What’s coming up this week…


Ali with her family after Sam's meal I'm still tittering after taking on board some of your very interesting suggestions as to keeping the local Tom cat from terrorizing my somewhat domesticated moggies. First prize goes to Marg for her cunning plan – gleaned from a zoo keeper – of placing large piles of tiger or lion poo around my garden.

It wouldn't actually have been too difficult logistically, as we are just downwind of Whipsnade, but, as I had to point out to her, my garden is of such a small size that any large piles of anything would seriously impede mine and the cats' access so although thoughtful, not practical!!

The demise of my dishwasher

This time last week I was writing to tell you about the demise of my dishwasher. Well according to a very nice chap who was in my kitchen this morning, it has run its last cycle… can you believe that, after only two and a half years!!! I had to sit down quickly before a fit of the vapours took hold (it's a family thing) and then took out my cheque book to pay said lovely man, for having travelled from Bedford to break the news.  

I do always try to look on the bright side however and as I said to him, it could have been worse, it could have been the oven. He nodded kindly, just as the bell on the oven sounded to say Sam's cake was ready.  I told him it was for his 21st, and he said, wow, how posh?! Poor man thought the bell was my front door bell and I was having the cake delivered! Bless :) 

Ali and Colin after Sam's meal Luckily it's turned out a treat and all I've got to do is ice it for later. I have somewhere the most fabulous photograph of Sam with chocolate cake all over his little face when he was about two years old. He liked squidging it between his fingers too. Made bathtime interesting I can tell you!!

A get together with the girls

Well must dash to meet up with Sam to pick up his present, then I'll be with you Wednesday and Thursday evenings before heading off to the Wimbledon Dog Track with my five girlfriends from the village here. I promise I'll have some photographs for you next week.

I've arranged a few surprises for the night which they're unaware of, but the military precision with which we have organised pick up, transport and return is awesome. Whether the taxi driver will survive six merry women all talking at once – there and back – (actually we usually sing on the return journey..1) remains to be seen! All will be revealed… πŸ™‚

And on Mother's Day…

Let's hope that I will be up and rested for another of my school friend's 50th on the Saturday and then on Sunday I'm being completely spoilt by Lucy who is cooking lunch for me for Mothers Day. It'll just be her and I, Sam and Jack, and I have to say I can't wait. This time 25 years ago, I had just found out I was pregnant with her, and here I am all these years later with them all grown up… but what fabulous memories!

Have a lovely week, and do keep in touch. 

Love Ali xx


  1. Janet March 9, 2010 at 3:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Your blogs always make me smile. I too have a photo of my son about 2 years old covered in chocolate after making rice krispie cakes, now he is 20 and we will be going to see him this weekend at uni and I will treasure this Mothers Day especially.
    Have a great day out with your girlfriends and enjoy Mothers Day with your lovely children,
    Take care
    Love Janet x

  2. Rhona Fenton March 9, 2010 at 3:11 pm -  Reply

    Your Lucy must have been born the same year as my Alison as 25 years ago next month I found out I was pregnant and like you say all these years later all grown up mind you if Lucy is anything like my Alison they never act it but then we don’t either:) my Alison is spending Friday with me as she is so busy working the weekend but I will still have Rebecca on sunday:) enjoy the rest of the week and all your celebrations go easy on the Taxi driver:) have a lovely Mothers Day with Lucy, Sam and Jack:) love to all Rhona xx

  3. Steven March 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm -  Reply

    Great stories agian Ali. How do you do it to keep us entertained?!! Glad you got your dishwasher fixed.
    I used to go to the Speedway when I was younger which is at the smae track as the dog racing in Edinburgh. Have you heard of Speedway – have you ever been? You are supposed to ask us the questions I think! Hope you have a wonderful night at the Dog Track and have a well deserved rest on Sunday. I hope your kids appreaite you as much as your QVC viewers. Take Care. I’m away to plan my Mothers Day! Ha Ha only kidding way to the football soon.
    PS are any of the presenters on Facebook or anything like that?

  4. Kristina Moore March 9, 2010 at 9:25 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, it is surprising how light white goods (fridges, freezers, dishwashers etc) are these days. I used to help my Dad deliver new and remove old electrical appliances to and from peoples houses. It never failed that what we carried in was a reasonable weight and what we carried out weighed a ton.
    Enjoy all the events and pictures please!

  5. Maria Nunn March 9, 2010 at 10:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    My dishwasher has just run its last cycle too, we must have got them at the same time as mine is the same age!! I forgot how much washing up you get through in a day. Hope you enjoy your evening out, how is the elbow?
    Maria x

  6. Rhona Fenton March 10, 2010 at 2:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison your pictures were not up at the time I wrote so just wanted to say what a lovely picture of you, Sam, Lucy and Jack what a beautiful family you have, when my Alison’s hair is dark shes not unlike your Lucy, also love the picture of you and colin you do look good together:) so happy for you having someone special in your life a long with your lovely family:) have a lovely weekend love Rhona xx

  7. Shirley Hobson March 10, 2010 at 3:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Regarding the problem of the local male cat terrorising your own pets, have you tried spraying him with water if he gets near enough? Just get an empty bottle such as Windolene, or something similar (which has a very fine spray), wash it out thoroughly and fill it with cold water. If he gets close enough you can give him a quick squirt which will send him running. That way he won’t get hurt and a few sprays will hopefully stop him coming anywhere near your cats. It worked for me when a local cat kept coming through my cat flap and helping himself to my cats food.
    Good luck Ali, hope it works for you.
    Regards Shirley

  8. dorothy March 10, 2010 at 6:58 pm -  Reply

    HI Alison
    hope you had more luck with chocolate cake than you had with (dishwasher) I have know luck with electric’s pleased i have them insured, i have a least two motor’s a year in washer and dry has been rebuilt twice they are only 4year old, not built too last. hope you all had good night im sure SAM enjoyed it.
    have good night at dogs its a great laugh we love it. As for big birthday’s when is your’s im sure its this month.
    love best wishes.
    dorothy xxxxx

  9. alison keenan March 11, 2010 at 8:58 am -  Reply

    Janet, how proud you must be of your son at Uni, and isn’t great to have all those lovely memories….just wish I could find the bloomin’ photographs!! πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful Mothers Day. I’m sure he’ll make you feel very special, and thanks for writing. Always lovely to hear from you. Love Ali x

  10. alison keenan March 11, 2010 at 9:03 am -  Reply

    Rhona you’re right! So many coincidences in our lives with names of family members and ages too! I do think though my Lucy is a little different to your Alison in so far as much more grown up than me! πŸ™‚ Glad that you’ll get to see them both at some point over the weekend, and I’m sure they’ll make you feel appreciated. I’ll let you know how the Girls Night goes…getting quite excited, although I hear the taxi driver’s taken a day’s leave in preparation…Have a great weekend, and it was good to hear about Keith too. Thanks Rhona, love Ali x

  11. alison keenan March 11, 2010 at 9:08 am -  Reply

    Hi Steven, in answer to your question, yes I have been to a Speedway event, years ago, somewhere in Essex. I remember it was very loud, very fast, and incredibly dusty, so that the beige coat I rather stupidly wore was a delicate shade of mocha by the time the event finished! I loved it though, and am counting down the months before the weather’s fine enough for me to truly enjoy my DB9 experience at Silverstone πŸ™‚ Sunshine and a VERY dry track appeal to me greatly. Hope you enjoy the football, but don’t forget the lovely lady who no doubt washes and irons your kit….Happy Mothers day to her from me πŸ™‚ and thanks as always for keeping in touch. Oh, and yes we have our own Facebook page which you can access on the link below. Love Ali x

  12. alison keenan March 11, 2010 at 9:13 am -  Reply

    Hi Tina, and thanks for writing. You must have been a godsend to your Dad, helping out like that. You’re right about the weight of appliances, although my dishwasher is unfortunately built in, so it’ll be a bit of a faff getting the door cover off first. Haven’t even got round to ordering a new one yet, but I bet in spite of the light weight the price will have gone up πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend, and thanks for keeping in touch. I will of course have PLENTY of photos to show you next week, so watch this space. Love Ali x

  13. alison keenan March 11, 2010 at 9:34 am -  Reply

    ….and I bet like me Maria you thought you had at least another 10 years life left in it! πŸ™‚ It’s all the endless cups, glasses and mugs I keep collecting around the house that fill the sink, and in truth I think this additional washing up is actually making my tennis elbow worse!…..at least that’s what I’m telling the family πŸ™‚ I hope you manage to replace your dishwasher soon and thanks for taking time away from the sink to write. Love Ali xx

  14. alison keenan March 11, 2010 at 9:36 am -  Reply

    Thanks Rhona…rather proud of them myself πŸ™‚ I think it’s about time I got you to send me some photos of your brood, and your Colin too – would be lovely to put faces to the names. Love Ali xx

  15. alison keenan March 11, 2010 at 9:39 am -  Reply

    Hi Shirley, and thank you for your suggestion. I will leave a spray bottle by the door, but it’s just being lucky enough to actually be in the kitchen when the cat comes in! I might be able to catch him in the garden and sneak up on him…even the thought of that makes me laugh, but I’m determined to have a go. Thank you for writing it was lovely to hear from you, and I hope all is well with you. Love Ali x

  16. alison keenan March 11, 2010 at 9:52 am -  Reply

    Dorothy, you’re right about the insurance. I’ve got the tumble drier, the oven and the fridge/freezer all insured but the fridge and dishwasher are built in and I thought were guaranteed along with the kitchen!! Clearly not. The tumble drier has had to be repaired at least three times over the last two years – they certainly aren’t built to last! Yes we had a lovely time with Sam, and I’m looking forward to our night out at the dogs too πŸ™‚ My birthday is actually on the 16th, so I’ve got the day off but will be in on Wednesday – looking a whole lot older no doubt! Love to you and yours, Ali xx

  17. Margaret March 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, you always put a smile on my face , love reading your blog and I might add you are the only one who takes the trouble to reply to all of us ,such a polite lady.Know how you feel about electrical goods they just dont seem to want to work after 2 years , my washer is making strange sounds at the moment but until it blows up I will ignore it, if you call the man in the charges to visit are almost as bad as buying a new one , they tell us to recycle so why do they make such inferior goods creating piles of appliances at the local tips, my moan for the day ha ha . Keep entertaining us Ali by the way your family photo is lovely, have a happy Mothers Day.Margaretxx

  18. elaine sallis March 13, 2010 at 9:24 pm -  Reply

    love reading your blogs make my mad life seem quite normal!!! Looks like my built in freezer has died today so have joined the club. My husband cant understand why i get so stressed when these things break down he might when he discovers no tea when he comes home from work on Monday as the freezer is bare!!! Have a lovely birthday.

  19. Julie March 14, 2010 at 9:53 am -  Reply

    Happy Birthday Ali have a fab day and weekend. Sure you’ll have a great time. Love to your family too!
    All our love,
    Julie and family

  20. Kristina Moore March 14, 2010 at 8:52 pm -  Reply

    Have a great birthday Ali and I hope the visit to the dogs is/was as good as ours was many, many years ago when I went on a works outing. Didn’t win anything but that’s not the point. I, like Annette Crosbie, wish that retired greyhounds were looked after properly having retired from racing as they are beautiful animals.
    I wonder if we should start a campaign so that electrical appliances could be made better in the first place but also so that they could be repaired more easily with reasonable charges for engineers. I know that when we hauled out the heavy items from people’s houses they were things that had been going for several years and not just two.
    Hugs to you and your family
    Tina X

  21. alison keenan March 14, 2010 at 9:22 pm -  Reply

    Margaret, it’s always lovely to hear from you, and I really enjoy reading and replying. After all, you’ve been decent enough to take the time out to write!! I’ll keep my fingers crossed re: your washer – you’re right though about the call out charges. Understandable they have to make them, but that on top of parts, and then labour, as you say, probably cheaper to buy a new one! It’s a valid moan about the tip though. Was there recently and saw a huge new skip with ‘computers’ written on it…more things to find a place for πŸ™‚ I’ll be writing in full later this week about my birthday celebrations, but suffice to say The Dogs and Mothers Day were lovely as was the 50th birthday party we went to on Saturday. Feel very spoiled πŸ™‚ Love Ali xx

  22. alison keenan March 14, 2010 at 9:27 pm -  Reply

    Elaine, perhaps it’s a seasonal thing – electrical appliances having been possibly overstocked and overworked throughout the winter/Christmas period – are now rebelling! Perhaps your husband will enjoy a nice sandwich…..?? πŸ™‚ Sounds as though, you like I, come to rely quite heavily on the freezer. When I was renting a couply of years back, I had a tiny little freezer, and spent so much more on food then. I’ll keep my fingers crossed it gets sorted quickly, but do keep in touch, Love Ali xx

  23. alison keenan March 14, 2010 at 9:29 pm -  Reply

    Thank you Julie! Will fill you in on all the details – and photos – after the big day. Off with Sam for his final appointment with the bone consultant – early start as it’s slap bang in the centre of the City of London… horrid journey. Still, I said we’ll find a nice greasy spoon and have a huge breakfast to wake us up. Love to all, Ali xxx

  24. Janet March 15, 2010 at 12:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Happy 50th Birthday hope you had a lovely day.I really enjoyed Mothers Day with my son, I was just so happy to see him, as I hadn’t seen him for 3 weeks as he is away at uni. This Mothers Day was so special to me after the awful time I have had lately. I am 50 next year (God willing)I was dreading it, but now I will look forward to every birthday and celebrate the fact I am still here!(so to be so heavy!) Hope Sam gets on well with the bone consultant and look forward to your next blog.
    Take Care
    Love Janet x

  25. Marg March 15, 2010 at 7:15 pm -  Reply

    First I hope the result of your visit with Sam has added to your celebrations,it would be a wonderful gift after the long journey you have both made.Good luck.
    Hope you have a wonderful birthday, it is a big one isnt it.
    Ageism is daft, your as young as you feel, I know, been where you are now, done that a fair while ago. My birthday is on midsummers day and Joes is in July,he is a year older than me but when I’m asked my age I always give his,then I spend the rest of the year thinking I’m older than I am,its a nice surprise when it dawns on me I’m a year younger than I thought.

  26. Marg March 15, 2010 at 7:25 pm -  Reply

    Forgive me for going off subject,but Margaret must include Julia when it comes to replying to comments,she like yourself replies to all,I know as you are good friends you wont mind me commenting on this.

  27. Rhona Fenton March 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm -  Reply

    Happy Birthday today Alison have a good one:) hope all went well with Sam’s visit pass on my love and best wishes to a brave young man please? and let me know how he got on too please? hope you enjoyed your greasy spoon breakfast:) my sister took me to one a few years back in Edinburgh yeah you have been to Edinburgh Alison, we came out smelling like a greasy spoon but I have to tell you the food was awesome:) will see what I can do about pictures but good luck getting me and colin on the other side of a camera:)the girls not a problem we are mothers eh Alison so got plenty of them:) I have one I have to send you Alison took it on her mobile phone they are like twins I couldn’t tell them apart I kid you not, when colin printed it up for me I could then, think I sent that one to suzi who said they are beautiful well I think so:) enjoy your birthday:) lot’s of love Rhona and the gang xx

  28. elaine sallis March 16, 2010 at 8:24 pm -  Reply

    hi ali
    new freezer installed so almost serene but no food in it yet. Hope your birthday was great and that all went well with Sam. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply

  29. Steven March 17, 2010 at 10:26 pm -  Reply

    Hope you had a great Birthday Ali x 21 again eh! x

  30. alison keenan March 18, 2010 at 10:27 pm -  Reply

    Dear Janet, so glad you got some precious time with your lovely son, and I bet he was pleased to see you too! Three weeks can seem like eternity when you miss someone I know… It’s wonderful to hear you so positive, and I, Julia, Debbie and Dale can all assure you that being 50 really isn’t all that bad, so long as you start counting backwards after this birthday πŸ™‚ Sam’s long term prognosis from the bone consult was a little bleak but as I said to him, with medical research and constant changes in the surgical world, nothing’s impossible…as you know better than most πŸ™‚ Take good care, Love Ali x

  31. alison keenan March 18, 2010 at 10:31 pm -  Reply

    Marg you do make me laugh, and you have something in common with Colin…he always says he’s a year older and then his birthday is twice the celebration! What a great day to have a birthday on – midsummer’s day! all that extra daylight to celebrate in – and with Joe’s in July you could make it a shared one! You don’t sound any older than me, and I do agree you’re only as young as you feel…and I don’t ever plan to be truly grown up πŸ™‚ Have a lovely week, Love Ali x

  32. alison keenan March 18, 2010 at 10:32 pm -  Reply

    Oh and Marg, I’m glad you mentioned that Julia also replies on her blog pages. I’ll let her know you appreciate it πŸ™‚ x

  33. alison keenan March 18, 2010 at 10:34 pm -  Reply

    21 and counting Steven πŸ™‚ Actually twice 21 would be pretty good too. Love Ali x

  34. alison keenan March 18, 2010 at 10:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi elaine, you are clearly far better organised than I. I am no further forward with ordering my dishwasher, but have almost run out of Fairy Liquid! Enjoy filling your freezer πŸ™‚ Oh and thanks for asking about Sam… Scans and x rays suggested and possible minor surgery for problems with knee…he’s doing so very well though. Take care, Love Ali x

  35. alison keenan March 18, 2010 at 10:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Rhona, you are funny πŸ™‚ and yes please I’d love a photo of your girls – I’m sure they are beautiful. Suzi has a house full of some of the most fabulous photographs of her children and Adam, and as she says, every one tells a story…. Hope you’ll like the story in my photographs tomorrow! As you’ve may have already seen, a little difficult for Sam this visit, but with medical science moving on apace, by the time he gets to my age they will I’m sure have come up with some fabulous remedy or cure for most things :)…..Thanks for writing, Love Ali xx

  36. Gail March 19, 2010 at 6:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, thanks for sharing the photo of you and your lovely children. (Colin’s not bad either!!). Hope you all enjoyed the various birthdays and that you had a lovely time at the Dogs (I’m sure you all did and I would love to have been a fly on the wall watching, ha ha).
    I’ve heard you say on air that you like baking cakes, so please feel free to share some of your baking recipes (a nice chocolate cake recipe would go down a treat). Perhaps some pictures too would be nice. Last time I wrote I mentioned that I could see a book somewhere in your future; perhaps a nice cookery book to get you started would be nice. A good idea would be for the QVC presenters to put together a cookery book of all your best dishes (recipes), sell the book on QVC and all profits go to a designated charity.
    I haven’t had my computer very long so I have obviously missed a lot of what has been going on, but feel something must have happened to Sam in the past because I read a lot of people enquiring about him. I can see from your lovely photo that he is obviously well now, thank God, and I wish him well.
    Love Gail xxx

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