Colin and Ali



How lovely are you?!  Thank you so much for all your kind, caring and thoughtful comments following the birth of  Calla Lily. I have made sure that Danny and Rae have seen them all and they want to pass on their thanks to you too! Calla continues to grow and thrive. She changed so much while we were away in Cyprus, she looked like a different little person when we visited her on our return! Still very content though, and still has all that fabulous hair – she is a constant joy to all of us.

Baby Calla

It was so nice to read all your comments, and to catch up with your news as always, it sounds as though there were quite a number of us who have been enjoying our grandchildren and our holidays.  Speaking of which, I have to say if you had looked through my suitcase before we left for Cyprus, it was crammed full of my Diamoniqiue jewellery, most of the Philip Kingsley hair range, endless makeup, beauty products and of course Ultrasun!  If you’ve not tried their Overnight Summer Skin Rescue Treatment, I would highly recommend it.

Northern Cyprus was where we were headed, and although we left England in the afternoon which was very civilised, because we had to fly via Istanbul, we didn’t arrive until gone 11pm Turkish time. Keeley, our lovely Elemis guest, who lives in Kyrenia (or Girne which is its correct Turkish name) helped us with our choice of hotel, and we were not disappointed.  Right next to the sea, it was set in large, beautifully landscaped grounds where we were able to sit and enjoy the sunshine on what seemed almost like our own private beach!


It was though, as she had warned us, incredibly hot! You know me, and you know that I love the sun, but if we hadn’t been close to the water, I don’t believe I would’ve coped with it half as well! Keeley invited us over for a barbecue on the first night we were there and it was lovely to see her beautiful home and meet up with her husband Omer and her son Kaya.  I think I ate my bodyweight in barbequed lamb. Feeling several stones heavier, we headed back to our mercifully cool, air conditioned boudoir!

Kay and Ali

We spent the next couple of days touring around the beautiful coastline, with Keeley as our guide.  She very kindly picked us up from the hotel and took us to Kyrenia Castle which sits majestically at the east end of the old harbour.  It is a 16th-century castle built by the Venetians over a previous Crusader fortification.

Castleand Ali

Within its walls lies a twelfth-century chapel and the Shipwreck Museum which was fab!  There we found the remains of a Greek Merchant ship from the 4th century BC, one of the oldest vessels ever to be recovered, together with its cargo.  The small crew had set sail from Kyrenia to Cyprus laden with millstones, preserved almonds, and a fabulous collection of wine casks from Kos and Rhodes.  They actually had a collection of these almonds which were still in their shells, black in colour, but dating back to 3BC!

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The pine and lead covered boat had  run into a bad storm just outside the harbour, and the boat sadly sank with its crew and cargo. They hadn’t discovered it until 1961 and had lovingly restored everything they found – it was remarkable. There were lots of little rooms off the main courtyard of the castle, and we found ourselves ducking into them just to get out of the sun. It was so incredibly hot!  We had lunch, and then Keeley took us to the Monastery in Bella Pais.  It’s known as the Peace Monastery and reminded both of us of a much smaller version of Monte Cassino in Italy.


It’s set on a hillside with amazing views across the land to the sea, and the building itself is gothic in architecture.  Keeley and Kaya left us to explore and we thoroughly enjoyed look around this stunning building which was built between 1198 and 1205, and has the most incredible stone work I have ever seen.  There was a fabulous breeze coming off the hillsides and as the temperatures dropped a few degrees we managed to take these photos.


We had a lazy beach day on the Tuesday, but Keeley called to say that she’d managed to get spaces for us to release baby turtles into the sea that night!  These little hatchlings are protected by the North Cyprus Society for the Protection of Turtles (SPOT) and having located where the turtles lay their eggs, they are then guarded until the hatchlings are born and on the same day they come into the world, they are released into the sea. Unbelievably these tiny creatures are expected to swim all the way to Africa! Not surprisingly only one or two out of the thousands that are released actually make it there, but we each sent up a little prayer in the hope that this year there may be more.


The beach was pretty much pitch black apart from the light of the moon, and we weren’t allowed to use the flash on our phones as the turtles are drawn to white light and would have ended heading the wrong way up the beach!  Instead, red light is used which they can’t see, and Colin took this photo of me with my baby turtle just before it headed into the ocean.  We actually stood there for longer than we were expecting to, and as there was no breeze on the beach and I had a mighty hot flush, I was worried that the turtle may well poach in its shell while I held it!

Ali holding a baby turtle

Keeley very kindly lent us her car a little later on in the week, and Colin and I decided to try and make it to the Western tip of the island which she reckoned would take us about and hour and a half.  I hadn’t realised that Cyprus is the third largest island in the mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia, and the north is dominated by the relatively narrow range of Kyrenian mountains.  The coastline itself was stunning, and we stopped on our journey several times to bathe in the crystal clear warm waters that formed in little bays covered in golden sand.   We had dinner that night at the harbour in Kyrenia, enjoying fresh swordfish and an incredible mezze before heading back to our refrigerated bedroom – bliss.


We had another lovely evening with Keeley and her family,  including her mum,  and felt incredibly lucky to have been given such a wonderful opportunity to see around Cyprus with folk who live there and love it. We hope to return the favour if ever they all come and stay, and have more time in addition to Keeley’s visits to QVC!


Luckily my friend Jo had popped round and watered my pots while we were away so everything was still blooming, and although it took me three hours or more to get the washing on the line, mow the lawn, water and feed my plants, the garden looked lovely in the sunshine on Friday.  Before all that though we had been visited by not just Lucy with little Honey, but also my niece Emily with her dear little boy James.  Good times were had by all, and I was amazed at how proficient Honey’s walking had become and how many more words she is now able to say!  She hasn’t lost her sense of rhythm either as this little piece of film proves :)

I pretty much hit the ground running, coming back to work on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, but I’ve really enjoyed my hours,seeing Laura Gellar  again, and not least of course presenting the regular Diamonique slot! Speaking of jewellery, I have exciting news for you regarding a capsule collection of jewellery specifically designed to raise money for the charity Breast Cancer Care. This year we are giving you a chance to buy specific pieces of jewellery from the collection on our non-live channels as from August the 16th.  The I Hope pendant and ring that I designed will be available along with the brand new Diamonique ribbon brooch.

HB Collage

It’s been particularly poignant for me to work on this collection, as it is five years pretty much to the day since I finished my chemotherapy.  A lot of water under the bridge, and a great many reasons to be grateful, and in recognition of that, I have designed, with Colin’s help, three new pieces of jewellery from my “I Hope” range.  I very much hope you like them.  We have a pair of earrings, a bracelet, and a larger I Hope pendant on a much longer chain.  They have all been finished to an incredibly high spec, and I was actually quite emotional when I saw them.  I will tell you more about those in my next blog, but I thought you may like to see the original designs now, please do let me know what you think – I very much value your opinion.

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I thought you may also like to see a photo of my boy Sam with his lovely girlfriend Abbie, taken at a wedding just the other week.  Unbelievably it’s nine years since his motorbike accident which resulted in him losing his right leg.  It’s been a long and often difficult road for him, but I am so proud of how he has turned his life around, and is making a great success of everything.  As I said earlier, so many reasons to be grateful.


I will be back with you on Thursday night at 9pm with more Diamonique jewellery, and would love to hear about your favourite designs from the ever increasing collections!  I think we should have a ‘customer favourites night”!

Enjoy the rest of the summer, and the promised warm weather, and keep your eye out for the beautiful sunsets!  I saw this one on my way home from work yesterday.. just stunning.

Sun Set

Please do keep in touch.

With my love, Ali xx


  1. Christine August 15, 2016 at 5:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison baby looks beautiful. Lucky grandma or Nana. You all looked as if you enjoyed your holiday.

    Take care x

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 10:51 am -  Reply

      She is beautiful Christine, and I feel very lucky indeed to have two beautiful granddaughters. I suggested Nanny, but Honey called me “Nanna” for the first time just the other day, so I think that will stick :) Love Ali xx

  2. Loraine Plumb August 15, 2016 at 7:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison glad your holiday was so lovely Les and I go to lake garda next Friday I’m hoping it’s not quite so hot as you had in Cyprus but looking forward to it very much . Allis well with baby willa she’s all smiles now and makes funny noises brings back lots of memories with our two and on that note Clare and her husband will be moving back here to ringwood in the next few weeks they sold there house and bought a lovely Georgian house so will see alot more of willa and Gary and his girlfriend seem very happy he loves his job at a law firm in Bournemouth had his first visit into the courtrooms with a client the other day his boss was very pleased how the day went and how he dealt with it we are proud of them all as I’m sure you are of your brood anyway nice to see you back on qvc love Loraine xx

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 10:55 am -  Reply

      Dear Loraine, how exciting to be heading out there next week! We had a wonderful couple of days there, and I am sure that being this close to September, the temperature should have dropped a little. There are some fabulous restaurants along the lakeside so I hope you enjoy your time. That’s nice to know your daughter Clare will be leaving nearer to you, which means more time with baby Willa – I love that name! Great that she is thriving too. Congratulations to your son Gary also with his career success. He must be a very bright lad, and I’m not surprised you are proud of him – as I am of mine :) Thanks for writing, and enjoy your holiday!, love Ali xx

  3. lorraine August 15, 2016 at 9:48 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali i read your blog and had tears in my eyes-not of sadness-but of joy of your wonderful family,friends and things you get out and about you both do-thank-you for taking every moment of life and being happy-my hubby had a motorbike accident too and we are just waiting for compensation so we can move out of rented accommodation into our own home so he can have it adapted. every day of life is a blessing xx

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 10:57 am -  Reply

      Lorraine I am so sorry to know that your husband has been hurt in a motorbike accident and that you are now having to change things in your life… I remember having all the adaptations made to our home too, but luckily Sam’s bedroom was downstairs, so that made things a little easier. Stay strong, and I hope the compensation doesn’t take too long to come through. As you say the blessing is that you still have your husband and I have my Sam… not everyone is that lucky. Take care, and please do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  4. Jacqui Hand August 16, 2016 at 6:22 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    So glad that you and Colin are having a great break, it looks absolutely stunning.
    I’m really looking forward to purchasing your new I Hope, earrings, bracelet and larger necklace. I already own your original necklace and ring, and they are gorgeous. I would highly recommend them., as the quality is second to none, and the words are so poignant, to so many people. Also knowing that when I am wearing these pieces, funds from these gems are going to such an amazing cause to help the Fantastically brave , strong people who are battling cancer. I really hope that last years Breast Cancer Care figure is smashed. Hopefully the brands that offer great items ,increase the number that they donate , as the items sell in the blink of an eye, showing that so many viewers are supporting this phenomenal Charity. I wish you the best of luck with The I Hope Range, not that you’ll need it. Please can you let us know when they are available as I will be first on the phone to order them.
    Much Love
    Jacqui Xxx

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 11:02 am -  Reply

      Dear Jacqui thank you so much!!! It means a great deal to me that your bought the original designs, and bless you for pointing out how well made they are. I am thrilled that you will be buying the new pieces too, and of course helping us to raise money for BCC. Although we’re doing things a little differently this year there will be a dedicated Beauty Show which I’m sure will raise a huge amount. I believe the new I Hope Jewellery Designs will be available from September, but watch this space! Thank you again Jacqui, and I hope that you are well and happy and that life is good for you. Love Ali xx

  5. Marie August 16, 2016 at 10:29 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali you write such wonderful blogs. It sound as if you are having a great time. Much deserved! I am waiting for a book from you as you have such a good writing style its as if you were chatting to me.
    I love the new jewellery pieces and hope to treat myself to at least one.
    Keep up the good work on the Q
    Marie xx

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 11:06 am -  Reply

      Hi there Marie, and thanks for getting in touch. So glad that you enjoy the blogs, and I do feel incredibly fortunate to always have good things to write about! I try and cram as much as I can into each day :) Guess what? I have almost finished my first book – hoping for publication spring of next year! I will definitely let you know when it’s available. So chuffed that you like the jewellery also, and ‘I Hope’ you will treat yourself once they are available. :) Take care and have a great weekend, love Ali xx

  6. Irene August 16, 2016 at 1:56 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison
    Was so delighted to read and see your pictures that you had a lovely holiday and it looks a fabulous place and that you spent some time with family and wow didn’t you look gorgeous with that tan it really suits you and made you look so attractive
    and well. I would never go that colour it would have to be sprayed on and then it would never look as good as your real one. Your new granddaughter is beautiful and has changed since the last picture you put on your last blog and honey b is just adorable and cute and loved
    the short video in the car. At last summer has arrived it’s been glorious down here in Eastbourne and I am lucky enough to live in an appartment overlooking the beach so I feel I am on holiday everyday as its on a marina complex. Off to Portugal soon so looking forward to that. Take care and keep well. Love Irene xx

    holiday everyday especiallyas it is on a marina development. Grandchildren still on school holiday and have spending quite a lot of time with them which has been to Portugal soon so looking forward to that

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 11:10 am -  Reply

      Wow Irene! What a fabulous place to live – I think I know the marina, having driven around that part of the coast with Colin some years back. I have to say that a tan always makes me feel better, and it’s been great to be able to top it up at home too! Once the weather changes, I will be reverting to my faux tans! Honey is such a cutie isn’t she?! And little Calla looking more like her mummy every day – such blessings. I do hope you enjoy Portugal – we went there years ago with the children and had a wonderful break. Keep in touch, and thanks for writing to me, love Ali x

  7. Irene August 16, 2016 at 1:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali . My last reply seems to have got muddled up so apologise so I hope it made sense. Irene x

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 11:10 am -  Reply

      It makes complete sense Irene, and thanks for taking the time to write! A x

  8. Jill August 16, 2016 at 6:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ally just reading about your amazing trip to Cyprus, I love the country and what a great opportunity to see the north of the Island with Keeley, she comes across on air as a special person, very warm and I’m sure her family made you very welcome.
    I’m loving the hope range as you may remember that i bought the pendant for my daughter going through a hard time, and changing career, she and I love it, so much so I will be buying myself the ring well done on the designs they are timeless and of the highest quality. Fantastic gift ideas.

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 1:04 pm -  Reply

      Dear Jill, I consider myself very lucky to have been invited to explore North Cyprus with Keeley. She is exactly as you describe her, and her family are just the same. We felt very privileged to share special time with her. I do remember you writing to me about your daughter, and I am so glad that she loved the pendant. The ring is an incredible weight, and very well made as all the pieces are. I am really chuffed too at the prices, because their value exceeds the cost by a long way! I really appreciate you taking the time to get in touch. Have a great weekend, love Ali xx

  9. Kath Skinner August 16, 2016 at 8:19 pm -  Reply

    Sounds like you had a fab holiday Ali and had the perfect hosts (Keeley & Co). Although I’m not into jewellery your designs look beautiful and the reason behind it is so inspiring. Best wishes also to your beautiful family & look forward to watching you on QVC X

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 1:06 pm -  Reply

      Kath, you’re right! Keeley and her family couldn’t have done more to make us feel welcome – I am certain we will be returning :) Thank you for your kind words about the jewellery – we all need hope in our lives, and I believe this is a good way to give it a little of it to everyone. I will give you a wave tonight when I’m on at 10pm. Thanks for writing to me, love Ali xx

  10. Teresa L August 16, 2016 at 8:24 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali fab blog as always.
    At long last I have some great news, we move into our new home on 29th September Highcliffe here we come at long last.
    What a grand time you had in Cyprus as I said last time have not been to Northern Cyprus but your pictures have inspired Paul and I to think about this as a new place to visit.
    The pictures of you grandchildren are fabulous, they must be such a joy to you both. Unfortunately we do not have children hence no grandchildren, how we do have wonderful nephews and nieces and there little ones are just like our grandchildren and we love them to bits and they never cease to amaze us. It is hard to believe that the oldest ones in the U.S.A. are graduating from collage and high school next year. We will be so proud of them when they are up on that stage getting there certificates etc.
    Thank you for sharing the new pieces in your I Hope Range they are lovely and look forward to adding them to my other pieces. I always get nice comments when I wear them, and people say how different they are, and they love the story behind them when I tell what they are all about and why.
    You are right I think you should do a special Diamonique customers favourites show mind you will get so many you will need a week long show me thinks.
    Anyway Ali thanks again for sharing your holiday and photos with us. Take care look forward to your next blog
    Love Teresa xxxx

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 1:12 pm -  Reply

      Hooray for you Teresa!!!! :) I am SO glad to know that you finally have a fixed date for your move, and can start packing boxes – or at least finding a removal firm! :) I think you and Paul would very much enjoy North Cyprus and Keeley said that April and May are lovely months – sunny but not too hot. It’s great to hear that you have such a close bond with your neices and nephews and their children – your grandchildren. I love being linked to all of them and keeping up with their lives and what’s happening, although sometimes there don’t seem to be enough hours in a day! You must let me know which of the new designs from the I Hope range you choose – and I am very pleased to hear the nice things folk have said to you when they see you wearing the pendant. I will be eternally grateful for having been asked to design these pieces. I’m going to push for the Favourites show, but as you say we may need a week’s worth to get through everything! :) I think your holiday is imminent if I remember rightly, so have a wonderful time, and I’ll have a new blog for you on your return, love Ali xx

  11. Denise August 16, 2016 at 9:47 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, I really enjoyed reading about your time in Cyprus and seeing the photos. It ‘sounds like you had an amazing time. How lovely to have Keeley to show you around and the baby turtles experience must have been fab. A belated congratulations on your new granddaughter and what a pretty name. She’s gorgeous and in the photo there she looks older than just a few weeks.
    My daughter in law has her 20 week scan this weeks so we shall find out then if it’s a granddaughter or grandson. I will be on tenterhooks waiting for the call! Hubby and I shall be away on the day as we’re celebrating our Wedding Anniversary with a couple of days away in Liverpool. My hubby was born and bred there and wanted to go back and visit as a tourist!
    I’ve been enjoying catching up with friends over the last few weeks including a visit to London with my friend who lives on the south coast. We did a return visit to Buckingham Palace to see the exhibition of the Queens dresses which I can thoroughly recommend. The detail in some of the outfits especially her Wedding dress and CoronatIon dress were incredible. I would love to be able to go back and see it again as we had been so busy catching up on our news it was rather late when we got there and it was understandably very busy. We also visited the V&A to see the exhibition Curtain Up which I would also recommend to any theatre lovers.
    Love Denise xx

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 1:14 pm -  Reply

      Denise I’m out of breath just reading about your life! Do let me know when you are expecting a grand daughter or grandson…! I remember being very excited when Lucy asked us to go along to see the 4D scan of Honey. It’s been many years since I visited Liverpool but have incredibly fond memories of my time now on This Morning. I meant visiting Buckingham Palace a few years ago with Debbie Greenwood, and we really enjoyed the exhibition and also the collection of royal jewellery. Same story with the V and A, and I think the Curtain Up exhibition is one I will have to visit. Enjoy your break, and say hello the The Dock for me :) Love Ali xx

  12. Vivien Gore August 16, 2016 at 10:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali wonderful pics and what a great holiday you both look so happy and relaxed. Your 2 granddaughters are lovely but then look at who the nanny is. You have a lovely family and have been through a lot over the years but like me you are strong and have everything to live for. Look forward to your next blog always happy and full of fun. Love to all. Viv xxx

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 1:16 pm -  Reply

      And you are so strong Viv. You know I admire you hugely for all that you have been through, and really hope that the final surgery will help put you back on the straight road. As you say, we both have everything to live for :) Keep in touch, and stay well, love Ali xx

  13. Judith Lennon August 17, 2016 at 1:32 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali and welcome home. Your holiday sounds wonderful and so nice of Keeley to be your guide. Your photos are beautiful. Your blog is written as though you are talking to us all and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of your book. Your grandchildren I know will bring many happy hours together. Wait until they play together. If only we could bottle these times. Well we are half way through the school holidays and although I had great plans for taking my two beautiful girls on some adventures, it is yet to materialise. They and us have been so busy but hopefully we can fit in some time before school starts again. Our holidays to Cyprus is coming fast – just five weeks to go. Hope you feel well rested after your hols and looking forward to launching your new jewellery. It all looks lovely. I’m sure they will go down a storm. As always take care and love and hugs Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 1:19 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Judith, so glad you enjoyed the photos – I have to say I owe it all to my Iphone, incredible camera built into it! I was chatting to Lucy just the other day about Calla and Honey, and it will be fun when they are both a little more grown up and can play together – exciting times! I do so hope you will be able to squeeze in some time with your girls before they have to go back to school – still a couple of weeks to go eh? I can’t remember which part of Cyprus you are going to, but do give Kyrenia (Gyrna) a visit if you can – it’s very pretty and great food! Enjoy your holiday and let me know how you get on. Love Ali xx

  14. Sandie August 17, 2016 at 8:24 pm -  Reply

    I have been through the same struggle and love wearing your necklace, would love to know what the earrings look like?

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 1:22 pm -  Reply

      Dear Sandie, I am sorry to learn that you too have had to go through it all, but I very much hope that you are now recovering, healing and getting stronger. I’m so glad that the necklace has brought you comfort, and the earrings are pretty much the same size but a teardop from a silver stud. They will be on sale from early September, so as soon as I have clear images I will post them here. Take care, love Ali xx

  15. andrea rogers August 17, 2016 at 8:37 pm -  Reply

    Lovely to read about your holiday

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 1:22 pm -  Reply

      Andrea, I’m very glad you enjoyed the blog – more photos and news next time! Love Ali x

  16. Linda Finch,, August 17, 2016 at 10:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, lovely blog as always, so glad you and Colin had a wonderful holiday but bet you couldn’t wait to see your little babies, it’s the first thing I do when either they or us come home even though they are growing up. Loved the video of Honey she will soon be singing along with grandad and that will be nice. You say she is saying lots more words now ,well you may not remember but I did say to you once keep a little note book of all her little things she says because you soon forget .your boy Sam looks so well and happy now with his lovely girlfriend you are truly an amazing family, I love your new I hope jewellery as you know I lost my mum to breast cancer 4 years ago but it still seems like yesterday. Don’t forget the little note book it’s so nice to look back on .lots of love Linda F xx

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 1:27 pm -  Reply

      Linda I am so glad you reminded me of this!! I think you told me before my wedding! I have found a notebook that one of my Twitter followers Janine made for me, and I will write everything down in that. She can say Shoes, Push, Cheers Mama, Dad, Grandad and she woofs like a dog too! Very funny and so endearing. I am sorry that you have had to get through the last four years without your mum and I am sure you still miss her terribly. Keep talking about her, and thinking about her, and remember she’s always with you in your soul, as you are a part of her. Take care, and yes, I will definintely get writing in my little book. Love Ali xx

  17. Eleana Theodorou August 18, 2016 at 1:53 pm -  Reply


    ‘Northern’ Cyprus, as you probably know, is only recognised by Turkey after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and has been denounced in several United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Most of the Greek Cypriot population were forcibly evicted from their homes, many leaving with just the clothes they stood in – they lost everything. Over four decades later and still no resolution. I know as my family have and are still affected.

    Obviously you are free to holiday wherever you like but do not think it is appropriate for you (or Julia Roberts) to use this channel to advertise a holiday destination which is not legal and not recognised by anyone else in the World other than Turkey. So many people went ‘missing’ from both sides during the invasion and is still a subject which is very emotional and politically charged for so many people. Reading your ‘holiday post’ was very painful for me.

    • Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 1:30 pm -  Reply

      Eleana I am very sorry that this post caused you pain, as it was written – as all my blogs are written – purely to share my memories with those who enjoy them and most certainly not to upset or offend. Ali

  18. Una August 19, 2016 at 9:27 am -  Reply

    Morning Ali.
    Lovely blog as always. Congratulations on your new addition, she’s just too cute. I bet Honey and Caps Lily will be best friends as they grow up.
    Looks like you had a lovely holiday. Photos would prove that I think !lol.
    Meli is doing really well. Her speech is improving every day, and her speech therapist thinks she may be discharging her much sooner than we could ever have dreamed. She’s maybe teeny, but she’s a wee toughy.
    Legal side all seems to be dragging on, and is a struggle to cope with, on top of everything, a couple of people have said to me to leave it all alone, but I wont do that. This could and should have been avoided, and those responsible CANNOT be allowed to carry on like nothing happened. Plus, I would never forgive myself if I found out it had happened to someone else.
    Ali, you will not believe this. And ssshhhhh, don’t tell anyone, but, I went on a date!!!!!!!! MEEEEE!!! I had a date, hehehehehehe. Someone was actually daft enough to ask me out! I’ve actually known him for years. A friend of a friend of a friend. He’s worked overseas for a long time, and is now moving back home as he plans to retire in the next couple of years. Nice to be able to retire at 52, but he’s worked very hard to be able to do so. Anyway, he’s been home for a couple of months, staying with his brother. Meli and I were invited to a barbecue, and he was keeping the kids entertained, by pretending to pull rubber bands from his nose and ears!!!! How very lovely!!!!!
    He offered to take us home at the end of the evening, and was just funny and charming and so kind to Meli. (So many people ignore her as they can’t see past either her chair or her walker) he just didn’t seem to notice that and treated her with such kindness and respect. They were chatting about monkeys and Gorillas and he asked if we could maybe go to the zoo sometime as he hadn’t been for years, and had always wanted to go. We did go, and had a lovely day. He’s taken us out a few times over the summer and has been brilliant to Meli. Then one night he just text as he usually does, to make arrangements for our days out, but this time he invited me out to dinner, like a real proper grown up type person!!!! I actually got such a shock, I threw the phone across the floor!!! Long story short, we went for dinner and cocktails and laughed non stop. I felt human for the first time in years. We’ve had a couple of dinner dates since then, as well as our days out for Me I, and it’s been so nice.
    No idea what the future holds, time will tell. As you know, I never make plans anymore and take everything as it happens, but we’ll see how it goes. He’s leaving in 2 weeks and will be back permanently in January. We will keep in touch and see what happens when he gets back.
    Think that is all my news for now. My love to you all.
    Una and Mel xx

  19. Alison Keenan August 19, 2016 at 1:36 pm -  Reply

    Una I am beyond thrilled for you!!!! :) How wonderful for you, and so very much deserved. As you say, don’t look too far ahead, but take each day as it comes and if you keep in touch with your man, it may well be that 2017 will be a particularly special one for you – I do hope so :) I also feel strongly that being able to pull rubber bands from your ears and nose is a bonus!! It’s so good to hear that Meli is continuing to grow stronger in every way, and that you continue to fight her corner, if for no reason other than it mustn’t happen again. The bond you two have will last for all time, and the fact that you gain so much from each other is an absolute blessing. Stay happy Una, and thank you so much for keeping in touch. My love to you and Meli xxx

    • Una August 24, 2016 at 1:34 pm -  Reply

      Hi Ali
      I hope you are keeping well. I’m sure you’re keeping these 2 little people topped up with cuddles. They are both so gorgeous.
      Meli is in school this afternoon. Only for 2 hours, just to see how it goes. My stomach is absolutely churning. This is the first time she’s been away from me since “that day,”. She was so excited last night, she couldn’t sleep. We spent yesterday decorating her walker. It’s got glitter, streamers and goodness knows what else is on it. Was her idea, as she thought “it might scare some of the little kids” . I thought that was a lovely idea. Most of her previous classmates have seen her, but there are a few new children who don’t know her.
      I’m typing this with one eye on the phone! I don’t want it to ring, but at the same time I’m ready to dive out the door.
      Being able to pull rubber bands from ears and noses is indeed a gift! I’m positive that must be the attraction lol. He’s been warned that under no circumstances is he allowed to teach Meli that particular trick. I know she will try to break him at some point!!!!
      Thank you Sue. He is lovely, and has been through a lot too. He lost his wife 15 years ago to MS. She was only 32. He is so good with Meli. She doesn’t always take to people, but they are best buddies. He actually called at the weekend and spoke to her for 15 minutes. I got about 4 minutes at the end!!!
      I better get going to get my little monster. Will let you know how her day went.
      Lots of love
      Una x

  20. martin forbes August 19, 2016 at 5:29 pm -  Reply

    some nice photos of your cyprus holiday alison was it very warm

    • Alison Keenan August 31, 2016 at 1:07 pm -  Reply

      Hi Martin, glad you enjoyed them. – yes it was incredibly warm! Love Ali xx

  21. Margaret Upton August 19, 2016 at 9:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    I enjoyed reading about your holiday to Kyrenia. I used to find the flight really tiring, only because of the hour spent on the tarmac in Izmir Antalya or Istanbul Airports, I always found it worse on the return journey, restless legs and tiredness kick in straight away.
    We used to stay in or near Karakum which is 2 minutes from Kyrenia.
    Your new little one is very cute, how lucky to have two such beautiful little grand children.
    Keeley is very funny on her shows, knows her stuff but so human and watchable, it must have been lovely to visit her home and family, really good to have her local knowledge too.
    On which beach did you see the turtles?
    Nice to have you back, loved the microphone trick!!


    • Alison Keenan August 31, 2016 at 1:11 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Margaret, nice to know that you also have enjoyed your time in North Cyprus. I’m sure that we must have driven through Karakum while we were there, and as you say it is a very beautiful place. I agree with you though, the elongated journey can make it a Little tiring, but as Colin and I agreed, to get a guaranteed sunshine throughout the summer it was well worth it. Afraid I don’t remember the name of the beach we saw the turtles on, but it was pretty close to Kyrenia. Keeley couldn’t have done more to have made us feel welcome. She is a lovely girl. Totally in agreement that we are lucky to have our two granddaughters, and to be able to see them as often as we do. Thank you for keeping in touch, and I look forward to hearing from you next time love Ali xx

  22. Sue Radford August 20, 2016 at 8:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,

    Glad you both had a lovely holiday. It must have been a real treat to have Keeley show you around so many interesting places. I visited Cyprus (Protaras) many years ago when my children were small (seems like yesterday), and have very fond memories. I can still remember the sweltering heat. Talking about heat, I hope your hot flushes will calm down – they’re ghastly aren’t they? As time goes by they become much less severe – honestly.

    What a lovely photo of Sam and his girlfriend. You can see how happy he is from his beaming smile – wonderful! The photo of Cala Lilly is so cute and the little video of Honey dancing in her car seat is super cute!

    Una, I was so pleased to hear about your recent date. I really hope he’ll turn out to be ‘your knight in shining armour’. You and Meli deserve someone extra special in your lives. So glad Meli is doing well.

    Love from Sue Radford xx

    • Alison Keenan August 31, 2016 at 1:30 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Sue it was indeed a treat to have Keeley show us around. Glad that you have also visited this beautiful country, and I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t say they found it an incredibly hot place to be! Although I stopped my Tamoxifen a month ago, sadly I’m still struggling with hot flushes… I will hang on to the belief that they will in time stop altogether, and I’m very glad that yours are less severe now. So glad you liked the photo of Sam and Abbie. He is so much happier now, and it is a joy for me to see. It made me happy to to hear that sooner, and I’m sure she’ll be pleased with your comment. I hope life is good for you, and you have enjoyed the summer and I will look forward to hearing from you again. Love Ali xx

  23. Gill August 21, 2016 at 12:51 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, A lovely blog as usual and I was really interested to see your pics of Northern Cyprus. I visit Cyprus in April and October, every year, for a month each time and fell in love with the island about 16 years ago. I stay just outside Paphos at a place called Coral Bay in a very reasonably priced 4* hotel. I always hire a car as it’s easy to drive as same side as UK. I have never visited Northern Cyprus but have heard it is incredibly beautiful. Glad you had a lovely time with Keeley and family. Cypriot people are very hospitable and kind and I have many friends there. You were a lot braver than me to go in the height of the season when it is so hot. I know you like the sun, as I do, but I find it much too hot after May until October. There is another place on the west coast of Cyprus called Lara Bay where the turtles are, but you need a 4×4 vehicle as very rough terrain. I expect you missed your lovely grand daughter, am sure it won’t be long before you will be taking her on holiday with you. They bring us so much joy don’t they. It’s a shame they grow up so quickly. By the way you looked fab in that coral top the other day, it really suited you, especially with your tan. Nice to see you back on our screens. Xx

    • Alison Keenan August 31, 2016 at 1:36 pm -  Reply

      Hello there Jill, great to hear from you too, and maybe Colin and I should visit southern Cyprus and you take a trip to northern Cyprus! It is incredibly beautiful, and if you hire a car you should be able to get there in a very short space of time. I like the sound of Lara day, and a trip out in a 4×4 – If Calla had not have been due in July, we would definitely have gone earlier in the year. Keeley had said that August would be very hot, and she was right! I did indeed miss Honey, but was really glad that we are able to keep in touch with today’s technology. Face time and Skype are brilliant! I think I will have to resort soon to my faux tan, but have loved the warm August we’ve had in England. I hope you have had a chance to enjoy the summer too? Thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  24. Sue Huskisson August 21, 2016 at 8:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali. Fab blog as usual. Your holiday looked and sounded absolutely fantastic and how lovely to share some of it with Keeley and her family.
    Belated congratulations to you and Colin on the birth of little Calla Lily. She looks scrummy!
    Little Honey Bea gets more gorgeous with every photo you kindly share with us. She’s growing up fast isn’t she?
    Our little Charlie is 19 months now and a real little character. He runs around now and takes some catching! He and his mum stayed over with us a few weeks ago as his daddy was working away. It was exhausting but lovely ! He took quite a shine to my Charlie bear collection and kept fetching them one by one. Each time he brought one to me he said ” bear bear” and then fetched another one. We went through that ritual several times while he was with us. He is gorgeous though!!
    Bye for now Ali. Love Sue xx

    • Alison Keenan August 31, 2016 at 1:38 pm -  Reply

      How wonderful for you to have Charlie over to stay! He sounds delightful but as you say exhausting. I think they keep you young although it takes more energy than I remembered! I’m glad that you’re able to spend so much time with him, because as you say, they grow up so quickly. Honey is an absolute delight, and little Calla is changing every day. Such a beautiful child. I hope you have enjoy the rest of the summer, lovely to hear from you, Love Ali xx

  25. Joanna Downey August 22, 2016 at 4:39 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, Your holiday sounded glorious and it’s always good to have a balance of relaxation and activities, even better when you know someone who can advise – Keeley is a sweetie. Your granddaughters are gorgeous, however, it was the photo of your Sam that gave me goosebumps; what a beaming smile and how great he looks with a pretty girl on his arm, I remember those dark days and your pride in him is clear to see. We arrived home from Sicily just after midnight, later than expected after being kept waiting by air traffic control for more than an hour. We were asked to stay belted in because we could “leave at any moment” this made the over tired baby behind me even more fractious and he continued to scream and kick my seat for the duration of the three hour flight… I truly love Sicily with her ice cream coloured houses, stunning blue skies and jasmine scented evenings. Add to that the warm of the Sicilian people and the fabulous cuisine and it all adds up to making her my favourite destination. We had hoped that by the time we came home Ellie and Dave would have moved into their new home but sadly their sellers decided not to exchange, the second time they had done this, and it became clear that this was a house move that was not going to happen, I always follow my instinct and had a feeling it wasn’t going to end happily. However, many tears, helpful estate agents and seven viewings later they found a house that had been sold to a builder in part exchange and because both sides want a speedy sale it’s fingers crossed for early September… My conservatory has been turned into a makeshift cattery again and they are continuing to live a nomadic lifestyle between us and Dave’s parents. It’s lovely to see so much of her but egads she creates a huge amount of laundry! I love the new jewellery designs, a lovely concept and one that can mean many things to all of us. As our flight home was coming to an end the cabin crew did their charity appeal, one national and one local, and I was moved beyond words to find out that the local charity was the one set up by my cousin and his wife in memory of their daughter Molly who died five years ago after several years battling cancer. The hope they carried in their hearts during her treatment is now extended to the children their charity supports and I gave them all my cents and 5 Euro notes knowing what a fantastic difference they make. Finally, I love Diamonique and have a tidy collection. My favourite piece is my “bubble ring”, now five years old it is set with 14 bezel set stones of varying sizes and looks as though a froth of bubbles is resting on my finger, admired by many over the years and loved by me. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan August 31, 2016 at 1:45 pm -  Reply

      Dear Joe, so good to hear from you, and I feel very much having read about your holiday, that Sicily is definitely somewhere Colin and I would love to visit. So good to know the folk there are friendly, and the food is fabulous and I feel 2017 may well be time for us to explore! So sorry to hear that Ellie and Dave have had more problems with the house move. That said, the house they have found sounds perfect, and I will keep everything crossed that they will move in early September. You are a good mum to convert your conservatory into a cattery again and to also keep up with all the laundry! Thank you for your kind words about the jewellery – I am very hopeful that it will get a good response when it is launched on Saturday. Of course BCC is a great charity but I also was moved to hear about your cousin’s fund raising and hope that through their hard work and kindness following the loss of their daughter, others will be helped. I will be back with more Diamonique Jewellery tomorrow evening at 9pm, and I will be joined by Andrea Maclean. Always great to spend time with her, and hopefully she will have some new designs too. So glad you still enjoy the pieces you have bought. Thank you as always for keeping in touch, and I hope you are staying well. Love Ali xx

      • Alison Keenan August 31, 2016 at 1:46 pm -  Reply

        Oops sorry should have written Jo not Joe!!!!! Apologies x

  26. Christine Auchterlonie August 22, 2016 at 10:24 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali.. What a beautiful baby! Lucky you .It looks as if you and Colin have had a great holiday in Cyprus … Thanks for sharing all your news … My granddaughters have had a very busy time over the holidays Jessica to Lake Garda with the School… And then off with her sister Katy to Port of Pollensa for a week with their Mam…on return Jessica was at a summer school for her dancing and Katy to her summer school looking after animals…she would like to be vet…Then we spent a week of days away including York shopping ,a lake at Richmond swimming with Fiona in training for the Loch Lomond swim this weekend… They are now in Edinburgh for the Tattoo and then off to Cornwall for the rest of school holidays… How lucky are they…. I’ve just been to Newcastle with Fiona to Marcos at Hotel Indigo for a nice meal and some shopping… I’m worn out!!!! could do with a rest but need to get some gardening and housework done…”boo” Hope you and Colin and your growing family are all well …. My best wishes… Love Chris x

    • Alison Keenan August 31, 2016 at 1:48 pm -  Reply

      Crikey! I am not at all surprised to know that you are feeling exhausted! You sound like a one-woman travel agency! Great that you’re getting to see all the family, visiting some great places, and have been able to support Fiona with her swimming though. Our garden is very dry, the lawn looking more like straw than grass, but my pots have survived and are still full of colour. Good luck with your gardening and the housework – line full of washing here too! Love to you, Ali xx

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