Minnehaha Falls

Every picture tells a story

50

I can’t quite believe it’s been a week since we got back from our world trip, and my brain still doesn’t know what time zone I’m in! What a treat to land in Blighty and find it was hotter here than it had been in most of the countries we’d visited! I managed to dry four full lines of washing in the sunshine.

I have to thank my uber efficient copywriter Lauren for making it possible for me to post my previous blog while I was in Hawaii, and thanks to you too for the lovely comments about the photographs. It was great to keep in touch while being so far away from home, and interesting to find out how many of you had already visited most of the places we were lucky enough to see. I’ve calculated that we travelled roughly 25,000 miles, although technically we only visited four countries, as Hawaii, San Francisco and Minnesota are all part of the USA! But what an incredible time we had, and saw so many amazing things that it’s a good job I took as many photos as I did, because I’d have trouble remembering them otherwise.

wedding

Of course our main reason for the trip was to visit my brother Peter and his wife Sarah who live in Sydney, and to see their daughter Clare marry her fiancé Cale, and I was so glad that we did. As you’ll have seen from the photographs in the previous blog it was a truly memorable occasion, and wonderful to be a part of it all. We were lucky enough to have 10 days with the family, and crammed in a huge amount of other things besides, including a couple of days at various beaches – well it would have been rude not to! Clontarf is one of my brother’s favourites, but Bilgola was also beautiful, and although the weather was a little grey at Palm Beach (known as Summer Bay, where they film ‘Home and Away’) the shoreline and the town were really pretty.

Blue Mountains

The previous time Colin and I had been to Australia, we’d planned to visit The Blue Mountains but the weather wasn’t great, and it was far too cloudy for us to have seen anything. This time around we were afforded blue skies and great views, although it was blowing a hooley so I didn’t stand too close to the edge to take the photos! We took Clare and Cale to lunch in a fabulous restaurant called ‘Chiswick’ in Woolahra, and then treated Peter and Sarah to dinner in one of their favourite spots right by the sea in Mosman. Australia is such a great country and Sydney just a small part of it, but it’s a very beautiful part, and always incredibly difficult to leave…

Hawaii

 

Neither Colin nor I had been to Hawaii before, but if you fly there from Australia you cross the International Date Line, and so having left Sydney at 4.20pm, we arrived in Hawaii at 5.45am the same day! Bizarre! We didn’t sleep for 36 hours, but were really glad to have been basically given an additional day. I hadn’t realized there were five islands in all – Kauai ‘The Garden Isle’, Maui, Molokai “Big Island” (where the recent volcanic eruption just happened), Lanai and Oahu, which is where we stayed.

Oahu is known as the ‘Heart of Hawaii’ and was the location for the classic TV series ‘Hawaii Five O’ – in fact our apartment was in the very same hotel they used in the series too! Of course Oahu is also where the historic attack took place on the American Naval Base at Pearl Harbour in World War Two. We visited the site and saw the remains of one of the warships, the SS Arizona, which now serves as a resting place for 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and marines who died there on the 7th December 1941. It was a very sobering and thought-provoking experience, but we were both glad we made the trip.

traditional Hawaiian dancingWe spent the rest of our time on Oahu on Waikiki beach; we walked to the top of the extinct volcano Diamond Head, and had a cracking night out at a ‘Luau’, where we saw traditional Hawaiian dancing, listened to fabulous live music, and ate the most incredible Kalua pig, which is roasted in the ground. Kalua wasn’t the name of the pig, just the way in which they cook it! Everybody was so friendly, the scenery just breathtaking, and there was a real sense of peace and happiness there. It is a truly wonderful place to visit, and we felt so lucky to have spent time in Oahu and hope maybe some day to get to see the other four islands.

Our next stop was San Francisco
Another long haul flight, but I felt I was getting quite used to spending hours in the air, and although I didn’t sleep very much, I did read a few books and watched some brilliant films! ‘The Shape of Water’, ‘Wonder’, ‘Darkest Hour’, ‘Old Film Stars Never Die in Liverpool’, ‘The Prestige’ and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri’. They were all really impressive, and I’d treated myself to a pair of Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones a few years back so I could hear everything beautifully. ‘Three Billboards’ is pretty harrowing, so I was a tad concerned to see that Qantas flight described it as a comedy! Trust me, there’s nothing funny about this tale at all…

Both Colin and I had heard a great deal about San Francisco, and had many recommendations – from you too – about what to see. The weather forecast had been pretty gloomy, but the clouds disappeared and we had plenty of sunshine to warm us as we explored this fascinating place. It’s a lot smaller than I expected it to be, but incredibly diverse and so pretty. Particularly the old Victorian houses with their beautiful frontages.

Ali and Colin on a tram

 

Lombard street

We took a guided bus tour to see most of the sights, but rode the fabulous trams up and down those incredibly steep streets! We did a lot of walking too, and I was so glad I’d brought my Skechers and Vionics with me. Not one single blister. : ) We rode the ferry from Fisherman’s Wharf across the bay to Sausalito and had lunch at a pretty little restaurant on the water, where we looked out on Alcatraz and San Francisco itself. We walked back across the Golden Gate Bridge and that experience was certainly one of the highlights of our trip. Such a huge bridge, an amazing feat of engineering and a brilliant vantage point to look out across the bay and beyond. A must if you ever find yourself in this part of the world.

Golden Gate bridge

Our circumnavigation of the globe was almost over and our last stop was Minnesota – well we flew there, but were going to stay with Colin’s sister Anne who lives in Prior Lake, Minneapolis. What a beautiful place! Miles and miles of open countryside, and literally hundreds of lakes.

Prior LAke

Anne had texted Colin while we were in Australia to tell us that they’d had 18 inches of snow, which worried us a little, bearing in mind that swimwear, shorts and T shirts were pretty much all we’d packed! Again, we were lucky, and by the time we arrived the snow had melted and the sun shone. Anne took us to Minnehaha Falls which were very dramatic. They have a wonderful statue of Minnehaha – a fictional Native American woman and her lover Hiawatha, both featured in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem ‘The Song of Hiawatha’. From there Anne drove us to The Mall of America – the largest shopping mall in the USA – with floor upon floor of shops and a funfair right in the middle of it! Well you know how I love my shopping!

Minnehaha Falls

Anne moved to America almost fifty years ago, and isn’t able to visit England that often. We’ve met her daughter before, but we’d never seen her son, and so it was a real treat when he and the entire family hosted an evening for us all. We only had two days with Anne before our flight home, and we were sorry to leave her and her family. As with all the countries we visited, we felt there was so much more that we would love to have seen, if only we’d had the time.

Going away is always a treat, but coming home is really special. I had felt homesick a couple of times, but luckily I got to see all my children and little Honey just two days after we’d got back, as it was her third birthday! I took loads of photos on that day, but as we’re limited to just 10 here on the blog, I’m going to save those for next time and share my holiday today. I’ll put more on my Facebook page Alison Keenan if you want to have a look : )

Well, I’d better fly now as I have my sister Jenny coming to stay and I need to make a vegetarian chili. I’ve just taken delivery of the new Vitamix, which is to be our TSV on the 26th May. It has all the fab features you’ve seen before, but this model has a higher spec but a lower profile, so it’ll be easier to get it into a cupboard or slide it under the cupboards on your work top. Jill Franks raves about hers, so I’m going to get a few tips from her before I bring it to you that Saturday night.

It was great to be back on Tuesday with Diamonique, and I’ll be back with you next Tuesday at 8pm with more! Lots to look forward to in the shape of a Gtech vacuum cleaner, Antthony Fashion Designs and Bareminerals – all shows I’ll share with you over the coming weeks. Please do keep in touch on Twitter @alikqvc, or Facebook – Alison Keenan, and I often post pictures on Instagram alikeenan1.

Look after yourself, and do keep in touch, as I will with you.

With my love,
Ali X

50 Comments

  1. Christine May 11, 2018 at 3:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali what beautiful places you have been, lucky lady.
    Can’t believe Honey is three already.
    Take Care X

    • Alison Keenan May 17, 2018 at 10:13 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Christine, I am indeed very lucky! It really was one heck of a trip and so good to have Honey’s birthday to come back to. Love Ali X

    • Heather May 28, 2018 at 11:55 pm -  Reply

      Wow!
      What a fantastic holiday you’ve had you’re very lucky to have visited so many beautiful places and make more happy memories.

    • QVC Copywriters June 15, 2018 at 8:35 am -  Reply

      Hi Christine, I can’t believe Honey is three either! It seems like only yesterday when I spoke to Lucy after she had given birth to her, and then we went to see her the following day. She has grown so quickly and is an absolute joy in our lives. Love Ali xx

  2. Debbie May 11, 2018 at 3:58 pm -  Reply

    Welcome back Ali, you look really well. Your photos look wonderful and i’m glad you had such a lovely time and caught up with so many of your family. Honey’s third birthday where has all that time gone?! X

    • Alison Keenan May 17, 2018 at 10:14 pm -  Reply

      Debbie, you’re right, I can’t quite believe it’s been three whole years! It was such a lovely party, and a real treat following on from our fab holiday. Missing the family already, but looking forward to seeing Clare and Cale once they’re back from their honeymoon, love Ali xx

  3. sue Byrne May 11, 2018 at 3:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali , I saw your tweet when you were in MN USA . Well I live next to Prior lake were Colin’s sister lives . Small world . Glad you had a good time .

    • Alison Keenan May 17, 2018 at 10:15 pm -  Reply

      Sue that’s amazing! I may well have walked past your house on my little trip around the area! You are truly blessed. Such a beautiful part of the world. We stayed with Anne, Pattie and Joe. You may well know them, love Ali xx

  4. Janet Jones May 11, 2018 at 4:00 pm -  Reply

    Welcome home Ali, your trip of a lifetime sounds amazing, and you and Colin got to spend time with family. Hawaii is on my bucket list it looks stunning, We are off to Malta soon and will hopefully spend a day on Gozo (a place I know you and Colin love). Any hints and tips gratefully received. I know what you mean about being homesick, i love going on holiday, but i always love coming back to our home. Honey 3 years old, Alfie now 5, where has the time gone, we are blessed Ali to have them in our lives. I have a coaster at home the says ‘Grandchildren fill a space in your heart that you never knew was empty’. This is so true, my son and grandson are coming up for a quick visit tomorrow to collect some furniture , i look forward to any amount of time with them.
    You will probably fell jet lagged for a few days, so while you catch up on your sleep, plan your next exciting adventure with Colin,
    Take care Ali Speak soon love Janet xx

    • Alison Keenan May 17, 2018 at 10:19 pm -  Reply

      Ooh Janet, you must so go and visit Gozo! The ferry only takes 10 minutes and it’s well worth it. Zhara is the centre, and is a beautiful square surrounded by lovely restaurants. Also the ancient city of Medina is beautiful as is Xlendi. Nice little seafood restaurant on the front there. Enjoy! I can’t believe little Alfie is five already! Gosh it seems like yesterday you were telling me he had been born – such precious times and such joy. Yes, the jet lag took about a week to truly wear off, but it was so worth it. Lovely to hear from you, love Ali xx

  5. Loraine Plumb May 11, 2018 at 4:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali glad you had a wonderful time San Francisco and Sydney (blue mountains are also places we have visited) we are lucky arnt we .Well we also came back the same time as you from Florida had a lovely time Willa was so good never cried once what with the hectic schedule in the theme parks and weather being so hot she loved all the characters she was 2 three days before we went . Although the two weeks went slowly to us a few more days would have been nice to slow down a bit but not complaining we said we are lucky to be able to be healthy enough to travel and spend time all together .At the end of June we have more family time for Les and my birthdays and forty years married we are leaving all the arranging to the family it’s a surprise then it’s rome in September which will nice . I bet you did miss your granddaughter but at least you got to see her when you got back can’t believe she’s three already .Getting back to the blue mountains did you go on the train there when we went the first time you could walk out on a bridge and look straight down like the one on celebrity get me out of here and did you do alcatraz in San Francisco. Oh by the way I saw Lee Holbein in Hollywood studios at Disney by the ice-cream stall i said to Les I’m sure it’s him then I heard him speak so knew straight away I wanted to say hello but didn’t like to intrude I saw on his Twitter he had been there . Well so lovely to see you back although I can’t get back into the swing yet myself take care love Loraine xx

    • Alison Keenan May 17, 2018 at 11:07 pm -  Reply

      Gosh Loraine, it sounds as though you had a wonderful time, and little Willa did incredibly well considering she’s only two! Colin’s son Richard and his girly Jordanna have just had a holiday out in Florida and they’ve loved it. I saw that photo of Lee Hobein on Facebook when he was at the Hollywood Studios and you SO should have gone and said hello. He is such a lovely man, and would have been really chuffed. Gosh forty years married. How wonderful for you both – and Rome! I’d highly recommend it – you’ll love it. So glad you have also seen the Blue Mountains, but no we didn’t do Alcatraz. I didn’t fancy it at all as the crossing looked a bit rough! Thanks for writing to me, and I’m glad that you had a good time away, although I totally understand you’d be tired! Enjoy your surprise holiday treats won’t you. Love Ali x

  6. Mavis Taylor May 11, 2018 at 4:49 pm -  Reply

    Ali you have brought back happy memories for me my son got married in the park at diamond head park over looking the ocean and we went to pearl harbour what an experience.i have done San Francisco all happy times with my late husband I am so pleased you have had a lovely time and you will look back at all the fun you have had.
    That is what life is all about you are doing the right think while you are well enough to travel.
    Love your blog Ali seeing all the pics and hearing about what you and your family are upto.
    Take care Ali

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 8:43 pm -  Reply

      Dear Mavis, I’m so glad to know that the blog and my photos brought back such happy memories. Your son’s wedding must have been amazing and how wonderful that you and your late husband made the very best of your life by having fun and spending special times together. San Francisco was great and Pearl Harbour equally memorable but for different reasons… Your ethos is mine exactly – while I’m well enough to do all of this, if I can, I should! I hope that life is treating you well, and thank you for writing to me, love Ali xx

  7. Carole May 11, 2018 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    What a lovely blog I really enjoyed it so discrpted can’t wait for the Tuesday diamonique it’s my favourite show take care be happy always cazz

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 8:45 pm -  Reply

      Cazz, how good of you to drop me a line! Great to know that you too share my enthusiasm for Diamonique and I hope you enjoyed the collection we had last week. Plenty more to come this Tuesday! Stay happy, love Ali x

  8. Phyllis May 11, 2018 at 6:07 pm -  Reply

    What an incredible holiday you both had – you both look so happy and rested (amazing what with all the travelling involved)!!
    As I previously mentioned, the scenery once you are on the other side of the bridge in San Francisco is amazing & I even remember buying metallic trainers in Sausalito – memories!!
    Can relate to you being home and seeing your family again (bet Honey was well & truly spoilt). Lovely to see you back on QVC Ali & looking so well – very happy for you and Colin.x

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 8:53 pm -  Reply

      I think sometimes the camera is kind! It was wonderful, but it wasn’t always that restful 🙂 Metallic trainers sound interesting! A bit like the pair of Skechers I had to buy for Lucy as a young teenager when I went to New York in 2003! It was so good to see the family though when we returned, although as always, sad to say goodbye to my brother. I hope that life is good for you and thank you for writing to me, love Ali x

  9. Susan May 11, 2018 at 6:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Welcome back! I’m sure you’re all confused with the time as you say! What a trip! I’m going to have to read it slowly!! You’ll have loved it all but sure you’re so glad to the the kids and honey again. They’ll have missed you!
    I just have to say a big congratulations to Kathy! She’s not posted but I see she’s a Nana!!! I hadn’t heard her say bex was pregnant but please pass on to your friend xx

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 8:54 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Susan, glad you’ve enjoyed the blog, and yes, what wonderful news for Kathy! She knows what Honey means to me, and I’m certain baby Zoe will mean the world to her too. I will of course pass your kind wishes on to her. Love Ali x

  10. martin forbes May 11, 2018 at 8:28 pm -  Reply

    hope you had agood holiday in sanfransisco alison hope your family are well also as we say in aberdeen fit like which means how are you iam not bad.

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 8:56 pm -  Reply

      Hello there Martin. Yes, we really enjoyed San Francisco, and the weather was far better than we’d hoped it would be. I hope you’re ‘fit like’ – all good here, and trying to see as much of each other as possible – work allowing! Love Ali x

  11. Elizabeth keenan May 12, 2018 at 12:50 pm -  Reply

    Hiya Ali
    What a great time you and Colin had, saw loads of places as well.
    I am the same love to get away on holiday, but nice to come home.
    Photos are beautiful and Clare was gorgeous loved her dress.
    Lovely blog Ali as usual.
    Much love
    Elizabeth 💜

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 8:57 pm -  Reply

      Dear Elizabeth, we did indeed have a wonderful time, and felt incredibly fortunate to have been able to see so many beautiful places. Clare did look stunning and her dress was so well made! It’s great to be back home and I’ve just had Honey to stay for a couple of days which was a real treat. Hope all good with you? Love Ali x

  12. Eleanor Wilton May 12, 2018 at 3:27 pm -  Reply

    What a lovely blog Alison, I really enjoyed reading it. Sounds like you had the trip of a lifetime and to meet up with family must have made it really special.

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 8:58 pm -  Reply

      The time spent with the family was most definitely the highlight of the entire trip Eleanor 🙂 So glad you have enjoyed the blog, and thank you for writing to tell me. Love Ali x

  13. Betty Stroud May 12, 2018 at 5:11 pm -  Reply

    Alison loved all you photos &all the amazing places you &Colin visited Alison Clare is your image I had to do a double take so beautiful XXX

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 9:03 pm -  Reply

      Betty bless you! That is such a compliment! She has hers and my dad’s smile which may be why we look alike. So glad you enjoyed the blog and the photos and thank you for taking the time out to write to me. Love Ali x

  14. Josephine Jennings May 13, 2018 at 12:04 pm -  Reply

    Welcome home, you look fabulous in your photos .

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 9:04 pm -  Reply

      Josephine, thank you. It was a wonderful trip, and we felt very lucky to have had the opportunity to go to all those places, but was great to be home too. Love Ali x

  15. Joanna Downey May 13, 2018 at 12:46 pm -  Reply

    Welcome home! 25,000 miles is one big trip & you obviously had a wonderful time. Your photos are your usual high standard & I especially love the ones of the undulating streets of San Francisco. How lovely to leave a grey & dull UK, see all those great places, & then return to the best weather we’ve had since last July – I’m not a weather watcher but it seemed that the sunshine left us when the schools broke up for last year’s summer holiday & has been away far too long. I’m delighted to be able to get out & do positive gardening rather than just battling Horsetail… I’m going to Chelsea on 22nd May & will find an expert to make sure I’m doing everything right to control the tenacious pest. Our big news is that Ellie & Dave’s baby arrived on 1st May which was due date & also Joanna Lumley’s birthday, she’s my hero so I think that’s glorious. I was totally wrong in ALL my predictions & Ellie was highly amused by my reaction when she called with their news. Juliette is exquisite & a very relaxed baby. Lovely to see you back. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 9:08 pm -  Reply

      CONGRATULATIONS! Jo how wonderful for you and a huge welcome to baby Juliette, whom I sure is exquisite, and well done to Ellie and Dave. A wonderful start to life being born on Joanna Lumley’s birthday – one of my heroes along with Annette Bening! Unfortunately I am a weather watcher, and so we were incredibly fortunate to have changes for the better in every single country we visited. Then to be blessed with all this sunshine on our homecoming was very special. I do so hope it lasts for your Chelsea trip! I’ve only been once but I loved it! Take care, and enjoy being nanny/granny – it’s just the best. Love Ali xx

  16. Eileen hurley May 13, 2018 at 6:18 pm -  Reply

    Great pictures glad u had a gd time x

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 9:09 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Eileen – I really enjoy taking photos – probably because I haven’t got to fiddle with a lens or filters or things! Im not very good technically, but my new phone has a great camera! Thanks for writing to me – hoping to post more photos on Facebook. Love Ali x

  17. Sue Radford May 13, 2018 at 8:30 pm -  Reply

    Ali, what a fantastic account of your exciting holiday – I thoroughly enjoyed reading all about it. You describe everything so well. Can’t believe how much you crammed in. How lovely it must have been to spend precious time with members of your family and Colin’s too. Your niece looks so much like you Ali, and she looked so happy and beautiful on her wedding day.

    I’m looking forward to our holiday. We’re spending the first week in Corfu (Gouvia), and hope to visit the house where my favourite programme, The Durrells is filmed. The second week, we’re cruising the Greek islands. We loved Mykonos last time, so
    were very glad it’s on the itinerary again this time, along with several other places we haven’t visited. I plan on taking down names of hotels in Mykonos this time, so we can spend a holiday there in the future, as it’s so beautiful.

    I was so very pleased to hear your tests were good.

    Love Sue Radford x

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 9:13 pm -  Reply

      Dear Sue, I too am MAD about The Durrells, and have visited The White House many times when in Corfu. In fact when we holidayed with Kathy Tayler and her husband there, we had a lovely meal by the sea one evening there. Long time since I’ve been to Mykonos, but in my book, you can’t go wrong with anywhere in Greece – mainland or islands 🙂 So glad that you enjoyed the blog and thank you for all the kind words about the pictures. I really enjoy writing my travelogues and hope one day to put them all together for my grandchildren to read 🙂 Clare and Cale’s wedding was the icing on the cake for our trip, and we can’t wait to see them when they get back from their Italian Honeymoon. Enjoy your holiday – I’m sure it will be fabulous. Love Ali xx

  18. Judith Lennon May 14, 2018 at 2:35 pm -  Reply

    Welcome home Ali
    What a fabulous time you have had and well deserved. Gorgeous pics and description of the places you visited.john and I visited some years ago and it’s the place where many brides go to have their photos taken. Lucky you didn’t get involved in the volcano eruption and you are home safe and sound. John had a visit to the hospital two,weeks ago and was told he had a melanoma on his leg! Not the news you want to hear but hopefully after the removal of it they seemed hopeful it hasn’t spread. Another small op and a biopsy to be done in two weeks then hopefully check ups for the next five years. Keep your fingers crossed for him. We are trying to keep positive. The sun in shining today and we have our youngest granddaughter here. Oh to be young and carefree. Nice to see you back on QVC. Take care and love and hugs to you from me. Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 9:16 pm -  Reply

      My dear Judith, so sorry to hear yours and John’s news. Such a worrying time for you, but very relieved to know that they are pretty certain it hasn’t spread. I know they have to cut large ‘margins’ when removing anything like that but it does make things easier moving forwards, and I’m sure this will be the case. Please let me know how he gets on with the biopsy in a fortnight? How lovely for you to have had your youngest grandchild with you. I’ve had Honey for two days and it’s been lovely – very busy but lovely! I miss the endless energy I used to have. Take care , and thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  19. Mandy May 14, 2018 at 6:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali!
    I have absolutely loved this blog & the photos are gorgeous! Soo pleased you & your Colin have enjoyed yourselves & thanks for sharing your memories with us. I used to print & develop photos for my job & always found customers photos a much better, accurate & enjoyable way to find out about different countries. You looked so relaxed & happy on your Diamonique show & it just shows what a great tonic a holiday is- should be free on the NHS lol :-). I bet little Honey has really missed you. I have been having quite a splurge at QVC lately as I am getting prepared for my hols in July- Diamonique (of course) Lola Rose, Benefit & the fantastic Margaret Dabbs TSV- we both use the products so I don’t feel guilty buying it ha ha. My lovely Mum is 70 very soon so I have bought her the Trilogy Celebration ring. There are five in our family & so I thought she would love a special memento to celebrate her special day. I am quite pleased at the moment as my hair is now long enough to tie back & wear my Ken Paves Style a Do (hooray!!) so will be taking it to Greece with me. I am going to TRY & not take as much as I usually do so will let you know how I get on. I have to take my gorgeous beauty products so am aiming to decant & take travel sizes so I don’t have to miss out lol. Ooh, I did notice a photo of you on your Twitter when I was reading your blog & I spilt my G & T laughing so much! It was the one with your knickers down the leg of your jeans- hilarious!!Have a lovely week, the weather is forecast to be fine so enjoy it & it’s lovely to have you back.

    Love & Hugs
    From Mandy xxx

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 9:18 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Mandy,

      I’m so glad to know that you loved the blog, thank you for your kind words about my photographs. I remember the days when I used to send my photos off to Bonusprint and then have to wait 10 days for them to come back. I love the camera in my phone, it makes things so easy. It sounds as though your hair has grown really quickly, and I am delighted that she will be able to tie it back when you go to Greece. You sound like me! It is almost impossible not to take too much with you when you travel… Spare pairs of knickers are most important, especially when you leave them jams down the leg of your trousers as I did! Glad I made you laugh though. We have been spoilt rotten with the weather since we got back from our holiday, and I’m certain the Sun will shine for you when you get to Greece. How wonderful to think this time you have so much to look forward to. Stay well, love and hugs, Ali xx

  20. Christine Auchterlonie May 15, 2018 at 11:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali…what a wonderful holiday you have had, photography brilliant and a wonderful wedding ,the bride looked beautiful I bet it has taken you and Colin sometime to get back to real life and back into the swing of things..I can’t believe Honey is three now where does the time go? Jessica my granddaughter is in the middle of her exams..she is hoping to go into 6th form to study performing arts ,she has been revising for a while but is still quite nervous about it all!Fiona has signed up for the Windermere swim again this year not long now it’s in June … she has started training to be able to teach swimming with young people too …Glad to say the weather has perked up and I have been able to get into the garden more… thank goodness it was looking a bit forlorn and needed some attention…Not been very far of late just the usual coffee afternoons with a friend normally on Thursdays when we trawl shops and have a good natter…and more often than not come home with several purchases😂 Glad Tuesday evenings are back with Diamonique…albeit Charlie does a good job and is so funny 😂 Hope all is well with you …you look well after your travels …take care till next time with love Chris x

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 9:23 pm -  Reply

      Dear Chris, as always lovely to hear from you, and to catch up on all your family news. I do hope that Jessica does well in her exams, and will find a place to study performing arts. It is something that many people aspire to, but not many succeed. Your family are a group of achievers – just hearing about Fiona compounds that, and I’m sure you’re very proud. Talking of which I know that it’s been frustrating you not to be able to get out into the garden, so am very glad to hear that you’ve had the weather to change that. Hard to believe that we’ve been home for over a fortnight now – the holiday is just a memory, but we do have all those fab photos to look over every now and then 🙂 I will pass your kind comments on to Charlie – he really is a very dear friend, and a cracking jewellery presenter – but it’s been good to get back ‘in the saddle’ on Tuesday at 8pm too! Thank you for your tweets when I’m on air too – lovely to know you’re there 🙂 Take care and enjoy the summer, love Ali x

    • QVC Copywriters June 15, 2018 at 8:34 am -  Reply

      Dear Christine sorry to hear about your tummy problems, but are very relieved that you are well now. Luckily Joe is making a fabulous recovery and we are all very relieved. Very sweet of you to ask about the books, and as I have just explained to Sue it has been with a publisher for the last 18 months, on the promise it would be out by the end of the year. This is not going to happen now sadly so I will go down the route of self publishing and hope to have it available to you by the autumn. Thank you for asking, love Ali xx

  21. Susan Huskisson May 16, 2018 at 10:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, what a wonderful blog! Your holiday looks amazing, thanks so much for sharing it with us. It almost feels as though we were there with you!
    We’ve had a busy few days with our Charlie. We babysat him for the whole of last weekend. It was great fun although not at 5:30am when he came into our room and announced the sun was shining so it was time to get up and play!! Bless him!
    It’s hard to believe your little Honey is 3 now. Time certainly flies doesn’t it? Charlie was 3 in January and that’s hard to believe too!
    It was good to see you back on air in your Tuesday diamonique show, I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say you were missed.
    Take care Ali, looking forward to your next blog. Love Sue xx

    • Alison Keenan May 18, 2018 at 9:26 pm -  Reply

      Dear Susan, what a great comment you’ve posted! You had me laughing out loud about little Charlie. I bet it was fun, but tiring! Honey has a stick on ‘black out’ blind that we attach to the window when she stays. Mind you, she can still wake up early, but it does help. I’ve just had her to myself here for the last two days which has been such fun, but makes me realise my age! Three though is a great age for grandchildren though, and I love the conversations we have – I mentioned one of Lucy’s friends and asked Honey if she was a teacher “No, she’s a grown-up” was the answer! 🙂 Thank you so much for your sweet words – I missed you too! love Ali x

    • QVC Copywriters June 15, 2018 at 8:34 am -  Reply

      Sue, you have had me laughing out loud with Charlie’s comment about having a baby sister! Out of the mouths of babes eh? Not surprised your husband choked on his tea!
      Yes, Honeys birthday party was absolutely fabulous and I did try and put the short video on the blog to show you exactly the moment when the snow came down, but it wouldn’t send through. Honey was equally impressed with Sams little puppy, and I think he will be coming to see her again soon. Thank you for asking after the book. I have been very quiet about it because it was with a publisher, and I’d hoped it to be actually published at the end of this year, but sadly not to be now. I will go down the self publishing route and hope to have it available to you by the autumn. Take care, lovely to hear from you love Ali xx

  22. Mary Morphy May 18, 2018 at 7:50 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison and firstly I must apologize for being missing for a few blogs..I just don’t know where the time has gone..even though I no longer care for mum I do not seem to have recouped those hours..there was I thinking I could do all sorts with the time but it’s not to be. However Olly our dog has an operation on his back leg..he had a tibia graft and his knee cap moved to the right place so he’s been in plaster for 4 weeks and now, 8 weeks on we can take him out on his lead!! He has been so good but needed carrying up and down stairs, on and off the sofa etc. Thank goodness he’s only small!!
    Anyway back to you..your holiday adventure was wonderful and I read every word and won’t pretend to be s little envious..our world is full of the most wonderful places. How magical to have family around other parts of the world and to be able to share it with them..I think the furthest afar my family goes is Stafford!!!
    The wedding photos were beautiful, a great memory for everyone. We had some great weather while you were away and it was over the Bank Holiday.I spent it in the garden, removing a 6 foot trellis covered in ivy which has been there for 16 years..I am almost done but restrictions on activity are governed by the emptying of my green bin every fortnight!!
    My daughter leaves school forever today.. shes just finished her exams and doesn’t want to go to uni which I respect.. she’s started to apply for advanced levelapprentice jobs as she wants to continue her personal development..she suffers terribly during exams with stress and anxiety and has been a mass of tears for the few weeks so I’m not sure she would cope well at uni but she will get to where she wants to be..wherever that is as she’s not really sure what she wants to do..just via a different route. I didn’t go to uni but was a PA in a bank initially before I started working in a school so I didn’t do too badly!! Jack is still looking for full time work but works in the local grocers shop and has just started working in the bar at the golf club for a few shifts..he got through his second Skype interview with the BBC and has completed the next phase. A 45 second video about himself and why he wants the job..I however sent it out on a family WhatsApp chat that he had to made a 45 second sex video. Blooming predicted text!!! He’s hoping to hear soon if he’s got through.
    So cricket season has started and I am full of chest infection and asthma..wecare surrounded by beautiful yellow fields of rape which look splendid but are not so kind to me. It’s a home game on Sunday..my Saturday is planned. Watching Meghan and Harry get married and baking Bakewell tart, fruits scones ( to be filled with jam and cream) and cheese scones for the cricket tea. Perfect. The care home mum is in are having a party for the resididents…she is doing really well. We are still trying to sell her bungalow but hoping the better weather will help. Have a fabulous Friday a great weekend. Love Mary xxx

    • Alison Keenan June 4, 2018 at 8:35 pm -  Reply

      My dear Mary, I am so sorry that I haven’t got round to replying to you before I posted my latest blog! I just don’t seem to be coping very well with all that’s going on, and subsequently forget things and then remember them half way through the night – then I don’t sleep. I have to say though you made me laugh out loud with your predictive text faux pas! I bet it gave the family a mighty laugh too – I just hope Jack has forgiven you 🙂 Do let me know how he got on. I admire Chloe’s decision. I made the very same decision – although in some ways it was predetermined as mum was bringing three of us up on her own. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do, so I went to work at 16 and took my A levels in English language and Literature when I was 25. As you say, we both did OK workwise without a degree, and it’s not for everyone. Too much stress and anxiety aren’t good for anyone, especially when that someone is away from their mum! So sorry your allergy levels are up – mine is definitely some kind of pollen that affects me around junctions six and seven on the M4! Far better than I used to be – I think chemotherapy blasted it out of me all those years ago 🙂 CHEESE SCONES?! They are my absolute favourite! Roz and I used to go to a local garden centre and have scones an soup – it was delicious.
      Mary I’m so glad to know your mum is doing so well. Fabulous to know that the move has been a tonic rather than a trial. I know how long your deliberated over the decision, but clearly it was the right one. Fingers crossed for the bungalow. I hope the cricket match went well and you enjoyed the wedding. Keep in touch, and I will do too.
      Love Ali xx

  23. Betty Smith May 20, 2018 at 11:04 pm -  Reply

    That’s what you call a holiday of a lifetime.

  24. Betty Smith May 20, 2018 at 11:10 pm -  Reply

    Saw you on the telly and you were positively g!owing !. Thanks for the pics. haven ‘r been to any of those places so much appreciated. Glad to have you back in our screens.x

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