Holiday memories, Colin’s birthday and Diamonique


What a wonderful trip down memory lane it has been to read all your holiday stories, I find it incredible that so many of us visited Alum Bay on the Isle of White at least once, and that so many more of us chose to put our sands in a lighthouse shaped phial!  Alum Bay is of course the correct answer and having picked just one of the myriad of correct answers, I am delighted to announce that our winner is:  Hilary Patterson!  Congratulations! Liz Earle will be despatching your prize to you, directly from the Isle of Wight.


Slightly ironic that within a couple of days of posting the blog, I was with my mum, who took me for a lovely day out to Lee-on-Solent. Of course from there you can actually see the Isle of Wight, and although the weather really wasn’t brilliant, the sun deigned to shine on us for about 20 minutes.  We’d been collecting shells – well I had! – but made the most of the warm rays by sitting on the wall between a row of beach huts! We reminisced about our family holiday all those years ago, when we stayed in Sandown at the Jesmond Dene hotel.  My dad’s legendary lack of common sense came up in conversation, and we both remembered the infamous near accident in the sea water! My sister Jenny, brother Peter and I, all stood in a line in the seawater,  holding onto dad’s hands.  Jenny was barely seven years old and very small, and as  the waves came in, everyone jumped to avoid them, but Jenny’s head never rose above the level of the water! It took a couple of waves before mum’s screaming alerted my father, who then rescued a rather soggy Jenny!  🙂

al and mum 1

Before our brief sojourn beachside, Mum and Joe took me to lunch at a fabulous pub – The Osborne View – which has huge windows looking out onto the Solent, and across the water to the Isle of Wight and Osborne House.  Although it was a little grey that day, I could still see the outline of this imposing property built between 1845 – 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. I promised mum that this summer we’ll go there and maybe treat her to a Liz Earle facial in Ryde too!  I have other treats lined up for her this next week, as it was her 80th birthday last year, and Colin and I weren’t able to celebrate with her, as we were on our honeymoon!  Jenny and I have planned two days filled with special things for her to enjoy, and are looking forward to it very much – better late than never eh?!

colin and chipsLast weekend was Colin’s birthday, and I wanted to thank you so much for your kind birthday wishes and tweets.  Although his birthday was on Bank Holiday Monday, we had all the family and a few friends over on Sunday. Great choice of day as the weather was corking!  I had made masses of cold finger food but Roz and Chris bought Colin a deep fat fryer (so he could make chips like his mum used to) and as the evening wore on, he set it up and not only produced chips that Roddy Doyle would have been proud of, but on Sam’s instigation, he deep fried halloumi cheese too! Wicked but very tasty.  I made his favourite cake in my KitchenAid – Victoria Sandwich with a twist – meringue crushed into the fresh cream and strawberry filling!  He had two other cakes too – a chocolate cake from daughter Vicky, and a very unusual but tasty custard and fruit cake from Jean!

honey in new homehoney looking grown up


All eight of our children were with us, including their partners, and little Honey enjoyed playing in the garden! I spent a lovely day with her just this week, when Lucy had to go for a job interview, and we had great fun inside Honey’s new home – a pink mushroom!  Her eight teeth have really changed her face, and she sometimes looks so grown up…  particularly in this photo (right).



It’s been a busy few weeks at the Q too, and I’ve had some great midnight hours with all sorts of different products. It made me smile the other day to realise how many things around my home I have bought over the years from QVC.  My Nutri Ninja makes my breakfast and any spare goes into a Lock & Lock!  I warmed Colin’s croissants in the Air Fryer before going out to mow the lawn and then strim the edges with my GTech strimmer.  If I’m feeling noble I’ll clean the entire house with the Dyson Fluffy, and then treat myself to a sit down in the garden on my recliner.  Oh, and I mustn’t forget the fact I’m able to enjoy my pots in full flower thanks to Richard Jackson’s flower power, illuminated at night with my Luxform solar lights and a vast array of flameless lanterns!  That’s only the tip of the iceberg in truth, but once you’ve read this blog, check out our website, especially Clearance, as there are loads of bargains to be had!


This is my long break before I’m back with you next Thursday at 9pm for Diamonique, when I will be joined by the marvellous Andrea McLean. I find her great company, and we’ve had some lovely shows together over the years. I had an absolute hoot with her just last week when I mentioned – innocently – that I’d enjoyed celebrating Colin’s birthday with him that morning! It wasn’t a hot flush that time that made me blush!  She is bringing with her a stunning Angel Wing pendant which would look beautiful with the angel wing earrings we had such success with last time.


There’ll be several more of her designs in the hour too, and my pick of course 🙂 I’ve chosen an update on our all time most successful tennis bracelet.  It’ll be available in all three colours – rose, gold and rhodium – and in three different lengths, and you’ll be pleased to know that it has a magnetic clasp and two easy payments! I do hope you can join me for that.

I’ll leave you with this photograph I took just before the heavens opened, of a meadow close to home. Very strange the way the rain falls just in specific areas. This side of the road had puddles for 24 hours, whereas we didn’t get a drop in our garden! I think it’s much the same for the rest of the country, but I do hope you get to see the sun a little over this month.


Colin and I are still prevaricating over where to go for our summer holiday this year. We’ll be leaving later than usual as we don’t want to miss the birth of baby Elsworth in July, so any suggestions would be welcome!

Take care, have a great week, and as always I look forward very much to hearing how things are in your world.

Love Ali xx


  1. Joanna Downey June 13, 2016 at 5:35 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, Birthdays, cakes and surprises for your mum – what a lovely read after a hectic day at school. We always seem to get busier when Year 11 leaves and I feel that we’re running through this half term like Usain Bolt. i can identify with your list of the Q products you possess; I’ve bought many I wouldn’t previously have considered until watching a demo. However, I had always promised myself a Kitchenaid and I absolutely love mine. I recovered sufficiently from my disgusting bug to go to The Chelsea Flower Show, it was sublime I got lots of ideas and met some lovely people. I also “discovered” Angelica and as soon as I got home I sent for a plant from a herb nursery, it’s growing like a Triffid and I hope it has the glorious seed heads that the ones at the show were flaunting. I spent the rest of the half term break close to home in case Rebecca had the baby and we were called on to Tallulah-sit. It was just before 3am on 6th June, first day back at school, that we had the call to travel down the M5. Because Tallulah was four weeks early I was organised for this one and had a bag packed so only needed a few things to be added and we went West with the Sun close behind us. Max Zander Beau was born three hours later, he was seven pounds, seven ounces and is totally gorgeous. Everyone is fine and his big sister has been amazing – long may it last. Summer holiday ideas for you; We love Sicily – especially Taormina, Colin recommends Slovenia even if it doesn’t have much coastline, Madeira or further afield to Sri Lanka which is the only place that would get me taking a longer plane journey than our annual one to Italy. Enjoy your break. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan June 20, 2016 at 5:24 am -  Reply

      Dear Jo, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! And welcome to the world baby Max. How perfect to have a little grandson to be a brother to Tallulah – I’m sure he is gorgeous 🙂 Please pass on my best to Rebecca and all the family. Happy times ahead. I’m so glad you were well enough to get to the Chelsea Flower Show this year,and I hope it was on one of the sunny days? I have only been once but will never forget it. Breathtaking gardens and so much colour and fragrance. I’m going to google “Angelica” – am intrigued! Thank you for all your holiday suggestions – I will run through them with Colin – very much appreciated. I do hope the weather is better with you than it is here! Take care, love Ali xx

    • Alison Keenan June 20, 2016 at 5:30 am -  Reply

      p.s. Meant to add that I LOVE the name Max Zander Beau! So original 🙂 xx

  2. Sarah prescott June 13, 2016 at 5:40 pm -  Reply

    Lovely blog as usual,,we are going to Cuba !!! Fabulous beaches nicest people been 3 times it is bliss xx

    • Alison Keenan June 20, 2016 at 5:25 am -  Reply

      Hi Sarah, and I am glad you enjoyed the blog. Cuba! I have never been, but I’m definitely going to check it out. Thank you very much! A x

  3. Helen Grant June 13, 2016 at 5:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, for my 50th birthday, a couple of years ago,we went to Croatia and we stayed on the island of Lopud. It was a stunning place, the hotel was beautiful, so clean and the food was a joy. There is a ferry that takes you into Dubrovnik, the scenery is just gorgeous I’m sure you would really love it! Your granddaughter is absolutely scrumy. Take care Helen 🙂

    • Alison Keenan June 20, 2016 at 5:28 am -  Reply

      Dear Helen, it sounds as though you had the perfect 50th! My son Jack also visited Croatia a few years ago, but I don’t remember exactly where he stayed. I also had a long taxi journey once with the driver who was from Croatia, and his descriptions of the scenery made me feel very much as if I wanted to visit, as do yours! I have mentioned it to Colin, but we are a little like ships that pass in the night at present, so really need to sit down and decide 🙂 Many thanks for taking the time to write, love Ali xx

  4. Maggie shankster June 13, 2016 at 6:16 pm -  Reply

    Isn’t it lovely to think about our family and remember those memories,priceless,enjoy your rest.

    • Alison Keenan June 20, 2016 at 5:29 am -  Reply

      Dear Maggie, indeed it is. I do hope that you have family near you, and are able to make new memories. Thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  5. Jean Daly June 14, 2016 at 8:44 am -  Reply

    Hello Alison, would you share your recipe for Victoria Sandwich with a twist.
    Thank you Jean

    • Alison Keenan June 20, 2016 at 5:32 am -  Reply

      Indeed I can do that Jean. Straightforward Victoria Sandwich recipe – 8ozs SR flour, 8ozs butter, 8ozs caster sugar and four eggs. I also add in 1 tsp baking powder and 1tsp bicarb of soda – it seems to help it rise. Once baked, I then spread a thin layer of strawberry jam on one cake, and made the filling with double cream (whipped til thick) chopped fresh strawberries, and crushed meringue (Bit like Eton mess in truth!) Enjoy 🙂 xxx

  6. Chris Fish June 14, 2016 at 11:56 am -  Reply

    Another lovely blog Ali, as always. Can’t beat spending time with family, priceless. Did enjoy Isle of Wight stories but have never been, so is deffo on my bucket list now. Can recommend Lanzarote for a late holiday, a truly lovely island wherever you go – beautiful beaches, good food and lots of sunshine xxx

    • Alison Keenan June 20, 2016 at 5:34 am -  Reply

      Hi there Chris, and thanks for the holiday suggestion. We’ve been to Tenerife and Gran Canaria, so I think that it would be rude not to seek out Lanzarote! The sunshine would be most welcome at the moment – another soggy grey morning here in Berkshire, and I’m wide awake when I should be sleeping! Take care, love Ali xx

  7. Judith Lennon June 14, 2016 at 1:07 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    Well it’s raining again surprise surprise! Loved the blog as usual and Colins’s birthday celebrations seem to have gone well. He looks really happy in the photo. I’m so glad you enjoyed your time with your mum. I miss mine everyday as I miss my dad. They died 40 years ago and there are countless times I would love to hug them. I make up mind from the hugs my own family give me and am so blessed. Your garden is looking lovely and I wish we could enjoy sitting in them. Some time summer will show it’s face lol. I’ve just had a lovely lunch with my husband before doing the school run. We celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary this week and it feels just like yesterday. Fingers crossed we get to the big 50. Happy 1st anniversary to you and Colin when it comes. Where has that year gone???? So much has happened in your year with Honey’s arrival and baby two about to arrive also. Much excitement. Will close for now and hope all is well with you and yours. Love and hugs as always from a very wet Whitley Bay Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan June 20, 2016 at 5:37 am -  Reply

      Dear Judith, lovely to hear from you as always, and I am glad you enjoyed the blog. So sorry to hear you have spent that many years without your mum or dad. Your ethos is the same as mine though and that is to give all the love you have to the family around you, and share the memories of those who can’t be with you. Congratulations on 47 years together – that is marvellous! So glad that you are both still so happy, and I’m certain you’ll have that special celebration in three years time 🙂 Looking forward to celebrating Colin’s and my first year next weekend, and we’re even promised some sunshine! Love to you and Whitley Bay, Ali xx

  8. angela white June 14, 2016 at 2:14 pm -  Reply

    hi ali,you alright? i did write on your last 2 blogs but obviously still flying around cyber space!!! i hope you are all well,you have had a busy time and honey is gorgeous she looks just like you! i had my check up last week and all clear for another year phew! i have mamagram next year and checkup then after that im discharged and will go back to having mamagram at the mobile unit like normal people! i had grade2 and non specific bc i was never told that so i have been very lucky i had lymph nodes removed as well 6 in total 4 good 2 bad and on anastrozole at the moment not sure if i have to keep taking it for ever though! we off toholiday home soon for a week so get some use out of it this year hopefully. lovely to hear from debz and wonder how the other ladies are who we dont hear from. well take care ali love to you and tha army! x

    • Alison Keenan June 20, 2016 at 5:41 am -  Reply

      Dear Angela, really good to hear from you and sorry that your previous comments didn’t arrive on the blog! It’s wonderful to know that you are clear again for another year after your check up. I think the general rule with the ongoing treatment is they like to stay on some form of medicine for a further five years. I’m so glad that in spite of your diagnosis you are feeling well. I do hope you enjoy your time at your holiday home, and that the sun shines for you. I too like you often think of our friends and hope one day they will get in touch – Ali’s Army misses them! Keep in touch, love Ali xx

  9. Irene June 14, 2016 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    What lovely pictures of you and your mum together it’s a very special bond a mother and daughters love and you seem to have it with both your mum and daughter , I am very close to my daughter and always treasure the time we have together and appreciate her even more having lost my youngest son who was 15 years old who was killed by a motorbike 13 years ago so it teaches you that family life is so precious and also my nursing career helped me through those very dark days . Hope you are well and your check up appointment went well as I said last time you look so well and glow. Your Grandaughter is growing up and seem to be changing every time you post a picture on line of her she is absolutely gorgeous. Off to Portugal for a week in September and the Canaries for Christmas really looking forward to that and I only wished that I tanned like you but the tan accelerator does help and QVC fake tans are a godsend. Take care . Lots of love Irene X

    • Alison Keenan June 20, 2016 at 5:53 am -  Reply

      My dear Irene, I am so terribly sorry, having read your comment, to know of your loss. I thank the Lord that you still have your daughter to love and look after, although I struggle to imagine how you have managed your life since losing your son… when he was so young too. You clearly have a huge capacity to love, as to continue with your nursing and to care for other folk while desperately missing your boy is testament to that. I am very fortunate that all is stable for me, and my next check up not due for another six months. I realise how incredibly lucky I have been, and know that whatever I may have struggled with over the years, nothing would ever compare to losing a child… You sound very positive though, and I am so glad that you are filling your life with lovely things. Portugal is beautiful, and the Canaries will be sunny and warm at Christmas – perfect! Glad that you are getting on with the tan accelerator, and I agree the fake tans are brilliant! Have you tried the Vita Liberata range? Their body make up is amazing!! Take good care and please do keep in touch. Thank you for writing to me, love Ali xx

  10. Denise June 14, 2016 at 8:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, it’s lovely to catch up on your news. That’s great that you can celebrate your mums 80th it will be like the Queen and her 2 birthdays. I look forward to hear what you have planned. I enjoyed reading about the Isle of Wight. It’s a place I haven’t visited but is on my list. Honey is coming on in leaps and bounds isn’t she and yes definitely losing the baby look. I’m so excited to be share with you that I’m going to be a grandma for the first time eek!! Baby is due end of December so a fab end of the year for us.
    We loved our holiday to
    Spain although we had dreadful weather for the first few days rain and cold. I had to go and buy some warm clothes. It was the worst weather there in 6 years. It did eventually improve and we made the most of the rest of our time there. We’re going to Ischia in September which is a small island off the Amalfi Coast. We fly to Naples and get the short ferry crossing from there. I’ve seen a few programmes on TV recently about the area so I’m really looking forward to it. As for other suggestions we love Rhodes and also Malta. Both countries have lovely beaches and lots of history.
    Enjoy your time off
    Love Denise xx

    • Alison Keenan June 20, 2016 at 5:57 am -  Reply

      YAY! Great news Denise – so much for you and yours to look forward to 🙂 You could all have a family holiday to the Isle of Wight! Thanks for your sweet words about Honey, and you’re right – I can’t believe how grown up she is. Lucy says she is taking quite a few steps on her own now, so will be walking in the next month I reckon. I am going to have to check out Ischia too – Colin and I so loved the Amalfi Coast, that this sounds great! We too love Rhodes, but have never been to Malta – thank you! So sorry you had rotten weather in Spain – nothing worse than leaving the cold and ending up buying jumpers abroad! Have a good week, and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  11. Loraine Plumb June 17, 2016 at 1:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison can’t believe how big honey is getting I bet she’s real fun now my little granddaughter is noticing everything now and doing well will miss her this weekend as we are going to Exeter for the weekend we were given Elton John tickets so he concert is Sunday evening so next weekend all of us will be together for a belated father’s day my birthday 26th June and my husband Les later in the week and while I remember happy anniversary to you and Colin for the 26th also by the way the pictures on your Twitter are lovely you look great best wishes to you xx

    • alison keenan June 30, 2016 at 10:45 am -  Reply

      Hi there Loraine, and belated Happy Birthday to you! Colin and I managed to grab a few days away so I’m a little behind in writing my replies. How was the Elton John concert? I do hope you and your husband Les enjoyed it? I saw him play live years ago at Woburn, and it was a spectacular evening. I hope you’ve managed to catch up with your little grand daughter, and I am trying to see Lucy and Honey on Monday – we may well visit messy monkeys again! Thanks for writing to me take care, Love Ali x

  12. Kim June 17, 2016 at 2:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, sounds like you are in for lots of fun with the celebrations for your mum’s birthday – enjoy! I have to comment on how much little Honey resembles Nanny; I am sure that she will grow up with the same lovely, warm personality and strength. A QVC presenter for the future, perhaps?! Take care, love Kim x

    • alison keenan June 30, 2016 at 10:47 am -  Reply

      Kim what a lovely idea! I’d be as proud as punch if she followed in my footsteps as it were, and I do sometimes see myself in her little face – she’s very like her own mum too! Thank you for writing to me, and I hope you enjoy reading all about mum’s birthday in the new blog. Love Ali xx

  13. Teresa L June 17, 2016 at 7:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali what a few weeks you have had so great too hear all your news and the fun you have been having.
    The picture of you and your Mum is lovely, so glad that the sun shone for a while. Hope you and your sister had a great few days with her this week.
    Paul and I are so sorry that we missed seeing you and Colin last Saturday at Debbie’s but we had to be in Plymouth that weekend for our Sister in laws 70th birthday. What a weekend it turned out to be, it took us over six hours to drive down in stead of three and half the traffic was nose to tail all the way. Then when we got there she had no water so we had to find a last minute hotel.
    However her birthday was very enjoyable family and friends surprised her with a lunch at a very nice eatery and a good time was had by all.
    We have also had a few problems with the sale of the bungalow and at one point we thought we were going to loose the one in Highcliffe but fingers crossed all is well now. Hoping to be going down next week sometime to have another look and take some measurement.
    Take care Ali much love Teresa and Paul xxx

  14. Sue June 18, 2016 at 5:53 pm -  Reply

    My suggestion for a holiday destination is beautiful Cavtat. A short flight and transfer and then you will be in heaven. I visited 9 years ago and have been back every year.

    • alison keenan June 30, 2016 at 10:48 am -  Reply

      I had to google this one Sue – and you’re right, it looks beautiful!!! Croatia is right up there in the top five, so thank you very much for the suggestion. Love Ali xx

  15. martin forbes June 18, 2016 at 6:11 pm -  Reply

    hi alison hope tyou and your family are well iam not old is your grand daughter now 2 maybe iam not bad

    • alison keenan June 30, 2016 at 10:49 am -  Reply

      Hi there Martin, I’m well, as are the family and hope you are too? Honey was a year old in May, but is growing at a rate of knots, and has lots of lovely little teeth, and can almost walk now! Take care, love Ali xx

  16. Christine Auchterlonie June 19, 2016 at 12:34 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali…. Still the weather here in the North East has been dreadful …like winter some days and of course the garden looking very sorry for itself … I wonder if we are going to get any Summer at all. I have been to the Isle of Wight many years ago and enjoyed it very much…. Such a good picture of you and your Mum with happy memories ,great to spend time with family and friends.I remember many years ago we spent a lovely holiday in Italy ..we went to Venice and loved it… My grandaughter Jess is going to Lake Garda with her school orchestra in the next few weeks she plays the cello … She will love it I’m sure..Fiona spent a holiday there a couple of years ago and she said it was the best place with beautiful scenery.Fiona completed the Windermere swim last week..they stayed in a lodge close to the lake …and loved it of course I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like the Lake District ..but of course you can’t guarantee the weather! Simon and his partner are taking Jessica and Katy to Canada next year for three weeks …. How lucky are they…. But such a long flight. In the meanwhile I hope you and Colin are well and not long now till the Anniversary … Are you doing anything special…. Look forward to your news with love till next time .. Chris x

    • alison keenan June 30, 2016 at 11:04 am -  Reply

      Hi there Chris, lovely to hear from you and the lovely places you have visited. I do hope your grandaughter Jess will enjoy Lake Garda when she gets there. How proud you must be off, to be so adept at the cello. I visited Lake Garda with Colin last year, and it is absolutely huge! Lake Maggiore is smaller and has the Borromeo islands in the centre which are breathtaking – I’d love to go back there one day too! Many congratulations to Fiona for completing her Windermere swim last week – it was probably one in the water that was out! Your family sounds as though they’re doing a lot of travelling and I hope Jessica and Katie enjoy Canada next year. It was one of my dad’s favourite places ever to visit. Colin and I managed to sneak away for a couple of days for anniversary, and you can read all about it in my new blog! Love to you, Ali xx

  17. Dorothy Hollingsworth June 19, 2016 at 2:45 pm -  Reply

    Great to read your blog update.Well 3 weeks off my son’s wedding I got all my jewelery off your diamonique shows.Now after my son & hus wife Alison return from their honeymoon in turkey they have asked me to apply for my first passport at the age of 66 after a lot if thought I sent my applI cation for off and after sending birth certificate/marriage certificate I have to go for an interview at Salford quays !
    All this for a passport hope I get it after all this then we can organise my first holiday abroad.Will let you know we we decide to go.
    Love Dorothy. X

    • alison keenan June 30, 2016 at 11:08 am -  Reply

      Hello there Dorothy, so glad you were able to find the right jewellery for your sons wedding, and I’m sure you looked lovely and hope you all had a wonderful time. Good for at 66 years old applying for your passport! You’re never too old to travel, and there’s so much to see out there and great places to visit. Just read through some of the fab suggestions where in the new comments! how nice that your son and his new wife clearly want you to travel with them in the future. Good luck with the interview, and let me know when you get your passport won’t you 🙂 Love ALi xx

  18. Linda Finch June 19, 2016 at 7:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, glad Colin’s birthday went well ,and you had a lovely day with your Mum,it was 4 years on the 29 May that I lost my mum to the dreaded breast cancer and I miss her dreadfully we saw each other every day ,but life goes on we can’t be miserable all the time. It just doesn’t seem nearly a year since your wedding how time flies, we have to pack so much into our lives these days, with grandchildren to look after and other things ,it makes me wonder how we fitted work into the equation, hope you find somewhere nice for your holiday, we have to miss out again this year on a holiday as hubby still having problems with his ankle ,it’s still very painful when he walks and just short distance and it gets so swollen hopefully the doctor will have some answers when we go next month ( there’s always next year ) well Ali hope your new grandchild arrives safely ,,then there’s 2 to love and cherish . Much love to you and Colin ,Linda F xxxx

    • alison keenan June 30, 2016 at 11:12 am -  Reply

      My dear Linda, thank you for writing to me, and I’m just sorry that this time of year is so hard for you. I lost my dad on the 28th May, and I still tend to go back over what I was doing just before, and how certain days and dates remind me of him. Your attitude is the only way to get through it… Life does go on, and I very much hope that your husbands problem with his ankle will be sorted soon so that she will be able to have a well-deserved holiday. You’re right about trying to pack everything in, I’m finding with you dish and writing I’m doing that my time is really my own. That said, having Honey in my life has made a big difference, as has Lucy being off work with her, so that I can see them both. I’ll let you know as soon as the new baby arrives, love ALi x

  19. Sue Jennings June 21, 2016 at 7:57 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali…always a lovely blog ….I have only been to the IOW once and that was 31 years on the Seacat and I was in early pregnancy (need I say more) we were only there for the day but it was beautiful. So glad Colin enjoyed his Birthday it’s sounds like a lot of fun was had. I’m sure your Mum will enjoy what you and Jenny have planned she always looks so cheerful bless her. On my BC front I’m taking the bold step of returning to work on Monday after 5 months. I feel it’s the right time to do it as I’m getting into a bit of a rut at home now all the appointments have stopped. My Oncologist was ok with my plan as long as I’m not silly !! The everyday aches and pains may go on for a long time yet so I’d rather be busy each day than sat worrying at every twinge. It doesn’t look like I will be upto a big holiday this year for my 60th so we have booked to go to Jamaica in February just before my first mammogram is due. Have you ever been ? I’ve heard lots of good reports . So looking forward to it . Look forward to hearing where you and Colin decide to go .

    Take very good care
    Sending much love

    Sue Jennings xx

    • alison keenan June 30, 2016 at 11:15 am -  Reply

      My dear Sue great to hear from you, and thrilled that you are taking the step and returning to work. The aches and pains do you go on for awhile, but I found that keeping busy and occupied meant I didn’t notice them as much. And you are so right when you say about having too much time to worry about things once all the appointments stop. It’ll be good few to be back with your friends at work, and also to have your holiday in February to look forward to. I have never been to Jamaica, but I too have heard lots of good reports. At least it will be sunny there and warm! My new blog should be with you later today, and you will see where we’ve chosen 🙂 Take good care of yourself – youre doing brilliantly, Love Ali xx

  20. Susan June 23, 2016 at 5:36 pm -  Reply

    Ali you’re going to miss your buddy Kathy over the summer! I just read her blog this week!x

  21. Sue Huskisson June 23, 2016 at 10:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, what a lovely blog. It’s wonderful to see you with your mother treating her for her birthday. I lost mine aged eleven and still miss her terribly even though it’s 53 years ago! We only get one and they can never be replaced, we should treasure them!
    Anyway that’s enough from my soapbox!
    It sounds as if Colin had a good birthday, the chips looked delicious and how good does deep fried haloumi sound?
    Your little Honey is growing up and looks so adorable. Our little Charlie is 17 months now and is fascinated with creepie crawlies! We all have to get down on the ground to find “bugs” so they can go in his little bug catcher! He’s a real little character now, takes hold of your hand and takes you where he wants to go! He tires you out but he’s so gorgeous!
    I’ve just watched your weekly diamonique show but bought quite a lot lately so had to go back to sitting on my hands! Maybe next week! Bye for now Ali. Love Sue xx

    • alison keenan June 30, 2016 at 11:17 am -  Reply

      I am indeed missing her Susan! We’re keeping in touch with our texts and whatsapp messages though, and I’m hoping to spend some time with her once she’s home. I know the break is doing her a power of good 🙂 Love Ali xx

  22. Susan June 24, 2016 at 10:03 pm -  Reply

    What a day Ali! I don’t know what I feel. I just hope everyone who voted leave has a good plan coz it’s very uncertain! Hope you have a nice weekend. You look lovely in your blue dress on qvc tonight x

    • alison keenan June 30, 2016 at 11:18 am -  Reply

      I think a great many folk felt the same way Susan! Colin and I managed to get away to the sun for a few days to celebrate our anniversary, so it was a lovely weekend. The blue dress is from our Join range – they are made from such beautiful fabric, and very comfortable too! Take care, and I hope you’re feeling more settled now, love Ali xx

  23. Debz June 28, 2016 at 12:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali

    Sounds like you’ve been having a busy old time of it again! Belated Happy Birthday to the lovely Colin! I love a man who’s good with a deep fat fryer!!

    Have posted on your last blog but, again, I always seem to do it just as you’re about to write your next one!!

    Thank you to everyone who has said such lovely things about Ainzley. Your words are very much appreciated especially on days like today when I’m missing him. No particular reason except I went upstairs to put the washing away and expected him to be asleep on the bed. Mad, isn’t it? He’s been gone now for nearly 7 months but I still look for him!

    I love my two rescue cats and they have helped me so much. Harry found me on the stairs having a bit of a cry and he just sat with me bless him.

    Lily is a loon! She’s either running around the house at 90 miles an hour or fast asleep, nothing in between! They have both settled in really well.

    Am off now as I can hear Harry climbing the clothes airer which is his new favourite thing. It will be on the floor if I don’t supervise! It’s quite a new thing for us to have young cats that are into everything! Tiring but fun.

    Hope you have a good week.


    • Alison Keenan July 4, 2016 at 7:10 am -  Reply

      Dear Debz, Thanks very much for your post – I’m sorry if I didn’t get to your last one until later, but “m glad that all the kind comments from Ali’s Army have helped you. I completely understand how much you still miss him, and am not surprised considering the number of years he was in your life. It’s goo though that you have Lily and Harry with you now, even though Lily sounds a little dotty as you say! We saw Colin’s children on Saturday and Harry and Lily were there too – made me smile 🙂 Are you having a holiday this year? I hope that Neal is well. Take care, and thanks as always for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  24. Mary Morphy June 29, 2016 at 4:25 am -  Reply

    Good early morning Alison.. It’s 4.08am and the dark rain clouds that appeared yesterday evening seem to have striations of light in them this morning.. Replicating my relief that the cluster migraines I am experiencing have, for the moment passed! A symptom of the menopause sadly and whilst the hot flushes are being stemmed with a cocktail of supplements my migraines cannot. Plus as ever I am finding I am chasing my tail even quicker at the moment..twin sister still on non weight bearing for at least another month and mum been very up and down plus cricket season is in full swing so it’s hello to the m25 most Sundays!!. I have a welcomed day off school on 11th July as it’s a training day that TA’s do not have to attend..I have booked the cooker in for a repair man to look at as it makes a horrid noise. What a treat!
    Honey is certainly growing up and I love her tent. Jack and Chloe had a garage and pink fairy castle respectively and lived them, even outside in the rain! Colin’s birthday celebrations made me smile especially the fryer being used to full capacity.. I remember when we were younger when my dad got my mum a sandwich toaster for Christmas, he was such a romantic!! We cooked sandwiches all morning with various filling; some more obscure than others depending on what we could find!
    Daughter Chloe has now finished her GCSE,’s and is now looking forward to her two week holiday in Andalusia with her friend who’s grandparent’s live out there.. They will be well looked after and the girls have worked so hard they deserve a break. She has her Prom on Friday; she had a practice ‘hair do’ run yesterday.. Her hair looked amazing and made me cry. She is having 9 inches of length cut off the day before she goes on holiday and is donating it to The Little Princess Trust plus she has a just giving page and has raised over £600, with a cash donation of £209 to add she has got enough to pay for two wigs to be made and her hair will be split between three wigs. Her lively red hair is her pride and joy and although she isn’t going ‘short’ this is a big deal for her and there will be tears. She is focusing on the good thing it is and how she will change the lives of little girls who are going through something far worse than a hair cut.
    Watching Mr Max repeat. Ordered tsv in navy as I have the black plus the kimono and floaty top..need to turn TV off now!!
    I hope Lucy was successful in her job interview. I have applied for a different job internally at school and hoping that I can then go to 4 days wef October..fingers crossed.
    Holiday idea. Pick 5 places you would like to go, write them each in a piece of paper. Fold up and do a ,’lucky dip’…Have a great week. Won’t be watching Thursday sadly, Chloe has a cricket match Vs The Netherlands!!!
    Lots of love Mary xxx

    • Alison Keenan July 4, 2016 at 7:17 am -  Reply

      Hi there Mary, I think early morning is the best time of the day at present! The sun is blinding here ad not a cloud in the sky. I can see squirrels and a rabbit on my rather overgrown lawn, and my flowers are just beginning to turn towards the warmth! They say it’s going to cloud over by 10am, but I’ll be on my way to see Honey and Lucy by then, and I think it’s much the same in Swindon. I am sorry about you migraines.. Have you spoken to your GP about them? There may be a homeopathic remedy that could help? The hot flushes are interminable for me – I’ve 8 last night and gave up on sleep a few hours ago. It sounds as though your family are paramount in your life, and having so much to do with your sister and your mum too may be why you’re struggling with the headaches. I hope that perhaps once you’ve finished school it may ease a bit. I will check out Chloe’s just giving page, as I think it’s a great thing she is doing and I very much hope she will enjoy her holiday in Andalusia – shame you couldn’t go with her! How’s your husband’s brewery venture going? Good luck with the job interview – I think 4 days is a much better idea. Lucy got the job and starts in September – she’s been doing supply teaching in the interim. I’m off to Messy Monkeys again with Honey and Lucy today, but hope you have a good week. Thanks for your holiday idea – it was a bit like that – although we’ve chosen Northern Cyprus – more pics on my new blog. Love Ali xx

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