My fashion shoot for Breast Cancer Care and more…


MAIN(2)I have to admit to being staggered by how many of you have either visited, lived or worked in Turkey, and it's been lovely to read all your memories – thank you for sharing them with me this week. I think the general concensus is 'LET'S ALL GO BACK THERE !!' :)

Actually, that said, I am loving being back at work – your kind words and compliments have been very welcome, so bless you for them.

The new studios are very smart, and the fact we have them on the same level as our dressing rooms, and the guest lounge saves an enormous amount of time and effort trying to find people and products!!

Dressing room(2)

First Week at the new studios

This is a glimpse of Kathy and my dressing room before I managed to unpack my crates!

Having started with Super Sunday, the week just got better, and it was lovely to work with an old colleague of mine – Matthew Biggs – on the gardening show.

I met Matthew years ago in my Granada TV days, when we worked together on a gardening series in Manchester. He was lovely then, and hasn't changed, and although I was sorry not to see Richard Jackson, it was a very enjoyable hour.

Orchid(2)Actually Richard's Flower Power - fab plant food – is responsible for the incredible life span of my ever flowering orchid! You may have heard me mention it, but I thought you might like to see a picture. My friend Jo bought it for me five and half years ago as a house warming present, and it has never been without flowers :)

Of course our new home means I have a rather circuitous journey in to work now, so the exciting news is that Colin and I are house hunting! :)The thought of leaving our cosy cottage is a little daunting, but life moves on, and is too short to be spending so much time in the car!

I do have a couple of options with the journey, but they all involve the M1, M25, M4 or M40…!! You may have heard that the M4 developed a large crack in it on Friday night which caused chaos around Chiswick!

I came out of work at 8.10pm and by 8.50pm had travelled a quarter of a mile!! It did make me smile – no that's a lie – it made me swear rather rudely – to see a telephone number on a sign by some bollards which read "Expect Delays until August 2012"…

I wouldn't fancy answering the phone to anyone who'd been sitting in traffic for the best part of two months!!! :D

Breast Cancer Care Fashion Show

Shoot2(2)Outside of work I have been involved with Breast Cancer Care, in readiness for the fashion show on 3rd October this year. I met up with some of the other models, and had my photo taken for the newsletter. I will also be interviewed for the autumn issue of Vita – which is BCC's quarterly magazine. Very exciting!

I can also give you a sneaky preview of a photo shoot I went to for Woman and Home magazine! They are doing a piece prior to The Fashion Show on autumn fashion and have chosen four women, from completely different lifestyles, and styled us individually.

Shoot(2)I was a little nervous at the thought initially, thinking I might have to get changed with a whole gang of other people. But the other girly who was photographed that morning too was in another room. So I was spoiled rotten by the hair stylist and make-up artist before slipping into the most gorgeous dress with poncho style coat. What do you think? Not bad for an old bird eh?? :)

I have to tell you that the shoes were two sizes too big, but we stuffed tissue in the toes and then prayed that I wouldn't lose my balance whilst posing in a way that made my knees look less baggy…! I think the proper photos will be in the September issue, but I'll let you know nearer the time.

Last Weekend

This last weekend has been particularly busy too, with a lunch party to celebrate two of my village friend's birthdays. We've found a lovely gastro pub that let us stay as long as we like, and don't mind the occasional crowing and cackling in the corner – we had a great time!

The following day Colin and I headed up to Colchester as his cousins live there and there was to be a family gathering. We went this time last year, when I really did feel mouldy, so it was good to be in fine fettle and to catch up on all their news. Of course Colchester is where I lived when I was first married in 1980, and my mum's sister Hilda has always lived there too.

Sadly Aunty Hilda has dementure and is now in a residential home there, but we called in to see her before the party. Bless her, she didn't remember me at all, but with the help of some photos we established that I was Kathleen's daughter and had three children. She was very happy though, with a room that has a door out into the garden.

Gardening has always been her passion, and so I was glad that although physically she's not able to do much any more, she can enjoy looking at the plants and flowers. They also have a rabbit that hops around outside and she loves him :)

It was a busy day, and a happy one, and we rounded it off by spending time with a very old friend of mine who recently contacted me through this blog. Wendy and I were the best of friends when I was first married, and her husband Mike was our best man. But the years pass, I moved, remarried, and somehow we lost touch… To see her, looking exactly the same as she did all those years ago, it was as though the last 20 years hadn't happened, and we both burst into tears…

Many hours and many tissues later, we vowed to make up for lost time, and the fact that Mike and Colin got on so well means plenty of good times ahead for us all. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's been lucky enough to find someone again, and it would be lovely to hear from you if you've been through this blog too….!

I think that's all my news – oooooooh apart from myself and Craig are attending the Jewellery Awards tomorrow night at the Grosvenor House Hotel, as QVC has been nominated for Jewellery Channel of the Year!!! So excited! I will have photos and gossip for you next week.

Stay well and happy, love Ali xx


  1. Edna Munro July 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi,Ali.As usual a fabulous blog,full of cheer and very uplifting.Studios lookg great,and I can imagine how you felt only travelling 1/4 mile in 40 minutes!Hope the house hunt is successful and brings you lots of joy and pleasure in making it a ‘home’ to enjoy.Your comment about Aunt Hilda hit a chord with me.I am on that journey with my husband,hence these pages and other such sites give me a lot of ‘time out’ without leaving the house and help because they are so full of hope.You should take up writing as an additional career!Looking forward to the Breast Cancer Care event,as always.No doubt you will look as stunning as ever.Take care,Love

  2. Babs lincsxxx July 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali You never stop, whatever comes your way you get up and get it sorted, or more to the point whatever comes your way , workwise, moving, holidays etc, you enjoy doing it. Colin always there by your side, what a great man to have, thank you Colin for looking after our Ali. I bet you look a million dollars in all those clothes you are modelling. Enjoy the evening. Hope you find somewhere nice to live quickly as it can get a bit tiring having to keep looking.Take care, love to you, Colin and all your family xxxx babs lincs xx

  3. mary morphy July 13, 2012 at 6:59 am -  Reply

    Good morning Ali. Crikey you have been busy! I was exhausted just reading all your news and what a lot there was. Firstly and most importantly, you looked absolutely exsquisite in the blue dress and jacket, that colour was made for you! I hope you enjoyed the photo shoot ( remembering the comment about posing to avoid saggy knees in case it ever comes in handy…my frock for the wedding this weekend…will elaborate long so not something I need to take into consideration at the mo but a useful pointer to say the least for future reference!) and all the pampering it brought with it. I am sure you will be amazing on the day.
    The new studios look wonderful and your dressing room looks very comfy, light and airy and its great that you and Kathy are ‘roomies’ I am sure you will have lots of laughs together.
    How lovely to be re-acquainted with friends via the blog; technology is a wonderful thing although I am not a fan of face book..I see how it damagesand h arms kids and adults alike with the more negative aspects of it at the school I work in and think that there needs to be tougher laws and restrictions on it..or am I being an old stick in the mud? My kids are not allowed on it but they are fine with that..I think! I keep in touch with my school friend who found me on friends reunited after nearly 20 years…she was living in Singapore..too far for a weekend visit but now happily in Wales and we see each other when she drives to Broadstairs to see her parents.
    So, wedding one completed, wedding two is this Saturday in a posh hotel in Sandbanks Bournemouth; we (me, my twin and my younger sister) are travelling down today and could find ourselves embroiled in the Olympic Torch parade if we don’t get our timings right! All the hotel prices have doubled but we were on the ball and booked a year ago at half the price! As we are considered the paupers of the guest university education (but all with excellent job histories and all working since 18 butb thats a minor detail) we intend to take full advantage of the free champagne and have a thoroughly good time! i will let you know next week how it went.
    Wedding one was a couple of weeks ago; my twins best friend, Helen, was getting married, however it didn’t start well as what was meant to be a 4 1/2 hour journey to Bolton (with only one wee stop allowed which to be honest is not nearly enough for me but my twin seems to have a better tolerance than me in this area)went horribly wrong once we emerged form the Dartford Tunnel in a rainy Essex (it was sunny in Kent!) and found ourselves bumper to bumper with what seemed like every car in the land. The weather had been extremely severe the day before so on this Friday not only was there extra traffic that was unable to travel from the previous day BUT as we later found out, they were all on their way to a Stone Roses reunion concert in Manchester for that evening. If ever there was a case of bad timing this was it…10 hours later we arrived at our Travel Lodge, already displaying signs of ‘Disco Hip’ from sitting in one position for far too long.
    The rain continued on the wedding day although as we had a few hours to spare in the morning we went shopping and my sister bought a large bird bath which had to be removed from the packaging in order to get it in the car. We allowed ourselves extra time to get ready…we both wanted to look our best and show off our slimmer (but not yet perfect) bodies so had decided to wear some rather severe shapewear which I can only liken to the vacuum suction storage bags..great when on but boy oh boy, it all hangs out when you peel them off!
    Once ready and looking quite good we set off in the pouring rain to the barn where the ceremony and reception were taking place. The rain pounded the car, and we were escorted by brolley laden, very attractive ushers, to the gazebo waiting to be called in to be seated..the sides of the gazebo kept caving in with the force of the rain and how we avoided a total soaking was shear luck however my shoes were at this point like a wet shammy leather. We were called in and decided to visit the ladies before the ceremony; my sister was reading a poem for the service (as punishment for not being a bridesmaid but to be honest, the aubergine knee length dresses were not her and she would have definately struggled with high heel, bling covered silver strappy sandals!) and needed the loo. It was as she was walking to the ladies that it became evident that her hold up stockings lacked the ‘hold up’ and by the time we reached the loo one was round her calf and the other soon on its way..Hilarious!! Both were hastily whipped off..luckily she had managed to top up her tan with a shred of sunshine from that week and had nice brown legs.
    The rain continued to fall and the bride was 20 mins late because she couldn’t get out the car causing some rather unsettling concerns for her groom who thought maybe she had changed her mind. Suffice to say she looked radiant and after the service, the sun shone and we had champagne and canapes outside…how well looked after we were, glass constantly being refilled..I fely quite squiffy by the time we came to eat our meal which was delicious.
    A fantastic evening was had by all; disco hip totally in full flow when I woke early the next day; we had to leave Bolton at 6am as my sister was playing cricket in Canterbury at 1pm so having got home at 2am from the wedding we were both pretty shattered. My sister couldn’t feel her toes; her pointy shoes had taken revenge on her, she never wears heels but made the effort for her friend and suffered the consequences..very noble of her I think, and my feet were completely stained black from the dye of my shoes which were, I have to say, very comfy (Rockport Sasha shoe QVC)..couldn’t scrub it off for love nor money so had to get out the foot file to remove it!
    So, we are off in a few hours so need to start organising myself and get the kids up for school, write the insructions and schedule for the kids cricket this weekend so my husband delivers the right child to the right match and hunt for my suction foundation garnment. Have a great week . Lots of Love Mary xx

  4. Lynn Hind July 14, 2012 at 2:17 am -  Reply

    wow ali you just havent time to be sick haha your blog certainly brings us into your life! i guess having to leave your cottage will be hard, but as i always say ‘roads are for journeys and not destinations’ and a new home is a new road for you and colin to make new memories, as i guess the cottage has seen many happy days but sad days too when you battled your cancer…blogging away to ‘us lot’ on here and everyone keeping you going,Ali,has your hair gone barmmy after the chemo? the reason i ask i had short poker straight ‘spiky choppy’ hair now its ‘kinky and curly’ its halarious never had curly hair in my life lol its got a life of its own!! or was your hair always curly and you straightened it? yes, i too im lucky 2nd time around been with dave number 2 20yrs married for 15 and hes been my rock and gone through so much with me even though my illness isnt cancer its still chronic and incurable and will end my life eventually, he just ‘warms me’ colin sounds very like dave ‘they love us no matter what’ like you am very blessed. looking forward to the photos in all ‘your glam’ had to giggle at the packed out shoes can so imagine you tettering around lol but given that to us your ‘army’ your beautiful inside and out packed shoes or not!! keep well and the faith Ali
    love and warm hugs always :)
    Lynn xxx

  5. Elaine sallis July 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    You look stunning in the photos. I subscribe to woman and home so can’t wait to see you in it. Your journey sounds horrendous with all the trouble on that stretch of road. I hope you and Colin can find a lovely new home and lovely that you are choosing it together. Only eight weeks until Jodie’s baby is due am getting very excited at the moment the baby is breech but still time to turn let’s hope she does or have I got another stubborn grand daughter on the way!
    I hope all your family are well.
    Love Elaine x

  6. SUE RADFORD July 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, (Had to retype this as the last one I sent disappeared off the screen for some reason aaargh!).
    You never fail to amaze me Ali – you ALWAYS have something interesting going on. I will certainly watch out for the Woman & Home edition – how exciting! The outfit looks great on you!!
    How lovely that you met up with a long lost friend through this blog. It’s great that the men get along too – I hope you’ll have lots of happy “get togethers”.
    Even though your Aunt Hilda didn’t realise it was you during your visit, I know from experience that your visit would have done her the world of good. I know this from experience because when I visited my father at the Nursing Home I could tell he felt more content having seen me. Several other residents looked forward to our visits too, and I met some lovely interesting people and loved chatting to them, and it was so nice that they looked forward to seeing us too.
    I haved just returned from a three day breat to Santa Eulalia, Ibiza. We have visited time and time again and have lost count how many times we’ve visited. It is one of my favourite places. It hasn’t lost any of its “Olde Worlde” charm, and it’s a great place to sit and relax and watch people walk by. There are still many “old hippies” there and we were excited when we caught sight of someone from the old rock band ACDC. He overheard my husband say he thought he was from a famous rock band and we were really surprised when he turned around, smiled and nodded in agreement at us. The laid back feel of Santa Eulalia is hard to beat – that’s for sure! We usually visit during May or September, so coping with the very very hot July weather was difficult, and since returning home I can’t seem to get warm – my poor feet are freezing LOL!
    I hope you’ll enjoy house hunting with Colin. I’ve never found moving house stressful – I must be one of the rare few that find it exciting and enjoyable LOL! I hate being caught in traffic though, so can well understand the reason you want to be nearer your place of work.
    Carry on enjoying life Ali – it’s the best tonic ever!
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  7. Chris Page July 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    The new studio looks like a Hammer horror film set – will you be using that to good effect at Halloween? I can just imagine you emerging vamp-like from the dry ice….
    On a sad note, we’re adjusting to the news that my younger brother’s devoted dog, Snoop, has Lymphoma. He’s going to have chemo, but I’m worried that it won’t do much good for the poor ol’ fella. He’s a ten year old Jack Russell, and Glen’s had him since he was eight weeks old. But your recovery gives me hope.
    Chris xx

  8. Rhona Fenton July 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, so good to see and hear all your lovely news:)first off all the pictures look amazing and you look stunning as always, you must have been sooo super excited doing the photo shoot:)I had to laugh at the bit about the shoes too big for you and funny thing is I was thinking about your shoes the other day, you know the ones you were letting me borrow? now how I thought off that spooky!! now as for Richard Jacksons plant food, that is the best, the results I have with that is Amazing, can’t be without it, so no wonder your plant is looking so good:)Alison could you ask Richard when you next see him if he has been getting my emails? if you don’t mind please, its just I have not heard from him and wondered if his email address has changed, we right back and fourth normally all the time, just if you have a moment, thank you:) you and colin must be excited about house hunting, I would love a new house, having said that Alison you missed an amazing firework display over the castle last night:) not sure what the celebration was as it’s not the proms yet, but colin did manage one year to get the two off us with Rebecca sitting next to the guy that presses the button letting the fireworks off along to the music, so we were sitting in the middle off it, it doesn’t get better than that, what a setting as you will know having been to the castle yourself:) lovely to hear about you bumping into your old friend and that it was fun catching up, and everyone got on so well it’s great when that happens:) thank you for sharing all your news, and that you are doing well, keep strong, love and Hug’s to you and yours from me and mine Rhona xx

  9. Helen s July 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm -  Reply

    Hia Ali, just a quickie to say hello. You look lovely in the photo shoot, I nominated Mum a few years back for the fashion show as you know she has had cancer twice, but I was told she was in the wrong location, well sorry for living in Wales!! I was so sad for her, it would have given her such a confidence boost, but there we are, we’re the wrong side of the M4!! Hope the house hunting goes well, ooo I do love moving, I know I’m sad but I just love the excitement. Mind we havent moved since my daughter was born so what it would be like now I dont know. The ‘stuff’ that a 9 year old can gather is mind blowing, plus the fact that her and my husband love our house.
    Anyway off to make tea now chat soon lovely and take good care of yourself, let me know how the house hunt is going and pics please.
    luv and hugs as always
    Helen S xx

  10. alison keenan July 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm -  Reply

    My dear Edna, thank you for your lovely comments, and can I say how sorry I am to hear that you are currently struggling with your situation, and with caring for your husband. I have some understanding of how difficult this is, and I know it takes extraordinary strength and courage to get through each day – I am sending you my love and hope that you get some form of respite to help you…. I am glad though that you enjoy reading the blogs and it’s lovely that you keep in touch this way. Do take care and stay strong, love Ali xx

  11. alison keenan July 15, 2012 at 10:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Babs, and by crikey you’re right, house hunting is exhausting!! That said we did find a fab house, made an offer, had it accepted, and were then gazumped!! :( Not happy, and so back to the drawing board. Thank you for your kind words and I’ve passed them on to Colin – he also liked the photos!! I think for the Breast Cancer Care fashion show I have four costume changes to make, so no doubt there will be some wonderful outfits to wear on the night :) Do hope all is good with you and thank you for writing, love Ali xx

  12. izzie July 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm -  Reply

    You really are an inspiration – always so busy and definitely a glass half full woman!!
    Wishing you well in your continuing recovery and your new home hunting – Having been gazumped myself many years ago I remember that deflated feeling- as they say – one door closes…..
    When you close the door on that first day in your new home – wherever it may be – all those feelings will be forgotten.
    God bless you and Colin – I too have a wonderful second time husband – Ten wonderful years together with a man I can truly rely on for everything.
    Lots of Love
    Izzie xx

  13. Patricia Kurton July 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, what another lovely Blog. Things seem to be going so well for you at the moment. Your house hunting news is wonderful, I am so happy for you both and as you mentioned would make life much easier I am sure not to have to navigate such a route to work. I have though enjoyed your updates on your garden and the lovely wild life around your Cottage. I think it must have been a great comfort to you over the past year.Life goes on though and time for pastures anew.
    I will look forward to reading about the Breast Cancer Care Show and glad you will be playing a part in it. I also am looking forward to the September Issue of Woman and Home. I have been getting this Magazine for years and indeed for the past 7 years my dear Mum who is 92 has been sending me my copy each month to Croatia where I have been living. It’s a great read for all mature Women with a young outlook and lots of the articles are very inspiring. So nice to hear of your visit to your Aunt Hilda.Even if she is not aware of people she sounds as if she is in a nice place and enjoys the garden and wildlife and I am sure your visit left an impression on her. Hope you enjoy the awards evening and heres hoping QVC win.
    Take Care, Luv Anne x

  14. Liz, Morecambe July 16, 2012 at 8:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Sorry I haven’t ‘written’ for a while – been busy! The photos for the mag look great and you look extremely glam. And how lovely for you to meet an old friend and then all get on so well. I can’t really imagine what it is like to move much – we’ve been in our flat for 21 years now. Originally thought we’d be here for 4-5 yrs and then move on to somewhere bigger like a house but we haven’t and have had no need to. I love living by the sea and getting wonderful views (rain etc permitting!) across the bay. We’re having a new roof put on at the mo. The men have worked hard for 3 days and were going to finish today but it has rained most of the time so they are allegedly coming tomorrow but I have seen the weather forecast and there appears to be a lot of blue rain……
    I had a great couple of days in London at the start of the month. We stayed at my sister’s and it was her birthday while we were there so we had a lazy evening but with some cakes we’d brought in from town. The next day Mum and I went to Buckingham Palace to look round and see the diamond exhibition. What a lot of sparkle! Some of the visitors didn’t queue properly and have the patience to wait their turn to see the diamonds and kept pushing in so that was my only criticism but at least it meant we had longer to look at the jewels and how they were made! We’ve been to the summer exhibition for a few years now but it was still lovely to see inside the palace again – I could live there!! On our way out, we had a smoked salmon bagel, profiterol cake and tea at the Queen’s cafe on the terrace overlooking the gardens. All very civilised.
    This weekend Mum and I are off to Paris, primarily to see the last stage of the Tour de France. I love the bike race and have always fancied going to see some of it and then decided on a whim the other week to book for the weekend of the last stage! I’m very excited, especially as we may have a British winner…..oggling athletic, lycra-clad men has nothing to do with it!!! Then in Sept, a dear friend of mine who has been such a support through my cancer and I are off to Venice. Going to do some sights, have a boat ride or two, some nice food and a lot of laughs. She can be accident prone and clumsy so I’m going to have to watch out for her potentially falling in a canal!!
    I lost another friend to cancer last month too. That’s 4 in 3 months. This was a man I was at school with and later worked with. He had a rare form of cancer and had fought it for 10 years – such determination. Only 46. There was a huge turnout for his funeral and it was lovely for me to catch up with so many old friends and work colleagues, just a shame about the circumstances.
    I’m waiting for an MRI scan at the mo. Had a checkup last week and mentioned some back ache and weird sensations I know to look out for as possible early signs of spread in my spine so the registrar said she’d get a scan sorted asap. Hospital haven’t sorted it yet…At least I’m not on painkillers and it is intermittent so that’s good. As long as the results and possible treatment don’t interfere with my hols, that’s ok! It was 5 years to the day since my original diagnosis – incredible how time has flown but here’s to the next 5 years…
    Well, must go now. I’ve waffled on too much.
    Don’t do too much too soon. Thinking of all the other ladies posting here who have their own struggles too.
    Love and hugs, Liz x

  15. alison keenan July 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm -  Reply

    My dear Mary, lovely to hear from you and oh how I laughed :) Reading this reminded me of the film Bridesmaids!! I only hope that the Saturday just gone was equally as enjoyable but left you without disco hip!! As for your sister’s toes – she has my complete sympathy – soo many occasions I’ve worn shoes that have rendered my toes useless, but now they are still numb from the chemo so I can’t complain!! :)I do hope you found your suction foundation garment and that not too much champers was consumed – difficult to get out of something like that when you’re a bit skwiffy :)I’ll look forward to hearing all about it, love Ali xx

  16. alison keenan July 16, 2012 at 9:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Lynn, so glad to hear that your Dave is a sweetheart and looks after you so well – very sorry though to hear about your medical condition and hope and pray that maybe, over the next few years or more, they will find something that will give you a less bleak outlook. You’re right about the cottage – so many good times, but I will never forget coming back here from the hospital to tell the children… time for a change I think..Keep your fingers crossed for me – not a lot of what I like around at the mo – may decide on a tent!! Love to you and your OH, Ali xx

  17. alison keenan July 16, 2012 at 9:22 pm -  Reply

    Dear Elaine, I cannot believe it’s only another couple of months before your second grandchild is born!!! Poppy must be very excited too! I do hope for Jodie’s sake that the baby turns…. breech usually means cesarean these days (at least that’s what One Born Every Minute tells me!) Lots can happen between now and then though, so do pass on my best wishes to her won’t you. Yup the journey may well be a bit of a nightmare – even more so over the next fortnight with the Olympic Lane in place!! Happy days :) Hope all is good with you, and thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  18. alison keenan July 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, I am certain your dad took great comfort from every visit you made to him, and because the other residents knew who you were, no doubt they talked about you after you’d gone too… hold onto those happy thoughts … Sante Eulalia sounds fabulous!! Would love to sneak in a short break before the end of the summer so that may well be where Colin and I head! He loves the laid back feel of a place, and quite frankly I love it too – will check it out on Google :) As far as your feet being cold – I very much empathise with you – I am sitting in a cardigan with the heating on – not just to keep me warm, but also to dry my washing! Oh the joys of an English summer eh :)? You take care, love Ali xx

  19. alison keenan July 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm -  Reply

    Oh dear Chris, that doesn’t sound too good! A Hammer Horror set?! No plans for dry ice, but any excuse to be a vamp I’m there!! So sorry to hear about your brother’s dog… I didn’t realise that they gave chemo to animals – I very much hope it works for him. Thanks for writing, Ali xx

  20. alison keenan July 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Rhona, lovely to hear from you, and I will of course let Richard Jackson know that you are trying to get in touch with him. Delighted that you too get great results from his Flower Power – would be lost without it! Yes Colin and I are very much enjoying looking for a new home, but were gazumped on Friday, so feeling a little low about it at present. Still, plenty of time to look, so I’m sure we’ll find something even better :) The fireworks over the Castle sound fab – I LOVE fireworks – wish I’d got some for my 50th birthday – here’s hoping I’m still here to have them for my 60th :) Yes it was lovely to see Wendy again, and I’m hoping to arrange another meeting soon. Love to you, your Colin and family, Ali xx

  21. alison keenan July 16, 2012 at 9:40 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Helen, and sorry to hear that your mum wasn’t chosen for the photo shoot – you should try and enter her for the Breast Cancer Care Fashion Show – they pick women from all OVER the country! House hunting has been exhausting but exciting, and having found the house of our dreams, and have the offer accepted we were gazumped!! So, the search begins again… disappointing, but hey, we’ll get there I’m sure. I’m glad that you, your daughter and husband are all happy where you are – I think as a child it’s lovely to stay in the same home. :) I’ll definitely keep you in touch with the search, love me xx

  22. helen July 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm -  Reply

    Hia Ali, i did enter Mum for the fashion show too but I was told the same thing, that she was in the wrong geographical area!!!! Tough really then isn’t?
    I havent heard from Alpa in a while again so if your reading my lovely, let us know if your ok?
    My girl has had her ears pierced yesterday, i’ve given in after what seems like an age of nagging, fingers crossed that they’ll be ok. She has a school disco tonight so cant wait to show them off! Oh my typical little girl, with a tomboy twist.
    Take care and keep in touch, much love to all the ‘army’
    luv and hugs as always
    Helen S xxxx

  23. Joanna Downey July 17, 2012 at 10:57 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, A few weeks ago I described your blogs as boxes of chocolates, all full of interesting flavours, however, this one was a hamper by comparison and I’m amazed at how busy you’ve been. School is fairly frantic at this late stage in the term even though the weather has put paid to many of the plans for outdoor activities, this is the first time our school has ever had to cancel Sports Day. I’d love to meet the man from the Environment Agency who said we needed rain every day from the end of March through to Christmas, I bet his house isn’t drying out after being filled with filthy water. This is my second attempt at sending a reply, the first just floated off into cyberspace – either that or the laptop got the gremlins along with the fridge/freezer, microwave, shredder and strimmer – all of them have stopped working in the last fortnight. I have moaned a lot about this awful Summer but having been without any refridgeration since Saturday I’ve been grateful for cooler temperatures so that the milk hasn’t gone off within hours of buying it. I acknowledge that I’m not the type of woman who followed her man out West, or anywhere else for that matter, and I’m now finding it a chore to have to buy a few items every day that don’t need to be chilled so roll on Sunday when the Iceman cometh with a replacement, sadly not a Smeg… You look sensational in your photos and could be mistaken for someone who’s modelled all her life, some old bird indeed! It will be wonderful to see you take part in the fashion show in the Autumn and you will be elegantly inspirational. Final thought – did QVC move premises to give boost to the country’s struggling housing market? I just wondered because quite a number of the presenters have mentioned the extra travelling involved in getting to Chiswick and talked about moving house. Good luck with your search and enjoy the sun starting to shine from Saturday! Love from Jo x

  24. Alpa July 17, 2012 at 11:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Thanks so much for your kind words, you know what I’m talking about! How gorgeous do you look in the photo shoot?! You are fabulous in every way! :) Hope the house hunting is going well after being gazumped!!
    I had a follow up letter from the registrar (neurologist) He’s going to talk to my neurologist about what tests need to be done. I thought that was meant to be decided and in the letter but apparently not! My case has also been passed onto a consultant neurologist to ask his expert opinion. The other thing that was mentioned was some facial asymmetry but no weakness. Apart from that, I have had some shaking over the last week or so! Just have to wait until I’m ok to find a doctor who believes in medical care! Still very ME’ish, but trying my best to stay in good spirits :)
    Oh and I have my Mum and Dad with me at home. They arrived last night and came over today. To be honest I wasn’t sure if I would be ok with having anyone to stay with me at present! I just couldn’t face it! They are trying to organise me though, well my Dad is with all his suggestions, bless him. One of those included me moving as well, although I can’t see that happening for the time being! I agree though that as a child, it’s lovely to stay in the same home :) Very happy to see them Ali, as the last time was quite a few years ago. How lucky am I?!
    Love to Magda, Liz, Sue, Elaine, Susan, Gail and all in Ali’s Army x
    Una, thinking of you and sending you lots of love x
    Marg, thanks for your kind and thoughtful words x
    Debz, hope you are ok. Sending you a big hug and a very special stroke to Ainzley from his Auntie Alpa x
    Ali, take care
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  25. pauline bradley July 19, 2012 at 11:12 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali I love reading your blogs you have such a positive outlook on life its so refreshing.As a nurse i see so many patients who competely go to pieces when diagnosed with cancer but you have been so strong throughout.Good luck with the house hunting i am sure you and Colin will be very happy in your new.My husband is called Colin as well its our 2nd marriage we have been together for 20 yrs and married for 17 and he is the kindest loving caring man i know and a wonderful stepdad and grandad to our 2 grandchildren so it musr be something in the name.We are currenty in rhodes for 6mths babysitting whilst mummy and daddy are working my daughter is a superb wedding planner so if fancy a greek wedding Ali!!!!!.I can on;y watch qvc online at the moment but i am manging to start my xmas shopping gosh thats an awesome thought take care x

  26. alison keenan July 20, 2012 at 12:06 am -  Reply

    Izzie, you are a sweetheart – thank you for your kind words – and yes I do always try to be positive, whether it’s about health or home, and our house hunting has begun again in earnest :) So glad to hear that you are happy with your seond time husband – here’s to the next ten years for you both. Love Ali xx

  27. alison keenan July 20, 2012 at 12:11 am -  Reply

    Dear Anne, thanks so much for your lovely message – so glad that you enjoy the blogs, as I too love hearing from you! I agree with you that Woman and Home is a cracking read, and am delighted that your lovely mum is sending them over to you in Croatia – what a beautiful part of the world for you to be living in! The Awards night was great fun, but although we were robbed when it came to the actual award itself… Craig took some great photos which I hope to include in my next blog. Do take care, and thanks again for writing, love Ali x

  28. alison keenan July 20, 2012 at 12:19 am -  Reply

    Liz I feel positively worn out reading your comment and am so envious of your living by the sea with all those wonderful views. Would have loved to join you for your visit to Buckingham Palace to see the diamond exhibition too! Julia and I went years ago when there was an exhibition at the Nstural History Museum and we loved it :) I hope you and your mum have a fabulous time in Paris with the Tour de France – try not to stare too long or hard at the lycra clad athletes won’t you!! :) You are always so positive inspite of your cancer, and I am so sorry to hear that you have lost more friends… I am SURE that your scan will be OK and hope that as you don’t need painkillers it will just be something non-worrying. Here’s to the next five years to you, and the five years after that, and that, and that…… Thanks for writing Liz, and love and hugs to you too, Ali xx

  29. alison keenan July 20, 2012 at 12:23 am -  Reply

    Hi there Helen, I hope you’ve seen Alpa’s response, so won’t worry any more cos she’s doing well. How are your daughter’s ears?! I hope she has some truly pretty earrings to wear in her newly pierced lobes! Love and hugs to you and yours, Ali xx

  30. alison keenan July 20, 2012 at 12:29 am -  Reply

    Hello there Jo, I do hope you will be packing your school bags and waving goodbye to the educational establishment for your well earned summer break. I do feel for all those of you who are involved in putting on the sporting or outdoor activities as the weather has put paid to pretty much all of that, and worst still when it has to be cancelled as you said! I hope too that you are no longer without refridgeration!! Nightmare, especially as the weather is meant to be picking up this weekend… about time!! I’m not sure whether QVC though about the housing market, but to be honest it’s rather nice to have a good reason to move on – and to make a home somewhere different… although the searching is quite exhausting! Have a great weekend, and may the sun warm us all (even though I’ll be indoors with Liz Earle Colour and Lenny Feinberg!) Love to you xxx

  31. alison keenan July 20, 2012 at 12:34 am -  Reply

    Dear Alpa, so good to hear from you, and to know that you are being looked after and that you have also been referred, finally, to a specialist. Fingers crossed it won’t be long before you see him. It’s wonderful that your mum and dad are there with you too, and will no doubt help you to feel more positive about things as only parents can :) Stay safe and happy, and do let us all know how you get on with the neurologist – as you will see ALL of Ali’s Army are concerned about you. Love to you, Ali xx

  32. alison keenan July 20, 2012 at 12:39 am -  Reply

    Hello there Pauline, what a lot of coincidences!! Not only are our men called Colin ( and they’re kind and caring) but we’ve also been to Rhodes! Have to say it was purely for a holiday with all the children, although I would have loved to have stayed for longer! Well done you for getting our Christmas Shopping started…. can’t bear to think that far ahead if I’m honest, but have nothing but admiration for you for being so organised :) Take care, enjoy the wonderful warmth of the Greek Islands and your time with your grandchildren. Love to you and your Colin, Ali and Colin xx

  33. Susan July 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Just testing to see if this is working! It’s not been for ages.
    Susan x

  34. Susan July 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm -  Reply

    Hehe! Woohoo! It’s working! I loved your blog!! I loved your photos!!! You’re a stunner. Loving your gorgeous blonde locks I must say. Very elegant. Nothing else expected! I’m sorry your house was stolen from you but there’ll be another along at the right time. Hope you have a lovely weekend and afriad I get a bit tetchy at weather forecasts as they always focus on the SE!! Blooming London always gets the best and the rest is rubbush!! So the ‘warm spell’ that’s forecast doesn’t quite apply to us all lol. At least you’ll have it though.
    Can’t wait to see the photos Craig took by the way. Love his blogs too. He’s so lovely and so interesting.
    Love Susan x
    PS Alpa, glad you’re getting there xx

  35. Norma Smithson July 22, 2012 at 7:16 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali Less of you thinking you are an “old bird ” since you came back to us on the screen I think you have looked absolutely radiant, so full of life, and it’s your smile it just lights up the screen and it makes me smile and appreciate life. I think Edna’s right I think you should take up writing you have a way of making every subject you write about seem interesting and enjoyable. I don’t know how you and Colin find time to do so so many things, I’m sure it will be hard for you both to leave your little cottage, but I know you will breathe heart and home into anywhere that you both choose, you certainly don’t want to spend half your life sitting behind the wheel, and the traffic situation is not going to improve. Dementia is such a dreadful thing, no pain but just a dreadful losing of memories,independence,and enjoyment of life, for those near and dear to any one suffering from dementia it’s like they are dissappearing before your eyes, but you sound as if you gave your your Aunt some precious moments. Good luck with the house hunting, keep writing and have a good week. Love Norma x

  36. alison keenan July 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Susan, glad the system is up and running for you now! Such a pain when things don’t work the way we want them to eh? I feel bad about the weather situation – just ASSUMED that it was the entire country that would be treated to this lovely sunshine…. I’m sure your dose of it isn’t far off :) I worked over the weekend, so missed most of the warmth then, but have had a day of doing nothing very much today and it’s been lovely. Thank you for writing, and I’ll keep you in touch with the househunting! Take care, love Ali xx

  37. alison keenan July 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm -  Reply

    Dear Norma, thank you for all the kind and complimentary things you’ve written, they have made me smile :) I do enjoy writing the blogs and it makes it even more worthwhile when I get a response or two! I did start to write a book, but haven’t got very far – I think my idea for a radio play is probably more workable, so I’m going to try and perservere with that. You’re right about the journey to work, and it really will be a huge wrench to leave the cottage…we’ll just have to see what turns up :) Your description of dementia is perfect – sad but perfect – and I only hope that my aunt remains as content as she was that day. Do hope that all is good with you Norma, and thanks for keeping in touch – hope to have a new blog posted later today. Love Ali xx

  38. Gail July 23, 2012 at 9:38 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, so glad to have you back with us on QVC and don’t you look great! Everything crossed that the future remains rosy for you xx
    I too love Matthew Biggs; he is such a cheerful, knowledgable man. I really enjoy his slots on QVC.
    Do you know Ali, I just knew you weren’t going to tolerate the journey to the new building; I know what the traffic is like around there. Good for you for doing something about it. Really sorry that you missed out on the first house, but I believe in fate and never push things. It was meant to be for a reason. I know you’ll find another and, like you said, live moves on. I hope you and Colin will be very happy in whatever home you find.
    How are the children? I read that Sam is coming home in August; how excited must you be. I really admire him and know that he will be okay.
    Like I said before, you look great and just hope that you feel as good as you look xx
    It was very nice to hear from Alpa, lol Alpa. Love to Magda, Una, Debz and Ainzley, Marg and anyone else I have forgotten xx
    What a lovely, kind lady you are Debz. That Ainzley is a very, very lucky cat and I just wished that all animals had an owner like yourself. A big kiss sent to the lucky Ainzley xx
    I went to see Joe Longthorne on Sunday Ali. Wow, he still has that wonderful voice, it was greaaaaaaaaaaaaat; I really enjoyed it and was bowled over by that voice. He can genuinely really sing, no miming etc. He’s a real star and wished we saw more of him on TV; what a voice, magnificent. I think you can tell that I am a big fan of his. I’m going to see him again in October if all is well.
    Lots of love to yourself and Colin and hope that you find your perfect home soon. LOL Gail xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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