My sociable week


Kathy and Ali with her Charlie Lapson bag I'm writing this as I watch my washing dry in the sunshine. I didn't bend to the temptation of purchasing a whirlygig washing line as the sun moves so rapidly around my pocket handkerchief-sized garden, that I tend to reposition the line depending on where there's most sun! 

Didn't work so well on Monday when the nail I'd banged into the shed wall fell out and so Sam's washing lay in the muddy grass until I got back from the supermarket… never mind eh 🙂

Dinner with Debbie and Kathy

It's been another sociable week really, starting on Saturday with supper out in London where we met Debbie Greenwood, Kathy Tayler and their respective spouses, and shared a very enjoyable Italian meal with them. Debbie snapped Kathy and I (photo above) trying to count how many pockets there were in my Charlie Lapson handbag! 

On Sunday I made a cake, smoked a salmon (I lie, Tesco did) and chilled some fizz in readiness for the arrival of three of my old school friends – two of whom were about to hit the big 5 0! It was great fun, and we ended up playing a ridiculous game called snog, date or marry where you have to think of the most ridiculous collections of people and decide with whom you'd like to do what! It was a hoot.

Ali's sister and friend Linda A day out in London

My sister who is on half term holiday came to see me with her friend Linda and we spent a great day in London enjoying the sights and taking the same Thames Riverboat Cruise that I'd taken Mum on last year. 

The sun shone warmly enough for us to sit up on the top deck and obediently wave at all the people crossing on the footbridge. Our cockney guide had told us to see if anyone waved back, and we were all rather smug when they did, until he told us that meant we would now have 10 years bad luck. You've never seen so many people sit on their hands so quickly!! 🙂

We spent a brief time in Greenwich (where the sun went in!) but time enough for me to take a photo of The Royal Naval college (below) which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. He used this as a template for eventually building St.Pauls (note the Domes) but was asked to separate the initial building into two as whoever lived on the hill in The Observatory said it spoiled his view of the River!! Good job they hadn't started to build it but were just at the planning stage!

The Royal Navy college On the way back the Oxo Tower restaurant was pointed out and a very interesting fact about its history was given. Do you know why the name is created out of patterened tiles? Let me know your theory 🙂

We also managed a quick visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum where they had a special jewellery collection which was breathtaking! Gold, platinum, opals, garnets, emeralds as large as pigeons eggs and diamonds as far as the eye could see. Heavens!

It reminded me of my recent visit to the jewellery department here at QVC Towers where I was shown all that is to be featured on our Gem Day (Friday 23rd April). Dale and I will be starting it all off at midnight and I can't wait. 

Look forward to hearing from you and hope that you have a restful weekend.

Love Ali xx


  1. Magda Chetty April 16, 2010 at 8:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Great to read your blog as always. I”ve also been writing to Debbie Green and Kathy, and of course Julia, and you”ve all been so kind in writing back, you all warm my heart and I feel like I have good friends in you all, bless you for that.
    Glad you have good weather in London, we don”t know what happen here, but Mallorca is been cold and it rains a lot, today we had great sun during the day, but by evening we had to put the heating on, it is like winter nights.
    I was haveing a coffee with a friend today who loves QVC Gems, and we said that we did not see many Gem shows for a while, so glad to hear about GEM DAY on the 23rd, we”ll be watching for sure. Have a great week.
    Much love.

  2. Mrs Janet Jones April 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    It must have been nice for you to catch up with Debbie & Cathy over a nice meal. Hope Sam continues to improve,and your blog as always is full of warmth. My hair is now covering my head, but it is still too short to leave the house without a wig or scarf and it has grown back mainly white! I wish you sold something on QVC that would make my hair grow quickly and at the same time get rid of all the white!!I look forward to gem day with you,
    Take care, love Janet x

  3. Dorothy April 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    You have had a busy year keep it going, as i say to Laura enjoy yourself now your a long time dead so she does. We went to Laura’s on sunday and she took us out for our anniversary it was lovely. But she got her own back as normal we had to go shopping we always get stung, but who cares. had to go buy another tumble dryer it blew up fingers crossed this one will be better. hope all is well and Sam is doing WELL.
    love best wishes.
    Dorothy xxxxx

  4. alison keenan April 20, 2010 at 9:10 pm -  Reply

    Dear Magda, I know that all of us love hearing from you and feel that we are definitely ‘sharing’ your friendship, so once again thank you for keeping in touch. so sorry to hear the weather’s not been up to much. Let’s keep everything crossed that the sun here will continue to shine for your visit in May 🙂 Very much hope you’ll be able to spend Gem Day with us, and I know you’ll be in for a treat 🙂 Dale and I are starting the day at midnight, and then he and Julia have the finale between 9 and midnight. It promises to be a busy day, and the jewellery is beautiful. Why don’t you call in, it would be lovely to talk to you. Take care, and I’m sending the sunshine over 🙂 Love Ali xx

  5. alison keenan April 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm -  Reply

    Dear Janet, it was lovely to spend time with Kathy and Debbie – too short really – but we plan to do it again in a couple of months, so that’s something very much to look forward to. I was so pleased to hear that your hair has started to grow back and have tried to find something that may be gentle enough for you to use to give some shade of colour rather than white…the general advice was to use vegetable dies or henna – nothing with bleach in it as that’s too strong. Daniel Field’s watercolour (you can get it from Sainsbury’s) may be one to try or if not there’s a website and Herbatint, which provide hair colour formulated without ammonia. I’m not sure what your original colour was, but Aubrey Organics make a veg based colour in dark brown which you can find out about at I’m very sorry I can’t find anything that actually accelerates the hair growth, but it seems that after the first six months most people found a vast improvement. Do hope this helps Janet, and that the sunshine over the weekend cheered you. I’ll look forward to Gem Day knowing you’re the other side of the camera and do text or call in if you’d like. would be lovely to talk to you. Have a good week, Love Ali xxx 🙂

  6. Mrs Janet Jones April 21, 2010 at 4:37 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    How very kind of you to go to all that trouble to get that information about my hair for me.I don’t have quite enough hair to colour yet, but when I do I will certainly look into all the options you gave me, as I didn’t know were to start, so thankyou very much for your help, I know you are very busy.
    I won’t have the confidence to phone in but I will certainly try to text in on gem day.
    Take Care , Love Janet x

  7. Susan April 22, 2010 at 2:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I have no idea how you are able to fit sooo much into your life!!! You are always on the go! I wish I had as much energy! Any tips?! Love your attitude to life and your down to earth style. You are so genuine and definately the best presenter! Love that you don’t try and take over but have the knowledge there also.
    Take care,

  8. alison keenan April 23, 2010 at 9:41 am -  Reply

    Dorothy, lovely to catch up on your life too, and glad that laura spoiled you both, and nice that you could spoil her back!! 🙂 sorry to hear about the tumble drier though. I have one of these strange condenser things but did take out a policy when I got it and it’s paid for itself many times over the number of call outs I’ve had to make. You must be glad to have the new one now. Thank you for asking about Sam….not all good sadly, as he’s finding that the scarring and skin grafts doen’t hold out too well when he does a ‘normal’ days walking and is struggling with blisters that won’t heal and a leg he can’t always wear… We’ve got good support though and I’m on the case so we just keep on keeping on. Love to you Dorothy, ali xx

  9. alison keenan April 23, 2010 at 9:44 am -  Reply

    Janet, my absolute pleasure, and I very much hope you will find something that works for you. Crazy though it sounds, I have heard that Vitamin D – which is in sunlight – helps with the growth, so I very much hope it’s been as beautiful a week where you are, as it has been here. Take care, love Ali xx

  10. alison keenan April 23, 2010 at 9:49 am -  Reply

    Susan, how very nice of you to say 🙂 I’m blushing through my faux tan! As far as the energy goes, just keep going, ‘cos if you sit down, you might not want to get up again! 🙂 Lovely to know you’re the other side of the camera and thank you for taking time out of your own busy life to write to me. Love Ali x

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