Alison, Sara and Lulu2

Fun at the Beauty Bash and much more

47

If you’re a Facebook fan you’ll know about the timeline, where you post photographs from this day way back when, and it made me think back 22 years, to when I was heavily pregnant with Jack.

I was taking daily walks with my son Sam in the hope that my waters would break and my third child would arrive! I had been in for a scan at 38 weeks when I was told he was already between eight and a half and nine pounds in weight, but that they’d leave nature to take its course… which it didn’t!

Jack was more than happy where he was, and it took medical intervention and a cesarean section before he was delivered at five minutes to midnight on the 2nd February 1993… absolutely perfect and weighing a whopping great 10lbs 2 and half ounces : ) I know, I’ve probably bored you with this story before, but I’m sure I’m not the only mum reading this who doesn’t mentally return to the delivery suite every time their child has a birthday?

Lucy's scan picture2

I’m sure once Lucy is in labour I’ll go through it all again, although I still have a few months to wait for that though!  Talking of my lovely girl, she thought you may like to see the latest scan of her baby… such a sweetie eh? : )

Thanks so much for writing to me this month – I’ve loved hearing all your news, and keeping up to date with up and coming events!  It wasn’t just the blog that brought me up to speed, but also this year’s Beauty Bash, which I attended last Wednesday.  Unlike our special jewellery and homestyle days that we’ve held at QVC in Chiswick, with possibly 100 or so folk attending, this took place in London at Old Billingsgate Market, and involved over 2000 guests!

I was up at 5.30am, and travelled in with the oh-so svelte and gorgeous Catherine Huntley, and we were joined by Christianne Wolff, the author of the Body Rescue Plan that has been such a help to Catherine. We clambered out of the car and were joined by Sara Griffiths, Ali Young and Deb Flint who were also there for the day.  It was unbelievably busy, but I really enjoyed meeting so many of you, and hearing about your lives, your families – oh and your favourite beauty products!

It was also very humbling to hear how difficult life has been for many of you – coping alone after losing someone, or living with debilitating illness, as Nicky and her twin sister Natalie do (pictured below).  I felt truly inspired and as always, lucky, to be where I am now, rather than where I was four years ago.
Alison with customers Natalie and Nicky2

It was also uplifting to see some of my favourite guests there, but almost impossible to spend time with each one! However, I was delighted to see Lulu with her Time Bomb range and having managed to claw my way through the crowds, we were snapped laughing out loud after her stylist had said we looked like Charlie’s Angels : ) I also met the delightful Eve Pearl – five time Emmy Award winner for cosmetic services to the stars!  Can you believe she let me pose with one of her awards?!  It took all my self-control not to make a speech – unlike Ali Young who didn’t hold back on Sunday when she presented the premiere show – hilarious! : )
Alison, Sara and Lulu2

Actually Ali Young seriously deserves an award for services to the QVC Customer. She spent the entire day at the head of a never-ending queue of people who were hoping for a consultation with her. Always smiling, always professional, tirelessly giving out advice and support, and never fading, although her feet must have been killing her! I took this photo of Ali with an incredibly brave young lady who had travelled to London on her own in a wheelchair, all the way from Liverpool. As I said earlier, a very humbling day in many respects.

Ali Young and a customer at the Beauty Bash2

Something else that was an education but also very moving was the Stephen Hawking film ‘The Theory of Everything’. I would highly recommend it, and Eddie Redmayne who plays Stephen, is just incredible.  The film charts the love affair and consequent marriage between Stephen and Jane, who is played brilliantly by Felicity Jones.  Luckily Colin and I enjoy the same kind of films, and both cry unashamedly when something moves us. This did, as it will do you I’m certain.

Since we were given Apple TV as a Christmas present, Colin and I have signed up to Now TV and we watched ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ on Saturday night with my friend Jo, who came to stay overnight. Starring the ever-young Ralph Fiennes it has an incredible cast, and is beautifully shot.  Not quite the ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’, but equally entertaining, albeit filmed in the frozen forests of Budapest as opposed to the beautiful, if boiling hot, backdrop of Jaipur.

Psst, I have to let you into a secret…

Richard Gere is in talks about the forthcoming sequel to Best Exotic, and may well be joining Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Judi Dench and the all the other auspicious actors! How exciting is that?!  Or was it just me who at 19 years old, drove through the night to find a cinema that was still showing American Gigolo? : ) What’s your favourite film or actor?  Go on, I bet you have one. Just jot it down here, and we can compare notes : )

Untrimmed wick2I hope you enjoyed Diamonique Week – I loved my hour with Mark Clark, and am hoping he’ll be back again soon – but do join me for my regular show at 9pm this Thursday.  Oh and if you’re a Yankee Candle fan, I highly recommend you buy their wick trimmer – just look at this very strange occurrence when I forgot to trim mine!

Jilly, I very much hope Annie and her husband are doing well, that Alfie is thriving Janet, and that Debz, you’re feeling better than you did prior to Christmas.  Do let us know how things are, and enjoy the rest of January.  I promise I’ll have a competition for you in February.

 

Take care, stay warm, and keep in touch.

With my love, Ali

xxx

More pictures from the Beauty Bash…
Alison holding Eve Pearl's Emmy award2

Catherine and Alison at the Beauty Bash2

47 Comments

  1. Denise January 28, 2015 at 9:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, Love the photos from the Beauty Bash – all looking very glamorous. I so agree with you about looking back on events around when our children were born. I am in that mode around now too as my son was born Feb 6th and remember endless hospital appointments and anxiety over what the birth would be like. In the end I had a similar experience to you in that he too was comfy where he was and ended up a forceps delivery. I think that may have been a clue to the laid back person he is today!!
    He’s also very thoughtful and my Christmas present from him was tickets to the Strictly tour. I was thrilled and let out such a scream when opening the envelope on Christmas Day that my daughter in law who had just gone through to the kitchen to check lunch nearly dropped the turkey! Well that date was last night and in the words of Craig it was fab u lous! The highlight for me was seeing Simon and Kristina dance there Argentine Tango and it got a well deserved rapturous reception – it gave me goosebumps. I took a friend along with me and we are going to start saving now a liitle each week for our tickets for next year as we enjoyed it so much.
    I think you would be great on Strictly – perhaps we should suggest you to the BBC?

    We are hoping to go and see the Stephen Hawking film and especially Eddie Redmayne’s performance. I also want to see the sequel to The Exotic Marigold Hotel and saw an advert today saying it would be in cinemas from 26th Feb so not long to wait. I am a big fan of Richard Gere too so I’m really excited that he’s in the follow up. I think my favourite film of has to be An Officer and a Gentleman – oh to be swept off your feet by him ….. just the thought brings on a hot flush!

    Love Denise x

  2. Sue Huskisson January 29, 2015 at 11:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison, great blog as usual and so lovely and generous of your lovely daughter Lucy to share her baby scan with us. I don’t have children of my own but had such great joy in helping to raise my niece Lisa. As I write this she is exactly 1 week away from her due date so great excitement all round. I feel as nervous and excited as if it’s going to be my grandchild! I bet your excitement will soon be mounting and that you can’t wait to meet your grandchild when the time arrives. I’m so glad you enjoyed the beauty bash. I was there 2 years ago but haven’t been lucky enough to be invited since, and I was doubly disappointed when I heard you were there as I would love to have met you. Maybe next year!! Love Sue xx

  3. Sue Huskisson January 29, 2015 at 11:44 am -  Reply

    Forgot to say, my favourite actor is Richard Gere and thought he was ” disy beyond words in Pretty Woman. Love Sue xx

  4. Debz January 29, 2015 at 12:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali

    I hope you don’t get this twice as have just pressed a key on laptop by mistake and my whole post has disappeared!! Not sure where it’s gone so if you get a strange disembodied post with no ending it’s mine!

    The Beauty Bash looked like a lot of fun and you all looked so very glamorous. I had the chance to go may years ago but, sadly, had no one to go with and wasn’t brave enough to go on my own.

    My hair has improved slightly and my hairdresser says that she can see new hair growth and now so can I. Only a few little hairs regrowing along my fringe but it’s a start. Hopefully it was just iron deficiency and nothing more permanent. Fingers crossed.

    Have also been having heart palpitations so went to see the doctor just before Christmas as, knowing me, if anything was to come to a head it would be on Christmas day! He gave me some beta blockers and booked me in for ECG which the do at the doctors these days (I had it yesterday) He asked me if I was stressed at all. Well, we have a lot going on at the moment. Neal is having a rough time at work again so I try to put a brave face on for him and carry on as normally as I can. I have been worried about my hair but not enough to warrant heart problems I don’t think. Just need to wait for ECG results next week to see what’s going on. Feels like I’m falling to bits just lately!

    My ECG was very strange. I was wired up via sticky blue pads to a machine I couldn’t see! Felt like I was powering the lights in the surgery as when she switched the machine off I swear the lights flickered!! Thought I’d removed all the sticky pads at the surgery but still managed to find 2 in my bra when I got changed for bed!! Typical me!

    Anyway, must go as it’s time for Ainzley’s tablets. Cover me I’m going in!!

    Love to you and all in Ali’s Army especially Alpa and Una.

    Lots of love and licks.

    Debz and Ainzley (=^-^=) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  5. lorraine January 29, 2015 at 3:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali I met you at the BB and was so glad to speak to you about being called back after I had a mammogram-I knew you would know what I was going through. Well I went back on Tues and they said I had calcification on my left breast…they did another mammogram(where they blew up the x rays and showed me the white flecks)

    then I had an ultrasound(the consultant said she could not see anything) so she then said they will do a biopsy(they took five samples) and I have to go back nxt Tues for results…to say I am so frightened is an understatement… any advice Ali?xx

  6. twinkle January 29, 2015 at 3:02 pm -  Reply

    Ahhh Ali
    another lovely blog once again and such beautiful photos :) I love seeing baby scans especially. So thank you to you and Lucy for sharing such a special photo xx

    so happy u had a great time at the Beauty Bash. I hope one day that I can meet u all :)

    Loved your story about you waiting for Jack to arrive :) such a special moment and lovely memories to treasure.

    Thank you for sharing your special memories and pics you have made me smile on a tough day xx

    lots of love and hugs as always xxxxxxxx

  7. Nicky January 29, 2015 at 5:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    I love reading your blog but have never commented before. My Son will be 21 in
    May and yet it only seems like yesterday he came into the world. He was a big baby too 9lbs 61/2 oz . Fortunately his sister who came along 4 years later was a little lighter. My step-daughter had her first baby last August, what joy he has brought, I have my hair sucked and my necklace grabbed quite frequently but it’s lovely. It’s quite scary that we are now at an age we are becoming grand-parents, I suppose 51 isn’t too bad!! We don’t look like our grand parents did, they always seemed big and cuddly.
    You look like you had a fab time at the beauty bash.
    I have to say my make up Bare Minerals and Laura Geller are my saviours just love them and always get comments how great my skin looks, which I also put down
    a mixture of Gatineau, Elemis and Liz Earle.
    Looking forward to your next chapter.
    Take care Love Nicky x

  8. Janet Jones January 29, 2015 at 5:37 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,lovely to see you looking so well, you really suit your hair blonder(they say they have more fun!) It is my birthday 4th February, my sons 10th and Alfies 23rd (can you believe he will be 2) , so hopefully weather permitting they will be coming up this weekend and we will celebrate with a meal at our local pub. I have bought a cake and will pipe our names on it and have a few candles. I have just got over another stinking cold and needed antibiotics for a chest infection. It will be 5 years for me this February, so am not sure if I will continue with tamoxifen for another 5 years , stop taking it (very scary) or take something else I will find out next month!!
    Alfie calls me mamar at the moment it’s so lovely when he calls me if I’ve left the room or he wants to catch my attention. Glad to hear all is going well with Lucy’s pregnancy. Before you know it you will be holding your grandchild and your heart won’t know what’s hit it. Hope all is going well with your recovery from your last operation, and your wedding plans are going full steam ahead.
    Keep your fingers crossed that we can all get together this weekend . Hope all is well with the rest of Ali’s army, Speak soon Al, love Janet xxx

  9. Joanna Downey January 29, 2015 at 10:17 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, Our television service has just come to an abrupt halt, probably caused by the smattering of snow we’ve had, so I decided if I couldn’t watch you presenting Diamonique I’d write to you instead. The Beauty Bash sounds fabulous and the presenters were obviously having as good a time as the guests. I’m really impressed that you could watch The Theory of Everything at the cinema, I also cry without restraint over certain things and have decided to wait for Testament of Youth to be available to buy so that I can sob in private. As someone who finds the real world and its problems overwhelming and only does “pink and fluffy” I follow that theme in my choice of films, my all time favourite being Love Actually with Chitty as back up! My favourite actor is Tom Conti and I know that, with the exception of Shirley Valentine, he isn’t a film actor but on stage he’s sublime. We go to the theatre at Malvern quite frequently and have seen so many wonderful performances over the years. Last week we saw “Peter Pan Goes Wrong” by Mischief Theatre, it was hilarious and it’s doing the rounds until the Summer. I recommend it as a great night out followed by a day of aching ribs caused by all the laughter. Lovely scan photo – the baby’s profile is perfect and I still look at my copy of Tallulah’s scan and feel the same excitement I did when I first saw her. She stayed with us last weekend; climbs on everything and pretends she’s on a horse making a clicking noise with her tongue, collects ALL remote controls and doesn’t like giving them back and is an absolute poppet who goes to bed without any fuss. We were shattered by Sunday afternoon mainly from having to watch this cross between a monkey and a mountain goat in a house that is not baby-proofed. She also passed on her latest cold to me which has ended up taking my voice today which made school a challenge to say the least. The 40 minute snowstorm we had this morning resulted in near hysterical students (and they’re teenagers.) They found it difficult to accept that we were not going home early and with me sounding like a hinge in need of oil and it was a long day for all… Moan over, as is this grim month which I always feel lasts longer than any other. Love from Jo x

  10. TINA S January 29, 2015 at 11:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Greetings from a rather chilly South Wales! So far we have been quite lucky in escaping the really bad snow. It did snow a little today as we headed home after our usual trip out for fish and chips in Porthcawl. It got a bit scarey driving through the sleet but the sun shone and it cleared up by late afternoon.
    Looking at the scan of your expectant daughter reminded me of when I was little. I was convinced for some reason that I was adopted! I even used to search through my mother’s drawers, looking for the adoption papers. I was saying this to my eldest sister one day. She of course found this highly amusing especially as we are like peas in a pod . My father had a job telling us apart in our childhood photo’s. My sister then went on to tell me that she could definately tell me I was’nt adopted as she was with my mother when her water’s broke!
    I enjoyed reading about the Beauty Bash and so wish I could have been there to.
    Have you managed to get hold of “A Child’s Welsh Christmas” yet or have you been too busy?
    Well I’m off to search for some Taxco Silver. I wanted a big Amber ring , so I’m going to look on line and hopefully treat myself.
    Love and best wishes, Tina S with fingers crossed for the snow to keep away!!!

    • TINA S January 30, 2015 at 12:00 am -  Reply

      Hi Ali,
      Forgot to say ,in answer to your question, my fave actor’s are Judy Dench and Liam Neison. We’re waiting for the latest film (” Taken”) to come out on DVD. I think he’s lush as we Welsh would say! Look forward as always to your reply.
      Tina S. x

  11. Sarah Platt January 30, 2015 at 6:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Although a avid reader of your blog I don’t often comment, but just wanted to say you are truly a inspirational human.
    That’s all .

    Sarah xx

  12. twinkle January 30, 2015 at 6:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi lovely

    Awww another beautiful blog :)

    Love all the pics of the beauty bash, I am so glad u had a lovely time. I would love to come one year meeting all tje lovely presenters would definitely be my highlight though :) he he

    thank you for sharing your treasured special memories about you waiting for Jack to be born :) such a lovely story.

    Thank you to u and Lucy of course for the baby scan I love them such a special photo :)
    Cant wait for you to announce the news that your grandbaby is here :) your exciment will be so adorable :) and yes I will probably cry he he send my love to Lucy and I hope she is coping well with her pregnancy and little one growing nicely xx

    big hugsand lots of love to u all

  13. Carol Crosbie January 31, 2015 at 4:10 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations Alison you will adore being a nana xxx

  14. theresa hanlon January 31, 2015 at 4:58 pm -  Reply

    So nice to read your blog and how you keep us updated about your soon to be grandchild, hope lucy is keeping well also as well as waiting for baby to arrive your busy arranging your wedding to colin all in all 2015 will be a special year for all the family who i hope are all well take care x

  15. Gwen February 1, 2015 at 10:52 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali,
    Thank you for another lovely blog,always so much lovely detail and thank you also for sharing your family news with us, the baby scan is gorgeous, I am sure you can hardly contain yourself and what a lovely Nanny you will be, or what title will you be giving yourself? The beauty bash sounds wonderful, please can you tell me how to get tickets or whatever the procedure is, I live in Sussex and it would be very easy to get to Billingsgate rather than Chiswick.

    Take care and keep well,

    Very best wishes,
    Gwen.

  16. Mandy Mitchell February 1, 2015 at 1:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, I’ve never sent you a message before but just emailing you to say how noone can fill your shoes on the Diamonique shows on Thursday evenings!! I have begun to tune in as I love Diamonique(who doesn’t?) but I also love your little stories & of course your fabulous sense of humour! It’s so refreshing to watch you as you are so genuine & down to earth & I do admit I use the word “snaffle” because of you. Talking about humour; I happened to see your show with Antthony on Saturday afternoon & could not stop laughing, you brought some sunshine to a cold snowy afternoon & held it together very well!I’m chuffed to bits for you Ali about your forth coming wedding to your Colin & your grand child & you deserve every bit of happiness that comes your way.
    Take care Ali & keep shining
    Love & hugs
    Mandy xx

  17. Judith lennon February 1, 2015 at 6:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Lovely blog as always. The photos from the beauty bash are great and I would loved to have been there and to have met you in person. Never mind, as I said in my last blog, it’s a long way from the North East to London, but who knows may be another time.You certainly look wonderful in the pictures and perhaps it’s all that fabulous news youv’e had recently. It’s very exciting to see Lucy’s baby scan. So exciting for you all. Being a grandmother myself, I know the thoughts going through your mind and I know for sure that once you hold the little one for the first time, you will just melt!!!!! There is nothing like it and a totally different type of love from that of your children and partner. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my two gorgeous girls. As for films well I have to say the Sound of music as it was the first date my husband and I had. It was also wonderful to actually walk down that same Isle in the cathedral which Julie Andrews walked as we visited Austria for our honeymoon. How about that!!!! It gives me goose bumps thinking about it. I would very much like to see the Steven Hawkins film as I think he achieved so much in life regardless of what he was coping with in his life. Well Ali will go for another week and hope you are keeping well and free from all these nasty bugs which are making so many people poorly. Take care lovely lady. Love and hugs as always . Judith xx

  18. Alison Keenan February 2, 2015 at 2:28 pm -  Reply

    Dear Denise how lovely to hear from you, and to know that your son also will be celebrating a birthday this first week of February :) Not the most comfortable of deliveries I’m sure (I had forceps with Lucy!) but well worth the effort, especially as it sounds as though he really looks for you. I am soooo jealous to know that you got to see Simon and Kristina and all the others starts on the Strictly tour. I think I will definitely have to look into it for this years even, and an emphatic YES to your suggestion recommending me to take part – it is at the top of my bucket list, but highly improbable, although we can dream can’t we :) Sounds like we enjoy the same kind of movies, and also drooling over the same leading men! An Officer and a Gentleman is a terrific film, but I guess if I’m honest my infatuation with Richard Gere began with the film Yanks, and it is still to this day a movie I can watch again and again. You take care and please do keep in touch. Many thanks for writing to me, love Ali xx

  19. Alison Keenan February 2, 2015 at 2:31 pm -  Reply

    Sue I am sure your niece Lisa will be more than happy to have you as a ‘grandmother’ as it sounds as though you’ve been marvellous to her throughout her life, and have probably taught her all that she will pass on to her own child :) Only one week to go! How exciting :) I am off to see my Lucy tonight as she has some grotty blood tests tomorrow morning early and wanted me to hold her hand, which I’m more than happy to do. So glad you enjoyed the blog and the photos brought back memories of your own time at The Beauty Bash. I’m sorry too that it wasn’t this year as it would have been lovely to meet you too – as you say, maybe next year! Love Alizz

  20. Alison Keenan February 2, 2015 at 2:33 pm -  Reply

    …..oh and Sue, you’ve just reminded me of ANOTHER Richard Gere film I thoroughly enjoy watching – Julia Roberts is perfect with him in Pretty Woman, and I completely agree with your description of him in this marvellous movie :) A x

  21. Alison Keenan February 2, 2015 at 2:42 pm -  Reply

    My dear Debz, this only came through once, which makes me believe that your first comment along with several of mine, are whizzing around in cyberspace! Thank you though for taking the time out to write again, as I was only thinking about you the other day, and wanted to know how you were. It sounds as though things have been tough for Neal, and of course that means you put effort into ‘doing jolly’… Its stressful and tiring I am sure… I am so glad though to know that your hair has started to grow back and wondered if you had tried our Hairfix Follicle Plus Leave in Treatment? It’s £25.50, you need only apply it once a night, and there’s a 90 day money back on it. Item number 204093. I wouldn’t recommend it had I not have read some of the amazing reviews, and actually seen Pirijo’s hair (the model we use for this product). It may be worth a try just to speed things up a little for you. You did make me laugh with your ECG tale – it is a very weird thing isn’t it, although I can’t remember any lights flickering, although I too managed to leave one of the blue pads stuck to my person! I hope Ainzley was well behaved when you gave him his tablets, and that things will continue to improve for you. Thanks for writing Debz, and stay strong, love Ali xx

  22. Elaine sLlis February 2, 2015 at 2:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi. ali looks like you had fun at the beauty bash. Would love to go to one one day. Lovely scan picture. Only one week until Jodie’s baby due. On stand by for looking after molly and the dogs. I go to bed each night wondering if the phone will ring and I will be dashing off. Exciting times but also nerve wracking as I am sure you will discover.

    Love elaine

  23. Alison Keenan February 2, 2015 at 2:53 pm -  Reply

    My dear Lorraine, I am so glad that my words put you a little bit more at ease, and I hope that what I am going to write now will also help. Because they’ve felt it necessary to re do the mammogram and then an ultrasound means they want to be completely sure. Calcification and fibrocystic disease of the breast can sometimes be mistaken for a problem, so it’s also good that they took five samples in your biopsy because it’s quite tricky for them to assess exactly if there might be a problem, so they will check all around that area too. I know that it’s tomorrow you get your results, and I also understand how concerned you must be, so the best advice I can give to you now, is that it’s NOTHING until you’re told otherwise. I also know how difficult it is to believe that, and I will be praying that is the case for you. Try to stay strong and focused, and please do let me know how you get on… I’ll be thinking of you. With love, Ali xx

  24. Alison Keenan February 2, 2015 at 2:56 pm -  Reply

    Hey Twinkle, so glad you liked seeing the scans – I am visiting Lucy tonight, so will pass on your thanks :) Yes, the Beauty Bash was fun, I just wish we could have you ALL there! I hope that today has been less tough than last week, and that things will continue to improve for you, love Ali xx

  25. Alison Keenan February 2, 2015 at 3:03 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Nicky, and how lovely that you’v been reading the blog for ages, and have now decided to write and share with us :) I knew all those of us who are mums would have similar stories to tell, and gosh your boy was a big lad for a first baby! I’m glad your daughter was smaller! A grandmother at 51 how lovely. My mum was 50 when I had Lucy, and I will be 55 when her child is born. I agree my grandparents seemed very different to us, although my fathers parents were tall and rounder, whereas my mum’s parents were very short and slight! Delighted to know that you’re getting fab results and compliments on your skin – Gatinuea, Elemis and Liz Earle also feature in my beauty routine and have helped me no end over the years. I hope you’ll write again, and that you have a great week, with love Ali xx

  26. Alison Keenan February 2, 2015 at 3:09 pm -  Reply

    Dear Janet I hope you have a truly happy birthday this Wednesday… that your boy enjoys his on the 10th and that dear Alfie will be spoiled rotten on his birthday on the 23rd! An expensive month eh?? I hope you get together with them all this weekend, and enjoy your meal out. So sorry to hear you’ve had another cold and a chest infection too! Bet you’re sick of taking antibiotics – I know I am! Let me know what the decision is for you re Tamoxifen. I know that I am meant to move onto further adjuvent treatment for another three years because the cancer was in my lymph nodes too. It would be great although scary as you say, to no longer need to take medication :) Lucy is doing really well, although I know she can’t wait to finish work as she gets very tired. I’m staying over with her tonight and have made a chicken casserole in the Slo Cooker so that when I drive there the car smells like a takeaway!! :) Happy Birthday for the 4th Janet and speak again soon, love Ali xx

  27. Alison Keenan February 2, 2015 at 3:14 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jo, whenever I read your messages, I realise how incredibly alike we are! I too saw the trailer for Testament of Youth, and would very much like to see it… but I agree it’s going to be terribly sad, and sometimes it’s easier to sob in your own home that try to stifle it at the cinema! Last time I was in a heap was watching the TV adaptation of Birdsong… incredible WW1 Drama written by Sebastian Faulkes… Love Actually is also right up there as one of my all time favourites, and like you Chitty Chitty Bang Bang… although Hushabye Mountain always has me in floods! I love hearing about Tallulah, and your descriptions of her scaling your furniture and snaffling the remote controls are brilliant – just so glad that she does go to bed without a fight! She’s probably exhausted! Isn’t snow a funny thing – a class full of near hysterial teenagers when you have no voice can’t have been ideal, but it did make me smile :) I very much hope you feel better soon and here’s to February Jo – do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  28. Alison Keenan February 2, 2015 at 3:24 pm -  Reply

    Hi Tina from a rather chilly South Wales – I’m sitting here in a rather chilly sitting room in Berkshire! No snow in this part of the world, but severe frosts, so I’ve been more than delighted with my Cozee Home bedding :) I loved your story about thinking you were adopted and your sister’s assurance to you that you were definitely not adopted as she’d been there when your mum’s waters broke! Funny when you looked so alike too, but children’s minds do come up with all kinds of things I know from when I was a child. Amazing how my memory can take me back to so many years ago, and yet fails me when I try to remember where I’ve parked the car! I hope you found your Taxo ring, and thank you for reminding me of A Child’s Welsh Christmas. I’ve had a bit of a week, but will make a note as I’m now at my desk and order it. You take care and I very much hope you don’t get snowed in! Love Ali xx

  29. Sue Radford February 2, 2015 at 6:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,

    Thanks for sharing Lucy’s baby scan – what a real cute little bundle of joy he or she is! Do you know if it’s a girl or boy yet, and has Lucy chosen names? I can remember going along with my daughter, which was nearly 13 years ago, and was completely overwhelmed when I saw the first scan of my grandson, Joe. I expect you felt exactly the same. Loved the story of the birth of your child – made my eyes water lol!! My daughter was a fortnight late, but arrived under two hours when she did – unlike my son who took 20 very long hours on the hottest day of the year in 1976! I know I’m being very biased being Welsh lol, but my favourite actor was Richard Burton – he had the most amazing presence and a fantastic voice too. Liam Neasom is also fantastic. Richard Gere didn’t float my boat and neither did Sean Connery (his voice drove me absolutely mad). Oh, I bet you think I’m mad for saying that lol!!! Hope all is going well with the wedding plans.

    Love Sue Radford xx

  30. Sue Radford February 2, 2015 at 6:32 pm -  Reply

    Oops, I meant Liam Neeson!

  31. Rhona Fenton February 3, 2015 at 11:55 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison, I am so with you on that one to which just like you I was doing the very same thing on Saturday with Rebecca watching the clock and remembering when and what point things were on the move 21 years ago the fact she was nearly born in the car at the top of the road to which you will have been stopped at that very point when you were here :) but we did make it to the hospital in time :) but yes every year I do this with both girls lets just say it’s a mother thing :) Hope Jack had a lovely birthday? as for his birth weight my sister will feel your pain as her Emily was born 10lb 3oz but she had her natural ouch!! talking of Emily I won’t make you wait till June the exciting news I got from her yesterday after her scan is she is having a little Girl woohoo!! super excited :) I did say to her either way it will be getting spoiled but we are having a little girl so roll on June!! but unlike Lucy she couldn’t get a picture this time as she said baby was in the huff!! love Lucy’s scan picture its so exciting do they know what there having yet or do the want to wait till baby’s here? I didn’t want to know! I passed on your best to my sister from one granny to be to another she said a big thank you for that Alison :) hope Lucy is keeping well and just waiting on the big day not long now it will be here before you know it I am still holding out for my birthday so no pressure Lucy :) back to the rest off your blog what a lovely time had by all by the looks off it, doesn’t Lulu look amazing I think she gets even better with age wow!! have to say I have never tried her range I can’t get past Gatineau:) Laura Geller:) and my new found love wen Chaz where have you been all these years amazing or what, I have to have the most problem hair possible started using this and OMG!! colin cant stop going on about my hair and my Alison came in thinking I had got my hair all thinned out how would I she’s my hairdresser ha ha! don’t even have to use my GHD’s as much things are looking up :) now you asked about films Apollo 13 get’s me every time not only does it have an amazing cast Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Ed Harris to name but a few based on a true story but no matter how many times I watch that the tears start at the same point every time and I mean sobbing tears, it was on over the holidays and I missed it but came in sat down and said to my colin oh I will be ok this time cos I have missed the film so not had the build up, to which the part where I loose it came on I spoke to soon Alison the flood gates opened and away I went again love that film!! The River wild is another one that gets me of course the amazing Meryl Streep can do no wrong love her along with Kevin Bacon the whole film with it’s beautiful scenery once again starts the tears off!! so that’s my choice to put into the talk at the end ha ha! hope everyone is keeping well? and as always thank you for your lovely blog always makes for a good read love to you all from us all here Rhona xx

  32. Alison Keenan February 3, 2015 at 12:45 pm -  Reply

    I missed your additional comment Tina re favourite actors, and am in complete agreement re Judy Dench, although I have to say Julie Walters pips her to the post in my book :) Liam Neeson – also from Love Actually – is excellent, but having been on the edge of my seat with the first Taken, I don’t know whether I could cope with the anxiety of a sequel! That said, I agree, he is rather lovely :) Have a great week and see you tonight for two hours of winter coats at 10pm with another delightful gent, Glen Campbell! Ali xx

  33. Alison Keenan February 3, 2015 at 12:45 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sarah, that is very sweet of you to say… thank you :) Love Ali x

  34. Alison Keenan February 3, 2015 at 12:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Carole, Having spent yesterday night with Lucy, and actually feeling the baby move, I am beyond excited. It was thrilling when I was pregnant, but as you say, there is something truly special about being a nanny :) Love Ali x

  35. Alison Keenan February 3, 2015 at 12:48 pm -  Reply

    Theresa, lovely to hear from you and I am glad that you enjoyed reading the blog. Lucy is keeping very well, although she is definitely looking forward to half term as the long days and endless marking make her tired – she’s a very dedicated teacher! She actually helped me with ordering a sample of the wedding invitation that Colin and I like, so that should arrive in the next couple of days which is exciting! Yes, 2015 is going to be a very special year, and I’m keeping everything crossed that we all stay well. You too! Love Ali xx

  36. Alison Keenan February 3, 2015 at 12:52 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Gwen, and I glad you liked seeing the scan – I still find it hard to believe that my little girl is now expecting her own child… the only scan I ever had was of Jack at 3 months – they didn’t do them when I was pregnant with Lucy or Sam. I have it somewhere in a memories box along with the little bands they had on their wrists :) Yes I am terribly excited, and have to admit that the time does seem to be passing pretty quickly – easy for me, but not so easy for Lucy who is quite tired. The Beauty Bash was a good day, and I am pretty certain they will be holding another one next year, so may I suggest you get in touch with our customer services who could probably advise you if there is a specific person to write to for tickets? So sorry can’t help you there. If it is in the same place again you are definitely on the right train line in Sussex to go directly there. I hope you’re not snowed in, and that you’re keeping warm! With love, Ali xx

  37. Alison Keenan February 3, 2015 at 12:58 pm -  Reply

    Dear Mandy I am thrilled that you’ve adopted my word ‘snaffle’ – I think it was one of my dad’s originally and I use it wherever I can! I’m also delighted that you are enjoying the regular Diamonique shows on a Thursday. They are a joy to present, as there’s so much variety, but I do have a laugh sometimes, especially if the girls modelling for me are like Tanya! Funny that you mention the Antthony moment from Saturday afternoon.. He is funny isn’t he!? When I told him in the break exactly what the word meant he was even more hysterical! It’s so difficult not to completely lose it though when working with someone as jolly as he is, but bless you for saying I held it together well – it would have been easier to completely lose it! :) Keep reading the blog and I promise I’ll keep you up to date with my wedding plans, the dress fittings and flowers etc.. and of course our grandchild.. Thank you for writing to me, love Ali xx

  38. Alison Keenan February 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Judith, lovely as always to hear from you, and so glad that you enjoyed the photos of the Beauty Bash – I would have loved to have met up with you – infact ALL the Army there – but who knows, maybe another year?! I appreciate though it is a long way from the North East so it would be well worth you making a trip to London and staying over for it maybe? I bet you are a marvellous grandma – hands on , and spending as much time with your grandchildren as possible. That’ll be my plan too, although I don’t want to crowd Lucy! Luckily we’re only an hour up the motorway from her and Simon so I’m sure we can pop in on a regular basis :) I just can’s wait – a whole new chapter to my life, and so very excited about it. Thanks for letting me know your favourite films – The Sound of Music sounds perfect for that 2nd date with your husband – far better than Raid on Entebbe which some poor lad took me to!!! :) I seem to be over my chest infection, but have been struggling in truth with non healing following my reconstruction last October, which I hope will be sorted soon. I hope you and yours are well though and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xxx

  39. Alison Keenan February 3, 2015 at 1:38 pm -  Reply

    Gwen, completely forgot to answer your question – the general consensus is that I will be called Nanny Ali – or Nanny for short :) We’ve yet to decide for Colin! Love Ali xx

  40. Alison Keenan February 3, 2015 at 1:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Elaine, bet you’re on pins waiting for news of Jodie’s imminent delivery?! Can’t imagine what I’m going to be like towards the end of April – much the same as waiting to give birth myself! You’re right though about waiting for the phone to ring. I was with Lucy this morning as she had blood tests done and was sitting in the waiting room all anxious! Do let me know how Jodie is and what she has – exciting times for you and ALL the family, love Ali xx

  41. Alison Keenan February 3, 2015 at 1:49 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, My pleasure in sharing Lucy’s scan with you :) I was really chuffed when she said she’d like to. They know what they’re having, but aren’t telling everyone, so you’ll have to wait until the end of April!! I wasn’t actually with Lucy for the scan you’ve seen, but my Christmas present to her and Simon was a 4D scan which will take place at the end of February. Colin and I will be there for that, so we are both beyond excited :) Wow under two hours for a delivery that’s grand! Certainly better than 20 hours with your son – I got slower the more I had, and the babies got significantly larger! Thanks for your movie suggestions, and I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of Richard Burton especially as I’d been wittering on about ‘Under Milkwood’ which he read so beautifully! I loved him in Look Back in Anger too .. an amazing black and white film. Well, I hope that all is good with you and yours, and that you’re not too cold in this somewhat chilly weather. Keep in touch, and I’ll be blogging again soon. Love Ali xx

  42. Alison Keenan February 3, 2015 at 1:51 pm -  Reply

    Sue – I guessed you meant Liam Neeson… and as Tina S said, he’s Lush!! Ali xx

  43. Mary Morphy February 3, 2015 at 10:57 pm -  Reply

    Good evening Alison. I’m tucked up in bed watching you and Glen on the 2 hour coat show..resisted the tempting buys but thoroughlyentertaining. It seems ages since I last wrote; voice returned last Monday, my daughters 15th birthday. Can’t believe how grown up she looks with curves and a long fiery mane of gorgeously thick red hair. I can also vividly remember the moment i first saw her…very briefly as she was emergency c section..no one realised she was breech..she had hair the colour of a red setter and a little red face!! The red hair was a shock as both my husband and i are mousy brown but she was and still is my beautiful girl.She had exams all week so spent her birthday revising.
    The beauty bash looked great fun. I was lucky enough to get tickets two years ago but mum was in hospital and I couldn’t go which was a shame but maybe another year I will get lucky.
    Its been the usual busy stuff and February seems to have arrived with no warning. We haven’t had snow in West gate until today but it didn’t settle as the ground was alreafy wet. The kids at school went a bit crazy but by the time lunchtime arrived it had all gone. Its been incredibly cold and a biting wind has been prevalent… extra face oil and moisturiser when dog walking is a necessity!
    I did some baking tonight however managed to drop…not really sure how…my pineapple upside down cake when turning it out of the tin..it was a request from my sister to take to work on Thursday. I am out tomorrow with my friend so thought I’d get it baked tonight…shouldn’t have bothered!! My white chocolate and raspberry brownies turned out well though; they are for my team meeting at work tomorrow.
    Well I have given my favourite films a good deal of thought. Favourite sad film is beaches. Favourite happy films are Sister Act 1 and 2. Favourite kids film is Mary Poppins and favourite Xmas film is Elf and Nativity.
    Well hope you stay snow free and have a good week. Best wishes Mary xxx

  44. Tricia Coulsonwood February 4, 2015 at 6:00 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali , its only me!. Struck by your latest blog.. I hope you had a glass of champagne to celebrate your our year anniversary since your op. I now turn such events into celebration of your life events. You surviving such a battle and all of the other boys and girls including my daughters deserve accolades. X. Love you all.
    Looking at Lucy’s scan I immediately thought what a pretty baby!.
    I think girl, but on the other hand could be what my old gran would say (bonny boy). I remember her saying if you carry a baby neat to the front it’s a boy, if evenly spread around its a girl!!.
    I have done midwifery training but still like to think of granny knows best!!.
    Seeing that lady in the wheelchair at your beauty bash filled me with pride for her drive and determination. Well done.. She has inspired me.. Since my heart attack 30 months ago and my daughters surgery, chemo treatment and my recent serious health problems I have lost nearly all my confidence and are living like a recluse, . She has inspired me to try to get out again and find my old self again.
    Lots of love to you all, Tricia. Xxx

  45. Alison Keenan February 9, 2015 at 8:36 am -  Reply

    Dear Mary, I’m so glad to know that you’re feeling better and that your voice returned – especially as it would have been sad if you’d not been able to wish your daughter a happy 15th birthday :) She describe her beautifully, and I bet she is stunning with all that titian hair. My first husband had the most fabulous red/auburn hair, but his parents were both brown haired. Apparently it skips a generation, so Lucy’s little one may well have the same! I think it’s beautiful, and if I wasn’t blonde I’d be a redhead :) Glad you liked the Beauty Bash, and strangely I can remember you telling me that you had tickets but were unable to go because of your mum.. I hope that you will be able to come another year and perhaps we will finally meet! What a terrible shame that you dropped your upside down cake – was it pineapple or apricot? I would have scraped it up and eaten it anyway :) (Colin would have killed for your white chocolate brownies though – I may need the recipe!) Cos I’m not feeling that good at the moment I’ve had to cancel the first part of a Red Letter Cooks Masterclass Day I bought for Sam and I – we have to reschedule it, but have a Thai Cooking Experience at the end of the month which I should be well enough for. Thanks for giving some thought to the film question – Funnily enough when I watched Beaches with my friend Jo years ago before I was poorly, and it made us sob… Wind Beneath My Wings still makes me cry and was one of the tracks she included in a special album she made for my 50th birthday bless her :) As you loved Mary Poppins, I highly recommend Saving Mr Banks – the story of P L Travers the author. It is absolutely beautiful and moving, and incredibly well acted.. Colin Farrel looks just like my dear dad in it… made me cry for many reasons. I hope you have a good week Mary, and will find this comment as I have a new blog up and running and was a tad late in answering you – sorry. Love from Ali xx

  46. Alison Keenan February 9, 2015 at 8:54 am -  Reply

    Dear Tricia I”m so glad to hear from you, and although I realise things have been particularly difficult for you, it has heartened me to know that you are now determined to make things better for yourself, especially as it was the lovely girl in the wheelchair at The Beauty Bash who inspired you. I am not at all surprised to hear that you’ve lost confidence over the last 30 months considering all that you’ve been through, and not just your own health, but worry over your daughter too. Please keep in touch with your progress – one day at a time I find best – and know that Ali’s Army is here for you :) So glad you liked Lucy’s scan picture – it is a dear little thing isn’t it?! I also remember the saying about how you carry the baby, but ironically I was just in the front with Lucy, and all round everywhere with Jack! Hey ho, whatever it is going to be very much loved :) Interesting to hear that you’ve done your midwife training – did you ever work in that area? Also, do you watch Call the Midwife? I love it :) Do take care, and please keep in touch, it’s so good to know that if even in a small way, this network of support truly helps. Love Ali xxx

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