Fun times in Rhodes


Ali in Rhodes How lovely are you?! :) I come back from my holiday to find a whole heap of good wishes for my time away, and not one laced with bitter recriminations about my clear loss of ability when it comes to arranging the weather for you! 

All I can say is "Wish you'd been there!" as the weather in Rhodes was stonking (a Lady Greenwood term)! From morning till night the sun shone, temperatures were in the low 40s and the sea breezes were a life saver. 

We were actually staying in Tholos – a little village about 40 minutes drive from Rhodes Town, and with a huge pool for the 'young' ones and sea as warm as bathwater – just a tad saltier – everyone was happy :) 

Giant cocktails
Ali with Colin The free pool bar was merely incidental when it came to hearty laughter, wide smiles and a general feeling of 'joie de vivre'!! In fact talking of drinking establishments, we went to Rhodes Town one particularly warm evening in a huge vehicle we hired and affectionately called the Venga Bus. 

Colin had been there some years before and found this lovely roof terrace bar where they serve every cocktail under the sun, and so that's where we were headed. 

Cocktail Having parked the bus (more like wedged it) between a moped and the harbour wall, we set off into the beautiful walled city. It was like stepping back in time, and best of all, still very Greek with masses of shops, bars and restaurants crammed up every little alleyway. By crikey they know how to entice you in don't they?! 

I warded offf the temptation to buy a Greek Urn, only to have my head turned by a rather alluring statue, but I was carried along by 'The Young Ones' in their search for the rooftop bar. Well we found it, and as you can see the cocktails were the size of a small child, and conveniently included our six-a-day quota of fruit!  I decided to veer away from my Mohito magic for the night and tried a Hula Hula… my walk on leaving the bar had the same kind of sayshaying gait..!

Visiting the AcropolisAcropolis in Lindos

It wasn't all about alcohol though, as we decided a little bit of Greek history wouldn't go amiss, and rather madly decided to leave at 11am one morning for the ancient town of Lindos. Let me tell you that 42 degrees of heat with a strong breeze blowing is one thing… 44 degrees of still midday heat is something entirely different. 

The usual banter in the Venga bus died to a murmur as the air conditioning fought unsuccessfully to cool down the sweating bodies inside, and the air coming in through the open windows was akin to a small hairdryer on full blast. We all piled out – fell out in truth – in the town square, and formed a somewhat straggly line through the little streets that have remained pretty much unchanged since the 15th century. 
Ali with the girls The architecture is a mixture of Greek Byzantine and Gothic and, apart from pedestrians, they only allow donkeys or mopeds up the narrow walkways. Rather a strange mix of smells from these two modes of transport, and you do have to watch where you walk on occasion, but all that said, still stunning.

Within this maze of pebbled alleys we found our Oasis… a roof top restaurant that had a pool!!! Can you believe it… here am I with the girls (above left) enjoying our desperately needed cool down. Only Colin and I ventured up the steep shiny stone steps (try saying that without your teeth in) to the Acropolis right at the top of the hill. What a view! It was stunning and worth every single step. 

The Acropolis The Acropolis and giant temple built next to it were completed in 300 BC, but since then many additional elements had been added including a fortress, which were destroyed, rebuilt, and then left to crumble with disuse over time. 

There was some major restoration work carried out between 1912 and 1945 and now the six euro entrance fee goes towards further works to bring this amazing piece of history back to life. Far more rewarding than the five euros we paid for a glass of water on the way down!!

Fun holiday times
Ali climbing a tree So from history to holiday, and the remainder of the week passed in a heat haze of water polo (no horses involved) just loud blokey blokes – including Jack, Sam, Joe, Richard and Danny – climbing trees as a forfeit for not picking up a spoon quickly enough (don't ask but I lost), and the inevitable wearing of holiday glasses… it's a family thing 🙂

For me, having all the kids together and spending time as a family was brilliant. Having a whole week with Sam and Jack was precious, and bittersweet in some ways to see how they have all grown up in the past 12 months… some of us course will never grow up 🙂

Ali in glasses My only grumble was towards the Passport Control officer who faced me at 2am at the end of my four hour flight, and asked me where I had flown from. "Sorry,could you repeat the question?" I asked him, voice muffled through my neck pillow which I had forgotten to take off. 

Clearly he had not realised he was addressing a woman who can't remember where she has parked the car if more than 20 minutes has elapsed…

Haven't forgotten how lovely it is to hear all your news though, so I'll look forward to hearing from you.

Love Ali xxx

Jack on holiday Sam on holiday


  1. Steven August 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Just caught a glimpse of you on QVC. Looking fabulous as usual!
    Your holiday sounds great and some of the pics look good. I wasnt too jealous because it was roasting in Bulgaria too – not that you would know it from my tan though lol. It was mid 30’s just about every day we were there and if Im honest that was a little too hot for me. Im not really one for lying in the sun if Im honest. I was lying in my bed for some of the days lol. It was good though but just a pity we have to go back to work on Monday. I have been off for 3 weeks though so best not complain!
    Take care and speak soon x

  2. Annie August 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, this is only the second blog I’ve ever read- where have you been all my life? I laughed so much, wot a card you are!!. I will be back.! nb you look terrific snuggling up to your
    significant other? Not sure if he is your husband or not.? I have recently semi- retired so now have
    more time to do all those essential things one must do, like reading QVC presenter blogs. De rigeur for newly work escaped gals. I went to Lindos myself twice in the past and it IS lovely – terribly windy streets/alleys.We stayed in Lardos – inland but very Greek, wonder if you went there. Off to Turkey soon myself Hoorah!! luv Annie

  3. Susan August 20, 2010 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I was wondering how the big family holiday went! Fabulous by the looks of it! I especially love the pics of you & lovely Colin and you up the tree!! Clearly good fun had by all! Bet it’s a nice change too for you to hear it’s been no great weather in the UK too for once by the sounds of it! Greek islands are on the hit list in the future and I think a good choice judging by the wonderful photos you produced. Too too hot for me to handle though – I would have melted in 44C heat!!! No my cup of tea! Have yourself a great weekend now – not too much laundry left I hope!
    Take care,

  4. Gail August 20, 2010 at 7:26 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, I can’t believe it. I’ve just spent ages writing to you only to hit a button, again, and see the whole lot disappear before my very eyes. That’s twice now and it is so annoying.
    Anyway, how lovely to hear from you so soon considering you must have a hundred and one things to do. I can hear your washing machine groaning from here. I can’t think of anything nicer than spending such quality time with your family and loved ones. The image of ‘The Brady Bunch’ comes to mind.
    Obviously your words with the powers of be, re our weather, fell on death ears. Rhodes must have had our share of the sun too; although it would have been too hot for me. We once spent a whole day in Barcelona going in and out of McDonalds for the air conditioning and numerous Cokes (absolutely true), only to get lost in the Red Light District when we eventually ventured further afield (absolutely true).
    You can forget the pool, I would have been quite happy diving into that cocktail – wow it looked great.
    So very glad you all spent such quality time together and loved the photos. Take care, Gail xx

  5. Gail August 20, 2010 at 7:33 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, just a shortie. Reading my previous blog back I realised I wrote ‘death ears’ instead of ‘deaf ears’. Oh well, it could have been a lot worse; must have been thinking of that lovely cocktail xxxxxxxxxxxx

  6. Denise August 20, 2010 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

    Glad you enjoyed Rhodes Alison – I posted on your blog before you went how much I love the place and was pleased that you liked it too. Bought back a lot of memories reading your blog – the donkeys at Lindos, that stunning view and then the very Greekness of Rhodes town.Oh and the cocktails!!!!
    Lovely to see you back on screen tonight and I love the earth jewellery and good prices too.
    Love Denise

  7. Janice reeves August 20, 2010 at 10:14 pm -  Reply

    hI Alison. What a great time you have had on your holiday, and it seemed to be a mix of everything, I know what you mean when you say the heat coming in from outside the car is like a small handheld hairdryer, I live in Malaga and the heat over the last couple of weeks has been up in the high 38 degrees, hard to do anything but drink and go in the pool, glad to see you so happy and your life is all going good. love from Janicexxxx

  8. Kathryn sheehan August 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, i must say how wonderful you look, so slim and tanned, that lime green top really suited you,any clues !!. I went to rhodes about 10 years with my then husband in August, it was extremly hot, visited Lindos and it’s quaint streets and steps up to the ruins, loved it, will go back one day.I’m of to Egypt in October for 3 weeks, so my partner Ian can do a spot of snorkeling,while i soak up the sun. can’t wait… really fed up with the summer here think it must have finished now, unless we get an indian summer in september, here’s hoping.
    Keep up the good work, nice to have you back.
    Love Kathy x

  9. Magda Chetty August 21, 2010 at 2:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Just been watching you with Tova, you look fab with the great tan, so glad you had a great family holiday. It has been the hottest summer here in Mallorca, during July we had temperatures in the 38 and 40″s most of the time, and even now I”m writing to you inside as you can”t go out in the garden between 2 and 5Pm, it is that hot, and the pool is just like a hot bath, we have to wait till 7 or 8pm to swim in it. But the good thing is we have so many friends and family to visit, there is nothing like having a house in the sun, to get everyone to visit you.
    Iam glad you enjoyed Rhodes, that was the place my husband took me on our first holiday together in 1984, we also spent 2 days in Linods, so your great blog took me back to the great time we had there too.
    Glad to have you back at QVC, as your smile is like the sunshine to us all.
    Lots of love.

  10. Dorothy August 21, 2010 at 4:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    Pleased you all had good time, the cocktail looked like a meal how many did you have no wonder you were singing. you should have been a history teacher you are good at explaining things.
    loved your first love blog one comes to mind we went for a drive had argument and we finished went back to mine to pick his things up and mam was saying to him stop for your tea i kept saying NO but she going on then when i said its over she was at the cooker and then put her head in oven, i just burst out laughing and said pleased it wasnt a gas one. Laura is back from Australia on sunday cannot wait she has been a BIG miss, but she has had a great time, she can talk for england but it will be a verbal monsoon. love to all
    love best wishes.
    Dorothy xxx

  11. Rosalyn Claydon August 23, 2010 at 10:58 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, welcome home we all missed you very much but glad you had such a good holiday. Everyday an opportunity to make a happy memory. Take care and hope to see you soon. love Rosalyn x x x

  12. Rhona Fenton August 23, 2010 at 3:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison sooo good to see you back home looking beautiful as always and showing me up again with your tan between you and my colin I don’t stand a chance:) love reading all about your holiday the pictures look wonderful and you all look to be having the time off your life:)and as for the bit about growing up no we never grow up thats the fun off it:) saw you on with tova love when you have your hair up and where did you get your beautiful top you had on that day and your shoes I love them any chance they are still available to buy? can’t stop thinking about them, top and shoes:) will drop you a line soon to find out how things are and a big thank you for your email before your holiday:) great to see you home love to you all talk soon Rhona xx

  13. Mrs Janet Jones August 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, so glad you had a good holiday especially enjoying time with your sons. You looked the picture of health and beauty in that lovely green top you had on, showing off your lovely tan.
    We also visited Lindos all those years ago, were they displaying lace on the steps on the way up to the Acropolis, I can still see it now ? My son is coming back home tonight for a couple of days, can’t wait! Loved all you holiday photos, great blog as always, speak soon , love Janet xx

  14. alison keenan August 23, 2010 at 7:08 pm -  Reply

    Rhona, am blushing so even more ginger than before!! Thank you for your lovely compliments 🙂 the top and shoes were from two different boutiques in Cobham Surrey, but in truth I bought them last year so doubt they’ll still be available! I will check out the make of shoes though so you may be able to order through the supplier. It was a good holiday, but as always, seems like an age ago already 🙂 I may need your help to decide what to do with my hair.. Jack says go dark but I’m thinking stay blonde!! Thanks for writing, and my love to you all, ali xxx

  15. alison keenan August 23, 2010 at 7:16 pm -  Reply

    And Ros I missed you all too 🙂 Seems ages since we were last together, but fingers crossed we can rectify that very soon – schedules willing!! Love to you all, Ali xx

  16. alison keenan August 23, 2010 at 7:22 pm -  Reply

    Oh Magda, I soooooo envy you the sunshine but feel very spoiled for having had two holidays with plenty of it! How lovely to have a pool, and I think I would be wallowing in the warm water irrespective of the time of day! So lovely to come back to spend two hours with Tova – she has the most incredibly beautiful brown eyes which you can’t really see through the TV, and I could listen to her voice all day 🙂 The great thing about you having visited Lindos in the 1980s is that hand on heart I can tell you it probably hasn’t changed at all! Enjoy the rest of the summer, and do keep in touch = always lovely to hear from you. Love Ali xxx

  17. alison keenan August 23, 2010 at 7:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Denise, Thanks for writing again, and for your comments prior to my holiday. So glad that things haven’t changed that much since you were there enjoying the sun and the donkeys – oh and the cocktails! Trying to work out how many more Greek islands I have left to visit! I have to say I too loved the Earth Jewellery collection and the guest had such great stories about the stones which were quite new to me. Do keep in touch – it’s always lovely to hear from you, 🙂 Ali xx

  18. alison keenan August 23, 2010 at 7:41 pm -  Reply

    Gosh Dorothy can’t believe your four weeks without Laura are nearly over, and I’ll look forward to hearing where she visited and what she got up to – that’s if you’re able to take it all in in one go! You did make me laugh with your first love story – ours WAS a gas oven! Enjoy the rest of the week, and love to you, Ali xx

  19. alison keenan August 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm -  Reply

    Kathy thank you !! Must say we had a bit of a do with the air conditioning in the studio when I was wearing that top as the guest had a crew neck cashmere jumper on, and was a tad warmer than I…Still courtesy will out and we had the air con on 🙂 Glad you’re getting the chance to visit Egypt in October – I think it’s currently in the high 40’s so should be a tad cooler by then. My sister is off there for a week before returning to her teaching role – she like most has missed the sunshine here this August. Let me know how you get on, but I’ve heard nothing but good from those who’ve been to Egypt. Love Ali xx

  20. alison keenan August 23, 2010 at 7:56 pm -  Reply

    Janice you sound like my kind of girl!! 🙂 Magda also wrote and said how hot it’s been out there – shame we haven’t had a little share of it here over the last few weeks! My brother admitted it took him 18 months of living in Australia before he stopped being obsessed with the sun…. wonder how long it would take me …:)
    Do keep in touch, and thank you for taking time out of the pool to write to me 🙂 Love Ali xx

  21. alison keenan August 23, 2010 at 10:33 pm -  Reply

    Stephen, I would hope you are well rested after your three weeks holiday – and several days in bed getting over the worst of the nights out!! so glad you had a good time, and thank you as for making an old woman very happy 🙂 Lovely to hear from you and I’m glad you liked the photos. Love Ali xx

  22. alison keenan August 23, 2010 at 10:59 pm -  Reply

    Annie Welcome!! Thanks so much for your comment and delighted that you too have had the opportunity to visit this wonderful Greek island. The man I’m snuggling up to is Colin my partner – not married but as good as! I’ll be honest but I’ve not heard of Lardos, and do let me know how you get on in Turkey. I’ve known several people who’ve been there and have loved it, and I think it’s a good call to go slightly later in the year as it should be a tad cooler. Do let me know how you get on , as I’d love to hear about your holiday 🙂 Love Ali xx

  23. Sandra Gray August 24, 2010 at 10:39 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Must agree with all the other comments , you are looking amazing !!
    Glad to see you back
    Sandra XX

  24. alison keenan August 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm -  Reply

    Gail I am still laughing at the vision of you all in and out of McDonalds enjoying the air conditioning only to wander off into the steamy red light district!! I didn’t even know there was one in Barcelona….although Colin did! 🙂 Yes after 7 loads of washing this time I did manage to line dry all the bed linen – as I’d not had the time prior to leaving and hate sleeping in ‘old’ sheets. We’ve had a little more sunshine today although it’s been blowing a gale in between the showers – more like April than August… let’s see what September has to bring 🙂 Thanks so much for writing – oh and maybe hit ‘save’ before post and then you won’t lose your lovely messages. Love Ali x

  25. alison keenan August 24, 2010 at 1:54 pm -  Reply

    Janet that’s great news about your son! I’m sure he’ll be delighted to see his mum and enjoy some lovely home cooked food! We’ve just had confirmation that Sam has a place at Uni, so he’ll be leaving in September…Yes the lace makers are still sitting there on the way up to the Acropolis, with their beautiful table cloths etc. Some things never change eh? 🙂 Take good care, lots of photographs, and enjoy your special time with your boy, love Ali xx

  26. alison keenan August 24, 2010 at 1:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan, lovely to hear from you and I’m glad you liked the photos. It took a good few hours to dig out the branches and leaves stuck in my hair after my climb, but worth it 🙂 Yes any of the Greek islands are a good choice, but if you want the weather a little less hot, then go before July or in September/October. Sun’s up from around late May 🙂 I’d highly recommend Zante or Kefalonia, but there are so many more to choose between. Fingers crossed you have some sun wherever you are today. Love Ali xx

  27. Rhona Fenton August 24, 2010 at 4:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, Blonde:) my Alison changes my hair towards the end off the year puts more dark in it just to put a bit off colour back into it no sooner done than the vote goes round the family followed by the no get your Blonde back:) this happens every time my Alison also says the same infact the colour pots are not even washed out and its no mum your going back Blonde:) now I know Jack said Dark but have to say Alison I love the colour Blonde on you shows your tan off also, ok I said it your tan:) hope this helps you a bit but you really look beautiful with your Blonde shades through your hair because like me it’s not just the one shade off Blonde you have, mind you I think its just two I have at the moment seen it up to four the joy off having a daughter that can do it:) hope this helps let me know? thanks for letting me know about you top and shoes, can’t even borrow your top for the wedding wouldn’t get into it:( mind you I do have thin small feet there might be hope for the shoes:) if I can’t buy them still ha ha!! love to you all lovely to hear from you lots of love Rhona x

  28. Susan August 24, 2010 at 7:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Great to hear from you & many thanks for your holiday recommendations! Good to know!! Will let you know if I’m ever in those places. Oh & I just read one of your comments about you maybe dying your hair dark?! I’m not so sure..I’m with you on the blonde I think. I personally think it really suits you & you’re very much a fun blonde personality!
    Take care,

  29. Una August 25, 2010 at 10:48 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    A great blog as usual.
    Sounds and looks like you guys had a wonderful holiday. I just love the Greek islands, dont think I can have a favourite, they are all just so lovely.
    Thats BRILLIANT news that Sam has his uni place. Well done Sam.
    Im still trying to avoid TV, (unless watching QVC of course) there seems to be even more ads on at the moment, featuring the horrible, scary long nosed people, and also pigeons. Im TRAUMATISED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Really enjoyed your shows with Tova at the weekend Ali. She seems to be a lovely lady, and so obviously adores Ernie. I just received my Signature Platinum EDP. Thats my 1st venture into her fragrance range, but dont think it will be my last. Im SO picky about my fragrance. I have been wearing the same one for 16 years, and keep trying other ones, but after about 30 minutes, I change my mind and wash it off. I just want a wee change, and may just have found it. My husband dreads us going on holiday, as he knows once im in duty free, I am going to try EVERYTHING!!!!! I will probably stick with my Issey Miyake for daywear, but my new Tova may well become my evening one. Time will tell, its only been on 20 minutes, and so far so good. I think I must have some weird combination of oils in my skin, that does strange things to some fragrances. I once got to work and realised my perfume wasnt in my bag, so my friend scooshed some of hers on me. It was just beautiful on her, and I always admired it. I kid you not, within 30 minutes, she was begging me to go wash it off. It smelled like a mixture of soggy cardboard and ducks apparently!!!!!!!!
    Ah well, these things happen!!
    Take care Ali, please pass on my congrats to Sam.
    Lots of love
    Una x

  30. alison keenan August 26, 2010 at 7:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Una, Thank you for your good wishes which I will of course pass on to Sam. I wrote a great long reply to you last night and my computer wouldn’t post it, so will see if this works….. Ali xx

  31. alison keenan August 26, 2010 at 7:27 pm -  Reply

    Yay it’s worked! It seems we have more in common than just our loathing of scary advertisements…. I too wore my favourite fragrance for at least 10 years (Mystere de Rochas) as like you other fragrances don’t last on my skin. I think you’ll love the Tova Platinum and do call in next time we’re on to let us kmow what you felt. I hope your husband likes it 🙂 I love her Ombre D’oro and that stays on my skin with a gorgous warm scent – clever lady, and the most unbelievably beautiful dark brown eyes – I love my hours with her 🙂 Soggy Cardboard and ducks! That has to be the weirdest association of smells and not one I’d wish to have on my skin either – you do make me laugh 😀 Thanks Una, and I look forward to hearing from you soon, Love Ali xx

  32. alison keenan August 26, 2010 at 7:48 pm -  Reply

    Sandra Thank you!! You’ve made me blush through my tan 🙂 Good to hear from you, and thanks for taking the time out to write to me, love Ali xx

  33. alison keenan August 26, 2010 at 7:51 pm -  Reply

    Susan, I hope you’ll get the chance to travel to at least one of them someday soon 🙂 Thanks for your ideas re my hair colour. Naturally I’m mousey brown, but would rather be a fun blonde than a mousey brunette 🙂 Does help now that my roots match the rest of my hair 🙂 Enjoy your weekend, and keep in touch, Love Ali xx

  34. alison keenan August 26, 2010 at 7:56 pm -  Reply

    Rhona, so sorry my comment to you as with Una wasn’t posted – have been having trouble with my lap top, so hope this one works. Am more than happy to post my shoes to you if you think they’d fit!! Yes I think I will be staying blonde for the moment, but like you have had browner colours threaded through and didn’t like it. Once had a kind of canary yellow and liked that even less!! How lovely for you to have a daughter who can colour it for you, although the girly who colours mine is lovely and we do have fun catching up on all the goss 🙂 Have a great weekend and do keep in touch Rhona , oh and let me know about the shoes – seriously !! Love Ali xx

  35. Una August 28, 2010 at 10:20 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Yep,being told I smell of soggy cardboard and ducks did not make me feel my best LOL!!!!!
    I tried my Tova, I really did try, but, alas, I cant wear it. I dont know whats wrong with me! I would be an advertising gurus worst nightmare! The first 45 minutes or so were fine, then it suddenly changed, and did not smell good. I have ordered the one you said you liked, so will keep you posted, as Im determined to have a change. Im on a mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I became a granny again this week. My little grandson has arrived, EVENTUALLY!!! He was almost 3 weeks late, typical male!!!! He seems to be behaving himself so far, but he could just be lulling us into a false sense of security!!! He maybe thinks he came with a 30 day money back gaurantee, so hes worried we will be on the phone to the couriers!!!!!! Time will tell!! Will keep you updated on that too, lol.
    Take care Ali
    Lots of love
    Una x

  36. alison keenan September 7, 2010 at 8:22 pm -  Reply

    Una, so disappointed for you but am hoping you made the best of your 30 day money back and will be able to experience the Ombre D’oro instead. The 45 mins is usually a teller with me too – although I tend to find it disappears altogether in that time. CONGRATULATIONS on the safe arrival of your grandson. Almost three weeks late? Your poor grandaughter!!! So glad he’s here and safe. Give him a cuddle for me, and do keep in touch, always lovely to hear from you. Love Ali xxx

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