Christmas fun and New Year’s celebrations


Ali K and her friend on New Year's Eve Four days in already and my first opportunity to wish you a very Happy New Year! So how was your Christmas? Do hope you had a lovely and restful time whatever you did and with whomever you spent it :)   

I have to say I breathed a huge sigh of relief on Christmas Eve when Colin was discharged from hospital having been kept in for two nights with mysterious tummy pains. It transpired he had diverticulitis – inflammation of the bowel to you and me – but is completely recovered now. 

Christmas Day games and presents

We had a quiet Christmas Day and then a party with all the children in the evening… great fun, but a heck of a big tidy up in the morning having slept 15 in my somewhat tiny house! Sam invented an excellent party game where you had to create sentences by using each letter of various seasonal words e.g. Christmas… "Cripes! have ready in special times many apple slices"… guess you needed to have been there! :) 

I have to admit to being VERY spoilt when it came to presents from the children. Beautiful roses and lilies, my favourite wine, tickets to the Opera from Lucy – something I've always wanted to experience – and from Sam, a passport to Silverstone to drive an Aston Martin DB9. That's definitely one to film for you! I plan to check the exits when I first get there and veer off the track onto the M25 towards the Channel Tunnel… how long do you think before they'd catch up with me??

Christmas Day TV and a QVC Calendar Girls?

I watched very little television over the break, although I have experienced Top Gear's trip to Bolivia three times! I guess that's what happens when your household is mainly male. Out of choice I saw Singing in the Rain, High Society, The Incredibles and most recently Calendar Girls, which led me to idly wonder if we, the female presenters, could create something similar?

I had in mind a terrific tower of Lock and Locks that we could hide behind, or possibly a carefully choreographed shot of one of us cleaning up with a Dyson? No? That's what I concluded. Lock and lock's are transparent and you'd need to be pretty short or incredibly thin to hid behind a Dyson… back to the drawing board I guess. 

New Year's celebrations

New Year's Eve was spent with one of my oldest friends (see photo top left)… not by age, but purely the number of years I have known her. We met on the first day at Secondary School in 1971 and have been friends ever since.  Her birthday is on New Year's Day and as we celebrated I reminded her of her 12th birthday which was spent at the cinema watching The Amazing Mr. Blunden.

Ali's dead Christmas tree I also reminded her of the green suede tasseled waistcoat and equally stylish skirt she wore with a fetching canary yellow polo neck… how times and fashions have changed. Thank Heavens! I wore my Ronni Nicole dress and felt fab.

But looking back, those were the days when we would compare the height of our wedge heels and the colour of our eyeshadows, but now it's a question of how many grey hairs we have and which country on the atlas most closely resembles the pattern created by our thread veins….

Talking of things deteriorating…. my dead Christmas tree (pronounced deceased on the 23rd December) did a sterling job of keeping the lights and tinsel in place until the 28th… I think it was actually petrified when we undressed it and stood it outside. Understandable, you might think, bearing in mind the temperature, but I mean petrified in the way of things mummified. See what you think from the photo…

Have a great week, and see you on Wednesday night for an illuminating and fragrant show at midnight 🙂

Love Ali xxx 


  1. Kristina Moore January 4, 2010 at 8:26 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year to you and your family – all of them! I love The Amazing Mr Blunden. Diana Dors did a brilliant performance and Dave Lodge was pretty good too. Laurence Naismith took the star for me though as I wanted to help him.
    Glad that Colin is better now. Is your friend’s name Jo and did she present things on QVC at Christmas? I am sure that I enjoyed shows with her on because of her voice or am I going completely nuts?
    Hugs (bear collector you see)
    How is Sam getting on with his leg?

  2. alison keenan January 5, 2010 at 1:02 pm -  Reply

    How observant are you!! 🙂 You are spot on. Yes it is Jo and she used to present the Christmas shows with me. We sound quite similar and very like each other too. Have often been mistaken for sisters (!) I wish! Sam’s doing very well now thank you although because his leg has changed shape again, he will need a new socket for his leg and once that’s been sorted he’ll be walking really well 🙂 Onwards and upwards eh? Big hug to you too (lover of large bear of a man 🙂 ) x x

  3. Mrs Heidi Barnett January 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm -  Reply

    Happy nw yr Ali!!x Oh jealous am I of the gift drive of Aston DB9?? EXTREMELY! lol Come pick me up when you nip off the track ok?!
    Sounds like you and your family had a lovely time!
    Ours was quiet ,lovely pressies from QVC (ok for beauty products now):-)Had alot of tiredness and aches from my Fibromyalgia,but nice to spend time with family. Why is it though,the women always do the clearing up,housework,meals etc? lol
    Was it your hubby that was ill?hope he’s ok now.I think your tree faired you pretty well..poor thing!
    Lovely pic of you & your friend..what a nice way to spend nw yr! Hugs x

  4. Rhona Fenton January 6, 2010 at 7:58 pm -  Reply

    Happy new year Alison to you,colin, sam, lucy and jack looks like you all had a great time:) my mum and dad ended up with colin taking them to A&E boxing day we are laughing about it now they both fell on the ice result my mum broke her wrist and colin spent the next two days taking her to hospital through the snow we are thinking of writing a comedy about it:) but they are both fine now! news about my hospital trip but will wait till you email me and I will tell you all then but I chickend out for good reason so back home now, thank you for your lovely christmas card and I didn’t have to go near the turkey:) sorry to hear about colin but so glad he is much better now please pass on my best wishes to him:) talk to you soon have a lovely weekend lot’s of love Rhona xx

  5. Jeannie January 7, 2010 at 1:16 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali! I always enjoy reading your ‘blogs (I really feel I KNOW you personally!!!!!) Glad Sam is doing well and that Colin has fully recovered – let’s hope 2010 is a better year for you all. I have been watching Yankee Candles with you and did I spy a beautiful engagement ring on your finger? Best Wishes to you all.

  6. Kristina Moore January 7, 2010 at 9:05 am -  Reply

    Hello, watching Yankee Candle show with you and Michaela. I could open a shop with the number of Yankee Candles I already have (from a lovely shop in Ipswich and some from QVC) but I have gone for the Auto-Delivery option. I can’t wait for the autumn and winter sets!
    I used to love watching Jo in the Christmas shows.
    Tell Sam “keep going and you are amazing”. Life can and will carry on. Especially when you have the systems in place and know how to work with the prosthetic.
    Just in case CONGRATULATIONS.

  7. Margaret January 7, 2010 at 10:43 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison, Happy New Year, hope the family are all feeling much better now and like others did I spy a RING last night while watching Yankee Candles if so Happy Days and Congratulations , really enjoy your shows you are so natural and friendly and you do a very good and entertaining blog always a pleasure to read ,really must tear myself away now and force myself to tackle the ironing or at least some of it , Margaret xx

  8. Julie January 7, 2010 at 10:56 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Hope you’re all ok and Colin and Sam are doing well. I suffer with Collitis so know what Colin is/was going through-just something else to add to all my ailments!!
    Weather really bad here as well-although made it to work-that’s a story in itself!!although as you probably guessed I didn’t drive!!
    Hope to speak soon, keep warm and safe as I think this weather is here for at least another 15 days-just been on news-so Bek and I will have snow on our Birthday’s!!
    Take Care as always
    Julie xx

  9. dorothy January 10, 2010 at 4:49 pm -  Reply

    hi alison
    pleased you all had good christmas and new year, hope colin is feeling better and you all have a healthier
    year you deserve it. We had lovely time davy had to pick laura up in landrover she was so pleased didn’t fancy driving in the snow.we were going to casino for my birthday on new years eve but had to cancel with the snow so had quiet night, so glad its starting to melt sick of it now.but enjoying watching qvc.
    love best wishes
    dorothy xx

  10. dorothy January 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm -  Reply

    forgot to say hope you enjoy the aston martin car you lucky thing and what would help is if you had tall dark handsome man beside you.( ENJOY )YOU AND YOUR FRIEND LOOK LIKE SISTERS SAME SMILE.

  11. alison keenan January 10, 2010 at 5:54 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Heidi! Thanks for your message, and I’m so sorry to hear that you have to contend with such a rotten condition. I actually looked it up as I wasn’t familiar with fibromyalgia, and I’m not surprised you were tired! I fear in my household it’s because I’ve been rather lax at getting the boys to pull their weight that they may not make the best housemates, but to be fair whenever I’ve left Sam at home alone with his mates, I do come back to a pretty tidy home. Colin (hubby in all senses apart from marriage licence!) is completely recovered now, and although Lucy and I made the Christmas lunch he did clear away completely afterwards so I can’t grumble 🙂 Yes New Year was lovely – strange when you’ve known someone for so long it’s very difficult to comprehend where the years have gone! I hope that 2010 will be a good for you and yours and thanks again for writing – lovely to hear from you. Love Ali xx

  12. alison keenan January 10, 2010 at 6:00 pm -  Reply

    Rhona your sense of humour and incredibly positive attitude towards life always make me smile. Your poor old mum and Dad, and Colin too has my sympathy, having to drive in all that snow! He’s sounds a good sort to me 🙂 I’m sure you had your reasons for not going through with your ‘visit’ and I will mail once I can get this bloomin’ lap top in order. I’ve written umpteen comments on this page and then lost at least half of them for some reason, so need to rescue your mail address from my work computer. so glad you liked the Christmas card – the photographer said he was pleased with my picture – I had to agree it was a nice one – and then told me he’d airbrush the lines out before it went to print!!! Shhhhhh don’t tell anyone. Happy New year and I’ll write soonest Love Ali xx

  13. alison keenan January 10, 2010 at 6:03 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jeannie and a very happy New Year to you. so glad you like reading the blog. I bumped into Debbie Greenwood just the other day and she like I had looked back over the last year through our blogs and said it makes really interesting reading – particularly when our memories are so bad nowadays! 🙂 The ring you spotted wasn’t an engagement ring – although was on my fourth finger. It’s actually from the Tacori Diamonique range, but as I’d hurt my middle finger I opted to wear one on that finger. It’s funny how nice it felt after all these years of not wearing one on that hand, and I thought it looked lovely! You’re not the only one to notice, so I shall have to put paid to any rumours! do keep in touch, as it’s lovely to hear from you. Love Ali xx

  14. alison keenan January 10, 2010 at 6:07 pm -  Reply

    Tina, you are lovely, and I have passed your message on to Sam who wishes you a Very happy New Year. How funny that you buy your Candles sometimes from Ipswich. I lived for a number of years in Wivenhoe and my ex husband worked in Ipswich. It’s a lovely town. I know you’ve a few months to wait, but you’ll love the winter collection particularly the mistletoe and fig! Gorgeous 🙂 I’ll pass your compliment on to Jo too – I know that’ll make her smile. Happy New year to you and yours too and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  15. alison keenan January 10, 2010 at 6:09 pm -  Reply

    Hello Margaret, and a very happy new year to you and your family too! I’m glad you enjoyed the Yankee Candle hours. The studios always smell fab for days afterwards! The ring wasn’t mine – although Colin did buy me a beautiful gold and diamond pendant for Christmas so I was very spoilt. I too have a mountain of ironing to do – and the evening meal to finish preparing, so will head off shortly, but do keep in touch, and I’ll keep writing to you. Love ALi xx

  16. alison keenan January 10, 2010 at 6:12 pm -  Reply

    Julie, so glad to hear you have not ventured out in the car. I really feel you should definitely wait until this terribly cold snap has gone and we’re onto dry roads again. It is treacherous out there, and as you’ve probably gathered many of us weren’t able to make it into work at all! I hope your collitis didn’t trouble you over Christmas, and well done for getting into work – I hope they were glad to see you?! Not sure when yours or Bek’s birthdays are, but I will send you very best wishes in advance and hope that the thaw will be well and truly on the way so you can have some form of celebration. Love Ali xxxx Oh and Happy New Year to you all!

  17. David Morris January 18, 2010 at 1:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    Glad you had a great christmas & a happy new year to you & your family. The Aston Martin drive at silverstine is a great present, but you may want to check your geography a little if you want to veer off the track onto the M25??. (Like a trip on the A43 onto either the M40 or M1 before you could get to the M25). The question you need to ask yourself is, “Do you feel lucky?” Lol!! Can’t wait to hear about it though.
    Take care
    love David xx

  18. Alison Reilly February 3, 2010 at 9:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali. Just flicking through the chanels and there you were presenting the tanzanite!! Remember the shells we collected in Antigue? I have still got mine and the photo we took just before we left the hotel? That was fun. You look great as ever. I have just come out of hospital Not forgotten about you and Colin, life just takes over doesnt it. Pleased Colin has recovered, Len sends his regards also. Sounds like you had a fun christmas.
    Alison & Len x

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