

Of course, after Elvis came Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash – all of them bringing a mix of Country and Blues, all of them making hits at this tiny studio, and consequently paving the way for the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, U2 and even Justin Timberlake! With our heads full of harmony we set off towards the highway, stopping only at Madison County to see if we could find any of the covered bridges, but were unlucky, although our detour took us through some beautiful countryside.

The temperature dropped down to the mid 90s as we checked back into our Nashville Hotel and spent the next couple of days relaxing by the pool and doing a little souvenir shopping; a pair of cowboy boots and a hat were of course on the list :) As our plane took off late Friday evening Colin said it had been one of the best holidays of his life and I had to agree that, considering a lot of it had been last-minute planning, it had all come together perfectly :)

Elvis mugAs promised, I have this rather lovely mug (left), which I brought back from Graceland for you, so if you want a chance of winning it just answer this question in the comments below;

Q. Where was Elvis Presley born?

A. Memphis
B. Tupelo
C. Nashville

A winner will be drawn at random from all of the correct answers and I'll let you know who that is next week!

I must run though as Colin has a gig in Leicester Square tonight and I have  to be there with my boots on!

Back to work tomorrow with the first of our regular Diamonique shows at 8pm, and then a REALLY busy day on Super Sunday.

Take care, have a great weekend and enjoy the promised sunshine. I will look forward to gathering your answers and reading your replies.

With my love, Ali xxx

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61 Comments

  1. susan July 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali sorry but before I read your blog I just need to know am I right in thinking beautiful Beulah has passed away?? Soo shocking and so sad. Such a lovely lady. Very sad. S

  2. Mrs Janet Jones July 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    answer B Tupelo
    What a fab holiday you and Colin have had, how you managed that heat I do not know. You must take my fire extinguisher with you next time for the hot flushes (lol) I was struggling in Kefalonia in the 30’s.
    Well done you for doing the driving, and what an excellent car! How fab to visit Graceland I used to watch his films on a Saturday afternoon with my friend and we had some of his records, what a talented man.I want to know where your next adventure is going to be. We are thinking about Florence and Pisa for a short city break, so we will have to wait and see.
    We are all going to a sea life centre at the weekend, hopefully Alfie will be able to enjoy the lights and the sounds, can’t wait to his beautiful little face.
    Well must write off now as I am feeling rather tired after my day at Cancer Research, there was so much to do, but it keeps me out of mischief!!
    Hope Colin’s gig goes well tonight, when is he coming”up north” would love to hear him.
    One last thing how is Amica, I haven’t seen her for a while I do hope this new treatment is helping her. Give her my best wishes,
    Speak soon Ali Love Janet xx

  3. Sheila Caldwell July 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, we have also done the Nashville/Memphis trip (several times as we have friends in Nashville). It is the most wonderful experience. I never thought that I would ever to go to Graceland but have been lucky enough to go 3 times. To walk round Sun Studios is magical, you just feel the history there. Glad that you enjoyed your trip I just love the USA. Sheila

  4. Jilly July 3, 2013 at 9:47 pm -  Reply

    Well Hello Mustang Ali – I just LOVED your blog – I always do but it was just brilliant to share this wonderful adventure that you both had. I am so very impressed that you did all that driving and as you say “on the wrong side of the road” now that is something for a woman to write home about. The car colour is the same as mine but that is where any resemblance stops (mine is a 4×4 Rav!!!)I felt that I was sharing the journey with you so thank you so much for that. Then to round it off for Colin to go to the Gibson factory to see where his guitar was made must have been the icing on the cake for him. One cannot imagine the wonderful heat when we seem to have had a few wet damp days (but it is supposed to be better tomorrow and Friday).
    Bet you look great in your new boots tonight. I am sure the gig will be a huge success and plenty more to be booked in the future.
    Sorry to hear that your son didn’t get the job – the better one will be here soon.
    Annie went on long walk today for over an hour and loved it. She was ready to sit down (so was the dog) for a cuppa when she got home but so good that she felt able to step out.
    We are all off on a two week holiday in the Lakes on Friday. Taking wet weather gear and if it is a nice day that will be a bonus. Four generations and two dogs – mad or what? We are very much looking forward to it. We said last year when we did a week that it was not long enough and after all we have had to deal with this year we are ready for this longer break. Little grandson breaks up tomorrow lunch time and is very excited. School finishing for him makes me think your daughter will be having a busy end to the term and looking forward to her summer holidays. I know parents say they are too long but both teachers and the children do need the break.
    I really do love my Lola Rose ring and feel naked without it so will look out for you on the next show.
    I shall catch up on your news when we get back but hope that as July is here you have your dates for the next round you are going through and you will keep us updated as to how things are going – you do mean such a lot to so many people even though we have not actually met. We are still on this journey with you and holding your hand as you have done with my journey and Annies. Love to you Ali and catch up soon.
    Oh and it is B for where Elvis was born. Nearly forgot!
    Love Jilly xx

  5. Adelyn Yap July 3, 2013 at 10:42 pm -  Reply

    Answer:
    B. Tupelo

  6. mary July 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm -  Reply

    Good evening Ali, a late one for me as it was a cricket match night so have just hung out cricket whites and white wash hoping the rain will keep away as the same team shirt is needed tomorrow ……did I not mention I am also running a next day sportswear laundry service! I am now in bed catching up on what I have missed on QVC today, having my turn at my ‘Words with Friends’ games on my apps and trying to get to the next level of candy crush…I am on the same levels on my phone and tablet and have been on Level 68 for ages..driving me bonkers. Talking of driving…nice car! I hope you used a suitable firm hold hairspray or did you just let your lovely locks go wild in the wind? I have a feeling though that your hair was tied back…did you have a headscarf like Thelma and Louise?
    The photos are magnificant and you have treasured memories that you and Colin have sugared and can treasure forever. I went with my school to the East coast of America wgen I was 16 with our school hockey team on a tour. My twin and I plus another 5 of our school team all played at County level so we were pretty awesome. We stayed in New Jersey, Boston and New York, we all went up one of the Twin Towers and I can rememver almost every minute. I still have the memory book I made. Glad too that you have comeback with Yee Ha boots and stetson, it must be a compulsory purchase I am sure when in Nashville. Don’t suppose you saw the great Dolly Parton…Graceland looked amazing and I should inagine a very emotional place whether you were a fan or not…what fabulous stories could be told from within the walls of the house.
    Well it was a momentous day on Saturday in West gate..the see breeze was WARM and the sun shone. Summer has arrived and it was beautiful on the beach. Both the dogs had a dip in the sea then shook themselves spraying us all within a 5 metre distance. We had the Redundancy word mentioned at school last week..8 teaching staff will go and they now want support staff to consider VR….very worrying as my husbands company seem to have the same idea. Hopefully we will know tomorrow what’s going on at work. Even better if I can win the lottery and open up my tea shop which I will call `Mary’s` or if my twin sister joins me it will be Tea with the Twins……in my dreams but you never know. Anyway..sleep time. Have a great week love Mary. Xxx

  7. Barbara Boosie July 4, 2013 at 12:23 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Glad you both had a great holiday. Elvis was born in Tupelo in answer to your prize question.

  8. william July 4, 2013 at 12:27 am -  Reply

    hi Ali, Glad you had a lovely time.
    The answer is B) Tupelo

  9. Tamie & Mila July 4, 2013 at 12:56 am -  Reply

    And on to Memphis USA
    Answer B) Tupelo
    My friend visited Graceland with her mother as she’s such a huge Elvis fan! She’d love this mug. I personally like the Thomas Kinkade paintings of Graceland, so full of light, life and colour and very realistic.

  10. john wallhead July 4, 2013 at 6:13 am -  Reply

    b did you find the chip shop

  11. eileen davies July 4, 2013 at 8:49 am -  Reply

    hi, Alison the answer to your question is B TUPELO MISSISSIPPI.
    Just to say alison what a loverly part of the USA you
    and colin were in. my husbands family are from tenn,
    been there alot on holls.
    best regards eileen.

  12. Alison Keenan July 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm -  Reply

    Dear Susan I am sorry to have to confirm that lovely Beulah lost her fight against skin cancer on Sunday afternoon. She was with her family and passed peacefully. It had been six years since her diagnosis and she never gave up… I remember the last time I saw her at QVC she looked just as beautiful as she ever had and inspite of her discomfort worked her magic in front of the cameras. She will be very mich missed by so many people but remembered by us all… Love Ali xx

  13. Joanna Downey July 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, Firstly the answer to your question is B – Tupelo. Part 2 was well worth waiting for, I loved your little film of the not so little Mississippi and those magic words spoken by most navigators; “Just follow them”. You obviously had a wonderful holiday and you’ve sold that part of the States to many of us, I also think that holidays that are arranged with a minimum of fuss and forward planning are often the best ones. School has now made it to 1945 and it’s VE Day tomorrow. During the week I’ve tasted potato shortcake and victory buns, danced the waltz (quite well) and the jive (NOT so well) and sung countless songs from “We’ll meet again” to “Get in your shelter” – the students’ favourite. I can’t believe how tired I feel and my legs don’t seem to belong to me but it’s been fun and watching our students dance with each other and enjoy what they’re doing has been a treat. I heard the sad news about Beulah and can only hope that her sons find comfort through each other and from their memories of that lovely girl. To end this missive I have happy, bubbly news that our gorgeous older daughter Bex and her super husband are having a baby so I’ll be Granny Jo at the end of the year. I think they’ll have a daughter, in total contrast to everyone else, and I’m somewhat relieved that she no longer wants to call any girl she has Pebble..! Sunny weekend promised and I’m on my own as Col’s going climbing in Norway. Love from Jo x

  14. Rhona Fenton July 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison and Colin, am going to call you Mustang Sally Ali cos it has a good little rhyme to it :) what an amazing blog as always your trip sounds and looks amazing and I am so glad colin loved every minute off it along with yourself, adding a few un planned bits along the way can always be the best! had to laugh your first part off your trip was the Bourbon with a drool from my colin, well it didn’t get any better the second part off your trip when I read to him all the food, I rest my case :) thank you for sharing your trip with us I did enjoy reading all about it:) now as for the man himself, my answer is Elvis Aron Presley was born on the 8th off January 1935 in (TUPELO) Mississippi, check out the fan:) before I go I like everyone else was saddened by the news off Beulah, as you say she will be sadly missed by everyone, but Alison can I also ask about Amica, sorry if I got the spelling off her name wrong, just a bit worried as not seen her for sometime I hope she is doing ok can you let me know please? hope colins gig went ok and has he got his tour dates for Scotland yet? as I need tickets :) have a lovely weekend love to you , colin and the family as always Rhona xx

  15. kathleen butcher July 4, 2013 at 9:29 pm -  Reply

    hi ali what a fabulous trip you had,so jealous but you deserved it after all you have been through,keep being well you look amazing .the answer to the question is b tupelo.

  16. Sue Radford July 4, 2013 at 11:20 pm -  Reply

    Howdy Mustang Ali,
    What an exciting account of the second part of your American dream holiday – I just can’t get over how much you packed in and how many miles you travelled. You were so brave to take on all the driving too Ali – I could never have done that. You described everything so well it almost felt I was there too – you have a great way with words. So glad Colin enjoyed it and thought it was the best holiday he’d ever had. What a fantastic Christmas present from you to him – one he’ll never forget!
    I was surprised to read I was the closest to the answer to your last question, as it was just a wild guess lol! In answer to where Elvis was born – it was Tupelo.
    I can’t tell you how sad and shocked I was to hear about the passing of beautiful Beulah. Whenever she was on screen I always thought “oh it’s lovely Beulah modelling today”, she always looked so stunning and had the most beautiful smile. As you said Ali, she will be missed by so many of us.
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  17. doreen addison July 5, 2013 at 9:30 am -  Reply

    Loved reading of your USA adventure. I’ve always loved Elvis. He was born in Tupelo.
    Regards Doreen

  18. Annette Roberts July 5, 2013 at 11:38 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    You lucky devil, getting to see Graceland…thoroughly enjoyed the read, but daren’t tell my other half Chris about Colin going to the guitar factory…something I know he would love to do.
    He is self taught and plays by ear and has recorded a couple of things for me on his little gizmo box, as I call it. Adante in C, which. I believe, was the theme from ‘Tales of the River Bank’, remember that as a kid, showing our age now and also Creek House from ‘The Horse Whisperer’, which he played as I read about Julia’s illness and had me in floods of tears!
    So sad about Beulah, as I said on Julia’s blog, another beautiful star twinkling in the night sky.
    love
    Annette x
    Ooops, of course Elvis was born B Tupelo

  19. Tricia Coulson-Wood July 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm -  Reply

    hi, Alison, you look so “free” from all stress and strain driving the open top car, wonderful memorable photograph.
    I have just read the awful news about beautiful Beulah, I feel very upset for all of the family, their loss must be enormous.
    This week I felt for the families of Bernie Nolan and Peirce Brosnans daughter Charlotte, equally lovely women and they also will be missed enormously. Best wishes to you all, Tricia.

  20. Alison Keenan July 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm -  Reply

    Dear Janet’s firstly thank you for your answer to the question – I will gather them all up and draw a winner for next week :). Secondly I very much hope that you, Alfie and the whole family will enjoy your time at Seaworld. Days out are always more fun when the little ones are involved :) Colin’s gig sent very well thank you and altho not at many people there, those that were really enjoyed it. Next weekend is the Americana Festival in Nottingham but I’m not sure if that’s up North enough for you :) I’ll let you know how it goes tho. I wish I was able to bring you good news about Amica but there has been a change which has required more radio and chemotherapy. She is coping well though, so we’re all praying for her….not the easiest of weeks with poor Beulah’s passing and Bernie Nolan too…. As we have often said the more time and research out into stopping this wretched disease the better…. You take care Janet, and enjoy your family time, and thanks as always for keeping in touch. Love Ali xxx

  21. Alison Keenan July 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm -  Reply

    Jilly I think think the Gods are smiling in you Annie and the family as you head up to the Lakes. The forecast fort this next is wall to wall sunshine – so very well deserved :). As with Janet I am sure you will have the best of times altogether and i look forward to hearing all about it, You are kind with your compliments about the blog, and I’m delighted its kept you entertained. My friend Jo also drives a blue RAV – here’s has got a very swish sat nav in it and a parking screen that shows you where you’re manoeuvring! I am just thankful for parking sensors! Colin’s gig went really well and although not that many people turned up, they had everyone tapping and clapping from the off. My boots were remarkably comfortable and looked great with my jeans – l leave the hat wearing to The boys :) You’re right about Lucy and the school holidays, she is counting the days, and will be moving schools again come September to a position that is better suited to her areas of expertise! I agree with you, the holidays may be long for teachers, but I couldn’t do the job for all the tea in China, so am glad for so all those dedicated folk who provide such a brilliant service. It’s very warm here today altho a little hazy but my washing has dried so I’m happy just pottering around, Enjoy your break and thanks again for writing Jilly – love to you and Annie, Ali xx

  22. Alison Keenan July 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm -  Reply

    Adelyn thanks for your response -I will be announcing a winner next weeks fingers crossed. Ali x

  23. Alison Keenan July 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Mary now I see where the sportiness comes from in your family! Great that your children are so dedicated to the cricket – a slightly less agressive game than hockey I think! I had my ankle broken by the opposition while bullying off and had 2 weeks off school! :) Great part of the US to have visited though, and a fabulous age to be to make those memories…. Oh to be 16 again eh?! Westgate sounded fab on Saturday. Sunday was the best day of the weekend here and we went to my mums with all the children so it was truly enjoyable. Mary I very much hope that yours and your husband’s jobs will be safe and you don’t have to go for voluntary redundancy… I know how much stress that can out in a family. I love the idea of tea with the twins…. It’s what my sister and I have always said we’d do in our dotage – I’d have to get a Kitchen Aid tho to make fab cakes and scones :) As for Candy Crush! What is that all about?! :) I wouldn’t know where to start. The last time I played a game of sorts was Diddy Kong Racjng with my boys while they were still tiny :). You take care and enjoy your weekend… The sun will be shining and you can enjoy the luxury of living so close to the sea…. If you get the time! With love, Ali xx

  24. Alison Keenan July 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm -  Reply

    Barbara thank you for your response! Make sure you catch up with next week’s blog to see if you’ve won :) x

  25. Alison Keenan July 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi William we did indeed have a fab time, and thanks for your answer! Be lucky! Ali x

  26. Alison Keenan July 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Tami and Mila, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you in the drawer for the mug. I too like Thomas Kinkade paintings and didn’t realise there were any of Graceland! :) have a great weekend, love Ali x

  27. Alison Keenan July 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi there John…. Not sure which chip shop you are referring to, but you made me smile :) we didn’t find any chip shops in Nashville or Memphis, but plenty of Diners and Burger bars! A x

  28. Alison Keenan July 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm -  Reply

    Eileen how wonderful to have family in that part of the world. They’re always the best at showing you the sights! I know my brother was excellent when we were in Australia :). Thank you for your answer to the completion… All correct answers will be added to the drawer! Have a great weekend, love Ali xx

  29. Anita July 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm -  Reply

    B) Tupelo

  30. patricia cochrane July 5, 2013 at 9:21 pm -  Reply

    sorry I don’t have any comments on your article. I can say however, I read and enjoy all your postings.
    the answer to the competition is B

  31. Denise July 5, 2013 at 9:58 pm -  Reply

    Howdy Mustang Ali!!
    Thanks so much for giving us an insight in to your fab trip and wow what a trip that was.You certainly packed a lot in and will have memories to last a lifetime. As always you describe your experiences so well. I’m a big Elvis fan and would love to visit Graceland one day. So Ali after that where next for you?
    We’ve just spent a week in Spain and had a wonderful time. The temperatures where just right,hotel and food lovely and although have been to this area many times still managed to find new places to visit. However when we arrived home within a couple of hours I started to feel unwell. I was dizzy,nauseus (sp) and spent the next 2 days in bed feeling absolutely dreadful in fact I don’t think I’ve ever felt so ill in my life. The only positive aspect was that on weighing myself I came back from my hols 4lbs lighter than when I went!! Anyway it turns out it’s Labyrinthitis I have and am feeling better but often can feel a little dizzy still and feel as if I’m walking diagonally! My doctor said it can take up to 6 weeks to go completely but I have some medication so fingers crossed.
    I’m typing this with 1 eye on the tennis and what a day its been for it. Well done to Andy Murray lets hope he can go 1 better this time.
    Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the sun.
    Oh yes and nearly forgot the answer to the comp is B Tupelo.
    Love Denise xx

  32. Meryl brockway July 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali ,
    Just read your blog,thrilled you had a great time. We too love the USA . Tupelo is where Elvis was born. Glad to see you looking so well after all you have been through.regards Meryl x

  33. janice reeves July 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, The answer is Tupelo, so glad you both had a good time, its looks like a real whirlwind tour, and perhaps another week there would have been good, so glad you are back, have been keeping an eye on the Super Sunday shows in between the tennis, so glad Andy Murray has won, now my other half is watching the Grand Prix,lots of love Janicexxxx

  34. Mrs Janet Jones July 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, so sorry to hear about Beulah, I had no idea she had been ill. I do hope this next round of chemo and radiotherapy keeps things in check for Amica and I wish her all the luck in the world.
    As you say Ali,the sooner we find a cure for this dreadful disease the better. Speak soon love Janet xx

  35. martin forbes July 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm -  Reply

    hi alison hope you and family are well

  36. Kay Hall July 8, 2013 at 7:39 pm -  Reply

    B is the answer

  37. alison keenan July 8, 2013 at 9:56 pm -  Reply

    Jo CONGRATULATIONS!!! What wonderful news from your Bex – it will be a very special Christmas for you all I’m sure. I think Pebble is a very sweet name – at least it wasn’t Bam Bam – but I think like you, they may change their minds as the months pass. I’m glad you enjoyed the second part of the blog, but I’d forgotten you can hear Colin at the beginning of the film!! :) Well done you for making such a success of your War Years at School! The dancing sounded like fun, although I have to be honest and say that I’ve never heard of ‘Get in your Shelter’?! A huge success for all of you by the sound of it – students and teachers alike :) We’re off to Americana on Saturday for the big Country Music Festival, but then I’m home alone on Sunday too – shame we don’t live nearer!! Take care Jo, and thanks as always for writing. Love Ali xx

  38. alison keenan July 8, 2013 at 10:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Rhona and Colin, and I’m glad you both enjoyed the second part of the holiday blog – I enjoyed reliving the memories! I will put you answer in the hat and we will draw a winner from all the right answers we receive… I’ll announce that next week :)
    Thank you for your kind words about Beulah… she was one of the first models I ever got to chat to, and she had a wonderful sense of humour and love of life… It is indeed a tragedy.. I’ve been in touch with Amica, and she’s had to come off the drug they’d been trialling because of a change, and is now on a different therapy. We are all very much hoping it will improve things for her, as she had been doing so well. Thanks as always for writing, and I will keep you in touch with everything. With love, Ali xx

  39. alison keenan July 8, 2013 at 10:06 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, bless you for your kind words – it was indeed a very special trip for both Colin and I, and something we would like to do again one year :) Thanks for your guess re Elvis’s place of birth – winning answer to be drawn next week.. You, like so many of us are truly saddened by Beulah’s passing… Her smile was mesmeric, and is apparent in all the beautiful photographs her sons have posted up of her on Facebook… Such a waste of a beautiful life.. I will make sure your good wishes, along with everyone else here on the blog, are passed on to the family. Take care, and enjoy the beautiful weather. With love, Ali xx

  40. alison keenan July 8, 2013 at 10:08 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Doreen, and thanks for your answer. I too have always enjoyed listening to Elvis, and for some reason your reply jogged by memory of a stunning song I haven’t heard since the ’70’s… Elvis singing ‘Bonita’… a lovely melody. I’ll be doing the draw next week, so make sure you check out this page then! Be lucky, love Ali xx

  41. alison keenan July 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm -  Reply

    Annette thank you for your guess, and for taking the time to write to me. Your Chris began playing the guitar the same way Colin did – by himself – and I think it’s lovely that he’s recording his progress for you… not surprised you were in floods – The Horse Whisperer was a mighty sad film! I know that you correspond regularly with Jules, and I love what you wrote for Beulah.. I think it will bring comfort to all who knew her. Love Ali xx

  42. alison keenan July 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm -  Reply

    Dear Tricia, it was indeed an awful week – so many wonderful women lost to this dreadful disease… Beulah’s boys were with her throughout her treatment even when it took her to Spain, and they stayed by her side continually. They were her life force, and she fought to stay with them… I know they will keep her memory alive..I hope that you are well, and I thank you for writing to me, love Ali xx

  43. alison keenan July 8, 2013 at 10:15 pm -  Reply

    Anita, I will be making the draw next week, so make sure you check the blog then :) Thanks for taking part! Ali x

  44. alison keenan July 8, 2013 at 10:16 pm -  Reply

    Patricia, thank you for that – comments not necessary, but lovely to know you enjoy the read :) I will take your entry and put it in the hat! Thank you, love Ali xx

  45. alison keenan July 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm -  Reply

    Denise your poor soul! I have heard of this horrid affliction, but have mercifully never had it. I’m not surprised you felt dreadful, and am hoping very much that the medication is working for you. That dizzy unbalanced feeling is something I had with the chemo and wouldn’t wish it on anyone! Do let me know you’re improving and I hope you’ll be lucky in our prize draw next week, love Ali xx

  46. alison keenan July 8, 2013 at 10:23 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Meryl, thanks for the compliment and for your competition entry :) Which part of the States have you visited? So much to explore, and each region so different, I’m not surprised you love being there. Do keep in touch, love Ali x

  47. alison keenan July 8, 2013 at 10:25 pm -  Reply

    Janice, Whirlwind Tour is a very good description of our holiday – I think it was only really the penultimate day that we sat still for any length of time! It was fun though, and something we would love to do again. I hope you enjoyed Super Sunday and picked up a few bargains :) Thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  48. Sheelagh Marland July 9, 2013 at 8:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    The answer is B: Tupelo, Mississippi

  49. Maria Woolley July 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Memphis Belle,
    Glad you had a fab time after everything you’ve been through you truly deserve health and happiness.
    Take care xxx
    The answer is: B Elvis was born in Tupelo

  50. jane.goddard@btinternet.com July 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm -  Reply

    TUPELO. The one and only!

  51. Elaine sallis July 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi ali
    Sorry not been in touch for a while Geoff is in Australia went over to watch the rugby has been away for almost a month. So as you can imagine life has been hectic. As soon as he went our elderly dog started to get ill and had to have an operation. Molly has been poorly with a really nasty virus. Geoff had this vision of all the free time I was going to have. Ha ha! It was awful to hear about Beulah she seemed such a lovely lady. I hope you are ok.
    Love Elaine x

  52. Alison Keenan July 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm -  Reply

    Sheila thank you! I shall be announcing the winner on Monday! Ali x

  53. Alison Keenan July 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm -  Reply

    Janet I will if course pass on your kind wishes to Amica…thank you for them, love me xx

  54. Alison Keenan July 11, 2013 at 1:39 pm -  Reply

    Sheelagh thank you – fingers crossed for you :) x

  55. Alison Keenan July 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Martin yes we’re all good and actually had a lovely family day just last week :) hope all good in your world Ali xx

  56. Alison Keenan July 11, 2013 at 1:42 pm -  Reply

    Kay, draw taking place and winner announced on Monday :) thanks for playing, A x

  57. edna munro July 11, 2013 at 7:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi ,Ali,
    What an absolutely fantastic trip.Your descriptions are so amazing,I can amost see,taste and smell it all!!!Did you ever do travel programmes in a former life?If not ,you should!I think I was about 8-9 years old when my gran took me to see Jailhouse Rock and I was an Elvis fan from then on!Lucky you to actually go to Graceland.So glad you both had a great time.
    Sorry to hear about Beulah.How is Amica by the way?This seems so odd,but few if any of us who answer blogs will have ever met any of you but it feels like a great big supportive family.Good luck for your ops.Hope they go well and do take care.
    As always,love Edna x

  58. Alison Keenan July 12, 2013 at 12:07 pm -  Reply

    Gosh Elaine it sounds as tho you have had your hands more than full! I do hope Molly is feeling better now and that you didnt get the virus, and that dog has recovered too. It’s always the way when you should be enjoying some free time isn’t it?! Take care and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  59. Alison Keenan July 12, 2013 at 12:09 pm -  Reply

    Maria I love the idea of being a Memphis Belle! :) glad you enjoyed reading the blog and thank you for your very kind comments… In light of all our recent news I feel very fortunate at present. Love to you, Ali x

  60. Alison Keenan July 12, 2013 at 12:11 pm -  Reply

    Jane thanks foe entering the competition – I will be announcing the winner next week :) xx

  61. Marion Kinane July 25, 2013 at 7:01 pm -  Reply

    Glad you had a great time and that you are looking fantastic. Answer tupelo

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