A Picnic in the Park and surprising results in the garden


Sunset at homeFrom where I’m sitting I can see the sun setting across the way, and the red sky signalling yet another delightful day tomorrow, which is good news if you’re a shepherd!  ‘Red Sky at Night, Shepherd’s Delight!’… just in case you think my month long incarceration at home has sent me doolally! πŸ™‚  I know, I can’t quite believe it’s been over four weeks since I last saw you, but I am finally feeling much more like myself, and so am hoping to be back at work next week.

I am very glad that so many of you felt able to add your kind messages for Amica and Beulah’s families to this blog.  I have let Amica’s husband know that they are there, so that perhaps in time he will feel able to read them, and take comfort from them.  I wasn’t able to get to the funeral, but spoke with Charlie and Claire afterwards, and they said a prayer for me…

Of course it’s only about six weeks before our special Breast Cancer Care evening, and this year I was asked to design a piece of jewellery which will be presented on the day. It meant a lot to me to be asked, and I very much hope you will like what I have come up with… As I haven’t seen the finished sample yet, I can’t really say much more, but our jewellery buyer has been working closely with me, and I am very pleased πŸ™‚

This Saturday saw Picnic in the Park – an annual event takes place in Windsor in the Park, just alongside the river. Colin and The Sonny Walters Band had been booked to play there, and you couldn’t have asked for a more perfect setting.  The sky was blue, not a cloud in it, and everywhere there were people. Couples, families, young and old, all enjoying the wonderful weather and the amazing selection of stalls, selling all sorts from fudge to photographs, food, frocks, painted canvases and even cocktails!


Party picMost people had brought their lunch and were lounging in the sunshine while eating their picnics. I spotted a dear little girl, dressed as a sunflower, rushing around, while her brother – dressed as a King, complete with crown – chased her. I recorded one of the songs that the band performed, which I thought you may like to hear. The drummer wasn’t able to make the date, but I think as an acoustic trio they still sounded great πŸ™‚

We also managed to get a long-standing Anniversary Party for Colin’s cousins, and although I wasn’t up to dancing, I did get a chance to catch up with all those relatives we only get to see a couple of times a year.


Aubergines Having been at home for so much of the summer has meant I have had more of a chance to be in the garden, and although we don’t have any flower beds yet, I’ve always had a collection of pots, which I have moved from house to house over the last seven years. This year, I of course grew my lilies – WELL DONE TO DALE FOR WINNING THE COMPETITION – and am also, for the first time ever, nurturing an aubergine plant that Craig gave to me.

What do you think of these beauties?! They’re growing at such a rate I’ve had to prop them up, but would be really grateful if you could give me any pointers as to how to keep them safe as they get larger?! Thank you.

Orange blossom Mystery plant

Oh, and I’ve also had great results from this little orange tree (above left). I found it reduced at a garden centre way back in March and, with the help of Richard Jackson’s Flower Power (I use it on everything!), it has produced all these incredible tiny oranges, and is now in flower. The blossom smells GORGEOUS!

Actually I do need your help with this last plant (above right), as Mum gave me a cutting in the spring and neither she or I know what this pretty little plant with green berries is! Answers please if you have any idea πŸ™‚

Once again, thank you for all your messages over this last month. I do hope I have managed to write back to all of you, as I really enjoy hearing about your lives and how things have been for you over the summer. I have a couple more hospital appointments this week, and then am hoping to be back with you next week, all things being well.

Take care and enjoy this week – the weather forecast is good yet again, although it summarised with “…feeling more autumnal by the weekend”… I guess it is September after all πŸ™‚

With my love,
Ali xx


  1. Eileen Satchell September 2, 2013 at 6:52 pm -  Reply

    So glad you are beginning to feel a little better. I’m sure your pot plants and the good weather has helped the healing process. I’ve just finished my treatment for breast cancer and the weather and beauty all round me has helped me no end.
    I wish you well with this week’s hospital visits and look forward to seeing back on our screens soon.
    Wishing love, health and happiness.
    Eileen xx

  2. Joanna Downey September 2, 2013 at 7:42 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, Firstly I’m delighted that you’re feeling better and will soon be back on our screens. I think your plant could be a Solanum Capsicastrum and the berries should turn red or orange as we go into Autumn. “Going into Autumn” sounds so awful and even though it’s my favourite season I will miss our sunny days especially after this Summer which following that a slow and cold start has been lovely here in the Midlands. We went back to school today, which was a bit of a shock to the system, but it was good to catch up with everyone and see all our new staff even if most of them look young enough to be Year 11 students not teaching them! Picnic in the Park sounded fantastic, as did the acoustic trio – a really fun Summer outing. Bex came up for the weekend, she is now glowing and has a very neat bump. We went through all the items in my baby box and because they’re moving house she brought up all the things they’d bought – our once pristine guest room now looks like the storeroom in a department store and goes to show that our children never really do leave home. Enjoy this week and the sunshine we’ve been promised. Love from Jo x

  3. Rhona Fenton September 2, 2013 at 8:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, we have a saying here, Red Sky at night shepherds delight Red sky in the morning your Barn’s on fire, sorry couldn’t help myself had to add that:) so glad you are feeling so much better and can’t wait to see you back:) and so excited to see your jewellery that you have designed will the first viewing be on the night? what date is it this year as I never miss it, and hope your jewellery will come back in stock because no doubt it will sell like hot cakes as we say, plus you know what am like with my jewellery, so eh must have and not even seen it yet, but if you have designed it, it will be amazing because I know what you are like with jewellery, a women after my own heart:) thank you for letting us see the sonny walters band amazing, I think I have that one on colin’s CD, and am sure our Irish friends sing that one in there band when they are over, just wish I had been there at Windsor so see them play, pass on my congrats to colin and the band they sound awesome:) sorry I can’t help you with your plant don’t know it sorry:( must get my email to you as a lot has happened so will try send it soon! hope you are keeping well? luv to you, colin and the family Rhona xx

  4. Rhona Fenton September 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm -  Reply

    sorry Alison, meant to say your plants look amazing well done you, see it’s not just flower power it’s your green fingers too πŸ™‚ so your more than welcome to come help me in our garden and your colin can add in a sing song or two round the camp fire:) love Rhona xx

  5. Barbara Corbett September 2, 2013 at 10:02 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali so pleased to hear you will be back at work next week . Hope your treatment is at a end and you can look forward to life with out so many visits to hospital . Just going for check ups which can be a worry , we all have to go though that when we have joined that big C club . Love Barbara

  6. Mary Morphy September 3, 2013 at 4:26 am -  Reply

    Morning Ali-.yes I know the time as I start is nearing 4am but when I can’t sleep I usually listen to music through my earphones and look on QVC website until my head hits the tablet and I have nodded off. Had a long day with mum at kings college hospital yesterday.. left home at 9am and got her back home at 8.10pm….MRI at 11am, visited relatives in Dulwich then back to kings for consultant appointment at 4pm but he was running 60 mins late! After waiting an hour the nurse changed it from 60 mins to 1 hour…yes seriously…eventually we got in 2hours 20 mins later..the staff gave us all biscuits but sadly an accompanying cup of tea didn’t materialize. Anyhow it was some welcome good news for mum,her brain tumour is no bigger and we don’t need to go back for two years. My dad is very poorly at mo and we fear that his lung cancer may have returned. We are waiting x- ray results from Friday…dad was beautifully steered around Margate hospital by myself in a very fast wheelchair but I made sure he was strapped in…and doc doing a home visit today. Also some sad news that my friend Jane is battling more than just leukemia.. she has malignant growths on her spine..extra treatment making her very poorly and may need bone marrow transplant. A difficult time for her family but we are doing all we can to support her.
    So, I go back to school today after summer holidays..my kids go back tomorrow so I am under strict instructions to blow dry my hair quietly! We apparently have a staff team building exercise after work until 7.30pm today which makes the first day back a long one as I start at 8.30am…nothing quite like easing yourself in!
    Cricket season easing off now although both Jack and Chloe have matches at the weekend. Jack is local..dad’s run..and me and Chloe about an hour and a bit away for the U13 club finals.. Chloe’s club won our league so hoping to win the final. We also have a county quarter final coming up against Lancashire but we have a home draw for that but not sure where or when.
    Jack is 16 on Thursday.. where has the last 16 years gone? His traumatic long 32 hour labour has never left me but he is so worth it. He goes into his final GCSE year now and at 16 is too old for junior cricket but he has been playing with the men now for two years so he is very ready for senior cricket. We are off to celebrate with a family gathering at our local Mexican…his choice.
    Well must try and get some sleep. Alarm going off at 7! Oh loved the video clip of the band..not usually my thing but foot was tapping in the bed..maybe I will be converted. So glad you are feeling better..not sure what the plant is and never grown aubergines but my grandad used to tie all his veg to garden canes..we called his garden Joan of Arc as EVERYTHING was tied to a stake!!
    Looking forward to seeing you back on screen, hope appointments go well. Love Mary xx

  7. Sue Radford September 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Lovely to hear you’re feeling much better, and I’m sure this lovely weather must be making it easier for you too.
    Really enjoyed watching and listening to Colin’s video. I’m still enjoying his CD, together with one I bought on the cruise. We were entertained one evening by a very talented violinist called Chris Watkins who played the violin in a very modern way – he was absolutely fantastic – and not only that, he’s Welsh too LOL! (Look him up on the web). These two CD’s are my all time favourites now.
    I’m really looking forward to seeing you back on our screens soon and can’t wait to see the piece of jewellery you’ve designed.
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  8. edna munro September 3, 2013 at 7:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    So glad you are feeling much better and less like you have been mown down by a 10 ton truck.The bruises were so extensive and they must have been very sore when at their worst but you are a tough and determined lady,and I am sure this must have been a piece of cake compared with some the of the events over the last two years.Garden looks lovely!Looking forward to the BCC event as always.No doubt your pleasure at being asked to design jewellery will be tinged with sadness over Amica,(and Beulah)but they were both thought of by so many people via QVC and no doubt will be for many years to come.Hope all goes well next week.As always,do take care
    Edna x

  9. Sandra Gregory September 4, 2013 at 12:14 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I am pleasd to hear you Sri feeling bite better snd look forward to seeing you on our screens again, you have been missed.
    Colin’s band sound great.
    Take care
    Love Sandra xxx

  10. Elaine sallis September 4, 2013 at 11:16 am -  Reply

    Hi ali
    Glad you are feeling a bit brighter. I hope the appointments go ok. Loved the opportunity to see the band. Think they are brilliant. Hope they come to my neck of the woods one day. Geoff and I are going to see Leonard Cohen on Sunday. We had a lovely time in Paris . Both Adam and my son in law Tom have started their teaching careers this week. Hope Lucy is enjoying her new job.
    Love. Elaine

  11. Pearl Emery September 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,I am so pleased that you are feeling better,it will be so nice to see you back on screen,as you have been missed.
    Been told by my 45 yrs old son over the weekend that last Thursday he had a Colonoscopy and they took some biopsies,he gets the results in two to three weeks,so its fingers crossed that the result isn’t the big C,we can only hope.
    Take care love Pearl x

  12. martin forbes September 4, 2013 at 6:28 pm -  Reply

    hope you and your family are well alison iam n\ae bad

  13. Jilly September 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Delighted that you are feeling so much better and you will soon be able to come back to us – it really does seem such a long time – and I bet it does seem even longer for you. Picnic in the Park sounds a perfect jolly after this last stint for you and the music was just great so thanks for sharing that with us. Lovely piccie of you and Colin – how good he is not to mind us all seeing him!!
    Love your pots also. I have a courtyard which has quite a few pots in and at the moment a party tent with small Unioni Jack bunting and paper balls around it. There are also two very old Wisteria plants in pots in each corner – because of where the sun hits them they flower one later than the other but look so good with all the green leaves and branches.
    Still cannot believe the very sad and shocking news about Amica. I have not told Annie as I think it will make her dwell too much on what has happened. She goes back later this month to see when the next surgery will be and to get more fluid put into the breast to make the skin stretch – all in preparation for this final reconstruction.
    Looking forward to “seeing” you again soon Love Jilly x

  14. Debz & Ainzley September 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Ali
    So glad you’re feeling better. They can’t keep a good girl down for long eh?
    Sorry I’ve not been in contact for your last couple of blogs but Neal’s Mom has been really poorly and is still in hospital so I’ve been trying to make sure Neal is OK as he thinks the world of his Mom and has taken her illness really hard.
    Your tribute to Amica was just beautiful. Putting into words what so many of us thought about her. She did light up the screen with her beautiful smile and although she was a model she seemed so down to earth and “one of us” if you know what I mean.
    Am looking forward to seeing the piece of jewellery you’ve designed and also looking forward to having you back on our screens soon too. Mind you, with QVC Extra and QVC Style you have still been on screen in a way!
    Can’t offer you any gardening help I’m afraid as I only know roses and lilies!! Oh, and cat mint of course!!
    You take care Ali and everyone else in Ali’s Army especially my dear friend Alpha who I think of every day. Stay strong my lovely and I really hope you get the help you need and deserve. Am glad to hear you sounding stronger and like a woman with a plan!
    Lots of love and licks
    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  15. Linda Richards September 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    So glad to hear that you are on the road to better health. I am so sad to hear that Amica and Beulah have past but they are out of pain. I have watched those lovely girls on QVC for so many years it will not be the same without their lovely smiles.
    Make the most of this lovely weather we are having, even in Wales and come back to us well.
    Love Lyn xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  16. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm -  Reply

    Dear Eileen, I do hope you haven’t struggled too badly with your treatment for breast cancer, and was really pleased to hear that this beautiful summer has helped you heal.. I wish you a very speedy road back to full health, and thank you for your kind concern. I will be back with you later on this week, love Ali xx

  17. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm -  Reply

    Rhona you are funny! πŸ™‚ Can’t say I’ve ever heard that expression before, but it did make me laugh! Yes, I too am very relieved to be feeling more like myself, and although still a bit lumpy and bumpy, much better than I was. I very much hope you do like the piece of jewellery I have designed, and am quite excited myself, to see the finished article! Thanks for your kind words about Colin’s music – I have passed it on, and he was very glad you’re still enjoying the CD. Hope all good with you and yours, and nice to hear from you, love Ali xx

  18. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm -  Reply

    ….oh, and thanks for the invite Rhona – I’ll get Colin to bring his guitar and I’ll bring my trowel!! πŸ™‚ xxx

  19. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm -  Reply

    Barbara you are so right… it is all the endless check ups that make you worried. Wonderful though that we are looked after so well, but always that hint or fear that things may have changed. Earlier scan was OK, and two more results this Wednesday which I am sure will be fine too.. I like you, look forward to the day when I am no longer of interest to the medical profession! You take care, love Ali xx

  20. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm -  Reply

    My dear Mary, I am sorry I didn’t get to reply to you before the weekend, but Colin and I decided to make the best of the sunshine and had a few quiet days in Dorset.. beautiful weather and seaside. I was also very sorry to hear about your incredibly long day in the hospital with your mum, and also to learn of your dad being so poorly.. I hope that the home visit from your doctor helped him, and that the X ray results weren’t troubling? That is such sad news for your friend Jane, and I am just glad that she has you and her other friends to support her and her family – these times are incredibly stressful I know. I hope that your return to work wasn’t too exhausting – although the length of your first day back sounded a tad daunting! How did Jack and Chloe’s matches go? I’m sure they both did well, and that you had a corking time celebrating his birthday at the Mexican restaurant. I loved the description of your grandad’s garden – I need to invest in more stakes!!! πŸ™‚ Take care, and don’t work too hard! love Ali xx

  21. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm -  Reply

    Sue, the weather has definitely played a part in me healing over the last month, and Colin and I managed to get away for a few days to Dorset where the sun and sea were sublime πŸ™‚ So glad you enjoyed Colin’s video, and thanks for highlighting Chris Watkins – I have googled him and have to agree with you that he is quite incredible! I am back at the Q next week, but prepping until the weekend when I shall be with you on Sunday 15th. Looking forward to it! Have a great week, love Ali xx

  22. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm -  Reply

    Dear Edna, you are so right, this years Breast Cancer Show is going to be particularly difficult to get through, but will make us all more determined to raise as much as possible. I am hoping very much that my piece of jewellery will help to do that too.. I must post up a larger picture of my collection of pots, as I have my little fountain in and amongst them which I love.. The sound of running water is always so peaceful. Last of my test results on Wednesday and then back with you on Sunday. Have a good week, and thank you for writing, love Ali xx

  23. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    Thank you Sandra! πŸ™‚ I am glad you liked the song – his album ‘Think I’ve Gone Country’ is doing really well, and I am particularly proud of the fact he wrote all the songs himself πŸ™‚ I will be back with you next weekend, so I hope that you have a great week, love Ali xx

  24. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Elaine, and thanks for your kind words. Final hospital appointment for the moment is on Wednesday – hopefully all will be well and I can crack on with things before the final bits of surgery. So glad you liked the music – not sure where your ‘neck of the woods’ is, but Colin would love to be able to tour with the band at some point, so you never know! So glad you had such a fabulous time in Paris with Geoff – a wonderful city, and a great place to make memories. I wish both your son and son in law the very best in their new positions, and can tell you that although Lucy is enjoying her new job, it sounds exhausting! Always harder when you’re learning the ropes eh? Enjoy the week, and thank you for writing, love Ali xx

  25. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm -  Reply

    Oh Gosh Pearl, that must have come as a bit of a shock! I too had to have the very same test carried out a fortnight ago, which wasn’t nice, but luckily nothing sinister showed itself, so I very much hope the same will be the case for your son. I will say a prayer, and you keep thinking positive πŸ™‚ Please do keep in touch… love Ali xx

  26. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm -  Reply

    Dear Martin glad that all is good with you. I saw Jack on Friday last week for the Salon Prive day out which was good inspite of the torrential rain! Sam is coming for lunch tomorrow, and I am hoping to get up to see Lucy next weekend. They are all well, and I am feeling so much better. Back with you next Sunday, love Ali xx

  27. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jilly indeed it does feel like a long time away, and I will be more than happy to be back with you on Sunday. I’ll be back at work for a few days prior to that, but just catching up with things behind the scenes. I am glad that you enjoyed the music – and I can tell you that the Band will be performing at Picnic in the Park again next year! Your courtyard sounds pretty, and I love wisteria too. I used to have a fabulous one that grew across the front of my old house – I was very sad when the people who bought the property tore it down :/ I think it wise to protect Annie from sad news.. it is all still very raw for her, and although I am two years down the line, I too find it upsetting and frightening.. Her next visit to have fluid put into the expander isn’t painful, and it worked wonders for me, so I hope it will be the same for her. I hope too that her eventual reconstruction will be possible using her own tissue or muscle rather than this horrid old fat transfer! Take care of each other, and thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  28. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm -  Reply

    Oh Debz I was so sorry to read about Neal’s mum, and am praying that she is now feeling better and is home from hospital. Such a worrying time for your both, but I’m glad that he has you to talk to, and share his worries with. I too have been thinking again of Alpa, and hope to hear from her soon. So glad that you have been enjoying our two new channels – I need to tune in myself and take a look! πŸ™‚ Will be back with you next Sunday, and so will look forward to that. A hug to Neal, you and of course Ainzley (=^-^=) xxxx

  29. alison keenan September 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm -  Reply

    Dear Linda, thank you for your sweet words… and yes, both beautiful girls will be very much missed. I am glad though that you have had the healing rays of the sun where you live, and have been able to enjoy what has been an incredible summer. I will be back with you next Sunday – take care and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  30. Geraldine September 8, 2013 at 1:03 am -  Reply

    Hello Alison,I am so pleased yr improving as each day passes & all been well will be back on our telly’s very soon. You are sadly missed, along with Debbie greenwood(whom I hope is ok & will be back on screen real soon)yr both lovely down to earth honest & funny ladies to watch. Your presences is sorely missed. Relax & enjoy what free time you have before coming back to work. Wishing you good luck with yr recovery & take care xo

  31. Norma Smithson September 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Like all Ali’s army I am delighted you are feeling much better, where does the time go, it doesn’t seem four weeks ago that you had your operation. To protect your Aubergines you could put the smallest type of laundry net over each one, pinched the idea from a Gardners World question time, hope this helps, you certainly don’t want to lose them. Glad you’ll be back on our screens hopefully next week, missed you and Debbs too it seems an age since we saw her, hope everything ‘s ok. Our weather in Yorkshire has been mixed and the winds and rain have done quite a bit of damage to the tall plants even though they were staked, it will be soon the time to put the garden to bed and plant all the spring bulbs, there’s always plenty of jobs to do in the garden. Glad that Colin and the band are getting some gigs, it all bodes well for building their popularity with the public, once youv’e heard them your hooked. The Grand Prix’s just finished with Vettel winning again, so Harold will be up for conversation now. Always in my thoughts Ali together with Colin and your family, take care much love to you all Norma xx

  32. angela white September 9, 2013 at 3:53 pm -  Reply

    hi ali,you alright!? well im back! we had a lovely time in polperro and the weather was lovely which makes all the difference! the cottage was just as we remembered it and was very cosy. we had forgotten how hilly cornwall is and were reminded when we went to st ives for the day! it was so steep walking down there but luckily theres a shuttle bus back or we would have needed oxygen! we went to mevagissey st Austell but we love looe so went there a couple of times the rest of the time was just chilling and enjoying polperro. I think they taking the mickey when it says “home produced food” cos the Tesco home delivery van was outside pasty shop every day!!!!!!!!!! I hope you and your family are well and your appointments give you good news its always a worry waiting for results but im sure you will be fine and looking forward to seeing you back the tele in cottage only basic so couldn’t get my daily fix of qvc!!! take care ali,love to you and family and all of the army! xx

  33. Alpa September 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,
    Sorry I’m late, I meant to write when you posted your new blog and was waylaid by errant people, misbehaving appliances and lack of sleep! I left home at 7am today and came back 5 hours later from an appointment with my neurologist. I initially saw his new registrar and when I questioned her about M.E. she left to see my neurologist to find out if they could refer me. I did talk to him and was told there is no diagnostic testing for M.E. When I said that it is offered in other countries he said that they are charlatans who will take your money. I asked about treatment here and it was the usual CBT and graded exercise therapy, which made me more sick. They don’t have a clue about it and they’re neurologists! I did leave some information on M.E. for them.
    I’m now waiting for an appointment for an MRI due to further impaired speech, another symptom of the M.E. They are also going to chase up an appointment for tests to investigate the blackouts. Although my neurologist mentioned this over 4 years ago, I only found out that tests could be done when the referral was done last year. I was seen in January this year and when I questioned the delay in doing the referral today, I was told that they only refer the most severe cases. The waiting list is 18 months so I have almost another year left, as the hospital I go to is the only place in the country where the tests are done. I recently wrote to the consultant myself and asked for his help. I sent information on diagnostic testing and he said he will look at it. He also mentioned someone with an interest in ME and chronic fatigue, so will see if anything comes out of that. The fatigue I can deal with, it’s feeling sick all the time that makes life feel like an obstacle course!
    I have also found a clinic in Canada that was set up by one of the world’s leading experts in M.E and where they offer full diagnostic testing. Although there is no cure or treatment, at least with full diagnostic testing they can see what is wrong in your body and treat you that way. I don’t know if anything will come out of it but I am going to contact them when I can. I have to do everything I can to help myself and if that means finding help somewhere else, it’s just like that.
    Lovely photos on your blog although I’m afraid I can offer no gardening advice although I can tell you that the orange tree at home has lemons growing at the top of it! So pleased that you were able to go away with Colin for a few days. Please can you tell him that I loved his music. Hope all goes well with your results tomorrow. Will be thinking of you and wishing you all the best. Very much looking forward to seeing you on QVC. It’s just not the same without you although I didn’t think to look at the new channels.
    Debz, thank you for thinking of me. I’m so sorry to hear about Neil’s mum and hope she is feeling a little better and out of hospital now. Always thinking of you and sending my love to you and Neil and a special stroke for Ainzley x
    Mary, I’m sorry to read about your dad and your friend. Your mum’s hospital appointment sounds exhausting x
    Tricia, Jilly and Janet, wishing you and your families all the best x
    Love to Una, Magda, Helen, Elaine, Sue and all in Ali’s Army x
    Ali, thank you for being you and for bringing us together with your blog.
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  34. alison keenan September 10, 2013 at 8:58 pm -  Reply

    Dear Geraldine, thank you for your kind words and concern. It has been a bit of a long haul, with certain tests, leading to others tests, and then all the waiting, but I think I’m out the other side of all that, so hopefully all is well πŸ™‚ I saw Debbie on Friday, and she is fine, and she, Kathy and Debbie Flint all enjoyed our time at Salon Prive (tell you about it in next blog). Was back at work today, but not in front of the camera – far too much to do, catching up on the last five weeks! Do hope you’re well, and that inspite of the somewhat autumnal weather, you are having a good week.
    Love Ali xx

  35. alison keenan September 10, 2013 at 9:02 pm -  Reply

    Dear Norma, thank you very much for your tip re the laundry net – I think I have a little of that in my cupboard under the sink! I have already been looking at aubergine recipes, so I have grand ideas for my somewhat small vegetables! Let’s hope they can deliver πŸ™‚ My mum has just come back from a four day trip to the Yorkshire Dales, and it sounds as though she had a wonderful time. I too visited the same are when I was first married and in my early twenties. We had such a lovely time touring around, and I would love some day to return. So glad that Harold is well and enjoyed the Grand Prix! And thank you Norma as always, for thinking of me, and taking the time out to tell me that you are… With love, Ali xx

  36. alison keenan September 10, 2013 at 9:07 pm -  Reply

    My dear Angela, so glad that you had a good time in Polpero, and the weather was good… sunshine makes all the difference doesn’t it?! I haven’t been to Cornwall since Lucy’s wedding in 2011, but remember many fabulous holidays on that coastline, where we always seemed to be blessed with the weather πŸ™‚ You do make me laugh.. and Colin too when I told him about the Tesco home delivery van outside the pasty shop! Kathy Tayler and I often text each other to see who has the most exciting delivery van driver for our groceries….. Oswald in the Onion van has yet to be beaten πŸ™‚ You’re right about worrying when it comes to results, but I still try and live with the belief that I’m fine until told otherwise…Love to you and yours, and great to know all is good and you can come home and enjoy your new kitchen. Ali xx

  37. Paula Joy Williams September 11, 2013 at 3:05 am -  Reply

    hi Ali ~ glad your on the mend and will be back at work next week. It must have been a tough month losing Amica and Beulah for everyone at QVC it makes you appreciate one’s life and how grateful we should be that we are here enjoying life. I’m back at college re~doing GCSE Maths for the third time and am starting a hairdressing course in October. This will fit in with my health issues and family commitments. We’re looking forward to Breast Cancer Month on QVC and it should raise lots of money for this fantastic cause. Keep smiling and drinking the wine and we’ll all support each other through the tough times. All my love Paula

  38. Gail September 11, 2013 at 8:10 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali, fingers crossed for your hospital visit and results today. Will be thinking of you. Lots of love, Gail xxx

  39. Alison Keenan September 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm -  Reply

    That’s by kind of you :). Sure it’ll be ok, but I’ll be in touch . Just heading off there now, love Ali xx

  40. Alpa September 11, 2013 at 3:33 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,
    Hope all goes well for you today. Thinking of you.
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  41. susan September 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, hope you are getting on ok today. At least the day is over now. Focus on the next! Im just so saddened by alpa’s distress still. It’s these illnesses which are undiagnosed or not visible as it where that are just so hard to cope with. Thinking of you alps and very brave to investigate Canada. Take care. Susan x

  42. Nicola Price September 11, 2013 at 9:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, think you must live close to me as I saw your photo in our local paper, the Windsor Express, enjoying The Picnic in the Park, you looked very well……Hope you’re on the mend….Nicola xx

  43. adeline taagart. September 12, 2013 at 1:23 am -  Reply

    hi Ali, sometimes you just cant find the words to explain the shock and deep sadness at amica and beullas passing, it breaks my heart that their journey ended so soon and their loved ones are left to deal with disbelief that they are gone. i have lost a child, sister and dad at such young age and my heart still hurts. i want you to take kind and loving care of you and ask your guardian angels to be with you all the time, and they will. we love to see you on screen as u are a true professional but….take time for you emmotionally as well as physically pet.i will keep you all in my prayers. much love, adeline xxxx

  44. Alpa September 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm -  Reply

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for thinking of me and for your kind words. My friends here and Ali have been such a comfort to me. I think the worst part of ME is that a proper diagnosis can be given by diagnostic testing that does not exist here. You are so right about illnesses not being visible as it were. It’s just so very obvious to me but no one thinks you look sick. At my appointment, to be told that ‘nothing is known about ME and diagnostic testing does not exist’ is unbelievable. Conveniently after I asked about ME the neurologist said he could not help me. It’s of no loss to me. After all, it only took him 8 years to make the referral to have the blackouts investigated! I don’t expect an MRI to show anything as a specific type of MRI is needed that they will not do here. Just trying to make notes for a letter for the registrar and if they don’t like it they can refer me to a different neurologist! I simply can not keep quiet while they advocate ME is a behavioural disorder. I don’t think I’m brave at all. All I know is that I have to do whatever it takes to try and help myself.
    Take care,
    Lots of love, Alpa xx

  45. Alison Keenan September 12, 2013 at 7:08 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Alpa how are you? I do hope that you ae making progress in your search for understanding and treatment of your illness and aren’t feeling too bad at present. Thinking of you. I’m glad to be able to tell you that the tests and scans taken were clear so hopefully that’s it for the next six months at least! πŸ™‚ love Ali xx

  46. Alison Keenan September 12, 2013 at 7:09 pm -  Reply

    Susan I am in complete agreement with you and am sure Alpa will be glad to hear from you. Tests were ok so onwards and upwards for now. Thank you for your concern, love Ali xx

  47. Alison Keenan September 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm -  Reply

    Nicola we must be neighbours as we are indeed very close to Windsor – nice to be so close to such a lovely town. Hope all good with you, and yes thank you I’m definitely on the mend. Thanks for contacting me, love Ali x

  48. Alison Keenan September 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm -  Reply

    Adeline I am not only humbled but very touched that in spite of your own terrible sadness, you have taken time to ask after me and to also remember Amica and Beulah…. I very much hope that you have been able to lean on those who love you and have the support you must have so desperately needed. Your faith I am sure will keep you strong and I will pray for you too. Thank you, sending my love, Ali x

  49. Mrs Dorothy Hollingsworth September 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi ali,
    It seems ages since we,ve seen you on qvc,but reading your blog, i am so glad you are feeling better,and looking forward to be being back on tv soon.
    May i say i was shocked and devestated to hear about beaula and amica, they were beautiful girls and i,m sure they will be sadly missed by all qvc viewers.Please pass on my deepest sympathy the their families,and they are always in my prayers.
    Looking forward to your return.
    Love dorothy xx

  50. Alpa September 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Thank you for thinking of me. I am making progress in my search for treatment and understanding but the chances of that happening in the UK are impossible! My neurologist supports the ‘it’s all in your head approach’ His registrar is exactly the same and said the best thing to do is to build up my endurance i.e. by exercise which is not advised as it makes you more sick. When I told her it was getting progressively worse she didn’t make a note of it on my file and when I gave her a list of symptoms she said to give it to the consultant who will be investigating the blackouts. The truth is they don’t want to know as it’s more convenient for them not to have to deal with me. I’m in good spirits though as I refuse to be in bad spirits and although I was disheartened by my appointment, I have now put it behind me. I’m not feeling too bad at present, although it fluctuates on a daily basis and the pain has been worse due to the change in weather. My time and energy seems to be spent not in looking after myself but trying to get things done which involves other people doing what they are meant to be doing! The good news is that I cooked properly a week ago. I had forgotten how much I love cooking. I’ve lost a lot of weight over a short period of time and a lot more than that over the last year. The doctor in India said I had damage to my digestive system from lack of food. That gave me the much needed kick to pay more attention to my health and try to eat properly. My task for the weekend is to write a letter to the registrar, not something I particularly want to do but it has to be done!
    I’m so glad that your test results and scans were clear. Thank you for your unfailing kindness Ali, a trait which I think people often underestimate. I was so glad to hear from Susan as well.
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  51. susan September 13, 2013 at 5:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alpa,
    Really glad to hear you are making progress in your research and feeling ok at present. You’re just right not giving up. It is so unfair but we have to shout loud sometimes to be heard.
    Take care,
    Love Susan x

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