My fab birthday party!


Ali and her family Thank you for all your lovely comments following my last blog, and now here as promised is the low down on The Party!! Lucy and I first started talking about it in January, and then having asked me for a budget she set about arranging the night.

We have a lovely little pub in the next village and they were happy to let her, her man Rich, and friends Mel and Joe get in and decorate the room as well as setting up a PA system too, for those of us nimble enough on our feet to dance! 

She and Colin also set up a screen which ran most of the night with various photographs of us – family, friends and holidays – even pets! Colin had been in touch with loads of people and borrowed pictures which he then scanned and saved so many of them I'd not seen before. I think the one of me striding out of the sea looking more like a strawberry than Halle Berry raised a few laughs 🙂

Alison and Debbie G I am still stunned by the number of people who drove such mighty distances to be there – although my family are always game when there's food and drink involved! 🙂 My mum and her partner Joe came and they live in Bishops Waltham (not Waltham Abbey as I once told you, elevating my family status somewhat untruthfully…).

My sister too managed to bunk off school early (she's not a pupil, but actually teaches the class), Jules bless her is way down the M25 near Gatwick Airport, with Lady Greenwood not far from her. Oh, and my school friends who are all in Surrey came, along with Claudia, Anthony, Erika North and many others who battled through the traffic on a Friday night. 

Claudia and her husband Others had a very short distance to stagger back, and judging by the number of aerobeds that were inflated in my somewhat tiny living space, most of them slept at mine! Of course,  there were those who couldn't come because of work or family commitments,  but we raised our glasses to them anyway 🙂

The food was fab, the champagne was sparkly, and the company was excellent. Lucy had chosen the music and it wasn't long before most of us had taken to the dance floor. Sam and Jack were hilarious, and to see Sam leaping around and bopping with the best of them just made the night for me :) 

Debbie's husband Paul with Jenny Pickering Julia sadly didn't do a repeat performance of her Ravel's Bolero type move (probably as her children were there), but was dancing at such speed that I don't have a picture of her that's not blurred! In fact the look on Paul (Debbie's husband) and Jenny Pickering's faces were a hoot (above left), as they tried to identify who the whirling dervish was :) 

Anthony Heywood was a little slow in getting to his feet, but inspired even the younger guests with his moves!! Claudia, her bump beautifully displayed in a fab dress, danced with her husband Steve, and I thought you might like to come up with a caption for the photo of my sister Jenny and I clearly laughing at something that was filling a large space… I fixed the red eye but could do nothing about the red faced aspect!!

Ali's birthday cake Not only was I spoiled rotten with my presents and 54 cards in total (!) but Colin made me a fabulous cake which was placed perfectly on the backdrop painted by my friend. Great isn't it?! It was just the best way to celebrate reaching half a century, and the only thing missing was you!

Hope you enjoy this little snapshot of the night, and let me know what you thought of the dress!!! Well you've got to sparkle at your own party haven't you 🙂

Love Ali x

Ali and her sister Sam with Julia's daughter and son Sophie and Dan


  1. babs March 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm -  Reply

    WOW Ali A belated Happy Birthday xx How did i miss knowing it was your birthday. Your dress is absolutely fabulous, you looked gorgeous. What a great way to celebrate your 50th birthday. You and all your family and Colin know how to celebrate, you will never forget this special day. Lots of Love to you and your family. Babs xxxxx

  2. Magda Chetty March 30, 2010 at 7:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Thank you for sharing the party and photos with us. You look fab in that dress, and trust me you don”t look 50, may be you should keep saying that you are 46.
    And to hear that Sam was leaping around,which made the night for you, is the best news ever. 2010 must be a good year, even for me for the first time in 3 years after my accident I”can say that I have days and even a week without pain.
    Good on Lucy for a great party, but when you have a mum like, you just have too.
    And tell Colin the cake looks great, I can”t make anything as good as this no matter how hard I try.
    Hope you have a fab rest of the year, can”t wait to meet you and Julia in May.
    Much love.

  3. Adrian March 30, 2010 at 8:33 pm -  Reply

    You and the dress look stunning, the picture doesn’t do it justice. Judging by the pictures , it looks like everyone had a good time. You can’t beat a good family get together.Take care Ali

  4. Gail March 30, 2010 at 9:35 pm -  Reply

    Dear, dear Ali, it sounds like you had a wonderful evening with all your family and friends, which is lovely and how it should be. How lovely that so many of your QVC friends managed to attend; but then I’m sure they think you are worth it, which you most definitely are.
    The photo of you and your family is especially lovely, with second place going to the photo of you and Debbie. In fact all the photos look lovely (thanks for sharing).
    Visions of dear Julia twirling at high speed just had me roaring with laughter (I could definitely do with a pint of what Julia was on).
    Your lovely Colin is obviously a man of many talents; the cake looks superb and I bet it was scrumptious. A man who buys diamonds, and bakes, hold on tightly there Ali if I were you.
    You looked lovely, as always, and do you know what I think is the nicest thing about your current blog? When you wrote ‘the only thing missing was you’, we all know that you probably really meant it and we bless you for it.
    So glad you all had a lovely evening and thank you for sharing. Like I said before, blessed is the word that springs to mind.
    With love from Gail xxxxxxxxxx

  5. Rhona Fenton March 31, 2010 at 12:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, well didn’t you look the bell off the ball:) as always you looked FAB your Dress was Beautiful and a girl has to shine on her Birthday and you did just that:) what a fantastic party it looked and everyone looked to be having an awesome time, well done Lucy for putting the party together and to Colin for a fantastic cake:) and I bet he had a hand in helping Lucy get up to no good with all the pictures:) great to hear Sam was up on the dance floor that must have made your night Alison:)and not to forget Jack just to have all your loved ones spend a special birthday with you not just family but friends too:) could you show your knees on air I just want to see how they held out:) so glad you had a fantastic time and like Gail said I teared up also when you said that all us were the only thing missing bless you:)Have a lovely weekend and Happy Easter to you all love Rhona xx

  6. Janet March 31, 2010 at 4:43 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    Thanks for sharing your 50th birthday photos, it looks like everybody had a fantastic time. You look absolutely fab in your party dress, I think it’s a day you will never forget, especially your son Sam up and dancing with everyone else, it must have warmed your heart and been your best birthday present. What a lovely family you have, as you say you are truly blessed.
    Have a Happy Easter, I am looking forward to having my son home from uni and we will hopefully have a quiet Easter.
    Take Care , Love Janet x

  7. Joanna Downey March 31, 2010 at 5:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, you certainly celebrated your “big” birthday in style but that is exactly what we would expect from you. All your photos show what a wonderful family and group of friends you have and that’s because YOU truly reap what YOU sow. The dress is gorgeous and really suits you. Congratulations and a belated Happy Birthday. Love Jo x

  8. Dorothy March 31, 2010 at 6:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    Looks like a good night had by all, pleased you enjoyed it. Your family did you proud. You looked very dashing in the dress but you always do no matter what you have on. Would have loved to have been there just to see your face when they put photo’s up must have been a lot of work but well worth it. pleased Sam is doing well thats a weight off your shoulders. what a lovely man you have jack all trades keep tight hold of him the cake look gorgeous. by the way your hair the other night when you on with l’occitaine was really lovely.
    love best wishes to all.
    Dorothy xxxx

  9. Gail March 31, 2010 at 6:34 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, just had to write again regarding my previous comments. After reading my posted comments I did laugh when I realised what I had said. When I said ‘and we bless you for it’ whilst referring to your comment about ‘the only thing missing was you’, I thought, crikey, I don’t know where that came from as I’m not religious and thought you might now have visions of me spraying holy water at everyone and everything in sight as I was typing. I suppose what I was trying to say was ‘bless your heart’ as a term of endearment as you are such a sweetie.
    In future I must remember to check my comments before I post them.
    Gail x

  10. Steven March 31, 2010 at 7:01 pm -  Reply

    Have to agree with the comments above Ali. You look fab in that dress and no way 50! I was genuinely surpried when I found out you were 50(yeah yeah she says) but I do mean it! Hope 2010 continues to be a success for you Ali and your family. Take care xxx

  11. Kristina Moore March 31, 2010 at 7:31 pm -  Reply

    Fantastic pictures Ali, well done to the photographers. I would like a pint of what Julia was on too please. Well done Lucy on the organisation of the party and pictures, Colin on organisation of pictures and cake and Sam and all the others on being there! Dress is amazing.
    Now have a great Easter and rest of 2010.

  12. alison keenan April 1, 2010 at 1:17 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Babs, lovely to hear from you and yes, it was a wonderful night, and i have some lovely memories. My brother told me it’s all downhill from here i.e. next year I’m 49 then 48 . . . which sounds like a plan to me 🙂 Take care love ali x

  13. alison keenan April 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm -  Reply

    Magda, thanks so much for all your kind words. I am very relieved to hear that things are finally improving for you – I’m only sorry it’s taken this long. May 2010 continue to be a good year for you, and I very much look forward to meeting you in May. Love Ali x

  14. alison keenan April 1, 2010 at 2:19 pm -  Reply

    Adrian, thank you so much for your comments about my dress! My sister and Ros convinced me it was the right thing to wear and Colin (although not a sequins man in his own admission 🙂 also said it was lovely. You’re right, you can’t beat a family get together, and I hope that maybe this Easter you’ll be having one of your own. Love Ali x

  15. alison keenan April 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm -  Reply

    yes Gail I absolutely did mean it, and if it had have been physically possible, and the pub large enough I would just have had an open house and then just think of the photos!!! 🙂 I loved the picture of Debbie and I too – I have one in my dressing room of her and I some years ago at a QVC Christmas party, and she hasn’t changed at all. Always gorgeous. No pints of anything for Julia, she was just on high spirits and I was so glad that the whole family could come. Yes I’m lucky to have Colin by my side – it took 18 eggs to make that cake never mind decorating it!! He is incredibly thoughtful and all that he did (until the wee small hours some nights) along with Lucy, to make it such a great night, will always be treasured by me. I hope Gail that you too will have some lovely family get togethers over Easter and that in spite of the rather inclement weather, you’ll enjoy the break. Love to you, Ali xx

  16. alison keenan April 1, 2010 at 2:37 pm -  Reply

    Rhona you are funny 🙂 My knees are normally kept under wraps but with a lot of work at the gym and some very supportive tights I got them out for the night! They were a bit creaky the next day though I have to admit. You hit the nail on the head with everything you wrote. It isn’t often these days that we get the family together, and some of my friends have never met each other, so it was wonderful to have them all spending time together and chatting. This was the second time in only a couple of weeks that I’d had all three children together, and I forget how grown up they all… the photos do say it all, and I had so many lovely texts and calls the next day to say how much it was all appreciated, which was particularly kind. I did mean what I said though, so maybe one day we can hire out QVC Towers and have a shindig 🙂 Love Ali xx

  17. alison keenan April 1, 2010 at 2:39 pm -  Reply

    Dear Janet, thank you for always keeping in touch, and I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I hope that this Easter will be a happy and relaxing time for you with your boy home from University, and let’s hope the sun shines – if only for a short while 🙂 I have a few days away with Colin which will be lovely so wish you all a very happy Easter. Take care of yourself, love Ali x

  18. alison keenan April 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm -  Reply

    Jo your words have touched me… thank you. I am very fortunate to have such lovely friends and a family who care and also all of you who take the time out of your busy lives to keep in touch with me. It means a great deal. Glad you liked the dress too… It’s hanging up until the next big party 🙂 Take care and happy Easter love Ali x

  19. alison keenan April 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm -  Reply

    Dorothy I wish I’d have taken a photo of Sam dancing it was brilliant 🙂 He Jack and Lucy are all good dancers – me I just do the same dance I’ve been doing for the last 35 years!!! Yes the photos were a real surprise, and took me back to some very happy times and lovely memories. Thank you for the compliment about my hair. I’ve just had it coloured again and I think the cut Lulu’s stylist gave me is making it easier to contend with! I do hope that you, Davy and Laura all have a lovely Easter and thank you for always keeping in touch. Love Ali x

  20. alison keenan April 1, 2010 at 2:59 pm -  Reply

    Gail you do make me laugh 🙂 I hadn’t actually taken it literally, but just in the way you intended, so once again, thank you, and bless you too!!! Love Ali x

  21. alison keenan April 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm -  Reply

    Steven I shall take that compliment and thank you for it! I hope that this year works out to be a good one for you too, and that you and your family have a very Happy Easter. Love Ali xx

  22. alison keenan April 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm -  Reply

    Tina I have to thank mainly my friend Jo who took all the photographs which considering her eyesight is worse than mine was nothing short of a miracle that they came out so well!! 🙂 It’s her daughter’s 17th birthday today, so I’m just about to head off down to Surrey to take her present. I will pass your congratulations on to Lucy and Colin who did do a cracking job, and I hope very much that you and yours have a lovely Easter. Love Ali xx

  23. Marg April 1, 2010 at 10:35 pm -  Reply

    Well Alison you certainly wont forget your 50th birthday,never mind youve now got your 51st to look forward to, they get better every year,honest. Your dress was you to a tee,colour, style,it was perfect,you did look lovely. Everyone looked happy and relaxed, Lucy and Colin must have got it just right. Thankyou for thinking of us, your correspondants,it was a lovely thing to say.I’m glad you didnt have weather probs., Tony had to get our spade out to clear the snow so we could open the gates to get the car in the drive,we’re back to winter again with sub zero night temps. but dont think it will last long,probably it will improve after the holiday weekend as usual.
    A quiet relaxing weekend is just what you will all need after the hectic time youve had,so feet up and take it easy,you can roll your egg on Tuesday.

  24. Pam Davies April 5, 2010 at 4:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Thought I had better check to see if your birthday pictures were on your blog and ….finding they were made me smile! By the looks and sounds of it a good night was had by all and the ‘Birthday girl’ looked amazin as per usual!
    Have another 2 years to go to my ‘big’ one and had been thinking about hiding in a darkened room for the whole of 2012! But, I think you and yours have persuaded me otherwise and i have even spoken to my daughter Megs about what we might organise.
    So thanks Alison, an inspiration to me yet again!
    lots of love

  25. Sharron Underwood April 6, 2010 at 8:39 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali,
    What fantastic family and friends you have to organize what looks like a great party, and yes you look wonderful. Well I have just got back to Thailand for my birthday which was on the 2nd April, my friends too had organize a birthday bash and a welcome back for me and my husband who has been in Aftganistan for 6 mths, must say we all had a great time. My cake i had to cut with a sword WOW !!!! yes everyone stood back i am not good with knives never mind swords hahaha
    Hope you had a good Easter with your family.

  26. craig rowe April 6, 2010 at 9:42 am -  Reply

    You look gorgeous! What a dress!!
    See you soon, sorry I couldnt be there 🙁
    Much love
    (your fellow QVC Presenter!)

  27. Carol April 6, 2010 at 12:28 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    Thank you for sharing your birthday party and photos with us. It looked great fun. We were all with you in spirit ! You looked fantastic – gorgeous dress to show off that ‘to die for’ figure of yours. 50 ?? No way !
    Love to you and your very lovely family.
    Carol X

  28. Adrian April 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm -  Reply

    I forgot to ask what shoes you wore at your party Ali, best wishes Adrian

  29. Mrs Heidi Barnett April 6, 2010 at 8:58 pm -  Reply

    Wow! What a party it sounded..and lovely you had so many friends/family turn out.
    You look amazing in that dress Ali, glad you had a fab are one of my fave presenters and long may you grace our screens at QVC.
    Hugs and best wishes..Heidi x

  30. Maria Nunn April 6, 2010 at 9:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Thanks for sharing your photos and special day, you looked as always wondeful, I was 50 last year, its just a number I dont feel any different things just take a little longer sometimes!!!!
    Im glad you had a special day with family and friends its nice to look back on.
    PS finally managed to get a replacement dishwasher!
    Love Maria x

  31. alison keenan April 7, 2010 at 7:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marg, So sorry you’ve had to contend with the snow! Crikey it’s been almost balmy here over the weekend – although the breeze was pretty fierce in Brighton where Colin and I escaped to for a couple of days 🙂 I have yet to roll my egg (!) but will think of you when I do. Love Ali xx

  32. alison keenan April 7, 2010 at 7:43 pm -  Reply

    My dear Pam please don’t go hiding yourself away – it really is possible to have fun after 50! And think of the money you save with Saga insurance!!!! 🙂 I’m sure your Megs will do you proud as my lucy did. Still talking about it at work, which is always a good sign. Hope you had a very happy Easter and here’s to 2012 – I expect to see photos 🙂 Love Ali xx

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

    Crikey Sharron – a sword to cut a cake with? Must have been a mighty cake!! 🙂 No wonder your friends stood back – with mine it was more to do with the heat from the candles rather than my ineptitude at cutting the sponge ! I bet you were over the moon to have your man home with you to celebrate your birthday. Don’t think I would cope very well being that far away from my partner and I can’t begin to imagine how worried you must sometimes be. I hope he’s home for good this time, and so pleased to hear you all had a ball for your birthday and I hope Easter was happy too. Thanks so much for writing, love Ali xx

  34. alison keenan April 7, 2010 at 7:53 pm -  Reply

    Craig you are such a lovely man 🙂 You were very much missed, and you definitely owe me a dance. Here’s to the next big birthday bash and you can wear sequins!! 🙂 Big love x x x

  35. alison keenan April 7, 2010 at 7:55 pm -  Reply

    Carol, still blushing from yours and many other compliments re the dress. It was touch and go as to whether I wore it as I mentioned, but felt great for the night, and apart from one close call when I leaned across to blow out my candles, my dignity was intact!! Thanks so much for writing, and keeping in touch. I raise a belated glass to all those of you I missed having there. Love Ali xx

  36. alison keenan April 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm -  Reply

    Adrian, how remiss of you :)…….! I was wearing lovely mushroom suede 5″ heels with a little bar over the foot and a zip at the side. Very comfy surprisingly! Hope you had a happy easter, love Ali x

  37. alison keenan April 7, 2010 at 8:03 pm -  Reply

    Heidi what a sweet thing to say, and I’m very flattered you think that. I’m lucky to have a job I truly enjoy and a great crowd of friends here, so it rarely feels like work! Hope you had a very happy Easter and thank you for writing. Love Ali xx

  38. alison keenan April 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm -  Reply

    Maria, you’re so right about things taking that little bit longer – it’s my memory that seems to be flagging a little which means even looking for my keys takes longer! So glad you got your dishwasher. Had mine delivered yesterday, and was so happy until I realised that the top shelf was too low to allow my dinner plates to fit in below!! Gadzooks!! All so complicated. Colin is going to have a look and see if it can be raised, but how difficult can it be for a dishwasher manufacturer to measure the height of a plate?? Hope yours fares better, and that you had a happy Easter. thanks for your kind words and compliments, they’ve taken years off me 🙂 Love Ali xx

  39. Claire April 7, 2010 at 11:42 pm -  Reply

    Bigger pictures please!!! You look lovely!

  40. pat morley April 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    loved reading all about your birthday, and I feel so much better than when I first sat down at my computer because of the happy vibes coming from everybodys comments. Been with QVC since beginning and never done this before, so belated birthday wishes and all the best to you and yours.
    warmest wishes, pat x

  41. pat morley April 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi again Ali!!!!
    forgot to say how my husband laughs at me because I talk about all of you as if I actually know you (I dont get out much!!) and if he should criticise anybodys hair/clothes/makeup as he’s passing by the tv, he gets told off………!!!!! Its amazing how much he actually knows about certain presenters considering he ‘never watches television’ !!
    bye for now,
    pat x

  42. Lynda April 9, 2010 at 12:57 am -  Reply

    Are you only 50 i thought u were older as i watched u on this morning with your lovely husband stephen… and i did think u were about 54… never mind i hope u had a good one..

  43. alison keenan April 9, 2010 at 12:06 pm -  Reply

    I have to say Lynda there are days when I feel far closer to 54 than 50!! Hope you had a lovely Easter. Ali

  44. alison keenan April 9, 2010 at 12:09 pm -  Reply

    Claire, thank you!! I was talking to Craig yesterday and he said he couldn’t work out why the pictures stay so small when you click on them either….unfortunately I’d be the last person to know the answer 🙂 I’ll speak to those ‘in the know’ and see what – if anything can be done. Lovely to hear from you though, and I hope you have a good weekend. Love Ali x

  45. alison keenan April 9, 2010 at 12:14 pm -  Reply

    Pat, you are lovely! As is everyone else who takes the time out to write to me, fill me in on their lives, and pass comment on mine. Makes my day every time I read them 🙂 I’m delighted and honoured that having been with us since day one you’ve finally taken the plunge and written to me! You did make me laugh talking about your husband though. Colin was bang up to date with everyones lives when he met up with them all again at the party, thanks to me reading their blogs out to him! We so rarely catch up it’s the best way of finding out. That said, Kathy, Debbie and I and our partners are all out for dinner tomorrow as we couldn’t all be together on our birthdays. So far I’m loving being 50 :)! Have a great weekend, and thanks again for writing to me. love Ali xx

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