My trip to Morocco

53

Ali in MoroccoI've tried on numberous occasions over the last couple of days to write this but with the best will in the world, the weekend ran away with me! Could be something to do with the two birthdays, Saturday night out, and then cooking Sunday lunch for nine :) My life is never dull, but it is rather good to be able to sit down in the relative calm of my kitchen and write to you now, as promised, about my trip to Morocco :)

It was one of those last minute holidays based solely on a friend's recommendation, but it was definitely one of the nicest hotels we have ever stayed in. Set on the beach in Agadir, it was a mere three and a half hours flight away, yet felt like a different world… the initial and most noticeable difference being the 20 or so degrees in temperature! We had an early morning flight from Gatwick, and as I had worked until midnight, there wasn't really much time for a sleep before we left home, but with seven days relaxation ahead of me, I wasn't unduly worried :)

View of Morocco from the planeThe plane was brand new with definitely more leg room than the usual short haul flights and as there was no-one sitting next to me, I was able to curl up and sleep next to Colin for a little while. The sky was clear as we flew over Marrakesh and Colin snapped this photo. Good job he did, as a few moments later we plunged into thick cloud and couldn't see a thing!

A rumble of discontent filled the plane as we made our landing – the airport only just visible before we touched down – but as we clambered out onto the tarmac it was pretty warm, and I was finally able to remove my Dennis Basso faux fur jacket!

Neither Colin nor I had ever been to Morocco, but as we travelled the short distance to the hotel it reminded us both of the outskirts of Dubai. A mix of large shops and tiny stores, people everywhere and a great many unfinished buildings.

The hotel though was down the coast road, and set back a little so that it looked out onto the sea. We arrived at midday and were advised to head to the 'snack' restaurant as our room wasn't quite ready. To get there we had to walk through the grounds of the hotel which were truly impressive. A great deal of thought must have gone into the layout which included two large yet relatively shallow swimming pools, and masses of seating areas, hundreds of cushioned sunbeds, and even some curtained sections where you could relax out of the sun… which we were reliably informed would be out shortly!

Seafront in the windAnd come out it did, in spectacular style, around 3pm, and treated us to bright blue skies and very welcome warmth. Infact with the exception of Saturday – when it rained continuously – we had a mix of cloud and sunshine every day, and for the most part strong winds! As you can see from this picture of the seafront, the palm trees are used to it, but there were a couple of occasions when several parasols and cushions ended up in the pool!

As it was so windy, the red flag was flying continuously which meant no swimming in the sea, but the beach was fabulously sandy and so Colin and I walked the mile or so up to Agadir Marina and back. I usually prefer the sea to swim in as I hate the smell of chlorine on my skin, but the pools at the hotel had no bleach smell to the water at all which was fabulous!

Morocco One was heated to a very warm temperature and the other was unheated. Having swum in the heated pool on our first day, following a rather late night, the following morning I decided to have a quick dip to blow away the cobwebs. Casually sauntering between sunbeds I stepped out of my flipflops and jumped into the other pool! By crikey it was freezing and certainly woke me up, although I had to contend with brain freeze for a good few minutes :)

Unlike our other holidays, this time Colin and I did very little indeed. Infact our visits to the Marina were the only excursions we made during the week, and instead we spent our time lazing by the pool, playing table tennis or reading… very relaxing. The only other exercise we did was to walk the rather long corridor that took us to any one of the three restaurants that were in the main body of the hotel. The food was delicious – a mix of traditionally Moroccon with tempting tagine dishes – and some European menus too.

The sun setting over MoroccoThe choice was amazing, and I counted 24 different desserts one evening!! In truth we were both rather grateful that our room was some distance away as it gave us an opportunity to 'walk off' the huge amount we'd eaten! As with all good holidays, the week slipped by far too fast, but by way of a complete change, while we'd been soaking up the sun, the weather at home had been horrendous!

Every day we'd checked in with the news channels to be informed that Britain was hiding under a blanket of snow with drifts of up to eight feet!! I was more than a little relieved not to have been faced with the onerous task of keeping the house warm, although it was more than a little 'igloo' like when we finally got in at 2.30am as the heating had been off all week!

Ali and Colin in Morocco All things being even, what with our next trip to Nashville (Colin's Christmas present from me) and my pending surgery, we hope to maybe return to Agadir in the autumn and this time have a look around… we've loved what we've seen so far though, and I'd highly recommend it :)

As always, it's been lovely to hear what you've been up to over the Easter break, and I very much hope that the increase in temperature and several days of sunshine will have been countrywide and not just here in the South of England :)

Take care, keep in touch, and I'll look forward to writing to you whenever you get the chance to drop me a line, love Ali xx

53 Comments

  1. Mrs Janet Jones April 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, you holiday sounds so relaxing,glad to hear you enjoyed it so much you want to go back in the autumn. We were hoping to visit the dutch bulb fields next week, (somewhere I have always wanted to visit), however the season is at least 4 weeks behind so hardly any bulbs out, so we will have to postpone it for another time! I bet Colin was pleased with your Christmas gift to him to go to Nashville,he will be in his element!. I still haven’t shaken this virus off, but my son and his girlfriend still came up for the weekend(I think they were desperate for some sleep) and I had many, many cuddles with Alfie. I so enjoyed having him there with us for the whole weekend.The way he looks at you when you are feeding him is such a special time, I absolutely adore him, he is such a blessing. I didn’t know you were having more surgery, will it be soon and I do hope it doesn’t set you back as you are doing so well. I am sure you will tell us about it when you are ready.
    Well I must write off, have to go to work(am on a later shift).Keep well Ali and speak soon love Janet xx

  2. wendy April 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Its lovely to see you looking so well and having enjoyed your holiday in Morroco I just wondered if you could tell me the hotel you stayed in as I would love to go there but not knowing anyone who has been there before I need a little guidance please.
    Take care Ali
    Love Wendy

  3. Susan April 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm -  Reply

    Ali you’re a doll! You look a picture with handsome Colin in the last photo! Always such a beautiful couple though. Agadir looks wonderful! I would love to go and experience the different culture. Maybe add to ‘the list’. When are you off to Nashville? I hadn’t realised sorry. Fab present to Colin though! Lucky boy! But then he is rather good to you isn’t he lol. One question, were the winds in Agadir warm or cool? Don’t want cold winds to take away from the warm sun!! Hope you had a lovely weekend with parties..as usual Ali! You’re never dull as you say lol. I hope you have a good week,
    Susan x

  4. Amanda Austin April 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm -  Reply

    What a wonderful couple you and Colin make – Looks and sounds as if you had a wonderful time Alison. Please an you tell me where I can buy the absolutely stunning black & white strip dress you have worn in air recently-i love it and as always you look beautiful -thank you X Amanda

  5. Pauline Johnson April 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison all the best for the upcoming surgery,Have you ever thought about writing a book you are so good at describing things maybe something along the lines of dealing with your breast cancer I am sure it would be a inspiration to women in the same boat.
    Love Pauline.

  6. edna munro April 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    So glad you had a good trip to Morocco.That man of yours is so full of surprises for you.I am so pleased he spoils you and takes care of you.I am sure you do the same for him too.Hope the trip to Nashville goes well,and that you manage to squeeze in as many country/blues gigs as you can.I have no doubt Colin will get up and do his bit if he is allowed to.What surgery are you waiting for?Have I missed this when reading your blogs or is this your arm?Do hope it goes well.Just have to say that I think your hair is looking amazing just now….so thick and luxurious!
    Take care,Love ,Edna x

  7. Sue Radford April 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    As usual, I really enjoyed reading your blog, and glad you had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. You describe your holidays so well Ali. The photographs are great too! Sometimes it’s just nice to enjoy the immediate surroundings and “totally” relax, so I can well understand why you enjoyed your holiday. When you go again in the Autumn try and visit one of the souks, which I really loved looking around. (I bet you’re thinking “Oh no she’s not going on about the souks again lol!). I bought some lovely intricate dishes there, but regret not buying some Argan Oil – hopefully I will return again for a week’s holiday next time. I haven’t booked Tenerife, as we have now decided on a shorter flight, so have opted for another trip to Ibiza, Santa Eulalia, as we love it there so much, and will go beginning of May. We are also going on a cruise with my daughter, her partner and their children at the end of July visiting various Italian islands, Monaco and Barcelona are also on the itinerary, so it should be a very interesting holiday. Like you Ali, I grab every opportunity to enjoy as many holidays as I can and live for the moment – life is so precious isn’t it? Hope you’ll enjoy your Nashville holiday – I can imagine it’s a holiday Colin will enjoy very much!
    Lovely to see you looking so happy and healthy. I hope you’ve settled into your new home – I expect it now feels as though you’ve lived there for years!
    Take care,
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  8. Denise April 9, 2013 at 9:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Wow what a great blog. You described it so well – I was almost there and wish I was! Agadir sounds lovely its made me want to go there. Could I ask the name of your hotel please? We had a similiar type of holiday a couple of years back but to Tunisia. We hadn’t been able to get away during the summer so booked a last minute break at the end of the October. We managed to get a great deal and not knowing what to expect we headed off just wanting some much needed sun and lots of relaxation. We spent the week like you just lapping up the sun,walking along the beach into the main town,reading,eating and drinking – it was bliss! We do intend going back haven’t managed it yet but its on the wish list.
    Thanks for sharing it with us Ali.
    Love
    Denise xx

  9. babsq x April 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali Lovely blog and pics, your holiday sounded a dream. I imagined the flight a lot longer than three and half hours. I did’nt know you have some surgery soon, how have i missed you telling us. I hope everything goes well and you will be back on your feet quickly, i will be thinking of you. Today i have celebrated my second granddaughter’s 26th birthday, it is’nt untill tomorrow but she is going to a health spa tomorrow. We had a lovely buffet and delicious desserts, i made her birthday cake, a chocolate one with chocolate and chocolate buttons on. Then we played games with my great grandchildren,then much too soon it was the childrens bed time. How time flys. Looking forward to your next blog to know how you are. Love and hugs BabsQ xxxx

  10. Jilly April 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    I came on this evening to say how lovely you look in the dress and with your hair up and see your blog – and also a reply to me in the last one so thank you very much for that. Love, love love hearing about your holiday – it sounds the perfect place to go to escape the cold which we had and still have in some parts – even where I live (by the sea) the snow is still around and that is unheard of – first to really get snow and then for it to have been so deep and lasting. To have a trip to Nashville to look forward to will be wonderful for you both – especially for Colin and his singing etc – an idea place to go. When is the pending surgery due? We shall certainly miss seeing you but perhaps you will still be able to blog when you are able. Annie and dad are having a ball ( inbetween the zapping) and have been to Port Sunlight today – a fantastic place by all accounts and not far from where they are staying. Chester tomorrow by train so that should be fun. I will update on progress but thanks again for updating us when you are so busy – it really is great to have your “catch up” and pictures of the jolly holly Love Jilly xx

  11. mary morphy April 10, 2013 at 7:05 am -  Reply

    Morning Ali..Morocco looks magnificant and I am so glad that you did nothing, had a rest and enjoyed some delicious food and down time. The harbour photo reminds me of the harbour at Rhodes Town.,,,Morocco looks fabulous and I to have heard great reports from friends that have been.
    I hope you managed to read my blog responce (6th April)despite not replying although I totally understand that you have other matters in hand!
    Has the Dennis Basso fur coat been abandoned now or is it back on… I did a boot fair on Sunday at Henr Bay and was scraping the ice of the car at 5.45am and it was minus 2..so so cold must be barking mad. Chloe my daughter came to keep me company and to mind the stall when I use the loo which is very frequently, especially when it’s cold! Did warm up a bit but I was frozen to the bone and couldn’t get warm at all. Didn’t do too badly though and all in all made £90 with the kids getting money from bits and bobs that they were selling. I went to Debenhams the next day and bought a new Jacket in the sale with my cut!
    We had a glimpse of spring in Westgate on Tuesday so I gave the grass it’s first cut of the year..it resembled a paddock and our Flymo didnt seem to be flying much and it needed some pushing and pulling to get through the grass. Think Popeye would have struggled! It took me a while and once I had strimmed the edges the grass looked lovely. The sun was out, the wind blowing( we have had wind for months!) so i put all the bedding in the washing machine and an hour later had a lovely line of billowing washing up the legnth of the garden. I love to see washing blowing on the line but my spring happiness was short lived. No sooner had I put the last peg in it started to rain and the whole lot came in again!
    Last week of half term this week; daughter been out and about shopping and going to the pictures. She has a cricket friend sleeping over..all quiet at the mo but they are coming down the beach this morning with me, my sister and the dogs. Jack has been under instruction to get dressed and change his pants each day (he is soo much a teenager) but has been to the driving range a few times this week and is going to stay with his 17 year old cousin ob Friday and Saturday as he is home alone ( mum and brother off to Stafford Uni for open day). My nephew has gone through the ‘ug’ stage and will shape him up!
    Demo for Tesco was calm..we had been told not to shout or be demonstrative vocally..final decision on 17th April. It made front page news in the local paper with a boxer dog in a luminous yellow visi vest grabbing the main photo.
    Outdoor cricket starts at the weekend, Saturday and Sunday…both sessions are about three hours..can I borrow your fur coat!!
    Have a fabulous week. Love Mary xxx

  12. alison keenan April 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Mary, I thought I had better reply to you now while I have you in my sights!! :) I have replied to your previous comment, and it’s great to find out how the demo went! I’m glad it was the photo of a boxer dog rather than you throwing flour which heralded the front page of your local paper!! :) That said, I will keep everything crossed that the decision on the 17th will be in your favour. I always think my life is pretty busy until I read about yours – how infuriating to get the washing out on the line and then have it rain! I don’t have my line set up yet but as I only have one tree in the garden, I’m not quite sure what to tie it to! As far as the car boot is concerned, I only ever did one car boot, and it rained! That said, we did make quite a few pennies, and like you, the children were delighted with what they managed to raise. I would of course be more than happy to loan you my fur coat for your cricket matches – try and join us for the next Centigrade shows – we’re bound to have something there at clearance price cos of the spring. You take care, and enjoy the week and your weekend of cricket matches – I will hope for warm weather for you! Love Ali xx

  13. susan April 10, 2013 at 10:23 pm -  Reply

    Me again Ali, I thought I had asked you how you keep your lovely tan and not lose it to crocodile skin after 2weeks home? I didn’t obviously! So how do you? I use it all and still I do!! Night x

  14. Liz April 11, 2013 at 10:49 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What a lovely relaxing trip you had – I can feel that wonderful warmth from here. Unfortunately, the side effects of my treatment made me feel very sick again (in spite of all the meds to stop it) so we haven’t made it to Mallorca. Boo-hoo. Am gutted especially as we were going to meet up with Magda and her hubby again and the boys were going to catch up on all sorts of man things like cars, diy etc… However, it would have been no fun if I’d felt sick most of the time and my OH had spent his hols worrying about me. All being well, we plan to attempt another visit in late May.
    My solution to good, safe suntanning is Decleor’s aromessence solaire beforehand, Liz Earle’s sun creams and then her after sun gel and superskin body cream. No burning, no peeling! Not sure when I’ll be able to indulge in that though as even though it’s supposed to be getting warmer here, we are on the rainy side of the country.
    Hope everyone can enjoy what might be the start of spring.
    Liz x

  15. Joanna Downey April 11, 2013 at 3:44 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, You obviously had a lovely relaxed holiday with delicious food and you’re looking fabulous on your return. The dress you wore for the turquoise show really suited you and the aqua shade in the pattern was a perfect complement to the jewellery. I think Colin’s photo is fabulous too, I feel really claustrophobic on a plane so I look out of the window as much as possible – a bit like on a train but without being able to get off so easily – and aerial views are a constant delight. Colin went on a climbing trip to Morocco a couple of years ago and loved the country, he brought me back some stunning pottery and lanterns then Miss Ellie decided that she wanted a Moroccan “snug” in their new home and over the past four months they have all gone to live with her! I did see a brass lantern when I was shopping this morning but as the dental anaesthetic was starting to wear off I decided I needed to get home. When I went to the dentist for a check up I didn’t expect to be told that I needed emergency treatment. 45 minutes of drilling later I found out that my root canal problem should have been dealt with by my last dentist and now needs a specialist to look at it, all this after he’d cheerfully relieved me of a good chunk of my salary over the years. I knew that you were facing further surgery but not why so I’ll get in early by sending lots of positive thoughts to you now. Love from Jo who’s still hopeful that Spring will soon arrive x

  16. Alison Keenan April 11, 2013 at 5:16 pm -  Reply

    Sue, Decleor Aromessence Oil or gatineau tan accelerator .. Exfoliate every two days, and then use Decleor self tan milk – fab! That’s what works for me anyway :) bless you Susan – have a great weekend xxx

  17. Norma Smithson April 12, 2013 at 7:45 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali Always love to read your blogs, you do make everything seem as if we are experiencing it all. Good that you did both have a complete rest, youv’e had such a busy time recently. Agadir sounds wonderful although I have to admit it has never been on my wish list. Can’t wait to hear how your trip to Nashville goes, I’m sure when Colin comes back he will full of idea’s for writing new songs, he really has a talent, and I have spent many happy hours listening to his tape. Like the other girls in Ali’s army I didn’t realise that you were having further surgery, hope all will go well and you will soon be on top form, but enjoy your holiday first. I have to say Ali, that you have become a very special part of my life, which might seem strange as we only correspond with our blogs, but there you are you manage to reach out and touch us.In the next 6/9 months I have to have two op’s, one on my my right hand, and then my right knee replaced, all because of arthritis a sign of getting older, but like you I don’t let it stop me doing anything, your such a good role model. Have a good week Ali lots of love Norma xx

  18. Susan April 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Thanks foryour tips! I have never used Decleor but use Elemis tan accelorator and I exfoliate every week though thought if I did it more often it would dry my skin out more so maybe I’ll give that a go.next time we have sun!! Ta Ali!
    Love Susan x

  19. Sue Jennings April 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali….having read your blog I feel like I’ve been there with you it sounds amazing I’ve never been but I have been to Tunisia a few times …I too love the short flight …you make it sound enchanting…..a romantic time for you and the lovely Colin…now that I’m back down to earth in cold wet Cheshire I must tell you that my daughter and her partner have moved into their own house which is delightful once we had put our own style of TLC on it…it does seem strange not to have her here especially in the evening when we have our girley chats…Brian and I are shattered though after helping them over the past week .. (We are to old for this lark) :):) so now the campaign starts at Chez Jennings …we had forgotten how much space we used to have !! In fact our upstairs landing is now positively huge compared to how it’s been over the past several months…Brian stated to Claire ” trust you to move now that I’ve just perfected the art of walking like a crab” lol…..the joys of parenthood…( wouldn’t change it for the world )… I didn’t know about your pending surgery don’t know how I’ve missed you telling us this news but my thoughts and very best wishes will be with you as always….. Sending much love …take care Ali
    Sue Jennings

  20. Lyn April 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, It looks as though you and colin had a great time in agadir.We have been to marrakesh and the atlas mountains and fell in love with it. We stayed in a riad owned by a larger than life frenchman who guided us and pointed us in the right direction as far as restaurants and places of interest. The hotel and grounds look fab. We are off to Portugal in a few days, But would very much like to go to Agadir and you describe the hotel you and colin stayed in so well, Can you please give all your fans the name. It is so nice to see looking so well and your hair looks fab (as always) It is always a joy to see your smiling face on QVC.Best Wishes Lyn.

  21. Kay Salisbury April 12, 2013 at 11:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali-a lovely trip-love the photo of you in front of the boats in the harbour. What is your new surgery? I always follow your progress even if I do not always write each time and assumed all was fine except for check ups and your swollen arm. Are you ok? You look so well-I hope all is ok and that whatever is pending goes well for you. Love K.XXX

  22. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 5:09 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Janet, and how relieved was I (and possibly everyone else who reads this blog!) to hear that you were able to spend your weekend with little Alfie! I am certain that your son and his girlfriend would have seen you as a Godsend, allowing them extra time to sleep – such a rareity with a small baby :) Wonderful that you are to have this time all of you together. Are you off to the bulb fields then? My mum went there many years ago and really enjoyed it I seem to remember. The extra surgery is mainly reconstruction as it’s not really worked out and is very uncomfortable, so hopefully moving forwards they will be able to sort something out. I do hope work went well, and thanks again for writing Janet – you take care and love to you from me xx

  23. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Wendy, I am more than happy to tell you that the hotel we stayed in was the Riu Palace Hotel in Agadir… should have information online, and I would certainly recommend it to anyone who wants to be truly spoiled :) Enjoy your week, Love Ali xx

  24. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm -  Reply

    Susan you say the nicest things :) Colin always looks good in the photos I agree! Agadir was indeed different, and the winds in March were pretty chilly, but we were reliably informed it does heat up quite dramatically from June onwards. That’s when we’ll be heading out to Nashville, which will be a real change for both of us.. Colin is very much looking forward to it, and the album and consequent gigs are really picking up, so all very exciting. I hope you had a good weekend, and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  25. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 5:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Amanda, and thank you for your kind words and comments. The black and white striped dress is actually from Top Shop – I saw it in the window and had to have it! :) Keep your eyes peeled at QVC as I know the black and white fabric is a big story for us this summer too! I hope you’ve had a good weekend, love Ali xx

  26. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm -  Reply

    Pauline thank you for your good wishes and also your suggestion. I have been thinking long and hard about writing a book, and particularly for the reasons you give, and have decided it is something I will do – the first chapter already drafted…. I need to map out the rest of the book, but feel pretty sure I can do it :) It would be wonderful to think it may work as a reference to anyone ‘in the same boat’ as you put it :) Enjoy your week, love Ali xx

  27. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Edna and thanks for taking the time to write to me. Yes Morocco was fun and very much a last minute decision having heard from my friend how fab the hotel was. We’re hoping that the trip to Nashville will be as exciting although very different :) The surgery is mainly reconstructive as I am having a few problems, but hopefully the surgeon will come up with an alternative plan of action and I’ll end up as delighted with them as I am with my hair! Every cloud eh?! I hope you have a good week, love Ali xx

  28. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, So glad you enjoyed reading the blog, and only sorry I didn’t manage to find a few more photos to put in there! I’ll be honest and admit that we both felt a little sorry we hadn’t nipped out and around even just once, but if we do ventue back there a Souk would definitely be on our list of things to do :) Your cruise sounds fabulous, and if you’ve never been to Barcelona you will LOVE it! I think I took over 180 photos there! It’s interesting you writing about grabbing opportunities – I know that I now make spontaneous decisions whereas before I would sit and think about things for far too long, and then the opportunity would pass…. Carpe Diem is my motto now :) I hope that you had a lovely weekend and will look forward to hearing about YOUR holiday :) Love Ali xx

  29. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 5:38 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Denise and I am glad you enjoyed reading about Agadir. The hotel we stayed in was the Riu Palace, and Colin and I also got a great deal! Here’s hoping you can tick it off your wish list this year! I’m glad you enjoyed Tunisia, which is probably quite similar in many respects. I went there when I was just 18, and got so brown my mum didn’t recognise me when she picked me up from the airport!! Have a great week, and I hope the warmer weather stays for you, love Ali xx

  30. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm -  Reply

    Babs you painted such a lovely picture of your grandaughter’s birthday. Wonderful that you were all able to get together, and that you even had time with your great grandchilren too – the buffet sounds delicious! I hadn’t actually mentioned the surgery before, but I’m off to the Royal Marsden this week, so will know more after that. Hopefully this time around it will be a great deal more straightforward! :) Enjoy your week and the promised sunshine, love Ali xx

  31. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 5:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Jilly, and glad you picked up my last reply – thank you for keeping me in touch with Annie’s progress – I’m sure the other girls are glad to hear too :) You writing about Port Sunlight took me back to the early days when we used to drive up to the Docks in Liverpool to present This Morning! We stopped to have a McDonalds there and were recognised!!! Felt so chuffed :) It’s lovely that Annie and her dad are making the very best of the situation although you must be missing them both! I am not certain when the surgery will be but after appointment this week, should have a clearer picture, and hopefully it’ll be quite straightforward. You take care, and thanks again for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  32. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan! Re crocodile skin vs lovely tan……The secret is tan accelerator before, during and after you’ve been in the sun….Decleor Aromessance Body Oil is great, as are Gatineau and Elemis’s accelerator’s! I’ve tried them all. But to me the biggest difference is exfoiliating every other day while you’re tanning and then once you’re home. I am continuing with that, but now cheating with Decleor’s Faux Tan Milk in the red tube – brilliant and smells good too! Good luck! :) love me xx

  33. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm -  Reply

    Liz, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re still struggling with the side effects of your new meds, and this has meant you’ve had to postpone your trip to Mallorca…. I am sure that Magda will be disappointed too, but hopefully you will get through this time and by May, will be able to head out there… I do hope so. I have just replied to Sue re maintaining her tan, and interesting to read that you too use the Decleor Aromessance beforehand for safe and long lasting tanning! I am sure it won’t be long before this fair Isle of ours is bathed in warm sunshine, which would help you to feel better I’m sure :) – it always worked for me! Do take care, and thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  34. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm -  Reply

    Jo I hope that by the time you read this reply spring will have sprung where you live, and that the warm sunshine will works it’s magic for you :) Sounds like a large brandy might be the order of the day (a la Dudley Moore in 10) after your horrendous dental episode! You poor thing it sounds absolutely ghastly! And then to add insult to injury by presenting you with a whopping great bill at the end of it. Root canal is never pleasant, so I hope that this will be the last lot of drilling you’ll need to have done! Oh, the dress I was wearing for my torquoise hour was from our range Ingenue, and I think Catherine was seen wearing the pink one earlier in the day – we often wear the same thing!! :) My surgery is to help with discomfort following my last reconstruction, and I am hoping that the surgeon I’m seeing on Wednesday will have some kind of solution for it. Thank you for your positive thoughts… I will take them with me :)Enjoy your week, and clearly your daughter Ellie has a similar choice in home decor to me – will definitely have to visit the Souks another time and get a few lanterns :) Love Ali xx

  35. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 6:21 pm -  Reply

    Dear Norma, lovely to hear from you, and many thanks for your kind words about the blogs. You too are a special part of my life, and there’s something really comforting about opening my blog page and finding another bit of news from you about your life and family :) I am sorry though to hear about the pending sugery, although I have heard wonderful things about these replacement operations. Arthritis is rotten – my mum also has it in her hands, and I have it in my hip – but good on you for not letting it stop you… I’ve started walking again as my lower back has degenerative disease, and with all the sitting and standing I do at work, I find exercise really eases it. I very much hope that you will have a network of friends and family around you who will be able to care for you while you convalesce, but do keep in touch :) Love to you, ali xx

  36. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 6:22 pm -  Reply

    I must be going batty Susan, I hadn’t remembered that I’d already replied! I’m sure the other tips our Army have written will help you too! Ali xx

  37. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 6:27 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, the short flight definitely takes the edge of flying to the sun doesn’t it :) – sometimes my journey from Bedfordshire to Battersea took as long! That’s nice for your daughter and her partner to have their own place now, and I am sure they were both very grateful to you and Brian for doing such a great job of moving them in. You did make me smile with Brian’s comment about walking like a crab! I have to do that to get into the room which will become Colin’s studio eventually – nightmare! I hadn’t really mentioned about the surgery as was hoping to avoid it, but need to get it sorted and will know better what the options are following my appointment this week. I’ll let you know, but doubt it will be before our holiday in Nashville :) You should try Skyping Claire – it’s free and a really nice way to keep in touch.. almost as good as having them in the room with you… I know you miss her… Love to you, Ali xx

  38. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 6:29 pm -  Reply

    Hello Lyn, I do hope you get to read this before you head off to Portugal. Thanks for writing, and the name of the hotel we stayed in was Riu Palace, Agadir. Easy to find online, but well worth a look :) I have to admit it feels like a very long time since I was there, but it was definitely warmer here yesterday, so hopefully Spring is on its way. Have a wonderful holiday, and I look forward to hearing all about it on you return. Love Ali xx

  39. alison keenan April 15, 2013 at 6:53 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Kay, and I’m glad you enjoyed reading about Agadir – the Marina was fab, and along with the beautiful boats there was a wealth of restaurants and shops to peer into too! Please don’t worry about the surgery… it’s to try and sort out my reconstruction which is uncomfortable for me, but will hopefully be straightforward. I am seeing the consultant on Wednesday so I am sure he will be able to advise me :) You take care, and I’ll keep in touch, love Ali xx

  40. Sue Radford April 16, 2013 at 10:45 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Hope all goes well at the Marsden – I will be thinking of you and sending positive thoughts! (Really sorry I forgot to add this important comment to my last blog).
    Love from Sue Radford.

  41. Liz, Lancashire April 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm -  Reply

    Good luck with the surgeon, Ali. I must say whenever I read or hear about reconstruction, I am always glad I didn’t want it personally!! However, there are so many women pleased they persevered in the end and it’s the final tweaks that make the difference.
    My OH and I have just come back from 2 nights in Chester instead of Mallorca. Not quite the same but very enjoyable, especially being spur of the moment. We stayed in a lovely hotel in a huge room that was more like a suite, had tea at The Grosvenor Hotel and went to the zoo. Loved seeing the baby elephant, giraffe and pragmatism and watch the chimps playing around. And the sun shone, although there was a strong wind. Last night I met up with a breast cancer buddy of mine as she lives fairly near to Chester. We haven’t seen each other for ages and only ever met about 3 times but we had such a laugh and it seems like we’ve known each other forever. Love those friendships.
    As you can probably tell, I’m feeling better this week! Next week is see the oncologist time and hope bloods are ok for next month’s tablets….
    Hope everyone is enjoying the sun even if it is a bit breezy.
    Liz xx

  42. Jilly April 17, 2013 at 8:23 am -  Reply

    Good Morning Ali
    Just to say hope all goes well today and sending lots of love and big hugs to you Love Jilly x

  43. Kathleen Kape April 17, 2013 at 11:15 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison,
    I do think I have to explain in self defence that when I met you at the air port it wasn’t just the tan which confused me – it was the green hair!!! Apparently the chlorine in the pool had affected it in some way.!
    I’m so thrilled that its grown back so well, though it was very nostalgic to feel the shape of your head when it was just a fuzz. Took me back to how it felt when you were a month or two old, a really lovely shape! I’m sorry but Mum’s are like that, as you know – always remembering odd things!
    Glad you are walking again but don’t over do it – ‘moderation’ might be another good motto too?
    Lots of love, your Mum xx

  44. Jilly April 18, 2013 at 10:41 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali’s mum – how lovely to hear from you here – such a nice surprise – I had a laugh about the green hair – also a smile when you mentioned about how Ali’s fuzz made you remember her when she was tiny – I felt the same with my daughter. Now that her hair is growing back and it just reminded me of when she was tiny. I am going to take up your motto of “moderation” if you don’t mind as I love it.
    So nice to hear from you – love Jillyxx

  45. Elaine sallis April 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Hope you are ok. Had a hectic ten days as daughter-in-law rushed into hospital with burst ovarian cyst. Out now ond on the mend but means I have been helping out by having the girls. Molly now has three teeth and despite hours of effort by her mum the first recognisable sound she is making is gah! Maybe the next will be mum mum mum! It was Jodie’s birthday on Wednesday and so she invited me to go to Bourton-on-the -Water for the day. We had a lovely day. Love Elaine x

  46. alison keenan April 19, 2013 at 7:50 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Sue and thanks for your good wishes! Unfortunately the late clinic at The Marsden was cancelled and so I have to wait until beginning of May to see the surgeon… still, it may be easier as it’s a day off so I won’t feel rushed :) Hope you will have had a lovely weekend, Ali xx

  47. alison keenan April 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Liz, so good to hear that you and your lovely other half had a weekend away. The hotel sounded great and I remember taking the children to Chester Zoo and we all thought it was the best we’d ever been to! :) It’s a testament to your strength and positivity that you can make the very best of every occasion and how nice that you were able to meet up with an old friend and have a laugh about things. You’re an inspiration to us all Liz, and I’ll be keeping everything crossed for your bloods for next week, love Ali xx

  48. alison keenan April 19, 2013 at 7:57 pm -  Reply

    Jilly thank you for your good and kind wishes… Appointment was cancelled at the 11th hour as consultant cancelled the late clinic, but I will be able to see him in a fortnight on my day off which will be better. Do hope all good with you and yours :) xxx

  49. alison keenan April 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Mum, and thanks for writing :) Yes it wasn’t the last time my hair went green while I was abroad either! I had to have all the ends cut out – thank heavens for salt water pools these days! It must family genes that gave my three beautiful shaped heads too…. glad the fuzz has grown now though :) See you soon, love me xx

  50. alison keenan April 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm -  Reply

    Gosh Elaine, what a terrible worry for you and your family! So pleased to hear that your daughter in law is now on the mend, and that you were on hand to help with the girls. Extended family is such a blessing in a situation like that. I hope the sun shone for your and Jodie on Wednesday… that said, Bourton on the Water is beautiful even in the rain :) I hope you will have had a relatively restful weekend, love Ali xx

  51. susan April 20, 2013 at 10:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali hope you are having a nice weekend. Just had to say if you didn’t see j Ross on Saturday night the comedienne who was on, Francesca, was wonderful! Such an inspiration and on your /all our down days we would do well to remember her words about what the flip is normal anyway!? Fab. Just thought you might like it! Love Susan x

  52. Jilly April 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali – what a shame the appointment was cancelled – these things happen and that is understandable but when you get built up for them it takes some coming back down when the appointment has been changed – but as we say onwards and upwards and May will soon be here. I am sure I speak for all of us in that we send you big hugs wrapped tightly round you. All good in my household at the moment – only two more zaps then daughter is finished. Her final reconstruction will be in October sometime but that is a while off and she is just waiting to get back to some sort of normal life for a while without the hospital visits etc (as I am sure you can quite understand). Hubby and daughter have been having a ball though and loving every minute of the jolly they have made this time away. Interesting that you mentioned “This Morning” as when she was small I used to enjoy having that on when I had two minutes to spare. I was delighted to read that Janet had her family to stay – how wonderful that must have been. Looking forward to your updates when you have a mo or two but take care and love Jilly xx

  53. AUDREY BYRNE May 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    I have breast cancer as well and was diagnosed May 12, I have not had a holiday from the previous
    year I would love to go to to Morocco.
    Can you please foward name of hotel and do I need injections.
    I had lumpectomy chemo and rads finished Dec 12
    Thank you so much,you are a true inspiration and I wish you well on your path to recovery.
    In my thoughts and prayers.
    Audrey

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