Family, friends and far too much food!

75

The last time I wrote to you I had a list as long as my arm of up and coming events that have now all been ticked off! Busy? It’s been crazy, but for the most part fun, although a few anxious moments in between.

How have you been? Lovely to have such a great response to the competition, and congratulations again to Pamela for winning the Diamonique and Elemis prizes. The answer was as you’d ALL guessed, Dame Judi Dench, and having seen her tattoo I can completely understand why she’d had it done. It made me laugh though when she’d said that the theatre company she’d been with at the time couldn’t work out why she’d had ‘Fish of the Day’ written on her wrist… Carpe Diem! 🙂 I did consider a tattoo when I was in my forties, but thought that as I got older and my skin became saggier, it may well distort the image!

I had a lovely couple of days when Roz came up from Dorset to stay with me. We spent the majority of time in front of the log burner catching up, but did manage a little trip into Windsor for coffee and cake. There are never enough hours in the day for us to get through everything, and as I wasn’t going to be able to see her for my birthday we celebrated early 🙂

Colin and I then had an 80th birthday to celebrate with Colin’s cousin Shirley. Luckily the roads were pretty clear in spite of the Beast from the East making an appearance, and we managed to get her birthday cake to the party in one piece. I’d made the sponges in my KitchenAid (an absolute Godsend) and Colin decorated it! We added the ribbon and the gyp that morning and it was very well received. I had been geared up to making a mighty chocolate cake for Sam’s birthday on the 10th, but of course the surgery to his jaw has put paid to him chewing anything for at least another month, so that’s on hold.

He had the procedure on the 7th March, and I have to admit feeling more than a little anxious as I waited for him to return from theatre. It doesn’t matter how grown up they are you still worry don’t you? I needn’t have though as the surgery went very well, and although his face was incredibly swollen initially, when I returned the following day to bring him home, it had already started to settle down. It’s been lovely having him living with us over this last week or so, which meant we spent his birthday together (celebratory soup for dinner) and he was here for Mother’s Day.

As I’d hoped, Lucy and Honey came up the night before and Jack arrived just before lunch on the day, so we all enjoyed roast chicken and upside down pudding. I put Sam’s lunch into my Nutri Ninja and it blended his meal perfectly so he was able to enjoy it too. It’ll be about another month before he can actually chew properly, but it will be so worth it to have his teeth properly aligned after all these years. All three of my children spoiled me that day with cards, flowers and special presents, along with Honey who drew in this card for me – she’d even signed it with an H, clever girl 🙂 I’ll be adding it to a rather large box full of Mother’s Day cards I’ve kept over the last 28 years – they always make me smile when I read them.

Plenty to smile about over the last few weeks at the Q too. A great hour with the Dyson supersonic hairdryer on the same day we’d featured Percy and Reed as the TSV. I got in early so June (who runs our team of make-up artists) could give both brands a go before the 8pm show. I’d been back to the hair salon to have an ash toner put on my rather bright blonde highlights and am happier with the colour now. I’ve seriously thought about becoming a red head … what do you think? I’ve been blonde for so long now it may too much of a change, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Someone who inspired me years ago with her hair style was Lulu, and I was really pleased to find out I’ll be working with her again on the 30th March when she has her Time Bomb TSV. It’s a four-piece Supersize Complete Skincare Collection (234832) and includes her Collagen Bomb, Complexion Cocktail, Flashback Night Cream and Smart Balm Eye Cream – all in supersizes! It’s under £47, which is a steal when you consider the night cream alone is £80 directly from Time Bomb! She’s got some fab reviews online and the range is all about radiance, hydration, firming and smoothing. We may well have a pre-launch link online before the 30th, so make sure you’re following me on Twitter @alikqvc and I can give you a heads up. Don’t miss our show at 7pm, she’s always so entertaining.

I was entertained in fine style by Colin last Friday for my birthday when he took me to London for the day and overnight. We had a good old mooch around with a bit of shopping and then went to the National Portrait Gallery. We’ve been inspired by my friend Jo who runs an art class locally, and were very impressed with her student’s portraits. I’ve never been to the Portrait Gallery before, and it was fascinating to see the different styles and also the subjects chosen.

We headed into the centre of town after that and found a fabulous Peruvian restaurant in Charlotte Street. Senor Ceviche serves the most incredible Peruvian food and these three dishes were just part of the beautiful meal we enjoyed. Barbecued chicken, beautiful beef and roast cabbage – I’d highly recommend it! It was Greek food last night when Jo and Simon joined us, and having motored our way through an enormous number of delicious dishes we came home to this fabulous cake that she’d made 🙂 Forgive my somewhat inelegant pose but it took a fair bit of puff to extinguish the flames!

My check-up appointment has clashed with my Diamonique hour this week, so I won’t be back with you until the Sunday, but there’s a fabulous Babyliss Hot Styling Brush (401202) as our TSV on Wednesday, and a five-piece Tarte Shape Tape Make-Up collection on Sunday (234127). Massive savings on both brands 🙂

Let me know your thoughts on blonde versus redhead, and do drop me a line here on the blog. It’s always great to hear from you.

With my love,

Ali xx

75 Comments

  1. Sue Radford March 19, 2018 at 3:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,

    I replied to your last blog, but it was missed for some reason. Hope my comments didn’t offend.

    So glad your son is recovering well. Glad you both enjoyed your birthday celebrations. I remember the red wig you wore, and thought the colour and style suited you perfectly. I remember commenting on it at the time, and said I liked it very much, as it gave a modern ‘edgy’ look, which suited you very much.

    Best wishes to all those in Ali’s Army. Hope all is well with you.

    Love Sue Radford x

    • Alison Keenan March 21, 2018 at 10:53 pm -  Reply

      My dear Sue I’ve just scrolled back through the 434 comments and I can’t find it! You could never offend me, and thank you so much for your lovely words. Sam’s doing really well, and we both enjoyed our birthdays. Yes, the red wig was my favourite and I found it in my drawer at work just the other day! Maybe I’ll just get it cut the same way and keep the blonde! Enjoy the rest of the week, love Ali xx

  2. Lucy March 19, 2018 at 4:15 pm -  Reply

    Redhead definitely!! Give it go Ali!! Be brave! Lovely blog as always. Lucy x

    • Alison Keenan March 21, 2018 at 10:54 pm -  Reply

      …. ooh ! I think I should wear my wig again for a bit! Thank you though for your suggestion. Love Ali x

  3. Lucy March 19, 2018 at 5:23 pm -  Reply

    Redhead definitely! Give it a go Ali! Be brave! Lovely blog as always xx

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 7:20 pm -  Reply

      I’m still teetering! Thank you though 🙂 Do keep in touch, love Ali x

  4. marie March 19, 2018 at 6:20 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    Pleased you had a lovely birthday
    With your family
    and your beautiful Honey.
    Please stay a blonde I couldn’t
    imagine you with any other colour.
    You have a blonde personality!
    Lots of luck with your checkup. Love Marie x

    • Alison Keenan March 21, 2018 at 10:55 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Marie, very sweet of you to say. A blonde personality! Love it! Check up sorted and all ok now. Thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali x

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 7:39 pm -  Reply

      Loving the blonde personality! I’ve just spent the last couple of days with Honey and had a wonderful time. She makes me feel so young again. Love it. My check up was fine, and the scan all clear which was a relief. Nothing now for the next six months. Hope all good with you? Love Ali x

  5. Morag Cade March 19, 2018 at 6:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    have a redhead moment, you might inspire many others to follow your trend!
    Best wishes
    Morag

    • Alison Keenan March 21, 2018 at 10:57 pm -  Reply

      I’m going to really have to think about this! Maybe let it bleach in the sun while I’m away and then go red? Thanks Morag for taking the time 😀Love Ali x

  6. Christine March 19, 2018 at 7:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali belated happy birthday to you. I think Honey is going to be the next bake off winner. Good luck with your appointment.

    Had a bad week I lost my brother on Thursday. It was very sudden.

    Take Care X X

    • Alison Keenan March 21, 2018 at 10:58 pm -  Reply

      My dear Christine, I am so terribly sorry to hear of your loss… so dreadfully difficult to come to terms with losing someone suddenly… same as my dear dad 30 years ago. Sending you my love and a big hug xxxx Ali

  7. Julie March 19, 2018 at 7:22 pm -  Reply

    No Ali don’t go red!! Apparently it’s the hardest colour to change to and the hardest to get out if you don’t like it. As you- or should I say everyone gets older they should go lighter not darker. Hope you don’t mind me being honest- but you know what I’m like I wear my heart on my shoulder. I once wanted to go darker and ended up like a carrot- I kid you not. Funnily enough I had my hair done last week and in the back was like a dogs hind leg so had to have it re done-don’t have much luck do I??
    Things are very much the same here. I see the Oncologist next week so will keep you updated.
    Glad you had a lovely birthday.

    Speak soon and take care as always.
    Julie xx Girls xx

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 7:42 pm -  Reply

      Dear Julie, I never mind you being honest, and I know you’ve had your share of colour mix ups! I think Lucy had something similar happen when she went red, so I’m still on the fence! I’m not at all sure what you mean by the back of your hair being like a dog’s hind leg?!!!!!! 🙂 You must explain. I hope your visit goes well with the oncologist, and they are happy with your progress, which I’m sure they will be. You take care and I’ll be in touch, love Ali xx

  8. Anne Lewis March 19, 2018 at 7:26 pm -  Reply

    Try putting a red wig on first and see what you think.

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 7:50 pm -  Reply

      I’ve done that, but clearly need to do it again! Maybe I’ll wear it on Sunday night for my QV hours! Thanks for writing to me, love Ali x

  9. Karen B March 19, 2018 at 8:08 pm -  Reply

    I think your hair is looking lovely at the moment and i love the present colour.

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 7:51 pm -  Reply

      Karen, that’s very kind of you. I have to say I’m much happier since I had the ash toner applied. I think though the sunshine I’ll hopefully see while I’m away will make the colour lighter still. Perhaps I should take the wig just for a bit of variety? Love Ali x

  10. Louise Robinson March 20, 2018 at 10:09 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison myself and my family have been shopping at qvc for a long time and have followed you closely especially over the past year following my breast cancer diagnosis. I have to say you’ve really helped my mum deal with things. I always had long blonde hair before my chemo treatment, I am now brown after recently being quite red. I vowed to try new things so changing my hair seemed a good place to start. I take Philip Kingsley tablets which definitely helps with the condition. I am a beauty therapist and hairdresser but have never pushed myself with my hair until now. I say go for it you can always go back I’m sure anything would suit you your one of those people !!

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 7:54 pm -  Reply

      Dear Louise, I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis, and I know as a mother, how incredibly difficult it must have been for her to come to terms with your diagnosis, and stay strong so that she could help you. Like you, I had long blonde hair before I lost it, and tried to go back to my original colour, but my hair was almost black when it grew back and tight pin curls. I had a consultation at Philip Kingsley and they gave me the tablets too which definitely helped the condition. I’m so glad to know that you are moving forwards an in such a positive way. In a few years time it’ll seem as though it happened to someone else… I do hope so. Take care and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  11. Tricia coulsonwood March 20, 2018 at 10:40 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali & all who are in contact with you..It sounds as though you had a lovely family week…Getting together with family & best friend….I finally made it to Portsmoth to visit my daughter for her birthday bash…She wanted to celebrate extra as its now 5yrs post cancer clearence, which of course she told me 5yrs ago March 12th on her birthday that she had cancer of the ovaries…
    It was great to celebrate her life with 50plus relatives and friends and colleagues..I managed to meet my grandsons girlfriends also, both girls are 5.11..reached 6.ft plus in heels…Amazing because when I was at school early sixties I was one of the tallest at 5.9″…?.
    Janette was promoted to Commander late last year so I am very happy for her..I was introduced to her boss Comm Kennedy who is the first women Commodore who featured on Phillip Schofield and Hollie Willowby visiting a Royal Navy ship last week.
    I hope all the followers are keeping well..I am still on double crutches to aid my walking, my knee unable to be operated on…
    Also my hubby and I are getting over a rotten virus and at the weekend we ended up in bed with just our cats to look after us!!.
    I don’t allow anyone to visit when full of “bugs”…
    Best regards and how lovely Honey is progressing…I bet she’s an absolute delight…
    My youngest daughter went reddy,auburn from her usual blonde and it didn’t work for her…my view is to stay blonde…,Tricia x

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 8:10 pm -  Reply

      Dear Tricia, gosh you’ve taken me back with this comment, and the news of your daughter’s birthday. 5 years post cancer is fabulous, but I do remember very well you writing to tell me that she’d given you the news on her birthday… A very difficult time for you all. How marvellous though that you could all be together at this time but in way of a celebration. You must be SO proud that she was on This Morning too as the first woman Commodore in spite of ALL that she has gone through! Wonderful news! Not so good to know that you’re on double crutches though and that you and your hubby have been under the weather. I very much both feel better soon. Thanks for keeping me in the loop, and I look forward to hearing from you next time. Love Ali ps I think I’m veering towards the blonde….

  12. Elaine sallis March 20, 2018 at 11:04 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, glad you enjoyed your birthday. Pleased to hear Sam is doing well, if you are not sure about going red why don’t you try a few darker highlights and see how you feel. I have just stopped dying mine am going greyer by the day. My grandchildren don’t like it as they don’t like me getting older. Jodie’s baby due in a week x

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 8:21 pm -  Reply

      Hello Elaine, good suggestion, and I remember my colourist gave me the same advice a few years back when I felt I’d gone too blonde! Lucky or not, I don’t have much grey hair yet, but if I did I’d definitely go grey/white. Bless your grandchildren… remember you’re as young as you feel, and if your grandchildren are like mine, they’ll make you feel younger. Wishing you and Jodie the best of luck for next week. Great news today for Kathy Tayler and her first grandchild. The circle of life…. Love Ali x

  13. Shirley Symonds March 20, 2018 at 11:29 am -  Reply

    No Ali stay blonde red is so hard to look natural and hard to grow out if you don’t like it great blog as ever

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 8:22 pm -  Reply

      Thanks so much Shirley… it seems to be the general view that red is difficult to change if I don’t like it, so maybe not for me! Glad you enjoy the blog – thank you for keeping in touch. Love Alix

  14. Josephine Jennings March 20, 2018 at 11:54 am -  Reply

    Before changing hair colour , try on a wig in the colour you prefer. Easier than changing your colour and hating it.

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 8:23 pm -  Reply

      How about me taking a picture of me in the red wig and then as I am? That may make it all easier? I’m back to the Q on Sunday, so may give it a go! Thanks tho Jo xx

  15. Viv strange March 20, 2018 at 3:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ally lovely to read your blog I always look forward to them. Do give the red haircolour a go I am sure it will suit you, and you can always change it. So glad your son is ok after his op and that he recovers soon to start eating properly again. I absolutely adore your grandaughter Honey she is so beautiful. i do hope your check up goes well I will be thinking of you and look forward to seeing you on air on Sunday. Best wishes Viv xx

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 8:26 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Viv, thanks for getting back to me, and for voting on the red/blonde situation 🙂 Sam is doing so very well, and has coped with quite an uncomfortable situation for a while now, but it is definitely going to be a massive improvement in the long term. My check up went well, although I had to have a scan after my oncologist found another lump, but nothing sinister thank heavens… it puts years on me! 🙂 I’ll give you a wave on Sunday, love Ali x

  16. sally March 20, 2018 at 3:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi ali

    I would not go red as you grow older it is said go for paler colours , having said that why not just try a few just at the front at the sides to see if you like it.
    Always nice to read your blogs.
    Take care

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 8:27 pm -  Reply

      Oooh, like the idea of a little red at the sides! I used to work with an incredibly beautiful girl called Pepita and she had red lowlights at the side of her face. Mind you she could have had any colour and still looked gorgeous 🙂 So glad you enjoy the blogs, love Ali xx

  17. Merche March 20, 2018 at 4:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, so lovely to read your blog. Glad Sam’s operation went well, sorry to hear that he wasn’t able to have chocolate cake, I’m sure he will make up for it in due course. When my son was ill, he spent a year having his food liquidised, stew and dumplings didn’t really taste the same, but at least he didn’t miss out.
    Please stay blonde Alison, it suits you so well, it gives a lovely soft
    image whereas red can look quite hard looking. John and I thoroughly enjoyed our Golden Wedding dinner and as we did not want presents, we asked for donations to the British Heart Foundation where we made £155. Love Merchexx

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

      Your poor boy Merche. A whole year of having food blended… such a shame, but well done you for having the foresight to make his favourite meals – as you say at least he didn’t miss out that much 🙂 Sam actually did manage a little cake just the other day, so I feel the chocolate sponge is in the offing! So very glad that you and John had a truly enjoyable Golden Wedding and how very kind of you to have donations to the British Heart Foundation rather than having gifts. I lost my dad to a heart attack 30 years ago, and it’s a charity I give to as well. Well done for making that impressive total! Love to you and John, Ali xx

  18. Mary Morphy March 20, 2018 at 4:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison hope the sun continues to shine where you are, it’s been a glorious day today, Tuesday if a tad chilly but I am on duty every lunchtime at school and I live to get a bit of fresh air in my lungs. It was a tad warmer weather than yesterday but still freezing cold despite the sun. I answer to red head v blonde..I am biased and say red head as my daughter has the most beautiful titian red hair..a complete surprise to me and her dad who are both mousey brown but it’s spectacular with a multitude of different colours in it. She shines brightly in the sun shine!! You’ve certainly been busy and I hope your check up appointment goes well. Isn’t it lovely to have all the family together especially for your birthday. Great that you were spoilt with gifts and had some fabulous days too. My birthday is Monday 26th but no plans made. As I am an identical twin we will probably do something together as she is single so I don’t like her spending it the same as any other day.
    We said a final farewell to my Godmother on Friday and cannot believe how lucky we were with the weather..it was 16 degrees and the most wonderful sunshine to compliment what a wonderful godmum she was to us. Hard to believe that on Saturday and Sunday it was sub zero and we were on the beach with the dogs both mornings in the snow!! I hope Sam is recovering well and I am sure he is looking forward to his first chewy meal!! I have to go and put on my Mum’s Taxi hat now so I’ll sign off. Much love Mary x

    • Alison Keenan March 23, 2018 at 8:44 pm -  Reply

      Hello Mary, lovely as always to hear from you, and I remember seeing photographs of your Chloe’s hair – just GORGEOUS! My first husband had the most beautiful auburn hair, but it was something that apparently skipped a generation, which is why my children all had brown and light blonde hair, but Honey is definitely erring towards strawberry blonde. I am glad that your godmother’s farewell was in sunshine and so all your memories will be warmed by that too. I hope that whatever you plan to do with your twin to celebrate your joint birthdays will be fun, and that you’ll be able to put the pressures of this last year behind you and just enjoy being together. It’s all about the here and now, as my daughter reminded me. Yes, Sam is continuing to get better and has taken a few days away, but plans on returning next week. It’s been so nice to have him back 🙂 I do hope your mum continues to do well, and thank you for keeping in touch. With my love, Ali x

  19. Penelope Scott Rowley March 20, 2018 at 8:37 pm -  Reply

    Happy belated birthday Alison. I have just rejoined Ali’s Army, think I’ve given enough to this caper- 3 times now – have to stop being greedy shan’t I ? I was born a redhead, admittedly a red gold / strawberry blonde, it does go lighter in summer and now I am aging [ 70 last birthday ] it is lighter still. Of course it has been regrown now 3 times from bald, so hasn’t gone grey, just a bit silvery at the temples and ears. I have decided when it is all silver I am going purple ! Try a wig – maybe various shades of red – you might find one which doesn’t class with your complexion – mine is porcelain – chemo makes it so pale it is almost green, thank goodness for Laura Geller and her balance and brighten, and also QVC for showing me how to draw in eyebrows LOL . Hope all is well and keep blogging :o)

  20. Diane Maddock March 20, 2018 at 8:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison it’s great to read your blogs. I think you should be daring and go for being a red head. I eventually stopped colouring my hair and now I am a lady with white hair and now keep it short instead of long. Take care look forward to seeing you back on QVC xx Diane

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 10:26 am -  Reply

      Hi there Diane, I think short white hair looks fabulous! I remember when our model Cordelia went from jet black to white and it was really quite dramatic. I think red is definitely on the cards, but when I get back from Oz 🙂 Thanks for writing to me. Love Ali x

  21. Julie March 20, 2018 at 9:34 pm -  Reply

    No I think blonde is best ! Suits you. Stay with it. Keep smiling .
    Julie xxx

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 10:27 am -  Reply

      Julie, I think that’s the way it’s going to stay for now! Hope all ok with you and that Easter weekend went well. Love Ali xx

  22. Hilary Patterson March 20, 2018 at 9:46 pm -  Reply

    What you could do if there are any wig shops near you see if they have any pieces or wigs you like the colour of and try them it will save you getting you hair coloured if you do not like the colour on you good luck your hair always looks nice x

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 10:29 am -  Reply

      Dear Hilary, thanks for joining in the debate! 🙂 I actually still have the red wig I wore when I lost all my hair, and have tried it on a couple of times. I’m guessing from the comments here that maintaining red is quite difficult and as I’m going to be away for a while, I think I’ll put it on the back burner until I’m home. Good to hear from you tho! Love Ali x

  23. Karen Somerville March 21, 2018 at 12:31 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali . beautiful cake 🎂 you and Colin done a great job.go for red !.it will look stunning on you .

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 10:31 am -  Reply

      Hi there Karen, thanks for your kind words – I’ll pass them onto Colin 🙂 I wonder who’ll help me with his cake for his birthday in May? Still on the fence re the hair colour, but am thinking it may be more of an autumn colour! Love Ali x

  24. Judith Lennon March 21, 2018 at 8:09 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    I so look forward to your blogs and all you have been up to. Honey looks quite at home with her Kitchen Aid. Maybe the next Master chef in the making! Talking of cooking what a beautiful cake you made. Maybe your career could also be master chef!!!!
    So pleased Sam is doing well. As I said in my last blog being a mum is what we do best when the chips are down. Families should pull together but sadly not all do. Belated Happy birthday 21 again I see. Australia is coming around fast and a well deserved family catch up for you all. If you feel like a hair colour change – go for it. You can always change it again lol. Having your hair done always makes me feel better. Look forward to seeing the outcome. Until next time sending love and hugs Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 10:35 am -  Reply

      Hello there Judith, and thank you for your sweet comment. That means a lot to me that you look forward to the blogs – I very much enjoy keeping in touch this way. Yes Honey was very adept with the Kitchen Aid and the pineapple! I’ve always loved cooking, and so does Lucy, so I think the odds are on that Honey too will follow in our footsteps. That’s kind of you to think of Sam, and I’m seeing him later today. You’re right, families don’t always pull together, and I think it’s even harder to cope when those you feel you should be able to rely on let you down. I’ve read all the comments about hair colour, and I think sensibly I should wait until I’m back from Australia as the sun/chlorine/seawater may play havoc with it! Perhaps red is more of an autumn colour? I hope you’ve had a happy Easter? Keep in touch, as I will do on my travels. Love Ali xx

  25. Joanna Downey March 21, 2018 at 5:58 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, What a lovely, busy time you’ve had & I’m sure everyone loved being with you as much as you enjoyed seeing them. I may have told you before that I don’t celebrate Mothering Sunday, it usually falls close to my mum’s birthday & my parents’ wedding anniversary (17th & 20th March) & we always had a triple party but I haven’t kept that tradition going. However, like yours & many other families we have clusters of celebrations & May, September & early December are our big get together times. In between the awful spells of weather I’ve continued my battle with the Horsetail in our front garden: I’m now on first name terms with at least fifteen people I’d never seen before I retired, all of them have given me loads of advice & tell me that I’m making progress..! I’ve also started to organise Ellie’s baby shower & decided on the colour we’re going to paint the kitchen#loveretirement. In answer to your hair question, a few years ago you wore a very stylish auburn wig & you looked stunning, however, being blonde suits you whether you’re golden skinned or winter pale so my suggestion is to stay that way. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 10:42 am -  Reply

      Dear Jo, lovely to hear from you and so glad that since your retirement you’ve met and made friends with all kinds of folk, and I hope that at least one bit of advice will help with the Horsetail! I remember it growing through the tarmac on my dad’s drive years ago. Certain times of year do bring back all kinds of memories, and sometimes it’s easier just to work around them. Like you, May is particularly busy for us and well arrive home just three days before Honey’s third birthday. I’ll have to be quick sticks on the cake! Thanks for your advice about the hair colour. The point you make about a suntan is something I’ve considered, and I think you’re right. Weirdly the last time I was in Australia I wore the auburn wig ALL the time. This time it’ll be blonde. I can’t believe this time next week we’ll be in Singapore! I’ll keep in touch here and on my new Facebook page 🙂 Love from Ali xx

  26. Susan March 21, 2018 at 6:00 pm -  Reply

    Stay blonde! Hi Ali, I’ve only read the last line of your blog but don’t go red! You suit blonde so much!x

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 10:43 am -  Reply

      Hi Susan! I hope you’ve managed to read a few more lines of the blog since you wrote the comment 🙂 Thank you for your advice – I think more votes your way than red, so I’m leaving it as is for the moment. Love Ali x

  27. Louise Robinson March 21, 2018 at 6:07 pm -  Reply

    I messaged you yesterday and I’ve been thinking about your hair. Why do you not consider a rose brown ombré ?
    It would look lovely on your style of hair xx

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 10:43 am -  Reply

      Oooh! Rose Brown Ombre sounds fascinating – not at all sure what it is, but I’ll google it! 🙂 Thanks for your suggestion Louise. Love Ali xx

  28. Linda Finch,, March 21, 2018 at 7:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali , so glad you had a lovely birthday and an even better mothers day, I too had a lovely mothers day all though very busy one ,,I took it upon myself to cook dinner for Simon ,Michelle and Harry and Ellie which I love doing,I was beyond thrilled with my mother’s day present from Simon which was a gift box of yankeecandles, large jars ,votive and tea lights the house smells divine ,iam glad to hear Sam is doing well, it doesn’t matter how old our children are we mums still like to look after them . I think between Honey and Colin you’ve got 2 really good helpers in the cooking stakes they’ve got it all of to a tea .I can not wait to see Lulu she is such an icon ,when I was younger I also had my hair like hers, my first job was a hairdresser so I would experiment with different colours, one of my favourite ones was a titan red which I loved and kept when I got married ,the only colour I didn’t have was blond ,but that’s all changed now ,I have baby blonde hair with pink (yes pink )highlights as you can see on my twitter page ,I love being blonde I don’t think I will ever change it now ,as another lady suggested try a red wig ,or you cud have some red lowlights in , I will look out for what you choose,you say you have kept all your mother’s day cards, well I can go one better I have all my birthday, wedding anniversary and mothers day cards and after 42 years that’s a lot, love to you both Linda F xxx

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 10:50 am -  Reply

      Hi there Linda, crikey it does sound as though you’ve been busy! Well done for making your mother’s day so special and I’m sure Simon, Michelle and the children loved it! What a thoughtful present from Simon – I’m sure your house does smell fab now – I had my Clean Cotton burning in the kitchen over Easter and that’s my large jar almost finished now. I’ve just checked out your photograph on Twitter and I think your hair looks lovely! the pink highlights may sound unusual but look great. I have to ask you though, where on earth do you store all those cards that you’ve kept over the last forty two years?? I don’t think even my loft would be big enough 🙂 Have a good week, and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali x

  29. Susan Huskisson March 22, 2018 at 7:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, lovely blog as usual. Sorry I haven’t written for a while, had a bit of a time of it recently. We lost my husband’s youngest sister on 20th February unexpectedly after a short illness. We then had to wait until 15th March for her funeral as they had a backlog at the crematorium!! That made it extra difficult as obviously the time ” in limbo” was much longer than usual. She was our Charlie’s great grandmother.
    I’ve also been extra busy with Charlie as his mummy has been working full time. We’ve enjoyed it though as there’s nothing like a 3 year old to lighten the mood is there?
    I’m so pleased you had a lovely birthday and Mother’s Day with your family and that Sam is recovering well after his operation. I bet he can’t wait for his first solid meal!
    I too have had a birthday, 4th March, but it wasn’t great as we had a very foggy day at the end of “the beast from the east” and we still couldn’t get out! Shouldn’t grumble though as my troubles are nothing compared to what a lot of people are going through.
    I was very sorry to realise that your Lucy is now a single parent with your lovely Honey but I’m sure she’s doing a wonderful job!
    On a lighter note Ali, I think you should stay blonde. You always have such a lovely tan and a glow and I don’t think red hair would look right with that!
    Bye for now Ali and wishing you all the very best with your checkup. Love Sue xx

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 10:55 am -  Reply

      Dear Susan, very much mixed emotions for you all as a family it seems over this last month. I’m so sorry to know of the loss to you all, but am glad that Charlie is spending more time with you these days. Honey will be three in May, so I know how wonderful it will be for you spending time with Charlie now he’s chatting. So sorry your birthday didn’t amount to much celebration wise. The weather put paid to a great many people’s plans, but as you say we shouldn’t grumble as some had a real struggle on their hands. Thank you for your kind words. Lucy is doing a great job, and I’m sure once she moves into her own home in April it will be easier all round. General opinion about my hair was to stay blonde and that’s what I’m going to do. Thanks for your input. Take care, love Ali xx

  30. Brooke Miller March 22, 2018 at 10:48 pm -  Reply

    So glad you had a terrific birthday! I’m praying for your son as he continues to heal! Now as far as the red hair goes….I say go for it! I love my red! No matter what you will be stunning as always:). We miss you and Colin and pray you both are well! Love reading your blog!

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 10:57 am -  Reply

      Hello there lovely lady! You certainly do suit red hair, and Colin and I were looking back through the photographs and memories of our time in Nashville and send you, Brad and the girls much love. Soo glad you enjoy the blog and that we’re connected this way. Hopefully one day we’ll be back in your part of the world. Heading to San Francisco at the end of April but that may be a tad too far to visit you! We forget how large a place the USA is 🙂 I think I’m staying blonde for now, but that may well change in the autumn. Love to you all, Ali and Colin xxx

  31. Betty Smith March 22, 2018 at 11:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali good luck with the appointment Great blog. I was born a redhead I used to get loads of compliments .My dad bless him used to say it was like spun gold but you know what I hated it and longed for blonde hair. A few years ago I started having blonde streaks put in and I love it. So I would say you could go red and if you didn’t like it have blonde streaks put in. Hope that helps. Good luck with it .xx

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 10:59 am -  Reply

      Dear Betty – love your name! – I’m sure you did get loads of compliments too! My first husband was a redhead, and his hair was the most fabulous shade of auburn, and my friend Suzanne is much more red but has blonde highlights through hers too, although as she often points out, that’s to hide the grey! Thank you for your kind advice – I think it’s staying blonde for now, but it was lovely to hear from you. Ali xx

  32. Kim March 24, 2018 at 9:42 am -  Reply

    Hi, Ali – yes, definitely go for the red! I recently changed my hair colour quite dramatically (for me!) recently, and it’ was by far one of my better ideas! Nothing like a compliment from a complete stranger whilst dog-walking about your hair colour! I’m so pleased the check-up went well. The cake looked amazing. 😋 Take care, much love, Kim

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 11:00 am -  Reply

      Hi there Kim, it seems as the further down I read on the blog, the opinion is much more for the red hair! You don’t say what colour you’ve changed your hair to, but congratulations on the decision – it was clearly the right one 🙂 Thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali x

  33. Christine Auchterlonie March 24, 2018 at 10:10 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali… I see you have been having a busy time …..home Sam is feeling better….Hope your appointment had a positive outcome as it is no long now for your trip to Australia….I gather you had a lovely birthday with Colin …another year older but are you any the wiser!!!! 😂Honey is growing up so quickly too children love baking and making a mess I remember it well..Talking about birthdays it’s my son Simon’s birthday on Sunday he will be 44!
    I can’t believe it !so no doubt we will be having some sort of bash! Im so pleased the snow ⛄️ has gone although it doesn’t seem to be great for Easter Simon has booked a cottage in the lakes for a few days with Fiona,Jessica and Katy .The garden is looking a bit like spring the daffodils and crocuses are lovely and of course this weekend the clocks change so lighter for longer!!!! I hope all is well with you and yours take care until next time with love Chris x

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 11:03 am -  Reply

      Hi there Chris, sorry it’s taken me so long to reply, but it’s been pretty busy this end, and I’m back to work tonight, but thought I’d have a look through the blog before I post my new one this week! Belated birthday wishes to your Simon – I hope you did something special together. I’m guessing he’s in the Lakes now, which is were my sister and Linda are headed for the half term holiday. I just hope the weather improves for them! Our back garden is flooded this morning there’s been so much rain! I have a few tete a tete’s in my pots and some daffodils, but the snowdrops didn’t make much of an appearance this year. SOO much lighter now, and I got a rather lovely sunset last night – it lasted about four minutes! Thanks so much for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  34. Christine Edgeworth March 26, 2018 at 3:12 pm -  Reply

    Please stay blonde much nicer and also lifts the complexion I think!

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 11:05 am -  Reply

      uuuuum… STILL not sure, but think hesitation may be the answer! 🙂 Too late to consider before I go to Australia, but may well be on the cards for the autumn. Really appreciate you taking the time though, love Ali x

  35. Chris Page March 26, 2018 at 5:11 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali

    Fire engine red – the brighter the better. DO IT!! 🙂

    Love

    Chris

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 11:06 am -  Reply

      Fire Engine Red! Crikey! There’s a thought – I’d have to be called Dennis 🙂 Chris, thanks as always for keeping in touch, but I think I’m sticking with blonde for the meanwhile. Hope you had a happy Easter. Love Ali x

  36. Vanessa Slatford March 27, 2018 at 10:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, yes what a busy time you are having, best way though as I am sure it keeps you out of mischief! Hair Colour I was a blonde (of varying shades for years) until I returned home from a holiday in the sun and as my skin returned to its usual paler hue on impulse I decided to change to Red (not phone box just a medium auburn). I have never regretted the change and feel I look much younger. Give it a go, you can always change back. I hope you can help me with a puzzler, I missed purchasing an art deco ring that Michelle Mone had it one of her early shows; I have tweeted in the past with no success. Would QVC consider doing a similar ring – Art Deco dress ring with a yellow central stone, it was divine. I keep on looking !!

    • Alison Keenan April 2, 2018 at 11:08 am -  Reply

      Hi there Vanessa, interesting your comment about your skin tone… I think that’s one of the big deciders for me when it comes to changing, as we’re hoping for some sunshine while we’re away! I’m not sure the kind of red I’m thinking of would work with a tan. Regarding the Michelle Mone ring, I’ll have a word with the Diamonique buyers as I remember we also did one with a fabulous yellow stone in the Tacori range of Diamonique years ago. It was beautiful. Watch this space. Love Ali xx

  37. Geraldine Crowley March 31, 2018 at 3:24 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali I think you should go red, you would suit any colour great personality and live in the moments. Your granddaughter is so cute to.
    Best wishes Ali.

  38. Elizabeth keenan April 1, 2018 at 2:30 pm -  Reply

    Hiya Ali
    Glad to hear Sam’s op went well so pleased.
    Belated Birthday wishes 💜
    Hope all is well with your appointment I am sure it will be.
    Ali your hair is gorgeous blonde, but go on be a devil and go red you will suit that as well.
    Happy Easter.
    Much love
    Elizabeth 🐇🐇🐇🐥

  39. Loraine Plumb April 1, 2018 at 6:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison glad you had a nice time out for your birthday your little granddaughter is so big now they are so interesting arnt they . Hope your son is still doing well very painful i should think .Hope your happy with your hair I had mine a slightly lighter brown with highlights this time .Les and I have just returned from a couple of days in London just wandered around and took it easy although it’s hard on the feet especially ones like mine anyway was good practise for Florida which is only two and a half weeks away now such alot going on before then too,and willa turns two three days before we go, anyway hope your Aussie plans are still going well love take care Loraine xx

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