Snowy photos, thermal underwear and an X Factor show


Snowy path I remember being told once 'be careful what you wish for'… ooooops. Did I really want a white Christmas?! Just been watching the news and shocking statistics like that there have been 120 people in A & E over the last few days rather than the usual 40 or so.

Most have fallen in the ice and snow and one poor chap went out in his slippers to get some onions that were hanging in his shed..! Coal for heat or candles for light I would understand, but what kind of emergency requires onions?

It's all those of you who've planned to spend Christmas with family or friends, or just to jet off somewhere warm I feel sorry for. Sounds like a nightmare situation with the flights, and not too clever for those staying at home with no heating at present!

Snowy scene with tree I have to admit to making an impulse buy on Monday… a set of thermal underwear. Not the prettiest… in fact, let's be honest here… some of the LEAST attractive underwear I've ever purchased! Yes it was cheap, and yes it's only meant to be worn to keep you warm, but seriously knickers that have grown at least four sizes after one wear have left me with a gusset closer to the ground than a centipede's stomach! I can't even begin to describe the vest top to you… some things are better left unsaid…

However, when I decided to go for a brief hike through the snow this morning I did wear them, and just prayed I wouldn't get mown down by a stray tractor. Imagine having to explain them away to those in the caring profession? I hope you like the photos I took. It was a bit chilly having to take my gloves off, but worth it I think. 

Snowy 'cotton wool' tree If you look at the picture of what appears to be a cotton wool plant (left) – the little frondy bit top left is what it looks like without the snow! Of course it's all very seasonal but about four days too early, and the weather man told me tonight that it'll be much warmer and sunnier on Christmas Day, which is great news if you're planning to drive anywhere.

I mentioned last week that I was to be hosting X factor Meets Gym Factor at our local gym, and what a cracking night it was too. There were seven acts and children ranging in age from 5 to 15 – all of whom were as flexible as rubber bands! I was stunned. I've never seen such talent or movement with the exception of our Julia Roberts at Lady Greenwood's party – where she dropped to the floor without so much as a by your leave, and then skimmed the parquet flooring with her legs in scissor position! Remarkable woman! 

I reminded Colin of this but he said I was too modest, and had performed a similar move after four mojitos and a Mexican meal! Suffice to say I was very relieved that I didn't have to choose a winner, as all seven acts deserved the title in my opinion. A corking night, where the icing on the cake was my manicurist Colette winning the Senior Coach of the year. Well deserved :)

I leave you with photographs of both Willows and Dodge guarding the Christmas tree and the parcels.  I took the photographs on different days but they both sat in the same position!  Actually it's rather late in the day for them to be guarding the tree.  Can you believe it's died!!!  I have watered it and talked to it, but to no avail.  I fear it will be bald by Christmas day….

Thank you so much to all of you for my beautiful Christmas Cards, and all your lovely comments on these pages over the year.  I can't tell you how much it means to hear a little about your lives too, and it's truly appreciated.  Have a fabulous Christmas, and let's hope 2010 brings you all that makes you happy.

Love Ali x

Ali's cat Dodge guarding the Christmas presents Ali's cat Willows guarding the Christmas Tree


  1. Joanna Downey December 23, 2009 at 1:20 pm -  Reply

    Merry Christmas to you and yours. What stunning photos of snow and moggies; another career should you decide to leave QVC? I hope you don’t because you’re so bubbly and make your shows informative and entertaining. Thank you for a lovely year and for making spending my salary so much fun! Love Jo in snowy Stourbridge.

  2. dorothy December 23, 2009 at 3:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    You are hilarious but it could have been worse you might have been wearing thermals when you had your blog photo done, now that would have been a good one. I was just saying to mam when we were looking out the trees look lovely with snow on, but best on christmas cards. You will have to buy xmas tree off QVC then no more baldy branches.willows and dodge look so cute they look ready to pounce so dont try to pinch presents.
    all the best.
    love dorothy xxx

  3. Elaine Sallis December 23, 2009 at 8:36 pm -  Reply

    happy christmas to you and your family. Lovely pictures of the snow, we seem to have missed it here in Tewkesbury. Elaine

  4. Marg December 23, 2009 at 11:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I am watching you doing your silver sale hour,there are some lovely pieces,the orchid in silver was most unusual. I just had to tell you how beautiful the pictures of the snow scenes are,they would make great Christmas cards for next year. That would be a lovely change, cards you made yourself.Just shows you cant beat mother nature.
    Well lets hope we have seen the last of the heavy snow,sorry about your tree,it did give me the giggles tho,when my sons were at primary school they used to hum the Deprofundis when I bought a plant home,Tony would tell visitors of all the plants we had in my favourite planter,I think he ran a book on how long they would last.Well Ali. I hope you have had your disasters and its now fabulously forward.I hope your Son, Colin and Lucy,improve.I really wish you all a Happy Cosy Christmas,and a Brilliant New Year,
    oh and have a Mohito (spelling) or two on us.
    God Bless.

  5. Mrs Gail Pavlou December 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm -  Reply

    Happy Christmas Ali to you and your family. Your latest blog made me roll up with laughter; tears were running down my face and this caused a mid life hot flush, which was not a good look. It really made me laugh; you are so naturally funny, it really cheered me up. Dale has the same effect; we obviously all share the same sense of humour. The bit about Julia, plus your thermals will stay with me, a mental picture anyway, and make me laugh for days to come, if not weeks. Keep writing, you’re a born natural. The saggy gusset mental image has got me rolling around with laughter again, so better go or I am going to need another change of underwear (and they definitely won’t be thermals). Lots of love, merrry christmas to you and your lovely family. Love Gail Pavlou xx

  6. alison keenan December 26, 2009 at 10:37 pm -  Reply

    Jo, thank you for your lovely comments and I’m glad that you enjoy watching QVC, and that’s it’s been a good year. Here’s hoping it’s an even better year to come. Love to you, Ali x

  7. barbara quickfall December 27, 2009 at 7:55 pm -  Reply

    Lovely Ali I have had to write this to say how you made me laugh and laugh and laugh. My sides ache. I can imagine your thermals as you discribed and what a picture i conjured up. The village where you live sounds a dream and looks it from your pictures.The snow has gone now here in Lincolnshire which i am pleased about as it had turned to ice and was bad for walking. It is bitter cold, colder than i have known for years. Love Babs xxx

  8. Mrs Gail Pavlou December 30, 2009 at 12:01 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali, just had to write again regarding your latest blog. I find myself reading it about twice a day (yes, I know, I’m rather sad), but it gets me every time. Laughing at the mental image of Julia skimming the floor in the scissors position brings tears to my eyes, literally. Just hope it didn’t have the same effect on her. Also, hope Lady Greenwood’s parquet flooring wasn’t rough (Ouch!). I also know that every time someone mentions the word gusset on the Northern Nights’ shows, a mental image of your saggy gusset will fill the screen, starting me off again. Northern Nights programmes will never quite be the same again. A wonderful piece of writing; long may it continue.
    Happy New Year.
    Gail xx

  9. Zoe Archer December 30, 2009 at 9:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, just wanted to say how pretty those snowy photos are. I wish we had snow like that where I live. We just get a light dusting, never anything to write home about, (more’s the pity}.
    Well, I hope you had a fabulous xmas and look forward to watching your shows
    Have a wonderful 2010
    Zoe x

  10. alison keenan January 3, 2010 at 2:44 pm -  Reply

    Happy new year to you too Joanna, and thank you for the compliments on my photography…. so much easier when the subject is still!! :) I hope you too will have had a lovely Christmas, and I look forward to your company this coming year. Love Ali x

  11. alison keenan January 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Dorothy, lovely to hear from you. Yes, that would have been a corking photo if I’d have had my thermals on instead. You’re probably right too about the tree….. it lasted the course but became almost brittle by the time we came to take it down. I’ve promised Lucy I’ll cut it up for her to burn on her open fire. Luckily Willows and Dodge have steered well clear and didn’t even sabotage the presents, bless ‘em. Very much hope you and your family had a lovely Christmas and every good wish for the new year. Do stay in touch, always lovely to hear from you. Love Ali xx

  12. alison keenan January 3, 2010 at 2:49 pm -  Reply

    Elaine, thank you for your message. I hope that you had a lovely Christmas in spite of the snow, and that the New Year brings you much happiness. I’m thinking of making my own Christmas cards next year with the photos….wonder what Dawn Bibby would think? :) Love Ali xx

  13. alison keenan January 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm -  Reply

    Dear Marg, as you will have read, I may well be taking you up on your challenge of making my own Christmas cards this year using the photos. Pure fluke they turned out so well – actually lovely little compact camera helped! You did make me laugh reading about your apparant lack of luck with plants…and thank you for giving me a name to that tune I’ve always known, but not realised it had a ‘proper’ name. Luckily Colin was allowed to come home from hospital on Christmas Eve and is now fully recovered, Lucy too, and Sam pretty much there. I very much hope that you, Tony and your boys all have a very happy and successful New Year, and thank you for keeping in touch with me last year. It’s always lovely to hear from you. Love Ali xx

  14. alison keenan January 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm -  Reply

    Oh, and Marg, am waiting for my big birthday before indulging in another Mohito….. that way there’ll be plenty of people with me to remind me of what I’ll no doubt forget after drinking one! Ali x

  15. alison keenan January 3, 2010 at 3:04 pm -  Reply

    Gail, it must be a shared gift – making each other laugh!! Your comments were hilarious, and I’m delighted that my descriptions will provide you with a mental picture that you can conjure up whenever you feel fed up :) The mental picture of you – although as you say not a good look – is nonetheless very funny, and thank you for sharing! You’re right about Dale. In truth he has been with me on the only two occasions where I lost it completely on air… once both of us were in hysterics and they had to turn our mics off and leave a picture of some fab piece of jewellery on the screen while we composed ourselves. I think it was his description of the naturists beach where they were playing volley ball… and his dog was causing havoc… still makes me smile now :) Have a fabulous New Year, and I will make a mental note to mention you whenever presenting my euro feather baffle box gusseted feather bed!!!! Lots of love, Ali xx

  16. alison keenan January 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm -  Reply

    Oh and Gail, Debbie’s parquet flooring was beautifully smooth so Ms Roberts was unscathed…but you’re right it was very impressive albeit very funny to watch :) Ali xx

  17. alison keenan January 3, 2010 at 3:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Babs, so glad my thermals have caused such delight…in the reading definitely NOT in the wearing :) It was bitter cold here too on the 23rd December – minus 12.5 degrees! I’ve never known it so cold in this country. Our snow has now gone too, but the frost won’t shift. Do hope you and yours had a cosy Christmas and very happiness to you in the New Year. Thanks for keeping in touch too, as it’s lovely to read your comments. Love Ali x x

  18. alison keenan February 18, 2010 at 11:39 am -  Reply

    Hi Zoe, probably rather late in the day, but thank you for taking the time out comment, and I hope that along with lack of snow, you’re now missing out on the rather grotty sleet and chill winds that we have howling through the Chilterns at present! Hope you’re enjoying the shows and that you had a good Christmas and this year will be a great one for you. Love Ali x

  19. elaine darby February 20, 2010 at 3:18 pm -  Reply

    hello alison
    i saw you on qvc today (20th) have you lost a lot of weight lately? there is hardly anything of you these days.
    whats the secret

  20. alison keenan March 21, 2010 at 10:04 am -  Reply

    Hi Elaine, so sorry not to have found this comment until now, and I can’t think back that far, but my weight is always pretty much the same, it’ll depend more on what I’m wearing than anything! No secrets to give away I’m afraid :). Have a good weekend, Love Ali x

  21. patricia bolton October 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm -  Reply

    hi ali great to see you on breast cancer care . i wondered were you had gone ,i miss you ,godbless ,and takr care love patricia xxx

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