And we’re off down under!


Ali with Colin at the airportWho needs a Berlitz Guide when I have you!! :) Thanks SO much for all your wonderful suggestions of places to visit, stay at, or eat in for my forthcoming trip to Australia which begins today! I've been jotting all your ideas down in a little red leather notebook that my sister gave to me for my birthday,and reckon that Colin and I have MORE than enough to keep us busy for the next 20 days!  

To be honest, there have been moments over the last week or so when I seriously didn't think I'd get everything sorted in time. The spare bedroom was full of summer clothes (even though it's been raining for about the last month in Sydney) and then my mum told me that it was very chilly in Tasmania, and so I had to dig out a few jumpers… then I was worried that I might need a coat, which left me no alternative but to get a new suitcase!!

I wouldn't say it was large but you could fit a family of possums in it and still have room for your trainers!! Trying to fit it into the back of my rather small car was quite funny though – well not to me but to a couple of young lads who had parked opposite and no doubt thought I'd have to take the roof down to get it in!  

Ali with Colin ready to board the planeI will though have to find a spare corner in it, in which to place my 'armbutler'. Nope, it's not a member of staff to save my energy when holding a glass of wine, it is a rather strange metal frame that I have to use to get my lymphoedema sleeve on! Such a nuisance, along with the tummy injections I've got to give myself prior to each of the long haul flights… I even have a letter from my doctor giving me permission to carry a 'sharp' on the plane :)  

But you know what… a year ago today I was heading off to the hospital for my mastectomy – I never expected that – but didn't anticipate 12 months later to be heading off to Australia either, so every cloud has a silver lining in my book :)  

I will try and check in at  least once while I'm away, but promise to take as many photos as is humanly possible and create a little gallery for you when I'm home. For your part, stay well, stay warm, and be good to yourselves :) Missing you already!!

Love Ali xxx


  1. karen hales February 2, 2012 at 10:59 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali,
    I had yet to comment on your posts but have read them since I cannot remember. I think you must be amongst the few people I know that I totally admire for your attitude and strength with all that you have been through the last 12 months, and even before that. You have no airs and graces, you are just a lovely lovely person. I wish you and Colin a truly wonderful trip to see your family in Australia and am sure you will pack as much as you can into every moment. Much laughter and tears if I know anything of the person you are.
    Enjoy! Will look forward to seeing your pictures and reading about your adventures when you return.
    Karen xx

  2. pauline fooks February 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm -  Reply

    Have the best trip imaginable ali, you certainly deserve it and i’m sure your lovely colin will look after you keep safe and return to us soon we’ll all miss you but know how much you need this break.
    lots of love

  3. Pam February 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Just wanted to wish you Bon Voyage! Can’t believe it’s come round already.You’re probably in the air as I type, so hope the the flight went well and you got lots of rest as I think you’ll need it.My son said Oz is brilliant but so vast, it’s the travelling between places that can drain you.Have a wonderful time and I can’t wait to hear all about it.
    Pam xx

  4. kay salisbury February 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm -  Reply

    Have a fantastic time, Ali-you deserve this break. Gosh-injecting yourself-it never stops, but it is worth it all. You sound so full of life and excitement and as you state—“a year ago—–“. You look so well now, and it’s lovely to see. Come home safely and do not overtire yourself. I am looking forward to this ‘vicarious’ holiday to Australia—probably the only way I will ever feel I have been there. Enjoy your family. God bless.MISS YOU-have to make do with the lovely voice-overs—-Yankee candles etc. love from K.XXX

  5. Julie February 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm -  Reply

    Ali (and Colin)
    Hope you have/had a lovely time. You both so deserve it. Who would believe this a year on eh??(Happy Birthday to Jack too-another Aquarian then!!!)
    Hope you’re all well and take it easy!!
    Will keep you informed this end.
    Love to you all
    Julie xxx Lily xxxxxxxx

  6. Sue February 2, 2012 at 11:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I do hope you will have a wonderful time,have a safe flight and I hope you wont be too tired on arrival, enjoy your time with your family and come back full of vim and vigour.
    take care, with best wishes

  7. mary morphy February 3, 2012 at 11:30 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I will keep this blog brief as you are on holiday aferall AND just for once, this is being typed at 11.26am and not some ridiculously early hour of the morning. Anyway, that said, I am awaiting the arrival of snow here in Westgate, kent but sadly, as we have our own little micro-climate here on the South East tip of the country, the longed for 6ft drifts are highly unlikely…purely for me for a few days off work next week as the school will close but more importantly for my daughter. She was twelve last week and wanted snow for her birthday. Mother Nature was inable to provide anything more thatn a chilly biting wind..not good enough! What a differeance a year makes Ali..I couldn’t be more happy for you. So, HAVA A FAB-U-LOUS TIME! Goodaye sport! Lots of love Mary xx

  8. Eileen Kent February 3, 2012 at 11:57 am -  Reply

    HI Ali
    Have a wonderful trip downunder my husband and i went all over Aussie Nov 11 and loved every minute.
    Glad to see you are doing so well,i myself had breast cancer 1994 and 2004 and are still to tell the tale
    Enjoy yourself look forward to seeing back on QVC

  9. Susan February 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What an absolutely stunning photo of you and your delicious Colin. It is so lovely to see the start of your special trip! I hope you are there safely by now. I think you should be. If the weather isn’t great then that’ll be annoying but I’m sure that you, your brother, Colin and whoever else will make enough fun yourselves! Enjoy!!
    Love Susan x

  10. Veronica Dennant February 3, 2012 at 7:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, You are a true inspiration. Have a truly wonderful holiday and look forward to seeing you back on screen in a few weeks. love Veronica xx

  11. Janice Reeves February 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm -  Reply

    HI Alison, Just wishing you a fabulous trip to Australia, I am sure that Colin will take good care of you, you are such an inspiration to women everywhere,glad you are back on our screens you bring your special flare to the screen when you are on, have a wonderful holiday, take lots of photos, enjoy every moment. Lots of love Janicexxx

  12. TINA February 5, 2012 at 10:13 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    I just wanted to add my good wishes for a safe journey. So much has happened to you and your family over the past 12 months. It’s good to see there is light at the end of the tunnel.
    Wishing continued health and joy.
    Love and best wishes, Tina (South Wales, West Glam.)
    ( I would just like to wish our boys good luck today for the Rugy Six Nations!!! )

  13. SUE RADFORD February 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Just thought I’d ‘check-in’ to read the comments to your blog, and have found you’ve written another – where did you get the time from to write this blog LOL!! HAVE A WONDERFUL AND EXCITING HOLIDAY AND ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!!!
    Love from Sue Radford xxx

  14. Morag February 5, 2012 at 9:04 pm -  Reply

    Have a wonderful time making some new and very happy memories can’t think of anyone who deserves it more than you do and look forward to hearing all about it when you get back much love from Morag xx

  15. Jackie Waterhouse February 5, 2012 at 10:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I truly hope you have a wonderful time in Australia, you certainly deserve it, I have been reading your blogs these past 12 months, you are one heck of a brave lady. I am sure you will have helped a lot of ladies going through the same as you. Looking forward to reading all about your adventures down under. Love Jackie xx

  16. Mrs Janet Jones February 6, 2012 at 11:47 am -  Reply

    G’day Ali, hope you arrived safe and sound in sunny Australia.Hope you don’t mind me asking but what are the injections for?
    Enjoy catching up with your brother (and Colin’s) and as the song says ‘have the time of your life’, rest,relax and enjoy. Take care speak soon love Janet xx

  17. Debz February 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi there gorgeous Ali – and the lovely Colin of course.
    I hope you’re both having a wonderful time down under. As you said Ali, what a difference a year makes.
    Enjoy, fill your head with happy memories to banish those darker moments from last year.
    Colin, you take care of our Ali and try to make sure she doesn’t over so it – a hard task I know but give it your best shot anyway!!
    Lots of love and g’day type licks
    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  18. Debz February 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alpa
    Just a quick hello and to let you know that I’m thinking of you.
    Hope you are OK my friend – sending you a hug in case you need one but have it even if you don’t!
    I do hope that if you did get snow that things weren’t too bad for you. Ainzley watched from the window as it was coming down, then got bored and went off to lie on my slanket – yes, the battle goes on!!
    Stay warm and look after yourself Alpa
    Lots of love & licks

  19. Louise Curtis February 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm -  Reply

    Have a truly wonderful time Ali, you are an inspiration to us all.
    Love Louise xx

  20. Joanna Downey February 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm -  Reply

    Bon Voyage, Second time lucky as my last post evaporated! Have a super holiday, hopefully with some of the sunshine you missed out on last Summer. We’re all waiting to hear your news and see the photos. Love from Jo and her chillblains. xx

  21. helen riley February 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    lots of love and best wishes for a wonderful time you truly deserve it.
    Love helen

  22. Mrs. Christine M. Hindle. February 6, 2012 at 10:49 pm -  Reply

    Ali I am in awe of your guts and your inspiration after the 12 months previous you have experienced. I read you Blog with much interest and wish you a very happy and enjoyable trip down under. You deserve the best and the break. I have friends from School days in Queensland near Brisbane to Hi to all of them. Gods speed and look forward to your homecoming with all your news. Christine Hindle.

  23. denise February 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali,
    I hope you and Colin are having a fabulous time in Oz and that the weather is a lot warmer than here in the cold,icy UK. What a difference a year makes indeed and your strength and positivity is so inspirational. I look forward to your updates on your travels.
    Love Denise xx

  24. Gwen Tugwell. February 9, 2012 at 11:30 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Just wanted to add my best wishes to you and Colin,you are
    such a lovely lady,and I love and admire the way you keep us
    all up-to-date with everything that is going on. Have a truly
    wonderful holiday, and I look forward to seeing you back on
    screen soon.
    Take care,
    Gwen in snowy Bighton.

  25. julia roberts February 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm -  Reply

    This is a message for Ali’s Army.
    Hello girls it’s Julia Roberts here. I have been asked to post a short message here from one of your ranks, Una. She apologises that she hasn’t written in a while but she has had a dreadful few months, culminating in the death of her beloved daughter in tragic circumstances. I am sure she would be most grateful for your messages of support either here or on my blog page as I know she reads both.
    I’m sorry to be the bearer of such bad news but she wanted to let you girls in Ali’s Army know
    much love
    Julia xx

  26. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen February 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm -  Reply

    sorry to hear of your daughters passing away una

  27. shauna February 9, 2012 at 8:01 pm -  Reply

    Una my love,
    My heart goes out to you and am crying as I right my reply. As you might have guest, reading between the lines, I think we had a lot in common at the last part of 2011. I know I had not been chatting since last October because of all the bad stuff going on and then December 19th being second year of Dads passing. I can honestly say I have been truly struggling. I did wonder about you and all of our lovely regulars as well as the lovely Ali who is going from stength to strength and deserves it!!!!
    But, my lovely lady (and your family)this has made me so ashamed and feeling selfish.
    Una my love, my thoughts and my prayers are with you and your family and when you are ready you know Ali’s Army will be here for you. I am so sorry but right now words fail me, but my love and thoughts and prayers and hugs go to you right now. I feel Ali’s Army has a new fight on their hands….. dont’t you forget all of your friends who I know will be there for you…when you feel you need us.
    God bless.
    Much love,
    Shauna (and family)

  28. mary morphy February 10, 2012 at 8:17 am -  Reply

    Una, there are no words of comfort that I can offer to take away the agony and pain of your recent tragic loss however I send you my sincere condolences and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Mary in Westgate xx

  29. helen February 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm -  Reply

    Oh my dear Una, I just dont know what to say. I’ve been so worried about you. My thoughts are with you lovely.
    Lots of love and hugs
    Helen s

  30. Denz February 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm -  Reply

    My lovely Una
    I am so very sorry for the tragic loss of your daughter.
    I can’t even imagine what you are going through but my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You seem to have had so much to bear Una and my heart goes out to you.
    We are all thinking of you and we will always be here for you should you need us.
    Lots of love

  31. Alpa February 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm -  Reply

    My dear Una,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your precious daughter.
    Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and very much in my prayers.
    We have been very worried about you, lovely and Ali’s Army are always here for you, whenever you may need us.
    Lots of love,
    Alpa xxxx

  32. Susan February 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Una,
    I am so so sorry to hear of your awful news. I know how hard a time you have had over the last year without this news. Nothing I could say will benefit you at all and I know that but I am of course thinking of you. I have a friend in a similar situation. Life is so so cruel.
    Much love,
    Susan x

  33. Joanna Downey February 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Una, I have never written to you before but feel that I know you from all your messages and wonderful stories. I am so very sorry for your trouble and the pain you must be feeling. Take support from those closest to you and be kind to yourself. We are all here, at any time, should you need us. Love from Jo x

  34. kay salisbury February 10, 2012 at 11:14 pm -  Reply

    Dear UNA-I write to ALI regularly and read your messages but felt I should write now to tell you how sad I was to just read the message Julia has put in ALI’s absence about your tragic loss. I just wanted to say “God bless you and give you strength” at such an unbelievably difficult time.

  35. angela white February 10, 2012 at 11:35 pm -  Reply

    dear una, so sorry to hear of your loss we are all here for you if you need us. i will pray for you to get through this take care lovey much love to you x

  36. elaine sallis February 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm -  Reply

    Dear Una
    I am so sorry to hear your awful news.
    Love Elaine

  37. Mrs Janet Jones February 13, 2012 at 9:38 am -  Reply

    Dear Una, so sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter, my thoughts are with you
    Love Janet x

  38. SUE RADFORD February 13, 2012 at 11:16 am -  Reply

    Dear Una,
    I was so saddened to hear of the passing of your daughter. I cannot put into words the feeling I had when I read this. I lost my brother under tragic circumstances and I can remember vividly the effect it had on my mother. I really hope you can take strength from loved ones around you. The ultimate thing your daughter would want is for you to carry on living your life and to cherish the times you had with her – she would want this more than anything. Ali’s army is always here for you Una.
    Take care,
    With Love from Sue Radford

  39. helen February 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alpa,
    Just wanted to check in and see if you are ok? How are you doing my lovely, any better? I’ve just had a terrible few days, can hardly get out of bed, just wiped out. Went to see a gynie last week and have to have an exploration procedure done to see whats causing my tummy pains. Have had a scan and that shows an enlarged ladies bit, dont want to be graphic. Thought it was fibroids but not. But the consultant did say that I was perimenopausal and that could explain why I have been feeling sooooooo rough!!! My gp’s have been saying no for 2 years!!!! Seeing another consultant later about the nausea and we’ll go from there. I have to decide on HRT but I just dont know what to do. Cant go on like this but am afraid to take it. Oh dear what a mess eh?
    Anyway enough of me, any developments with you lovely, have the drs been any more helpful? Do let me know as I’ve been thinking about you a lot.
    Oh our poor Una, just incase your reading my lovely, please do take care.
    Debz, how are you, are you ok. keep in touch now.
    Love and hugs ladies
    Helen s

  40. Magda Chetty February 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm -  Reply

    Dear Una
    My heart is with you my love, during that sad time. Like the other ladies before me, so so sorry for your loss. My prayer to you and your family. Please if you need anything you just have to ask. We all had a bad 2011, but hope things get better for you soon. I will pray to God to help you get through this, you are always on my mind. Try to stay strong, and do ask for help when you need it.
    Much love.

  41. Aalpa February 14, 2012 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    Dear Debz,
    Thank you for thinking of me and for the hug, both very much appreciated! I hope you and Neal and Ainzley are all ok. It’s snowed here twice in the last two weeks and I did the same as Ainzley, watched it through the window and then went to lie down under my blanket!! (as I am slanketless)
    Sorry for the late reply, my laptop stopped working and although I have bought a new one, there’s a problem with it and it will be replaced as soon as more stock comes in!
    Then the boiler started leaking again and needed a new part. It was a rather chilly few days without heating or hot water! The engineer couldn’t be bothered to finish the job properly so another one is coming out this week to make sure it’s ok and do the safety check. It’s been a rather expensive time but at least these are things that can be put right :)
    Sending you a big hug and a stroke to Ainzley from his Auntie Alpa.
    Lots of Love,
    Alpa xxxx

  42. Alpa February 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debz,
    Finger slipped on the key, hence the double ‘Aa’ at the beginning of my name!
    Alpa xx

  43. Alpa February 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm -  Reply

    Dear Helen,
    Sorry it’s taken a while to write to you. All is explained in my message to Debz. I’ve just had to deal with an appeal as something I applied for was refused and then refused on review, so this is the next stage :(
    I’m sorry that you have been feeling so wiped out, that’s not good at all, poor thing. How maddening to be told that it might be because you’re perimenopausal after 2 years of being told you’re not!! I do hope that you don’t have to wait too long for your next appointment with the other consultant. I will keep everything crossed that you will have some answers and that there may be an alternative to HRT. The nausea sounds horrible.
    No changes here, just trying to take it one day at a time, which is enough for me at present! I haven’t been to my dr’s since my blood test results at the end of last year, for no other reason than that he is so unhelpful!!
    I have also been thinking about you, lovely. I wonder if there is a way we may be able to exchange contact details? (I’ll ask Ali when she comes back) I hope Olivia and your hubby are both well x
    Magda, I do hope you are feeling ok and that it hasn’t been as cold as it has here. I will be so glad to see the end of winter. Take care x
    Shauna, I’m sorry to hear that you have been struggling. I hope you know that we are always here for you x
    Love to you all and to Susan, Marg, Gail and all in Ali’s Army.
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  44. Alpa February 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm -  Reply

    Dear Una,
    I am thinking of you always and keeping you in my heart. As lovely Magda has said, if you need anything, please ask.
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  45. Alpa February 14, 2012 at 9:35 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue,
    I hope you don’t mind me writing to you. I am so sorry you lost your brother in tragic circumstances.
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  46. SUE RADFORD February 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alpa,
    How kind of you – thank you for thinking about me. I really hope Una has lots of loved ones around her at this difficult time. One things for sure she has some very lovely friends amongst Ali’s army you being one of them!
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  47. alison keenan February 16, 2012 at 11:45 pm -  Reply

    My dear Una, I am sitting here half way around the world trying so hard to write something…. anything… that will bring you some form of comfort…but there aren’t words really are there..? So I am sending you my love, and hoping that you will be able to hold fast to your memories and through them, keep your daughter close… Thinking of you my friend, and praying that the pain will in time ease a little for you and your family …. Ali xxx

  48. Susan February 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    How lovely of you to write to Una – although as you say nothing can comfort in times like this. I do hope you are having a lovely time with your brother, his family and Colin. Looking very much forward to your return! You are always missed.
    SUsan x

  49. Liz, Morecambe February 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm -  Reply

    To Una,
    I wish you strength at what must be a terrible time for all of you but hope that you will find comfort in the memories of good times you will have had with your daughter.

  50. Liz, Morecambe February 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm -  Reply

    I hope you are having the most wonderful time on your jollies and enjoying the company of your family and seeing sights galore. I am sure the sun out there in Oz will be doing you the power of good and give you a renewed sense of vigour. Loads of photos on your return please!
    I have just had a go at Nordic walking and LOVED it – so much so that I have just bought my own pair of poles so I can walk on the promenade every day (short distances only though!). It sounds like it will help me with my general fitness, bones and lymphoedema without putting too much strain on my body. We will see…..
    I have finally received a date for my surgery – 1st March – and have to go in late afternoon the day before…..unless they haven’t a bed for me. Have to ring before I set off to check. No wonder my blood pressure is higher than it should be!! All I can say is roll on 2nd March and a quick recovery.
    Make sure you really enjoy the rest of your wonderful trip and like everyone else in Ali’s Army, I can’t wait to hear about the adventure.
    Love and a hug,
    Liz x

  51. Hazel February 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm -  Reply

    Alison, I wish you and Colin a wonderful trip. You deserve a great holiday. xo

  52. Magda Chetty February 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Liz
    Good luck on the 1st of March, I will be thinking of you, and i will pray that all will be fine with you. Lots of love, and do let us know how you got on when you can. Much love.

  53. Liz, Morecambe, Lancs February 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm -  Reply

    Magda – thank you sooo much for your good wishes. As long as I get the op I will be fine cos my surgeon is just brill. There is an outbreak of norovirus at the hospital at the mo and some wards are closed and some new patients being turned away, still it’s a week off yet! Once I’m sorted,probably May time, my other half and I will be planning a trip out to Mallorca for some sun. Had thought of nipping over the other week but then saw the snow on the beaches and thought perhaps not!! Hope the snow has all gone now and things are warming up and you are keeping as well as possible. With love, Liz

  54. Linda,Glasgow February 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali & Colin
    I hope you both had a fantastic holiday – i cant wait to see the photographsx I hope your feeling well Ali and everything is still on the up and getting higher. I’ve missed you at QVC,however,a couple of your voiceovers have been played – i’ve told you before what a lovely,calming voice you have – which has been lovely. You look so healthy and youthful in the pictures you have attached to your blog – both you and Colin look so happyx Glasgow is a mix of good and not so good weather days although we havent seen a flake of snow(i want to wear my Wintertrax!!)a big difference from last year were we were all caught on the hop!! Keep healthy and happy Alixx See you on QVC soon and looking forward to your photographsx Love Linda,Glasgow

  55. Linda,Glasgow February 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm -  Reply

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayersxx No actions or words from me will make this sad and painful time any easier – but please know i(and many others) are thinking and praying for you and sending you love and positive thoughtsxx With Love and Respect to youxx Love Linda,Glasgowxx

  56. Myfanwy Brown February 23, 2012 at 6:05 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali,
    I hope you are having a lovely holiday in Australia, it is somewhere I would love to go. You truly are amazing, you are so positive, and I am sure you have encouraged so may women (and men).
    I intend to keep praying for you and your family, that all health will be restored. You are fortunate to have such a lovely man in your life, and such loving friends and family.
    May God bless you Ali
    Myfanwy x
    ps I was sooo happy to see you back onscreen!

  57. alison keenan February 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm -  Reply

    Dear Karen, I’m so glad that having the blogs for a while now you took the time out to write to me – thank you :) Your words are very kind, and I’m delighted to tell you that Colin and I did indeed have a wonderful trip, and took plenty of photographs too. I should have a page full of them for you by the weekend. I hope that all is good for you and yours, love Ali xx

  58. alison keenan February 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm -  Reply

    Dear Pauline, I don’t think I’d realised how much I needed the break until I was away – which is crazy considering I’d only been back at work for three months with time off over Christmas, but I think the treatment had taken its toll, and although I have missed you too, the last three weeks have been a tonic. Thank you for writing, love Ali x

  59. alison keenan February 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm -  Reply

    Pam I was infact in the air as you were writing, and we had wonderful flights – to and from Australia, and also Tasmania and then Dubai. Felt very much a jet setter! :) It was lovely to see the family, and I did manage to take quite a large number of photos, so will post them up as soon as possible. Have a great weekend, love Ali x

  60. alison keenan February 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm -  Reply

    hello there Kay, and thank you for your kind words :) The injections did the trick and the flights were all fine – although the compression sleeve was a Godsend for my arm! I can’t quite believe we’ve been there and are now back, but it did feel a long time away from home in truth. Will write as soon as I can, and make sure it gives you a real flavour of what is a fabulous country. Take care, love Ali x

  61. alison keenan February 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm -  Reply

    Julie, thank you for Jack’s good wishes – I think he had a good time, and at least we’d celebrated earlier. Hopefully next year we can ALL be together on the day itself! :) The holiday was wonderful and I have loads to write about and show you, so am hoping to have a new post up by the weekend. Hope you’re feeling a lot better, love Ali x

  62. alison keenan February 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Sue, the flights out to Sydney were great and apart from feeling a little tired about three nights in, the jet lag was fine. Coming back though it seems to have knocked me a little more, although we have had a very busy three weeks!! I’ve taken loads of photographs as promised, and will write again soon. Thank you for taking time out to drop me a line, love Ali x

  63. alison keenan February 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm -  Reply

    Mary I very much hope that if you did get any snow in Westgate it was the source of fun and time off work rather than a nightmare trying to get from A to B! :) Belated birthday wishes to your daughter too – it sounds as though it may have got even colder as the weeks wore on! I hope you have a great weekend, and I should have some photographs up to show you by Monday :) Love Ali xx

  64. alison keenan February 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm -  Reply

    Gosh Eileen I’m so glad to hear that you are well having had to go through it all twice! I’m hoping that by having the second mastectomy in April it will reduce my chances of it returning… so glad that you and your husband had a wonderful time in Oz – it really is a great country to visit isn’t it?! Have a lovely weekend, love Ali xx

  65. alison keenan February 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm -  Reply

    Susan, Colin was very chuffed with your comment :) Thank you!! Sadly the weather was pretty awful for the first week we were in Australia, but as you said there is so much to see and do, and although grey and wet it was always warm :) I’ve taken plenty of photographs and will set about posting them up as soon as possible. I hope you have a great weekend, love Ali x

  66. alison keenan February 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm -  Reply

    Veronica thank you for writing, and I will indeed be back on your screen next Wednesday with the Laura Geller TSV – very exciting! I can’t believe I’ve been away for so long, and seen so much – it was very much a whirlwind visit :) Will write very soon, love Ali x

  67. alison keenan February 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm -  Reply

    HEllo there Janice – it’ll be lovely to get back to work – not just to ‘see’ you all, but to catch up with my friends, and get back into the swing of things. I have a very slightly ginger tinge to my skin, thanks to some sunshine in Dubai, but it may well have faded by next Wednesday, unless the warmer weather continues here! Have a great weekend, love Ali x

  68. alison keenan February 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm -  Reply

    Yes Tina, it’s been a year to try and move on from, and going half way around the world has been a good way to do just that :) I feel lucky to have felt well enough to have enjoyed the break, although we’ve done a massive amount and as promised I will be posting my photos as soon as I can. I hope you have a great weekend, love Ali xx

  69. alison keenan February 23, 2012 at 8:38 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, always lovely to hear from you and I’m glad you read the blog – it was very last minute, and I had hoped to write while I was away, but I just didn’t seem to have the time or the technology!! Have lots of photos though so will look forward to hearing what you think of them :) love to you Ali xxx

  70. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 7:26 am -  Reply

    Morag thanks so much for writing, and yes we have made some wonderful memories, and visited some wonderful places. I am hoping to post my blog later today with as many photos as I can. I hope that you’ve coped ok with the cold over the last month! Have a great weekend, love Ali xx

  71. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 7:28 am -  Reply

    ‘Dear Jackie, that’s a really nice thing to say :) I know I have certainly been helped by all the wonderful comments and encouragement you have given me over the last year, and I’ll look forward to sharing my holiday memories with you too. Take care, love Ali x

  72. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 7:31 am -  Reply

    Hello there Janet, and yes we did arrive safely and it was amazing to see Peter at the airport with his daughter Clare…. hardly seemed as though the intervening years had happened :) The injections were blood thinning as the risk of DVT is increased apparently having had chemo. All was well I’m happy to say. We had a great time, and I’ll be hopefully posting a new blog later today. Love to you and yours, Ali xx

  73. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 7:34 am -  Reply

    My dear Debz, always good to hear from you, and thanks for writing to me over the last few weeks – just sorry I didn’t seem to get round to answering! Yes it was definitely a whirlwind tour, and we have covered many miles and seen many wonderful things, not to mention spent time with some lovely people too. I just hope that you and Ainzley had a slanket each to cope with the bitter cold here! I have some lovely photos to share, and will write again very soon, love to you and your furry friend :) Ali xx

  74. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 7:35 am -  Reply

    ………….althou Debz having read your comment to Alpa I see you didn’t get round to ordering your second Slanket!!!! Priorities my love! :) Ali xxx

  75. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 7:39 am -  Reply

    Hello there Christine, and thank you for your kind words… yes it has been a long year, but I’m happy to say that I only gave it thought a couple of times while I was away and am determined to keep on moving forwards :) We had an incredibly busy but enjoyable stay in Australia, and a real spoiley for two days in Dubai on the way home… Loads of photographs and memories to share which I start to do later today! Love to you, Ali xx

  76. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 7:42 am -  Reply

    My dear Denise, so good of you to write, and thank you for you all that you say. You’re right, what a difference a year makes…. and yet funnily enough the eight years since I’d seen my brother were insignificant almost once we had time together. I will make up for not checking in with the first of my blogs from Down Under, hopefully later today :) Take care, love Ali x

  77. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 7:44 am -  Reply

    Dear Gwen, I hope that Brighton in the snow wasn’t too difficult to deal with – I hope at least the wind dropped a little on the front otherwise it would have been MIGHTY chilly! It’s a pleasure keeping in touch with you all and I’m looking forward to posting my photos and memories up hopefully later today. Have a great weekend, and thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  78. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 7:51 am -  Reply

    My dear Alpa, firstly sorry to hear that you’ve been going through such a lot – not just healthwise, but also having to cope with no heating or water, particularly in the freezing cold – not good at all! I hope so much that you’re feeling better now and that your central heating and water supply is up and running properly! Having read yours and Helen’s messages I can indeed put you in touch with each other and will speak to my editor so that I can mail you both with each other’s e mail addresses. I hope that will help? Stay strong, and keep looking forwards – spring is just around the corner :) Much love, Ali xx

  79. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 7:58 am -  Reply

    Dear Helen, sorry too to hear that you are STILL struggling to come up with some sort of help for your symptoms…. HRT may be the way forward, but best to have as much information prior to the decision making process as possible…. I know it’s not everyone’s choice, but outside of the library an some very good self help books, the internet has a wealth of information too, and self help groups for like minded women. Maybe somewhere in the midst of all that you will find an answer – I do hope so :) I will make sure you and Alpa have each other’s e mail addresses and I’m sure you will be a great comfort to each other. Love to you, Ali xx

  80. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 8:02 am -  Reply

    Dear Sue, I was so sorry to read in your reply to Una of your own tragic loss… and the effect it had on your mother… As I have always said, to lose a child is something I KNOW I would find almost impossible to cope with… I hope so very much that Una will find the strength from somewhere and that all the beautiful words of comfort you have all written on this page which reach her. You take care too, with my love, Ali xx

  81. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 8:07 am -  Reply

    Dear Susan, we did indeed had a lovely time away with our respective families, and have learned a great deal about life in Australia and Tasmania too :) We’ve also made some wonderful memories, and taken some great photos – all of which I’ll be sharing with you in my next blog. Have a good weekend, love Ali xx

  82. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 8:16 am -  Reply

    Dear Liz I am intruiged – Nordic Walking?? It sounds great! I feel I need to get back to the gym or go back to my daily walk as exercise always make me sleep better! I hope that you will get in for your operation on the 2nd March, and I shall be thinking of you and feel sure you will make a speedy recovery :) I have seen three surgeons so far, but there are sadly few options open to me, so another meeting on the 7th March, may help me make my decision. I am planning to post my blog later today (no pressure!) if my somewhat jet lagged mind will let me, and hope that you have a relaxing weekend… try not to worry about the date – it will happen :) Love to you, Ali xx

  83. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 8:18 am -  Reply

    Thank you Hazel! We did have a lovely time, and selfishly were rather relieved to have missed the dreadfully cold snap here! Hope all good with you, love Ali x

  84. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 8:21 am -  Reply

    Crikey Liz just read your reply to Magda, and hope very much that the nurovirus will be long gone before you get to the hospital. A holiday is just the thing to look forward to, and Mallorca in the Spring I know from what Magda has said in the past, is beautiful. Good luck for the 1st i should have said! Love A xx

  85. alison keenan February 24, 2012 at 8:24 am -  Reply

    Linda at least you’re prepared with your Wintertrax!! :) Thank you for writing, and for your kind words about the voiceovers… I do enjoy doing them, and hope to have chance to do a few more in the next few months. Colin and I did have a wonderful time away, and have some great photos to share with you too, so once i’ve finished replying to all these lovely messages, I can crack on and let you know how Australia truly was. Have a lovely weekend, love Ali xx

  86. Una February 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali
    Thank you so much for your kind words, and for taking time out to write them. Im so sorry for spoiling what shouldve been such a happy blog from you. I hadnt read anything for such a long time, and had no idea about your trip.
    I really hope you had a fabulous holiday, you certainly deserve it. Please give my good wishes to Colin and the family.
    I had wanted to write to you, but couldnt find the words, just didnt want to blurt it out. Julia very kindly did a great job for me, for which I am very grateful.
    To everyone who wrote such kind, thoughtful and beautiful words of comfort, i thank you.
    Some days, I just dont know how Im going to force myself to get to the end of the day, and I still cant believe what happened. Until I can get that sorted out in my head, im not sure how to cope. I only know that i have to, for the sake of our little one, who now lives with us. We now have to deal with a trial and a court case to get full custody. A lot of toing and froing to the States unfortunately, but I WILL do what has to be done. ( A little bit of fighting spirit came through there, its in there somewhere!!)
    Sue, my love, I can only sympathise, your family have been to hell and back, im so sorry.
    My Alis Army friends, you have all been struggling too, and I hope everything turns around for everyone. Thank you for your support and lovely words. you are all so kind.
    We have to go abroad next week for yet another hearing, but I will keep you updated when we get back.
    In the meantime, my love to all of you.
    Una xx

  87. Susan February 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Una,
    I’m so glad to hear you talking and coping as best you can. You are amazing. Very few people will have any idea of what you have and are currently going through. I can only imagine and pray you get through. You have a wonderful reason in your grandchild as you say though. I am thinking of you.
    Susan x

  88. Susan February 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm -  Reply

    Hehe Ali…your Colin is delicious so I’m glad he had a chuckle. I also had a chuckle at your new blog…’giving us a glimpse Down Under’ lol x

  89. susie woodward February 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali and Colin
    Have been an avid watcher of QVC for about 15 years and try not to buy
    too many things but i really like all fashion and cosmetics so its hard not to buy.
    Just wanted to say how I admire your courage at what you have endured over the past 12 months and is no doubt still going on with injections etc. good for you for going off to australia – takes some guts at the best of times. I no longer can fly as I am wheelchair bound and have been for 10years due to spinal stenosis and chronic arthritis but i always try and smile and hearing all your news was inspirational and it is so kind of you to share all
    your memories with us avid watchers. fondest regards susiex
    wonderful attitude to life

  90. Rhona Fenton February 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Una I am so sorry to hear your sad news and no words will help take the pain away, I can only let you know that my love and thoughts are with you and your family, love Rhona xx

  91. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen March 4, 2012 at 4:39 pm -  Reply

    hope you had agood holiday in australia alison with your are you i am not bad.

  92. helen March 4, 2012 at 5:35 pm -  Reply

    Just read your updated and am so glad that your back with us. We have missed you so very, very much and I admire you and am with you every step of the way in your court battle. Please take care of yourself also. Keep strong and remember your buddies here are always behind you!
    love and hugs
    Helen s

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