Happy New Year!

45

I’ve just got back from a long walk in the sunshine, which was lovely but heavy going. In fact I had so much mud on my boots when I got back that I was a good few inches taller than when I set out! That said, I’ve beaten my daily goal of 10,000 steps, which has cheered me.

Having lost my previous one, I got a new Fitbit for Christmas and am really enjoying monitoring my movements (as it were) each day. What’s really surprising is how far I walk when I’m at work – very gratifying! This one also monitors my sleep as it’s connected to an app on my phone, and that has been less inspiring. As I mentioned in my previous blog I had to have a steroid injection in my shoulder just before Christmas and it’s taken a week or so to work, but latterly I’ve definitely felt an improvement. In fact my physio has given me a yellow band, which I’m reliably informed by fellow shoulder pain sufferers is a good thing. It certainly makes some of the resistance exercises easier, and was an interesting conversation starter when it fell out of my handbag yesterday!

Happy New Year to you all! It seems crazy to be saying that when we’re already a week into 2018, but forgive me for not being in touch, as I have been up to my armpits either at QVC or trying to get things sorted here at home. We managed to get the tree and decorations down before twelfth night, although the boxes are currently in a holding position between here and the loft! I’ve loved reading all your news and finding out how you spent the festive period. I was just sorry to know so many of you have been struggling with colds and flu, which have made the festive period a little less jolly than it might have been. I very much hope that by now you’re feeling a great deal better and stronger and were able to enjoy the New Year.

We were very lucky here and all remained germ-free. After a fabulous get together on Christmas Eve with most of the children and some crazy games, including the spoon game (I’ll explain another time), we had a lovely, relaxing Christmas Day. My Green Seasons turkey crown went down really well, as did the gammon and the pigs in blankets! The only thing I’d forgotten to buy was the bread sauce and so I had to make my own, which luckily the children loves! Honey was with us from Christmas Night and so we made Boxing Day special for her and it was such fun sharing in her excitement and her presents.

The beautiful bicycle that Jack and Sam bought for her was very well received and ridden (well, she sat on it and I pushed her) around the house, the toy kitchen was an instant hit, and so was the Play-Doh desk that Colin and I gave to her. However, sometimes it’s the simple things in life that bring the most pleasure… Here’s Honey having decided that pegs are the new hair clips!

We watched a Frozen spin off that was all about Christmas traditions. Afterwards, Lucy asked what traditions Honey would like for Christmas and she responded, “Nanny is my Christmas tradition”. Love her!

I was back at QVC on the 30th and 31st, and as with the previous years, very much enjoyed welcoming in the New Year with you. This time I had the countdown with Charlie and Katie before I had to rush across to Studio B where Debra Leigh was waiting with our Cozee Home mattress topper. It was a great deal, and I bought one for our spare bed as Sam had said he could feel the bed base when he’d slept on it on Christmas night. Actually we have another Cozee Home Today’s Special Value coming on Thursday the 18th January, which is a Woodland Retreat design duvet set at a great price, so if you’ve yet to experience the joy of sleeping in this fabulous fleece fabric, you may well want to treat yourself on Thursday.

When I got home at 2am, Colin had a glass of fizz waiting for me and had recorded the fireworks so we got the chance to begin the New Year together – albeit a tad later than most!

The celebrations continued later that day as January 1st is my friend Jo’s birthday and so we invited her entire family over for food, drinks and some fun. Having known each other since we were 11 years old, it seemed quite incongruous to be celebrating her 58th year, but it didn’t stop us from behaving like children. It’s been a few years since I last played ‘tear one off’, but I’m delighted to say that I managed to win for the oldies. In case your mind is boggling at the thought of such a game, let me reassure you it’s all in the best possible taste and involves a cereal box which you have to pick up from the ground with your teeth. Each time you succeed a little more of the box is torn off until it’s just a flat piece on the ground.

I had fun with the first Diamonique show of the New Year last Tuesday and thank you so much for all your lovely tweets. There will be more Diamonique delights this Tuesday at 8pm, and I’m pleased to be able to tell you about a special feature that has just been introduced. ‘Diamonique Design of the Month’ began last week and each month our buying team will introduce a brand new jewellery design that will have something extra special about it. This month it’s a stunning pair of Mixed Plate Leverback Earrings in rhodium or rose or yellow gold plating. These stunning earrings are embellished with the most beautiful assortment of simulated diamonds, with a total equivalent diamond weight of 3.2 carats made up of round cut and pear cut stones. They’re at a feature price so well worth a look. Of course there’ll be a chance to see more new designs on Tuesday at 8pm although as always, we have limited numbers of these unique pieces, so grab ‘em while you can!

I’m off to see Roz in Dorset for a few days this week, which will be lovely. It’s always so relaxing and good to be together, and she and Chris always spoil me! Fingers crossed we’ve seen the last of Storm Eleanor as it was pretty scary driving on the motorway in those high winds. On the positive side though, the changeable weather did deliver this stunning sunset that I thought you might like to see.

Before I sign off I did want to say a Happy New Year specifically to Una, Jilly, Debz, Helen and Sue as we’ve not heard from you for a while. I do hope all is well. Stay warm and do keep in touch, won’t you?

Stay warm and safe and stay in touch, I’ll see you soon!

With my love,

Ali xxx

45 Comments

  1. Pearl Emery January 8, 2018 at 11:09 am -  Reply

    Happy New Year Ali to you and your family,
    I forgot to mention on your last blog that i became a Great Grannie,on the 13th November 2017,to a beautiful little girl called Lucia Amber,she is gorgeous.Glad to hear that the injection is beginning to work.looking forward to reading your next blog.
    Love Pearl xx

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 10:25 am -  Reply

      Congratulations Pearl, that’s wonderful news! Lucia Amber – such a stunning name, and I’m sure she is gorgeous. I hope you’ve managed to see her and give her many cuddles. Take care of yourself, and I hope to be posting my new blog at the end of the week. Love Ali xx

  2. ADELE January 8, 2018 at 1:13 pm -  Reply

    Aww a lovely blog as always Ali and Happy New Year sweetie , lovely to know your enjoying company with family and friends …its all good fun and i myself had a quiet Christmas safe and snug!! Ohh with lots of chocolaty treats and indulgent puds with extra double cream mmm lovely , so out came the Bodyblade this New Year Lol hitting it hard but steady!! Big hug from me!! XOXO

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 10:27 am -  Reply

      Dear Adele, your Christmas sounds lovely – particularly the indulgent puds with extra double cream! We ate huge amounts of brandy butter and brandy cream with our Christmas pudding which was delightful, but it’s taken a fair few walks to work it off! 🙂 Well done you for cracking on with the bodyblade. I don’t think my shoulder would allow for that, so I’ll stick to walking! Love Ali xx

  3. Loraine Plumb January 8, 2018 at 2:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison happy new year to you all too glad you managed to keep clear of colds Les is getting better but still isn’t 100% but he never complains anyway the weather is horrible at the moment isn’t it looking forward to brighter days .Oh it was dummer where you met your friend not far from where we lived before ringwood I was born in overton near Basingstoke Les has a sister still lives there we have been to the garden centre a few times in dummer . Pleased your shoulder is going ok I was told by the hospital I should think of a change of lifestyles till get the repetitive strain in my shoulders alot and they said standing impacts on the arthritis in your feet but you know what it’s like so used to the job and the people and I like my own money if I were to get a part time job somewhere else it would mean working Saturdays probably and I don’t want that if I an help it . Willa also had a kitchen we bought her a play tent and some other things and some money for her bank account she had a balance bike from our son and girlfriend or should I say fiance while in Norway visiting his best friend he proposed to Lamis in the snow he had the ring hidden at home since august bless him not sure when the wedding is they plan on moving into there own house after Florida providing they can find something suitable alot going on this year as I have told you before he has a important exam on the 18th January in Bristol the last step to the solicitor position don’t envy him .Anyway have a great time in Dorset with your friends and keep well love Loraine xx

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 10:31 am -  Reply

      Dear Loraine, great to catch up on all your news, although I was sorry to know that Les still isn’t completely better. I know so many folk who’ve had this are still struggling with either a cough or blocked nose, some weeks on! Thank heavens you didn’t get it, although it must be difficult for you with your shoulder pain. I understand completely about the job though – very difficult to give up on something you enjoy and that gives you financial freedom. Congratulations on your son’s engagement to Lamis – how romantic! I hope his exam goes well on Thursday! Great that Willa got a kitchen too – I love all the food and things that come with it – and I found a large flannel for Honey to have as a towel 🙂 I had a lovely albeit cold time in Dorset, but am glad of the brief bit of sunshine we’re having today! Love Ali x

  4. Josephine Jennings January 8, 2018 at 3:35 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Ali . Let’s hope it will be a happy healthy one. Lucy could start a new hair fashion accessory, so much more exciting than slides and bows!!

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 10:34 am -  Reply

      Hi there Josephine, Happy New Year to you too, and I hope it’s a healthy one for you as well. Excellent idea about the hair accessory range – I’ll suggest it to Lucy! I’m sure if it came out, I’d be the one to sell them! Love to you, Ali xx

  5. Eileen January 8, 2018 at 4:42 pm -  Reply

    Love reading yr blogs yr granddaughter is so cute happy new year Ali X

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am -  Reply

      Hi Eileen, and thanks so much for your comment! I love writing the blogs, and it’s good of you to take the time to write back to me. You’re right about Honey – she is a real cutey pie 🙂 Happy New Year to you, Love Ali x

  6. Mary Morphy January 8, 2018 at 7:02 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year to you and I am delighted that you all had a germ free and fun filled Christmas. The photos and images your writing conjoeurs up are fabulous..I now have visions of you lying on the floor mouthing a flat piece of cardboard!!
    A different Christmas for us as mum was still in the rehabilitation unit after her fall and we had been two days before Christmas that mum needs to go into residential care..no matter how had we have worked it is no longer possible or safe for mum to remain at home. I think to be fair, we knew what the outcome was going to be from the beginning but it was still very hard to hear from Social Services and the three of us just sat and had a good cry. As daughters we really felt we had let my dad down, he said that we mustn’t let mum go into a home but I said to my sister’s that we had done all we can and we hadn’t given up on her but mum needs to be safe and have a good quality of life. We have found a beautiful family run residential home in Cliftonville which is in a magnificent Victorian building with beautifully decorated lounges, masses of space and is extremely clean. Mum is being assessed by the home manager tomorrow so we are hoping that they can provide for her. Mum still is very weak and not able to moved unaided but she is getting stronger. So, to pay for her care we have had to put mum’s bungalow up for sale (don’t get me started on that). Over the next few weeks we are having to empty the bungalow and mum has so much stuff and Knick Knacks. My daughter has asked that she has my mum’s gorgeous artificial Xmas tree and her Nativity which is exactly the same as mine.it will be stored in our loft until she needs it!! So I wish New Year was better but Jack was poorly with Malaria between Xmas and New Year.. thankfully he is on the mend and we are awaiting outr appointment at the University College Hospital.
    2018 can only get better and I wish you and all of Ally’s Army a happy and healthy one. Much love Mary xx

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 10:44 am -  Reply

      Dear Mary, lovely to catch up on all your news, although I realise that the decision about your mum’s future, and for you to have to sell her home didn’t make an easy start to the year… I’m keeping everything crossed that the home In Cliftonville were able to provide a home for her – sounds lovely. Good to know though that she is getting stronger, and I’m glad that you have your sister with you to sort everything. Poor old Jack – can’t have been much for him or you over Christmas and New Year, but glad to know that he’s on the mend. good luck with the appointment at the University College Hospital. Lovely that Chloe is going to be able to have the Christmas tree and the Nativity. Wonderful that it will carry on giving pleasure through the generations. I have physio on Friday, and then see the consultant on the 24th January, and I am finding the shoulder a little easier each day. Oncology appointment in February, but will keep in touch. Love to you all, Ali xx

  7. Debbie January 8, 2018 at 7:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,so glad you enjoyed Xmas and New Year. We had a wonderful Xmas day and yes I did stay out of the kitchen at our daughters on the insistence of our son in law who did all the cooking. I forgot how lovely a Xmas lunch could taste, definitely better when you aren’t cooking!! Lol. New year wasn’t so good,we had two unrelated family members die,one on 29th and one on 31st. So bit of a quiet time at the moment,still waiting for funeral dates. On a happier note I ordered the Sealy bed that was the Tsv yesterday and they have already arranged a delivery date, impressive!! Take care and stay well,we cold/flu free at the moment,hope I haven’t spoken to soon. Lol. X

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 10:48 am -  Reply

      Oh Debbie, I’m sorry to know that you started the New Year losing two of your family members… hard at any time of the year, but somehow more poignant… I do hope the funerals won’t be too difficult for you all. I’m though glad that your Christmas went well, and you were waited on hand and foot. Bless your son-in-law for being so insistent! Congratulations on ordering the Sealy bed – I have heard nothing but glowing comments about their sleeping system, so I hope you are satisfied. Fingers crossed your remain cold/flu free, and thank you for taking the time to write to me, love Ali x

  8. Joanna Downey January 9, 2018 at 4:53 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, It seems amazing that January is nearly in double figures & Christmas has ‘last’ put in front of it! Your days with family & friends sound perfect & there have been times in my life when I’ve held back my hair with pegs, however, as I’m now approaching my seventh decade (sister’s words) I try not to do things that make me appear feeble-minded. Having your birthday on New Years Day could be awful for some but the two of you always seem to make it an extravaganza. We had a magical Christmas, saw both Bex & Ellie & shared in Tallulah’s joy; I suppose this is the first one that she’ll remember as she was four at the start of December & was Mary in her nursery’s Nativiy play. As we have so much ‘stuff’ I had asked for gifts that were consumable or tickets for events & Colin has bought me a ticket to see Joanna Lumley when she does her tour in the autumn. New Years Eve is always a quiet event for us & by chance we discovered ‘Dinner for One’ a black & white film sketch lasting 20 minutes & starring Freddie Frinton & May Warden. It sounds really odd but apparently it’s massive in Germany where it’s almost obligatory viewing on NYE & is popular in lots of other countries as well, we’ll now be watching it every 31st December. As usual I done my long response but I’m chuffed that I’ve been able to concentrate for so long because it’s been a week since I succumbed to flu. I managed to wash my hair today & feel, not to say look, much better. It’s a pesky virus & it has quite simply floored me. It’s getting lighter every day – blue skies & sunshine. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 10:56 am -  Reply

      Dear Jo, I’m so sorry that you succumbed to the flu, and have been feeling so low. Great that you’ve been able to get up and wash your hair though – always makes you feel better I know 🙂 Onwards and upwards. I’m also glad to know that you had such a lovely Christmas! To see both Bex and Ellie and to share in Tallulah’s joy must have been very special. Did you get to see her as Mary in the Nativity Play? I didn’t realise that Joanna Lumley was doing a tour – what will she be doing exactly? I loved the documentary she and Jennifer Saunders made about Champagne. Watching the two of them reminded me of my friend Jo and I – I often appear feeble minded when the two of us are together! Along with our shared desire for rhubarb and ginger gin, I have also enjoyed Dinner for One! A masterpiece that Colin and I watched last year and recommended to everyone. I wish you blue skies and sunshine and will be posting a new blog at the end of the week. I got another fabulous sunset while out on my walk yesterday. I hope you’re feeling 100% fit very soon. Thanks for keeping in touch, Love Ali xx

  9. Elizabeth Hanna January 9, 2018 at 5:06 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Alison x

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 10:57 am -  Reply

      Happy New Year to you too Elizabeth! May it be a good one. Love Ali x

  10. Hilary Patterson January 9, 2018 at 9:45 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year to you and your family and Health and Happiness to you all for 2018 xx

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 10:57 am -  Reply

      Hi there Hilary. Thanks for your kind wishes – I wish the same to you and your family. Let’s hope 2018 is a good year for us all. Love Ali xx

  11. Susan Huskisson January 10, 2018 at 1:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali A very Happy New Year to you and your family.
    Hope you had a lovely Christmas with your family, I’m sure it was made extra special by your gorgeous little Honey! I love the clothes peg look, I’m sure it would catch on particularly with the young people who sport such wonderful colours in their hair!
    We had a lovely couple of days with our Charlie and his mummy and daddy. He insisted I got on the floor in his playroom and played with every new toy that Father Christmas had brought him! I’m ok getting down but these days I need a week’s notice before I can get up!!
    I’ve been babysitting him every Wednesday for a while now while mummy’s at work. I have the day off today as mummy has a day off, it’s very quiet but I’m missing him!
    He loves to help us feeding the birds with Richard’s bird seed and watches through the window to see them feeding. We bought some large fat balls from our local garden centre which they call “chunky dumplings”. Charlie had a dumper truck for Christmas and got very excited to see the birds eating the “dumperlings “. We had to laugh and can’t call them anything else now!
    As I write I’m wearing the diamonique design of the month earrings. They are gorgeous. I have them in the yellow gold option which is my favourite, they sparkle beautifully in the sunshine that we have today.
    I’ll say bye for now Ali. I hope you have a lovely time with your friends and get spoiled rotten. You deserve it! Look forward to your next blog. Love Sue xx
    PS any news on your book yet? Xx

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 11:02 am -  Reply

      Happy New Year Susan! You have made me laugh with your comment about needing a week’s notice to get up off the floor! I’m just the same 🙂 Lovely though that you had special time over Christmas with Charlie and his mum and dad, and even better that you babysit him every Wednesday while his mummy’s at work. I’m glad that you too have so much fun feeding the birds with him as I do with Honey – I’m hoping to make a little film of it next time she’s here. I don’t have any of the ‘dumperlings’ but maybe I should invest in them!! Delighted to know that you’ve ordered the Diamonique earrings. They are exquisite aren’t they. I’ll be giving you a hint about next months special in the new blog. I did have a lovely time with Roz and Chris, and although the weather was grotty it was great just to catch up and be together. You take care and thanks for writing to me. Love Ali xx

  12. Liz Holmes January 10, 2018 at 3:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison. A very Happy New Year to you, Colin and all your family, and especially to your gorgeous little poppet Honey. Loved her new hair accessories. They could catch on! What a lovely thing Honey said when she replied that you were her Christmas tradition. Wonderful words to be forever treasured. I am glad you had a lovely Christmas and lots of fun, love and laughter. It is good to know that your shoulder’s progressing well now and wish you a very healthy 2018. Enjoy your break with your lovely friends in Dorset. I am sure you will be spoilt rotten, as you deserve to be. We, too, have friends in Dorset. Such a beautiful part of the country. Love Liz x

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 11:27 am -  Reply

      Dear Liz, I think you may well be right about the hair accessories – she is such a little sweetheart. I love spending time with her, and it makes me feel young again 🙂 I know, I was really touched by her saying I was her Christmas tradition, and yes she certainly brought many smiles and much laughter to our time together. I hope you too had a good Christmas and that the new year will be a happy one for you. I had a lovely break in Dorset, and you’re right it is a lovely part of the world. I’m sure Colin and I will be back there soon! Thank you for writing to me, love Ali xx

  13. Helen Heywood January 10, 2018 at 8:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, sounds like you had a great Christmas. Love that Honey enjoyed playing with the pegs, she may have started a new trend! For the first time this year we went to our local Indian restaurant for Christmas dinner. A lovely meal & no washing up! Having problems with a frozen shoulder myself I feel your pain and hope you are on the mend. Wishing you a happy & healthy New Year xx

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 11:29 am -  Reply

      Hi Helen, I’m thinking I may need to market Honey’s idea for hair accessories! We could call the range Peggy! Loving the sound of your exotic Christmas dinner – and no washing up – what a joy! To be fair, although I did most of the cooking, Colin did do all of the clearing up! My shoulder continues to improve which is a relief – visits to the dentist on the agenda next! Wishing you a happy and healthy new year too. Love Ali xx

  14. Christine January 11, 2018 at 3:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali Christmas and New Year all done, can’t believe how time flies. I had frozen shoulder, I have had pain before with operations etc but that is the worst pain ever couldn’t sleep had to sleep upright. Glad your shoulder is much better. My husband is going for his check up next month let you know he gets on.

    Take Care X

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 11:37 am -  Reply

      Dear Christine, so sorry to know that you have been struggling with a frozen shoulder. You’re right the pain is horrid, and I’m so glad to know that you’re feeling better now. I will be thinking of you and your husband, and very much hope his check up brings positive news. Let’s hope this New Year is a better one for us all. Take care and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  15. Susan January 11, 2018 at 6:05 pm -  Reply

    Happy new year Ali! I’m glad you enjoyed it in Work and with Colin afterwards. You’re such a great entertainer doing all that at Christmas and on New Year’s Day after work! Did you have all the kids stay over at Christmas? Lucky you have room! I can’t believe you have avoided the germs too! Well done! Hospitals have been run off their feet. Enjoy your trip to Roz. Take care x

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 11:40 am -  Reply

      Hi there Susan, no we didn’t have all the children to stay, just Lucy, Honey, Sam and Jack, but it makes for a mighty amount of washing and ironing 🙂 Sam had to sleep on the sofa which wasn’t ideal. I can’t believe I avoided the germs either, must be my flu jab! Dreadful that so many folk have suffered, and very difficult for those who are elderly. I find that keeping busy keeps me healthier, although I could certainly do with a little more sleep! I hope you stay well, and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  16. Mandy January 12, 2018 at 1:09 pm -  Reply

    Happy 2018 Ali! So pleased you had a lovely Christmas & New Year with your family & friends; the photo of you & Honey is gorgeous & I do love her hair clips lol. Glad to hear your shoulder is getting a little better & you are still enjoying your walks. I too have had a new Fitbit; I sent my original one back as there was an issue but have now got the same one as you so looking forward to achieving my goals again! I am extremely happy at the moment as have just returned from my oncology appointment & everything is fine so not got to go back for six months!! It is such a stressful day isn’t it when an appointment is due but such relief when you come home. I mentioned to a nurse how January is my least favourite time of the year so she suggesting planning things to cheer me up so am going to take her advice by having a celebratory G & T later! I did have a lovely pair of Diamonique rose princess cut earrings for Christmas & a Diamonique mother of pearl ring so very pleased with my new sparkles. The sunset photo is beautiful- we do certainly seem to be getting a lot of pink skies lately. Have you planned out your journey yet for when you go to Australia? I am sure that will brighten up the short dark days although I do think it is getting slightly lighter at night time. I love Spring & so find myself doing “window watch” each afternoon at work to everyone’s amusement. Have a lovely week Ali & keep warm.

    Love & Hugs
    Mandy xxx

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 11:48 am -  Reply

      Hi there Mandy, lovely to hear from you, and to know that you’re clear for another six months! Wonderful news, and you’re right, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to some concern before my visit. Great advice to plan things to cheer yourself up prior to them date. I have my son Jack’s 25th birthday on the 2nd February so that will carry me through I’m sure 🙂 Mind you a celebratory G & T wouldn’t go amiss either! I think I remember the rose gold princess cut earrings – what a lovely gift! And the mother of pearl ring too – pieces to treasure I’m sure. I’m glad you like the sunset photo – I think I’m a little obsessed with them – maybe one day I can put them all together in an album 🙂 Still in the planning stages for the trip, although it’s getting ever closer! Doing a bit of window watching myself whilst writing – I can see my bird table from here which is lovely. Happy New Year to you, and good luck with your fitbit – mine’s just told me to get up and move! Love to you, Ali x

  17. Gwen January 12, 2018 at 5:02 pm -  Reply

    Hello Dear Ali,

    Firstly a very Happy New Year to you and yours, I always love to read your blogs and catching up with all that you have done. I have’nt been in touch for a while as just before Christmas life was very stressful, but I am happy to say that all is well now, made all the better by a very wonderful and happy Christmas.

    I can’t believe how grown up Honey is becoming, what a dear little girl she is, such a joy for you to enjoy the lovely things she says and does, but she is so loved I am sure it just all comes naturally to her.

    Stay well Ali, looking forward to seeing you on screen soon.

    Very best wishes,

    Gwen.

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 11:52 am -  Reply

      Gwen, I am so glad to know that whatever has been troubling you is now resolved, and that you were able to enjoy a wonderful and happy Christmas. I think it was quite a difficult year for a lot of folk, so here’s hoping 2018 is better. You’re right Honey is an absolute joy, and is growing up so quickly! I enjoy every minute with her and Lucy is a wonderful mum. We have a long weekend together planned in February which will be lovely. You take care, and great to know all is well and that you can keep in touch. Love Ali xx

  18. Christine Auchterlonie January 13, 2018 at 11:16 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali Best Wishes to you and yours for the New Year…pleased you had a lovely Christmas with your family and Honey with her new kitchen…Jess and Katy spent hours with theirs “making cups of tea “and then washing up and making a mess ….happy days.Im so pleased to hear that the injection worked for you nothing worse than long term pain and discomfort .Christmas came and went so quickly after all the preparations …. And although I was pleased when it was over..I had a nice couple of days with Simon,Helen and Fiona and Jess and Katy but Derek was a big miss and will always be and of course a couple of sad moments throughout the day when memories took over and a few tears were shed….but that is always going to be the case. I was on my own for New Years Eve (my choice) I watched QVC and you bringing in the new year and the fireworks from London . Im not a great lover of January it’s always damp and cold so won’t be going too far me thinks! It will be a year for Derek inFebruary and I don’t know where the time has gone …. However life goes on only in a different way….Loved the picture of you and Honey in your matching coats ….Christmas is so different with grandchildren around … Well Ali Take care of yourself and that shoulder! And I will see you soon at the Q my Best Wishes with love Chris x thanks for all your news!

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 12:09 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Chris, So good to hear from you and to know that your Christmas was bittersweet, but with more happy times than sad. It’s lovely though that you have the family around you as they understand better than anyone how you are feeling, and no doubt miss Derek very much too. I think your choice to be alone on New Year was the right one – no expectation from anyone, and a chance for you to just be… I would have said hello if I’d have known you were with me 🙂 We were blessed with our Christmas, and watching Honey in her kitchen reminded me of Lucy in hers – where do the years go… My shoulder is definitely improving and I have the physio this Friday so onwards and upwards. I have to say that being pain free is the greatest improvement of all! I bought Honey the little coat so that we would look alike, and she keeps it here to wear when were together bless her. I hope that maybe you can plan something for February that will make you happy, and help you to get through the anniversary. Life does go on as you say, although I understand it’s very hard to get used to that when you miss someone so much. Sending you a big hug, and thanks for keeping in touch. With my love, Ali xx

  19. Judith Lennon January 14, 2018 at 9:38 am -  Reply

    Happy New Year Ali! Hope it’s a good one for you and yours. Well the festivities are all over and I am trying to find some normality again! Like most families you are always kept on the go with one thing or another and helping out were you can. The sickness season has hit my family really hard with reacurring illnesses returning including myself. I have never known a time like it with all of them. Never mind we do what we can don’t we. I had physio on my shoulder again last week and it always knocks me for six the next day. Perhaps we are sympathising with each other lol!! January and February I find are hard months for many people but the spring bulbs in the garden bring signs of better days to come. Loved all your news and photos as always. Little Honey is just beautiful. Enjoy her Ali it’s a very precious time. Well it’s time to close again until next time. Take care lovely lady. With lots of love and hugs as always. Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan January 16, 2018 at 12:19 pm -  Reply

      Dear Judith, lovely to hear from you, although so sorry to know that you and your entire family have been hit with this terrible bug. Thank heavens you are close enough to one another to be able to support each other. So difficult to function when you’re feeling grotty, but I hope you’re on the mend now. I saw a different physio last week, and she was quite gentle, so I was fine for work that night. I’m working with my yellow band and that seems to be helping too. I think we may well be sympathising with each other! I was bought two little pots with bulbs in and have planted them out. It says to keep them in a dark cool place for 10 weeks, and so I fear they may flower while I’m in Australia! I’ll have to bring them to work for Kathy to enjoy 🙂 Honey is gorgeous isn’t she – although of course I’m biased! Thanks for keeping in touch Judith, and I hope to hear from you again soon, love Ali xx

  20. Una January 15, 2018 at 5:04 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali. HAPPY NEW YEAR.
    I’ve not written in such a long time. Been a really crazy year. In a good way for once!!!
    Your Christmas sounds hectic, and perfect. Little Honey is just adorable, growing up so quickly. I’m sure your little Cala Lily is thriving too.
    Meli is doing SO well. She’s had lots of neurological tests this year,and it’s looking like she may always need a walking aid. Considering the prognosis at the time it all went pear shaped, that’s definitely something we can all deal with. Court case is still ongoing, and probably will drag on. That’s taken up a lot of our time and energy, but so many mistakes were made, and it’s the fact they covered up and lied on so many occasions, I will not give up. We don’t even want money or anything. Just an apology, and acknowledge that they have caused so much pain and suffering.
    We had a lovely Xmas too. Meli was front and center in her class nativity. Her walker wash”decorated” like a flashing candy cane. She spent an entire evening “helping” Graeme with the flashing fairy lights. She played the part of Mary’s best friend!!!!! She literally stormed on stage. Yelling at Joseph that he should help Mary more with the baby. Apparently he wasn’t doing night feeds and Mary was exhausted! She then stormed off stage left after throwing a”dirty nappy” at Joseph!! We have a new drama teacher in school and she’s very forward thinking lol. It was a great success and the whole audience loved it.
    We’ve managed a couple of lovely holidays away. We had a great long weekend away with our friends who have the little boy who is Ill. He’s fighting hard every day, but there’s been a big decline in his health recently. They are so positive and make every day count. We had a great time out walking. Meli somehow managed to manoeuvre her walker on the sand, and we were at the beach for a whole day. Picnics, paddling, sand in our sandwiched, the lot. Sometimes it’s the simple things that mean the most.
    Graeme is still working, for someone who is meant to be retired, he doesn’t half put the hours in lol.
    He’s got me involved too, he gets the renovation done then I’m put in to sort out the “fancy dancy cushions and stuff”!!! That’s men for you! I actually love it, and it’s so much fun working with him.
    I can’t believe how dreadful our lives were for a while. I still don’t know how I survived it all. My beautiful girl would have been 35 this year. Hurts me every day that I can’t see what she would have been today. I see so much of Meli in her. Small mannerisms that take me by surprise and take my breath away. We still talk about her mummy every night at bedtime and Meli kisses her photo and tells her about her day. Which is usually busier than ours!!
    I actually have an evening to myself. Graeme and Meli have gone to an art display at school. Then they’re going out for dinner! MacDonalds it is then! I’ve had that awful cold hanging around and don’t want to go and cough and splutter over everyone.
    You’re looking so well Alison, Meli and I always try to catch your diamonique shows. She loves anything sparkly, I don’t know where she gets that from!!!!!!
    Please give little Honey a hug from Meli and I.
    Lots of love from all of us.
    Una xx

    • Alison Keenan January 18, 2018 at 10:07 pm -  Reply

      My dear Una, so VERY glad to hear from you, and to know that all is well with you, Meli and Graeme. I’m sorry that your court case is still ongoing, and you have had no resolve, but I understand your determination to fight until you see it right… I wish you the strength and tenacity to get through it . So sad to know that in spite of all that you have had to deal with, the truth is still hidden. It won’t always be this way, and I’m certain you will find peace some day soon.

      Loving the sound of Meli’s nativity play – she is definitely a star in the making! You must be so proud, although I think I can just about realise how hard it must be for you to see so much of your daughter in her… But you know, thank the Lord that you are being given a constant window into that world so she can be close to you. The fact that you talk about her every night to Meli keeps her close to you, and compounds my belief that those we love never leave us, and we can keep them alive by talking about them and remembering them.

      Graeme sounds like an absolute treasure and nobody deserves that kind of support more than you. Love. For some a given, for others, something we feel has eluded us until … So glad you have found your until… The fact that Graeme cares for Meli the way he does is wonderful. So happy for you 🙂 Fingers crossed that your cold and cough have now cleared up and that you are feeling far better than your were when you wrote to me a few days ago.

      It makes me really happy to know that Meli is like you and I, and loves her sparkly jewellery! Where would I be without my Diamonique – forever ordering jewellery in advance of birthdays or other special occasions. I seriously don’t think there is another range that can beat it !

      I’m planning to see Honey next week – only have the end of the week as Lucy works three and a half days – but we are going swimming and then the obligatory hot chocolate afterwards – love it! 🙂

      I’m sure I’m not the only one to be happy to hear from you, and here’s hoping that 2018 will bring you all that makes you happiest. Heaven knows you deserve it.

      With my love, Ali xxxx

  21. Una January 15, 2018 at 5:06 pm -  Reply

    Me again!!
    Forgot to say. I don’t think it will be too long before we see Honey on QVC, featuring her very own hair accessories line lol!!
    Una x

    • Alison Keenan January 18, 2018 at 10:11 pm -  Reply

      So in your camp on that one Una! I think it’s a given 🙂 XX

  22. Jean Daly January 16, 2018 at 1:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Hope you are keeping well, you look terrific as always & I really like your hair. I would just like to thank you for the recipe for your Christmas gammon – it’s delicious & it went down a treat. Do you happen to have one an all in one for chicken/chicken portions that I could throw into the slow cooker & dinner would be ready when I got home from work. It’s nice to have something warming during these cold winter days.
    Look forward to hearing from you. Take care.

    Love Jean xx

    • Alison Keenan January 18, 2018 at 10:30 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Jean, and thank you so much for the compliment about my hair! I’m thinking of having it cut even shorter in the spring… Watch this space 🙂 Bless you for having followed my recipe for the Christmas gammon – great it worked as well for you as it did for us. I will dig out a recipe for you for the chicken and post it tomorrow. End of a long day for me, so off to bed, but you’re right, lovely to get home to something warming and filling. Thank you for taking the time to write to me 🙂 Happy New year to you and please do keep in touch. Love Ali x

  23. Jean Daly February 5, 2018 at 8:55 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison hope you are well. I am just recovering from the flu which wasn’t very pleasant but feeling much better now & looking forward to the Spring, it really is a beautiful time of the year – my husband’s favourite. Did you ever get the chance to dig out the chicken recipe for the slow cooker? Hope to hear from you soon. Love & God bless Jean x

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