A wonderful Valentine’s Day surprise!


The ring I'm not quite sure where to begin with this blog, as the weekend's surprises have left me giddy! πŸ™‚

There are some of you who will already know just how special Valentine's Day was for me this year, but before I go into detail, let me just thank ALL those of you who took the time to enter the competition based around our hugely successful Jewellery Day.

Bibi Bijoux prizeThe prize – this beautiful Bibi Bijoux necklace and matching earrings! I just so wish we'd had enough to go round so you could all have enjoyed such a treat, but judging by the number of you who bought our Today's Special Value necklace, the range has already been included in your special collections.  And so…and completely at random, I can tell you that the winner of our competition is Angela Dunne! Congratulations Angela πŸ™‚ I will post your prize to you today.

And so to other news…YAY!

Colin and Ali in BrightonI have to admit to being incredibly spoilt by Colin over the years – not just for birthdays and anniversaries - but also for Valentine's Day. As you will know from this blog, our memorable evenings have included theatre tickets, nights out in Chinatown, Salsa dancing, and relaxing in various country retreats…

This year Colin told to be ready at 11am and to pack the 'special dress' he had bought for me at Christmas…he'd asked me to 'save it for a special occasion'…It didn't take me long to get the bag packed, and with everything in the car we set off.



Love Heart messageI think the appalling weather was pretty much countrywide, and I have to admit to finding it very difficult indeed to even ascertain which motorway we were travelling on, as the rain lashed down and the winds made the car swerve scarily on the flooded roads.

But…it wasn't long before the lights on Brighton Pavillion beckoned, and we were able to park up close to our hotel. You could hear the sea crashing onto the pebble beach as we were blown through the door of our rather beautiful and Bijoux residence πŸ™‚ The hotel had provided us with Champagne, roses and a packet of Love Hearts,  and those of you on Twitter may have seen Colin's creative message…

Having dressed in our finery we took a cab to The Grand Hotel in Brighton, where we had spent our very first Valentine's night all those years ago. We had a fabulous dinner, made better for me by the somewhat arctic temperatures, which kept my hot flushes at bay! :) 

The happy coupleHaving decided to retire to the Piano Lounge we were serenaded by an incredibly young pianist who was doing a marvellous job of entertaining everyone in the room with suitably romantic songs. Colin headed off to ask if the maestro would play 'The Shadow of Your Smile' for me, but as he headed back the first few bars of 'Misty' filled the room…

Dropping to one knee he asked me if I'd do him the honour of being his wife, and presented me with this stunning diamond ring! The rest, to be honest, is a blur! I do remember the whole lounge erupting into applause and me bursting into tears whilst mumbling the affirmative…an incredible end to a lovely day.


Colin and Ali at the end of the pierFor those who read this blog regularly, you will know that Colin has been with me for over seven years now, has supported me through my son Sam's terrible accident and subsequent rehab, and also my own struggles these past three years. He has been strong, unswerving, and completely understanding, and I love him to bits.

Thank you all SO MUCH for your Facebook and Twitter messages, and for being there with me through the tough bits…So wonderful to have you with me for the best bits too πŸ™‚

Ali Young has already begun planning the wedding, my dress, even a nail colour! Good times πŸ™‚

Colin and I send love to you, and seriously…Thank you xxxx



  1. Elaine sallis February 18, 2014 at 11:17 am -  Reply

    Oh ali this news is wonderful. You make such a lovely couple. As you say Colin has been wonderful through all life has thrown at you. I am so pleased and excited for you both.

  2. Mrs Janet Jones February 18, 2014 at 11:45 am -  Reply

    My Dear Ali, Huge Congratulations to you and Colin, what a romantic Colin is ,you had me crying reading this proposal blog (happy tears). You both so deserve this. I love the ring, did you chose it or was it Colins choice, whoever chose it has excellent taste.Have you set a date yet? It’s lovely to hear how happy you both are and I wish you both many, many years of happiness together.
    What you need now is an engagement party for both of your families, and a relaxing holiday for just you and Colin to rest and take it all in.
    I will update you on my life on your next blog as I feel this one is just about you and your lovely man Colin.
    Enjoy Ali you sooo deserve this, Speak soon love and celebratory hugs Janet xx

  3. Mrs Janet Jones February 18, 2014 at 12:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali forgot to say have popped an engagement card in the post. You had better inform the royal mail as think you will be getting quite a few cards!!! Enjoy love Janet xx

  4. Sue Dyer February 18, 2014 at 12:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,congratulations to you and Colin. So delighted for both of you. You deserve so much happiness and good times to come after all you have been through. You have been such an inspiration to many of us and so very strong, even when what you were dealing with must have been unimaginable. It’s wonderful to see you back on QVC and talking to us all again. We really miss you each time you have to leave us for further treatment, but we hope that these difficult and rather frightening times, are now coming to an end for you. So looking forward to hearing details of your wedding planning. You will look stunning, as always. Enjoy this wonderful celebration and occasion. It couldn’t have happened to a more lovely or deserving person xx

  5. Gill February 18, 2014 at 1:01 pm -  Reply

    Many, many congratulations to you and Colin, Ali. I am beyond thrilled for you both!
    I am not on Facebook or Twitter, but saw the ‘Twitter bit’ at the side of the blogs and couldn’t help myself ‘whoop’ with delight!
    Hope you have great fun planning your wedding…. (if Alison lets you get a look in!)
    Wishing you both a long and very happy and healthy future together.
    Love to you, Colin and all of your, no doubt very happy, family.
    Gill xx (Nottingham)

  6. Christine Bean February 18, 2014 at 1:05 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations to both you and Colin. I wish you both all the best for your future life together. Please make the most of each day you send together life is for living.

  7. Alpa February 18, 2014 at 2:04 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,
    Weekend surprises that leave you giddy is good!:) As it can never be said enough, congratulations to you and the lovely Colin. What a proposal and such a beautiful ring. Colin sure knows how to do thing in style, my lovely.
    Have sent you a little something to mark the very happy occasion. It wasn’t me at all, but what to do when you are online and something mysteriously jumps into your basket? It was shipped yesterday and hopefully will be with you soon.
    I don’t think you realise how much you do for everyone around you. To see you radiating so much happiness, is all we could ever wish for you. That, continued improvement in your health and a happy future together.
    Made me smile that Alison is already in full planning mode πŸ™‚
    Lots of Love,
    Alpa xxx

  8. angela white February 18, 2014 at 2:45 pm -  Reply

    CONGRATULATIONS ALI AND COLIN!!!!!!!!!!!! oh ali im so happy for you both what a wonderful valentines day you had you have got yourself a good man there and I hope you will be very happy together yes he has been with you through thick and thin and been so supportive of you! im not on facebook or twitter but saw you doing quacker show and thought is that a ring on ali”s finger YAY!!! im so glad you feeling better now and continue to be well. lots of love to youali and all of ali”s army xx

  9. Roni February 18, 2014 at 3:25 pm -  Reply

    I have followed your blog for so long and I have both laughed and shed many tears for you.
    This one made me have tears of joy, massive congratulations to you both and all the happiness you deserve.
    Thanks for sharing with us β™‘ πŸ™‚

  10. Gwen Tugwell February 18, 2014 at 3:53 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Just want to wish you and Colin every happiness and luck and love together, you really deserve it, you are such a brave and inspirational lady,I have to admit to few tears when reading your lovely blog and as someone born and bred in Brighton I can appreciate the lovely surroundings for Colin’s proposal,just a shame about the weather as I think a good part of the beach washed up to places where it really should not have been, but I am sure it was all blue sky for the pair of you.
    Once again wishing you both all the happiness in the world,
    Gwen”in a much calmer Brighton”

  11. jilly m February 18, 2014 at 3:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Very warmest congratulations to you and Colin, happy times and more to come. You have been through a lot and deserve all the love in the world.
    Congratulations again XX

  12. Liz February 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm -  Reply

    Many congratulations to you both, Alison and Colin, for a wonderful, happy and fabulous future together. You look so happy together and richly deserve all the good things that life can bring. You have always remained cheerful, Alison, throughout all the bad times of the last few years. The way you write your blogs with such a sense of humour through all your unpleasant experiences has been amazing. You are an inspiration to us all. I was in tears when I read your account of Colin’s proposal. It was so moving, and to know you’ll always be loved and cherished. We now have the wedding to look forward to!

  13. Eileen Archibald February 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm -  Reply

    Oh Alison your blogs reduce me to tears many a time but the tears today were wonderful. My very very best wishes and congratulations to you and Colin. He always seems so caring towards you and after your years of woe you and your family definitely deserve tears of joy. Good health and happiness to you all xx

  14. Pam Hackett February 18, 2014 at 4:07 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations Alison and Colin on your engagement. Ali you deserve so much happiness after all you have been through and you have stayed so strong and positive. Treasure Colin (as I am sure you will)and I hope you both a lifetime of love and happiness.

  15. Lorraine McGill February 18, 2014 at 4:41 pm -  Reply

    Congratulation Ali and Colin !!!!!! You so deserve some good times ahead Ailson. It couldn’t have happened to nicer person and Colin sure did in style. There are so many happy years ahead of you both.
    Lots of love from Lorraine xxx

  16. Beth February 18, 2014 at 4:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I am absolutely delighted for you! A big and hearty congratulations to you and Colin. He sounds a wonderful person and you are someone who grabs life with both hands and feet I would say! I was only wondering recently if you two would get married and whenever I see you on screen, I find myself checking your left hand!! The ring is beautiful and I am so pleased for you both.
    Congratulations and I’ll head off now before I just waffle!
    Beth XXXX.

  17. Heather Toms February 18, 2014 at 5:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Although I don’t comment I follow your blog avidly, you have inspired a lot of people and always look on the positive side. I just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS I am so pleased for the both of you. I’m looking forward to reading about your preparations,
    Hugs to you both
    Heather x

  18. susan February 18, 2014 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations Ali! So many congratulations!! I am so pleased to read your amazing news! It’s so wonderful and you are a beautiful couple. I hope you have many happy years and laughs to come. No doubt you will!! Can’t wait for the wedding!!xx

  19. Morag English February 18, 2014 at 5:44 pm -  Reply

    Oh Ali, I can’t tell u how delighted I am to hear that you and Colin are now engaged to b married !
    You both have bn through a tremendous journey over the past few years and I’m sure you both have came out the other end with a much deeper love and strength. I was watching you tonight on the “dreamkeeper” show and your ring is stunning πŸ™‚
    Having followed your blogs, but rarely responding ! I wld just like to wish you both a wonderful life, if anyone deserves it, you do ! You are an inspiration to a lot of women with your strength and courage. I remember philip schofield saying that you were a beautiful person, both inside and out – and we, your qvc followers, have to agree with him !!!!!!
    Love to you both cxxx Morag

  20. patricia ann gardiner February 18, 2014 at 6:05 pm -  Reply

    hi, ali i am watching you presenting dreamkeeper when i noticed a beautiful engagement ring on your left hand, i wondered if it was a ring to be presented in a up comeing show ,but some how i had this feeling that it was YOURS so i went on your blog and WOW i was right so very very happy for you and collin and wish you all the very best of health and happiness ,and so look forward to your wedding plans to come .luv and best wishes trishxx.

  21. Sue Joynson February 18, 2014 at 6:05 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations to you both, what a lovely ending to the last few horrendous years that you have both had to travel……hopefully now you can get off the roller coaster and enjoy your lives together.

  22. Marilyn R February 18, 2014 at 6:06 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations Ali, have just been watching you on Dreamkeeper show you looked stunning in the blouse. I wish you many more happy years together x

  23. wilma noble February 18, 2014 at 6:11 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations to you both Alison you look fantastic xx

  24. rebecca walker February 18, 2014 at 6:11 pm -  Reply

    Congratulation, you truely deserve it. And has for Colin, what a romantic. It was a lovely story and so utterly romantic. No doubt soon those wedding bells will be ringing. Congratulations again Ali. xxxx

  25. michele child February 18, 2014 at 6:14 pm -  Reply

    ahh that is lovely news hope that you will both be very happy
    lots of love
    Michele Childxx

  26. Denise February 18, 2014 at 6:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, Congratulations lovely lady! I saw the fab news on Twitter and the FB page and I’m so,so thrilled for you. You really do deserve such happiness after the dark days you’ve been through.Colin sounds such a lovely,thoughtful man – truly a keeper as they say!
    I wish you both all the very best for the future.
    Denise xx

  27. Judith Lennon February 18, 2014 at 7:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    CONGRATULATIONS. I am soooooooo pleased for you both and send you lots of love and good wishes. What a romantic evening you both had and such planning by Colin. After all the problems of the last few years you both deserve happy times ahead. As the saying goes “out of the bad came good”. Lots do exciting times ahead for you both. I’m sure your families are thrilled also. We have been very fortunate here in the North with the weather. It has constantly rained like the rest of the country but we have had some sunny days also. nothing like the people on the south and west coast. it is all too horrid for words. my son and daughter in law and baby granddaughter are due home from South Africa tomorrow and my husband and I have really missed them. We have spoken to them via face time and the baby has really grown. They have a shock coming to them weather wise from the 30 plus degrees where they have been staying. I’m sure this will cheer me up no end as I am at the moment suffering yet again with neuralgia from having had shingles some years ago. It is so very painful but hopefully after getting some medication from my GP things can only get better. Thank you for your lovely letter and for clearing up the misunderstanding – you will know what I mean!!!!!! Take care special lady and again many congratulations on you engagement. Lots of love and hugs. Judith xx.

  28. Chris Page February 18, 2014 at 7:04 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali
    I am beyond chuffed for you – and well done that man! About flippin’ time too.
    Chris xx

  29. Kay. Salisbury February 18, 2014 at 7:05 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations Ali-just noticed your ring in the Kipling hour and dashed down to the computer to find your happy blog which confirmed my hopes-I am thrilled for you and have always kept up to date with your news-I have waited for this for the last 2-3 years. I have not been in touch lately as for the last 7 months my 24 year old daughter has been seriously ill in hospital and we as a family have been living a horrid existence of worry, fear, terror and being afraid to hope.Your news has made me happy as I know you have had your fight and fears.Enjoy your happy times ahead-you deserve them. Love Kay.XXX

  30. Suzanne Gulliford February 18, 2014 at 7:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    It seems strange congratulating someone i don’t know, but after reading your blogs,it seems such a uplifting story after all you have been through so many Congratulations,hope you have the most wonderful life together.
    I also have another reason,I have been ill for many years and have just been diagnosed at theUCLH hospital in London with quite a rare illness,EDS hypermobility type, and POTS syndrome which causes the whole autonomic system not to work because of a defect in my collagen which is genetic.It causes so many problems including problems with blood flow,heart rate etc.I mention this because i noticed a lady who struggles with ME who is getting no help it was worth her looking into.My first symptoms were extreme tiredness,pain. And a fast heart rate on standing is the main symptom.I hope you didnt mind me mentioning this, I just know how frustrating it is when you don’t know what’s wrong, it’s usually missed you can google autonomic unit at UCLH ,or POTS syndrome.
    Well congratulations again, yr ring is beautiful!,
    With kind regards Suzanne

  31. Edna Munro February 18, 2014 at 7:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    It is some months since I blogged you.A mixture of computer problems and a somewhat unsettled homelife.I have followed your progress re surgery and am delighted that at last you are’comfortable’ with all the operations and hope that it is now all behind you.What a fantastic Valentine surprise for you.Thrilled to bits for you both.Colin has indeed been a tower of strength to you and I am confident that had events been the opposite way around,he could have and would be able to depend on you in exactly the same way.I wish both every happines for a very long and exciting future together.

  32. Julie February 18, 2014 at 7:25 pm -  Reply

    Ali and Colin
    My family are so pleased for you and you know we wish you both all the best. You both really have been through it over the last few years but you know that’s all behind you now. Going down on one knee eh?? how romantic!! You seem so very happy and you deserve it.
    They’ve recommended Rebecca has physio-how affective that will be I don’t know. I will keep you informed.
    Take care as always.
    Speak soon
    Julie x Special hugs from Lily to you both xxxxxx

  33. Susanne Fitzpatrick February 18, 2014 at 7:35 pm -  Reply

    They say ‘life is a bowl of cherries’ – well, it isn’t. It’s full of OK days, many ‘downs’ and days that you can just about get a wriggle on and get through.
    ….. and then there are days that gladden your heart, like today when I read your blog. Can’t tell you how happy I am that you have found The One and I know from reading your blog how supportive and kind he has been to you, after all you’ve been through. My heart is literally singing with joy that someone who has seen the ‘worst’ of you and stayed with you, has decided the time is right to take your relationship to the next wonderful stage.
    I send you both my heartfelt good wishes and I think I probably echo the thoughts of many who contribute regularly to your blog, your family, friends and co-workers (past and present) in sending you every good wish – if ever anyone deserved it, dear lady, you do.
    As the saying goes: “Mann muss im schatten manchmal sein um die Sonne zu sehen” (ie “sometimes you have to be in the shade in order to see the sunshine”) – and long may the sun shine your way.
    My very best to you both.
    Regards and much love

  34. Margaret February 18, 2014 at 7:43 pm -  Reply

    Many many congratulations Alison – good times for you, I hope you will both be very happy. Colin has good taste in jewellery (and ladies)! I hope your good health continues as well – you are looking fabulous! x

  35. Krystyna pawelczyk February 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm -  Reply

    Many, many congratulations to you both. Orla

  36. Rhona Fenton February 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm -  Reply

    CONGRATULATIONS to you both on this well waited for news not before time, every time you were off on some off your trips, Christmas, anniversary’s other special holiday’s I would always make a point at checking your ring finger on your left hand followed by a sigh not yet, so finally the time has come and you and colin have got engaged yippee πŸ™‚ this is the best news ever, that’s all I have gone on about all day! now I will ask you the very same thing that you asked me, Did colin do what my colin did and sneak away and buy the ring like mine did? well I take my Hat off to him for choosing your engagement ring which I might add is stunning just my style, and take my Hat off to you for being more than happy to wear it, do you remember saying that to me some time ago? so happy for you both, as you say colin has been there for you through thick and thin, and you are such a beautiful couple with amazing family’s to which I would think will be so filled with joy at this wonderful news! pass on my congratulations to your colin to and tell him I am so happy for you both and wish you both all the very best for the future, sending lot’s off hug’s and kisses from us all here Rhona xx

  37. JACKIE February 18, 2014 at 8:25 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations to you both I follow your blog but don’t VERY often reply but on this special occasion I just had to you are a very brave lady I always love to watch you on QVC you have my sense of humour keep happy and well love Jackie x x x

  38. Carol Johnson February 18, 2014 at 9:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I always read your blog but have never posted a reply before, but I just had to respond to your fabulous news!
    You have been through so much these past few years and truly deserve these happy times. I wish both you and Colin the very best of everything for the future.

  39. rosemarie preece February 18, 2014 at 9:50 pm -  Reply

    im so happy for u knew he was the one for u

  40. Carol Woods February 18, 2014 at 10:20 pm -  Reply

    O Alison what wonderful news, congratulations to you both and many happy years together, you make a lovely couple and Colin has been through so much with you and supported you through out every thing the last few years, good luck to you both. Love Carol x
    , ,

  41. Lisa davies February 18, 2014 at 10:21 pm -  Reply

    So pleased for your both good memories and happier times to come!
    Congratulations x

  42. Louise Shepherd February 18, 2014 at 10:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    HUGE congratulations to you and Colin! After all the personal stormy weather you have endured, with Colin by your side, it’s wonderful that you have something to smile about which isn’t laughing in the face of adversity. So pleased for you both.
    You definitely have a keeper there πŸ™‚ Romantic, supportive and with excellent taste too.
    I think there is probably a long queue of people who would happily plan your wedding too – but I have to say, you could safely leave it in Colin’s hands as he managed such a lovely, special way to propose to you.
    Thank you for sharing something so beautiful and precious and personal with us all. And as always, you frame the story so well with your well-chosen words.
    That’s the second bit of wonderful life-affirming news this month: first Beth with her lovely new daughter Florence Amica, and now you and Colin with your forthcoming wedding.

  43. Jilly February 18, 2014 at 11:04 pm -  Reply

    Fab, FAB, and even more FABAROO news and congratulations to you both dear Ali and Colin – just wonderful and so delightful to read about your special evening and the romance of it is super – to go back to the hotel where you spent your first Valentine evening so long ago makes it all the more special. I too would have ended up in tears as I have just had a few reading the blog. I am thrilled for you both and want to say a huge congratulations (sent a quickie the other day when I saw your ring!!!) It is really the best news in such a long time and to have a rock like Colin by your side (as I am also lucky to have my own rock and know how special these men are) and one on your finger is just the best.
    Lovely for both your families also. Now we will be looking forward to hearing wedding plans!!! Love and hugs Jilly XX
    p.s you looked the tops tonight when I saw the end of your Kiplin show.

  44. Mary Morphy February 19, 2014 at 5:03 am -  Reply

    Hi Aluson and once again many heartfelt congratulations to yiu and Colin on your engagement. A delight for all of us to share delight in. Your ring is perfect; diamonds are forever! Well its stupid o clock..4.39am in fact a regular get up time at mo..I have Sotchi feverand love the winter Olympics. Curling is so skillful and that’s the first viewing if the day followed by the madness of the snowboard activities..snow board cross being my favourite especially when they all take each other out..compelling viewing! Aksi liking the speed skating..very fit young men in very tight rubber onesies…a suitable distraction from the drama and business of daily life!
    As I type I am listening to daughter Chloe snoring softly then loudly then softly. We are staying with my aunt in Dulwich with my twin as we are off to Choccywoccydoodah ( as seen on Sky tv) tomorrow as it was a surprise for her birthday a couple of weeks ago. She’s been counting down the days. We are also going to do the London bus tour and M n M world in Regents Street and a bit of shopping too. Hubby and son Jack are having a boys day tomorrow at the golf club.
    so updated news on oven..remember it blew up..new one ordered and arrived and despite my gut feelibg that it wouldn’t fit as the measurements were bigger than the old one, it fitted in beautifully however the top oven shelves were wonky as the side panels to rest the shelves on were at different heights. Indesit were brill and sent someone out the next day. Been baking lots and oven is perfect however the mirrored doors have turned ne excessively OCD with my glass cleaning wipes!
    We have escaped the floods as Westgate is quite high up but many areas around us are under water. We had to abandon going to my cousins 50th last Saturday as m2 closed due to falling trees abd sink holes and alternative routes also affected. We have had incredibly strong winds and rain …very interesting sand storm on the veach on Saturday..came from nowhere and faces truly exfoliated. I do hope all of you and Ali’s army are safe.
    Chloe snoring loudly so will record her as she will not believe me. Please excuse typo’s..typing this on my Galaxy S3..keyboard tiny and I don’t have my glasses! Nearly time for Curling now so I’ll sign off without checking incase my session times out. Much love and once again congratulations and well done Colin..a fabulous proposal. Mary xxx

  45. ann huntington February 19, 2014 at 8:05 am -  Reply

    ow ali a massive congratulations to you both im in tears reading your blog. its wonderful that things are much brighter now for you. i wish you and colin a long and wonderful life together xx

  46. Trish February 19, 2014 at 8:20 am -  Reply

    Oh Ali you had me crying before breakfast!! What a wonderful man you have there. I wish you every happiness you so deserve it.
    Trish x

  47. Linda Marshall February 19, 2014 at 8:42 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali & Colin,
    Sorry i have not been in touch recently but your recent news just made me so happy. May i wish you both all the love and best wishes you deserve and i just know you will both be happy together forever.
    love and best wishes again
    Linda xxx

  48. Liz C February 19, 2014 at 9:57 am -  Reply

    What a wonderful and romantic end to all your years of troubles, Alison. Nobody deserves it more than you do! Life will be kind to you from now on and you know Colin will always be there for you and your family.
    Congratulations from all of us!!!

  49. Una February 19, 2014 at 10:13 am -  Reply

    Ah Colin, you didn’t let me down. I KNEW you would do it in style! Well done you. New, all you have to do, is look after our girl.
    Much love and congratulations to you both. Ali, your diamond ring is beautiful, and very, you.
    Can’t wait to hear all the wedding plans going on. You do know that all us Ali’s Army girls are going to be your bridesmaids!!! You don’t even need to ask lol.
    Meli has tonsillitis at the minute, and feeling very sorry for herself. She’s keeping me on my toes I can tell you. Calpol is at the ready!
    Love to all of you army girls. Alpa, you’re still having an awful time. I wish I was closer, I would be knocking your door down. Armed with flowers, chocolates, many tea bags, and a great big hug.
    Ali, my good wishes to you and Colin, and your lovely family.
    Una xxxxxx

  50. Janet Gwynn February 19, 2014 at 11:40 am -  Reply

    Congratulations to you and Colin. I was so thrilled when I heard. You have been through so much you deserve a bit of happiness. We never know what is round the corner, so you go for it girl and grab life and love with both hands.

  51. helen s February 19, 2014 at 11:43 am -  Reply

    Wow my dearest Ali, im sooooo very happy for you both. You so deserve all the love and happiness. Please more details of the ring and more pics!!!!
    Only a quickie as off to the dentist, (3rd time in a week) throbbing toothache after a root canal filling and an abscess on my wisdom tooth.
    Luv and hugs
    Helen s xxxxx

  52. Sandra February 19, 2014 at 12:34 pm -  Reply

    A huge congratulations to you Ali and Colin.Wow! Brought a huge smile to my face when I read your wonderful news.So exciting and just wish you so much happiness and look forward to reading about the wedding plans.
    Lots of love and hugs to you both.
    Sandra xxxx

  53. Isabel Moule February 19, 2014 at 3:12 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali and Colin. Through my tears of happiness I wish you both and your family’s all the love in the world. Isabel x

  54. Deb S February 19, 2014 at 3:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Congratulations to you and Collin you deserve all the happiness in the world you have gone through such a lot your a very Brave and strong lady take care and I wish you Good Health and Happiness.
    Debbie xxxx

  55. Gill February 19, 2014 at 4:05 pm -  Reply

    Ha ha Una! I was also going to say that Ali could have loads of bridesmaids!
    Ali, please take note that I don’t suit the yellow, orange, green spectrum. I’m much more of a pink, blue, turquoise, purple girl!!
    Love again, Gill xx (Nottingham)

  56. Alpa February 19, 2014 at 4:35 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,
    How lovely to read all the heartfelt congratulatory messages here πŸ™‚ I see that I’m not the only one in Ali’s Army to cry happy tears.
    Just to say thank you so much to my lovely Una. You have been very much missed and would be most welcome to knock my door down any time. Pesky geographical inconvenience! Thank you so much for thinking of me. Sorry Meli has tonsillitis, poor thing.
    Thanks Suzanne. I will reply to you on Ali’s next blog. Take care x
    Lots of Love to all in Ali’s Army x
    I’ll update you on my news in your next blog Ali. This blog is just for you and Colin and the most wonderful news.
    Lots of Love
    Alpa xxx

  57. Annette Roberts February 19, 2014 at 4:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    You’ve got a guddun there, how romantic…Congratulations to you both!!!
    Glad to hear you’re already planning your wedding, how exciting for you.
    Chris and I got engaged 19yrs ago, then my Dad went to sleep suddenly and I just couldn’t face the whole wedding thing, happiest day of your life and all that, but I knew it would upset me soo much that my dear old Dad wasn’t there to give me away and I would end up crying…mascara down the cheeks not such a good look.
    The years have flown by and we’re still together. As Julia has often said on her blog, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, I can only say ‘never say never’, one day we’ll just go off and do it!
    Last year I went through all my jewellery, some of which hadn’t seen the light of day for years and there amongst it all was Mum’s platinum wedding ring she had given me a few years before she went to sleep. Dad had bought her a new one for their golden wedding anniversary…it was such a shame keeping it in a box, so after a lot of thought I cashed in my jewellery, earrings mainly from family members and even some from Chris and kept a couple of everyday pieces and had a diamond set into my Mum’s ring. Must say I was a little disappointed at the smallness of the stone I could have for the money, however Chris went back to the jewellers and upped it slightly. Everytime I wear it, it has a little bit of everybody in it, but most of all I think of my Dad putting it on Mum’s finger all those years ago!
    Hope you and Colin have many, many happy years to come and good luck with your wedding planning.
    Annette xx
    Will tell you of another ‘knicker’ saga sometime!

  58. TINA S February 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    I would just like to add to the many good wishes sent to you. Many congratualations on your engagement. You have indeed had more than your share of heartache over the past years. You deserve this happiness. I wish you and Colin all the very best .It is lovely to hear something like this after so much doom and gloom going on in the world. I hope you will be very happy together and look forward to hearing all about your impending nuptuals. My husband and I recently celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. The time has flown by. We had known each other for some time through work. We started going out in the July, got engaged on my birthday which was in October and got married 3 months later in January!! As you can see, we didn’t hang around. I was really nervous telling my father as he hadn’t met my husband to be. I had to tell him about my boyfriend and in the next sentence tell him we were getting married.
    All the very best,
    Tina S (South Wales)xx

  59. Denise Copley February 19, 2014 at 6:17 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations to you both, you deserve this happiness. xxx

  60. Margaret Upton February 19, 2014 at 7:21 pm -  Reply

    Wow, congratulations how lovely! Wish you both lots of love and happiness.

  61. Christine Margaret Hindle. February 19, 2014 at 7:48 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali and of course Colin. I have followed your health problems over the past few years and prayed for your recovery and to see you now and what you have gone through words cannot convey how courageous you have been. I totally admire and send love to you both for a very happy life together – You certainly deserve it. A twenty year customer of QVC wishes you well. Congratulations!!!!!

  62. Margaret Kelso February 19, 2014 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations! What a fabulous ring

  63. Lucy Little February 19, 2014 at 10:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali and Colin,
    I am so happy for you both – congratulations and a big hug too. Your blog made me laugh and cry at the same time. You both look so happy together and what a beautiful ring.
    Love and warmest wishes, Lucy xxx

  64. Jan February 19, 2014 at 11:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I did tweet my congratulations but after reading your blog just felt I had to send you and Colin my heartfelt best wishes for a long and happy life together. Like your gorgeous ring he’s a real diamond and I’m sure having him there through the dark times will make the good times ahead so much sweeter.
    Good luck to you both, I look forward to following the wedding plans on your blog, a beautiful person like you is bound to shine on your special day.
    Love Jan xxx

  65. Anne February 20, 2014 at 12:08 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    I have waited for this day as I was so sure it would happen for such a wonderful couple. I have long been a supporter of yours since your This Morning days and wish you both so many more years of love and happiness.:)
    The Best Is Yet To Come.
    Anne xxx

  66. Pat Frost February 20, 2014 at 7:05 am -  Reply

    The best news!! No more than you deserve! Many more happy years together. I’m positive it’s now your time for some undiluted joy xx

  67. June February 20, 2014 at 8:06 am -  Reply

    Congratulations to you both I hope you have many many happy years together, you both deserve it. What a romantic chap your man is Ali, does he have a brother going spare? lol. Once again all the very best for the future. Take care xxx

  68. Jean Pugh February 20, 2014 at 9:31 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Congratulations to you both. If anyone deserves it you do after all that you have been through. To have Colin by your side when you have been through so much is great, he sounds such a loving kind man. He had everything thought out for your Valentines day, you must have had a super time. The horrible journey in the rain and wind was well worth it. I just wish you both all the health and happiness in the world.
    Love Jean XX

  69. Rhiannon February 20, 2014 at 9:53 am -  Reply

    Congratulations Alison on your engagement to Colin I’m so pleased for you both xx

  70. linda February 20, 2014 at 11:22 am -  Reply

    congratipoos to you both, lovely news from a lovely lady, wish u lots of happy memory making x

  71. ANNETTE MINGAY February 20, 2014 at 11:59 am -  Reply

    hi Ali – and the lovely Colin,
    I have watched you since you first joined QVC and through the worries of recent times. I think this will be just the best year for you and I wish you both health and much happiness.
    Well done Colin, and congratulations to both of you.
    Annette from ~Scotland

  72. Anita Matharu February 20, 2014 at 12:22 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations! it was such a lovely story that I was in tears, it’s about time you had a change of fortune. I wish you many many years together full of joy, laughter and love……

  73. Jeannette BROWN February 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm -  Reply

    Lovely news. Wishing you both, LOVE, JOY, HAPPINESS and that lovely warm fuzzy feeling that you get with someone special, for a very long time to come. All the best πŸ™‚

  74. Carole Ireland February 20, 2014 at 1:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Many congratulations to yourself and Colin on your engagement – what wonderful news, and it couldn,t happen to a nicer person. I cried when I read your blog (tears of happiness), and what a romantic, lovely person Colin is. Love your ring – gorgeous.
    Enjoy planning your wedding – that,s if you get a look in, and enjoy every second you spend with Colin.
    Carry on with your blogs – I love reading them, and have shed many a tear reading them. Upon saying that, you are such an inspiration to us all, and it is a pure delight watching you on QVC. Here,s to many years of much happiness, joy and laughter to both yourself and Colin.

  75. jeni February 20, 2014 at 2:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Congratulations and all the best.You are such a positive person.
    Colin sounds like a lovable solid rock.

  76. Christine Galloway February 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations to you both. Hope you both have lovely life together. I think you deserve some happiness. Ali. Good Luck x x

  77. Sue Radford February 20, 2014 at 4:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What did I say in one of my replies to your blog? Yes, that’s right – the bad times are behind you and that I was sure the future would be great for you from now on – looks as though I was right Ali lol! I love your ring!! I’m so very pleased for you and Colin Ali, I really am.
    Lovely to hear from Una. I often think of Alpa and dear little Alfie and pray things will improve for them. As always, best wishes to all in Ali’s Army too!
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  78. Ann February 20, 2014 at 4:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison & Colin-I’m so happy for you both. How romantic and such a perfect Valentines day. Enjoy all the fun of planning your special day! You deserve all good things and I wish both of you many happy years ahead!

  79. Vanessa Hart February 20, 2014 at 4:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali congratulations on your engagement I am so happy for you and Colin.I follow your blog and you are an inspiration to all women who have suffered major health issues you have shown amazing strength dignity and humour good old true british grit and determination.I myself have been very unwell for two years and im still ongoing, but having an inspirational figure like you helps i to am a mum yes like you my kids areolder well teens but are still demanding but us ladies just stay strong like warriors:)thats why its so lovely to hear when happy things happen to those like you who deserve happy times.Stay well and lots of love Vanessa x

  80. Debz February 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations Ali!
    Colin certainly does things in style and no mistake!
    He has been your rock and your shoulder to cry on and also been there for the happy times too so you know he’s definitely a keeper! Colin, you are one of the best and I’m sure I speak for all in Ali’s Army when I say that we’re glad she’s in such good hands and we know you will cherish her as we do.
    Sorry I’ve not been in touch sooner but am struggling a bit at the moment but that’s for another blog! This one is to be filled with joy and good wishes.
    Love to all in Ali’s Army especially Alpa to whom I send a special hug and a lick from Ainzley!
    Lots of love
    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  81. Jean hatley February 20, 2014 at 6:16 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali and Colin
    You have been through so much. Your news about your engagement is wonderful. Many congratulations to you both and may you have a long and happy marriage.

  82. Lyn February 20, 2014 at 6:31 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    I am so pleased to hear your fantastic news, I send my best
    CONGRATULATIONS to you and Colin. You must be over the moon. If anyone should have this happiness its you, after all you have been through in these last few years. with all that behind you I hope you have a great future together.
    Lots Love to you both
    Lyn xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  83. Sue Jennings February 20, 2014 at 6:35 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali……WOW how wonderful your man is …A Massive Congratulations from me to you both this is wonderful news I feel so excited …Colin is so romantic and a true gentleman….You are lucky to have each other…your ring looks amazing …I will follow events as they happen wedding plans etc ..I know I am repeating myself Ali but I can’t tell you how happy I am for you as you have a special place in my heart as I’m sure you have with the rest of Ali’s Army …..A GnT is deffo on the cards in my house tonight xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Take great care Ali
    Love always
    Sue Jennings

  84. wendy stevens February 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm -  Reply

    hi ali and colin, what wonderful news many congratulations to you both, you have been through so much the two of you its a wonderful new beginning and I wish you both a very long and happy life, wendy x

  85. lilian bolton February 20, 2014 at 7:03 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations to you both and all the very best xx

  86. Julia Thomas February 20, 2014 at 7:33 pm -  Reply

    You really deserve this happiness after all your recent traumatic times. Many congratulations.

  87. Liz Petrovic February 20, 2014 at 10:42 pm -  Reply

    Just want to say you are a very brave and lovely lady, and I am delighted that Colin is going to make an honest woman of you. Many congratulations to you both, have fun planning the wedding, and live and love life together, and don’t waste a moment!
    I love seeing your happy smiling face on QVC, you always brighten up my day. No wonder when I saw you earlier with Renee, you looked so glowing (and I don’t mean the tropical moments) and happy. All the best to both of you for a long, healthy and happy marriage x

  88. Irene Hatton February 20, 2014 at 11:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    Congratulations to you and Colin on your engagement and what a romantic proposal he certainly
    wanted everyone to share his joy what a lovely partner you have. Wishing you all the happiness
    for your future together. I always admire you every time i see you presenting on QVC you appear such a nice
    well turned out lady who is very attractive
    Best Wishes
    Irene xx

  89. Tricia Dewey February 21, 2014 at 12:14 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Many many congratulations !
    I was so delighted for you, and wish you and Colin much happiness for the future.
    I did write quite a few times to you, first time was when you started to find you had your health problems, I also had been found to have a “lump” about the same time as you. Over three years on and all seems ok with me too, but you had such a tough time compared with me, and I felt so upset that you had so much to put up with, and admired you greatly for being so brave.
    I am writing this hoping so much that you do get this – your happy happy news made me decide to give getting “through ” to you work!
    Fingers well crossed. ( don’t know what I was doing wrong before!! )
    With love,

  90. tricia coulson-wood February 21, 2014 at 12:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Hope you are still riding on the happiness cloud and you are happy and continue to be so ad infinitum. We are all over the moon for you and Colin, that is obvious from all the messages.
    My youngest daughter Liz was engaged on valentines day,
    [Jans sister] who you and lots of your angels have all given support to us through the last horrendous 11 months.We are waiting for results from a bone scan, did anyone else experience really painful joints following thier chemotherapy?.
    We are hoping now that a wedding to look forward to in the future will be a great boost to all the family and I for one are looking towards helping my youngest daughter to “pick a dress”..
    We will all follow your plans with great interest.
    Lots of love, Tricia. x

  91. Alison Keenan February 21, 2014 at 3:50 pm -  Reply

    Hello everyone,
    Thank you all so much for all of your kind words! Sorry I haven’t gotten back to many of you but I’m afraid I’m struggling for internet connection at the moment. As soon as the broadband is sorted I will be right back with you so please bear with me! Love Ali xxx

  92. Maggie February 21, 2014 at 8:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi my i take the time to say congratulations you and coilen , i hope that you will have many happy year together as you already have ,and enjoy being with the family enjoy the time in picking your dress i sure that your lovley daughter will be with you all the way and all the little bits to go with it, and not to forget the church and rooms and your hotel for the night just the two off you i wish you every happiness what great news for such a great lady .xx
    Lots love maggie.

  93. Una February 22, 2014 at 9:57 am -  Reply

    Hoping your boils are better Miss Keenan! HILARIOUS,!! Sally held it together very well!! So funny!
    This just a little quick line. Meli and I are going for a little walk today. She’s feeling better and needs some fresh air. Is a bit brisk here today, but not dreich, as it has been most of the week. Shouldn’t complain though. So sorry for anyone who has been affected by these horrendous floods. Back to meli. She’s all bundled up in her outerwear, she. Looks like a wee womble ooompaloompa type person. I’m sure if she falls over, she will bounce!!
    Lots of love to all, hope you have a great weekend.
    Alpha, hugs from both of us. Melis hugs cure all. Wish I could bottle them!
    Una xxxxxx

  94. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen watching via sky tv February 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm -  Reply

    congratuluations to you alison and colin.iam enjoying a2week lazy holiday from work doing nothing watching the winter olympics bobsleigh ski jumping amd alpine skiing.

  95. Liz, Lancashire February 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm -  Reply

    Ali – many, many congratulations to you both on your engagement. What a wonderful surprise and now you have a diamond on your finger to match the one you are going to marry!
    Sorry not to have written sooner but I haven’t had an internet connection for reasons that can wait til another time.
    Look forward to reading all about your wedding plans.
    Love and congratulations to you both. xx

  96. julie thorogood February 23, 2014 at 10:31 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali. Only just seen your marvellous news. Congratulations to both of you. I hope that you and Colin will have a wonderful future. You deserve it after the problems you have faced together over the last few years. Good luck. Much love Julie xx

  97. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 1:52 pm -  Reply

    Dear Elaine, so good to hear from you, and thank you for taking the time to get in touch when I know you have a lot in your life at present… I too feel very excited about it all, and it’s been lovely being back at work and sharing it with all my friends here too! Do let me know how you’re getting on, love Ali! Xx

  98. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 1:53 pm -  Reply

    Still no broadband, but my trusty iPad now has found a roaming connection, so I will begin! πŸ™‚ xx

  99. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm -  Reply

    Dear Janet, your are lovely πŸ™‚ I have to say I shed a few tears myself in the night, it have been all smiles since then! Thank you for sending me a card, that’s vey kind, Yes Colin did choose the ring himself, and I feel very spoiled as it is the most beautiful diamond, and white gold. We’re probably looking at the beginning if next year for the wedding, as there’s a fair but to sort beforehand, and venues get booked up way in advance, but we do have a holiday booked for a week in Morocco in March, so that will be fun πŸ™‚ I do hope all is going well for you and Alfie and I look forward to hearing your updates. Love Ali xx

  100. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, you write such lovely words, and I thank you for them. It’s funny but when something really good happens it’s so much easier to put the bad bits behind you πŸ™‚ I miss all of you too when I’m away but I do believe this is the last of the big operations so apart from holidays I shouldn’t be away from you for too long again! Very much hope all is good with you, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  101. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:12 pm -  Reply

    Gill I can almost hear your whoop of delight bless you πŸ™‚ it was a wonderful way to celebrate Valentines day, and adds something special to look forward to over this next year. It will be fun to plan it all, finding a venue being the first thing to consider! My friend Ros came over for supper last night, and brought a Wedding Planner file with her ! It has pockets for samples etc… Good times πŸ™‚ thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  102. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm -  Reply

    Dear Christine, we definitely plan to live by your example, because as you say Life is for Living, and we definitely intend to make the best of each day. Walking in the shadows is nowhere near as uplifting as feeling the sunshine. Thank you for your congratulations, love Ali xx

  103. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:22 pm -  Reply

    Alpa, I LOVE my present! Thank you so much! And just to let everyone else know, it’s a beautiful Wedding Fund pot! I’ve already started filling it with loose change at work, but will bring it home so that it has pride of place on the dresser. You really are very kind, and was a lovely surprise. Knowing how difficult things are for you at present, it means even more, and I’m glad you liked ring – I couldn’t have chosen better myself πŸ™‚ keep in touch, and let me know how you’re getting on, love Ali xx

  104. Jilly February 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali by all these blogs it looks like we are all really delighted for you and Colin – it really is such good news. I bet you are still on cloud nine and perhaps thinking of “the day” and planning dates, places etc. Still thrilled for you both.
    Thank you all for your concern for Annie’s husband. He has now had the second lot of chemo and apart from being very tired and “trotty botty” for a day he is managing very well. One more lot to go and that is it. He will have a blood test before hand to make sure his kidney is all right and then go for it. The result from seeing the surgeon was very good. He had taken a number of lymph nodes from as far away from the lung as possible and these were all clear – the only two lymph nodes which had the cancer in were by the lung and they knew about these before the op. So hopefully apart from being checked on a very regular basis we may be able to move on from here.
    Tricia, Annie had very painful joints after the third chemo – she could hardly walk for a couple of days and it has taken a year for her to feel fully fit again. She also had puffy feet and lower legs for some time and just odd pains here and there. All to do with the chemo and nothing else so try not to worry too much (although easier said than done – I know). She was also saying the other day that it has taken this long for her tummy to go down (she needed anti blood clotting injections in the tummy during most of the chemo as she had a blood clot due to the picc line. Wonderful that you also have a wedding to plan – and don’t forget that as mother of the bride you are the second most important person at the wedding.
    Annie has been to the breast nurse to ask them to put her name on the list again for the final reconstruction (it was put on hold when her husband needed his op.) She wears the “HOPE” necklace all the time and the nurse asked her what was written on it. When Annie told her she said another lady who was in the clinic had one on the other day and she had meant to ask her what it was for and what it said. I thought that was lovely – not to hear another lady was needing the clinic but that she was wearing the necklace.
    Hope little Alfie is doing all right Janet and that you are feeling somewhat better Alpa – don’t forget you can pick your friends but not your relatives.
    Hope your broadband is fixed soon Ali as we will be looking forward to your next update – although I don’t know if you will ever beat this last one!!! Love Jilly X

  105. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm -  Reply

    Dear Angela you have made me smile with your account of watching the Quacker Show and seeing my engagement ring! That’s why I was determined to post my new blog before I went on air for all those of you who don’t follow Facebook or twitter – Ali’s Army needed to be in the know πŸ™‚ and you’re right he is a good man, and has stood by my side through some of the hardest times, for which I will be eternally grateful. Hope all good with you and you’re still enjoying your new kitchen? Love Ali xx

  106. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Roni, and I am pleased to know that you’ve been reading and enjoying the blogs for some years now. I guess my life isn’t that different to so many others, in that it has good and bad times, but I so believe I have now turned a corner, and there’s some truly wonderful times to come πŸ™‚ I’m glad that you’ll be sharing them with me. Love Ali xx

  107. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:32 pm -  Reply

    Dear Gwen, how wonderful to actually live in Brighton! I wonder if you visit the seafront often, or just appreciate the fact it’s there?! You’re right tho, it was the perfect setting for Colin’s proposal , and I couldn’t be happier to have been asked πŸ™‚ I hope all is good in your life, and that happiness and luck will be with you too, love Ali xx

  108. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:34 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jilly thank you for your Congratulations and yes, many more happy times to come. The children were all delighted, and jack said Colin was ‘a lucky bloke’ which made me laugh. Sending love back to you too, Ali x

  109. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm -  Reply

    Hello Liz, I had to look again at the photos after reading your comment, and it’s funny how I feel that same excitement when I remember the picture being taken πŸ™‚ so many memories too for us in Brighton – some quite difficult, but you’re right about keeping a sense of humour – so important! Life is definitely a mix of light and shade, and I feel I’ve moved out of the shade more recently, and back into the light, and I hope the same is true of your life. Thank you for your congratulations and your continued support. Love Ali xx

  110. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:51 pm -  Reply

    Dear Eileen, you know I think I’ve had a few tears writing this blog over the years too, but this time they were tears of happiness for me too. You’re right, Colin is a very caring man, and it’s something that everyone who knows him – family and friends – all agree on. We have been thru a lot together, and some folk might have turned tail, but I am very glad to be his fiancΓ©e, and am looking forward to the years ahead together. Thank you for your kind words, love Ali xx

  111. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm -  Reply

    Dear Pam, I definitely treasure Colin, and know that the years ahead will be good ones. πŸ™‚ thank you for your congratulations , love Ali xx

  112. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:55 pm -  Reply

    Yes Lorraine, he certainly did do it in style, although when I was speaking to Kathy Tayler the following day and she askew me how he proposed, my mind went blank! Champagne and excitement got the better of me, but luckily the memory came back, and it’s one those special ones I will hopefully never forget! πŸ™‚ Thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  113. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:57 pm -  Reply

    Beth, you could never be accused of waffling, and your words were vey sweet πŸ™‚ I think quite a number of people had been wondering if we would ever marry, and my son Jack did say ”About time’ whereas Sam said it felt like we’ve always been married… Glad you like the ring – me too! Love Ali xx

  114. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 2:58 pm -  Reply

    Dear Heather, I’m so glad that you follow the blogs, and am delighted that this latest one meant you posted your first comment! I hope it won’t be the last, and thank you for taking the time and for your kind Congratulations, love Ali xx

  115. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 3:10 pm -  Reply

    Aaaw Susan thank you πŸ™‚ I have to say if it wasn’t such a grainy photo of us on the night itself, I would have printed it out. Sadly we didn’t have one taken before our meal with me in my lovely dress, but there will other times I know, and as you say, many happy years and laughs to come. Love Ali xx

  116. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 3:16 pm -  Reply

    Dear Morag, it’s lovely how this news has meant those of you who have read the blog but never responded, have decided to write today! Thank you! And you’re words really strike a chord. Sometimes you need the difficult times to make you truly appreciate the easy ones, and these definitely feel like easier times πŸ™‚
    I’d forgotten Philip Schofield had said that… It made me a smile. I hope you have a good week ahead, and that you will write again me day, love Ali xx

  117. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 3:18 pm -  Reply

    Dear Patricia, I’m so glad I got the blog written before I went back to work, as it’s lovely that so many of you have used it to check out the ring I was wearing! You are very eagle eyed, and I know there have been times in the past when I’ve worn QVC jewellery and you’ve asked the question! But thank you for your congratulations and I look forward to keeping you in touch with the wedding preparations, love Ali xx

  118. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 3:22 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, I do hope you will have had a good weekend, and haven’t been battered too much by the storms?! Blowing a hoolie here! You’re right about life having been a bit of a rollercoaster these last few years, and I am more than happy to ‘get off the ride’ … Fingers crossed this is the beginning of calmer times. Thank you for writing, love Ali xx

  119. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 3:40 pm -  Reply

    Dear Marilyn, I have to say if we hadn’t have sold out of that Dreamkeeper blouse, I would definitely bought it! πŸ™‚ my kind director gave us a close up of the ring too, so I’m glad you saw it and liked it πŸ™‚ thanks for watching and writing, love Ali xx

  120. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 3:41 pm -  Reply

    Dear Wilma, I always think when someone is truly happy you can see it in their face, and I’m glad that’s what you saw when you watched the other day. Love to you and have a great week, Ali xx

  121. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Rebecca, I think it may be this time next year before you hear those wedding bells, but the planning has already begun! Yes, Colin is definitely a romantic, and I have been very spoiled over the years with nights away for Valentines and birthdays. I hope you’ve had a good weekend, and will keep in touch, love Ali xx

  122. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm -  Reply

    Michele, thank you for your kind words, and yes I feel very happy as does Colin… It’s put our relationship onto a different level if that makes sense, and drawn a line under the last few years where we had a lot to contend with. Good times ahead now, and I hope for you too, love Ali xx

  123. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 3:50 pm -  Reply

    Hello Denise, and yes I think Colin’s a keeper too! :). I have to thank everyone who wrote on our Facebook pages, and commented on Twitter too – great excitement all round, and I feel very lucky and much loved πŸ™‚ hope all good with you, love Ali xx

  124. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 3:56 pm -  Reply

    Dear Judith, by the time you get this you will hopefully have seen your son, his wife and your granddaughter! I am sure you must miss them very much but am glad you get the chance to use the technology there is nowadays and actually see them on screen when you’re talking πŸ™‚ So sorry to hear about the neuralgia…shingles I have heard are dreadful, so I very much hope that your GP will be able to give you something to help with that. Enjoy your time together as a family, and thanks you for your kind words – “out of the bad came good’ – you are right πŸ™‚ love Ali xx

  125. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm -  Reply

    Dear Chris Colin has been reading thru all,these lovely posts, and your made him chuckle πŸ™‚ it’s what my Jack said too! I like you, am well chuffed , love Ali xx

  126. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm -  Reply

    Dear Kay I was so sorry to read about your daughter’s illness, and the incredible strain and worry it has understandably put on your family. I very much hope that she is now responding to treatment and that you will all be enjoying happier times ahead. Thank you for taking the time to write to me though, and for your congratulations – so glad I got the blog written in time! Please do keep in touch and let me know how things are, love Ali xx

  127. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm -  Reply

    Dear Suzanne, I was amazed to read your story, and send you a big hug for coping with such a difficult time. I have personally never heard of EDS or POTS syndrome, but reading about your symptoms, I am vey much hoping that Alpa will find your post, and that this may possibly give her another lead. Knowing what you have is half the battle as then a treatment/cure can be found. I wish you better and thank you for your kind words on my news, love Ali xx

  128. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 4:07 pm -  Reply

    Dear Edna, I am sorry to hear that you have been struggling recently with various problems and an unsettled home life…I just hope that things are a little more straightforward now, and that the blogs continue to be a source of comfort to you, as they are to me. And you’re right, all that Colin has done for me I would do in a heartbeat.. We work well together, and have had a fair few things to deal with that have meant I’m the one who’s had to be strong – but I can be a tough old bird when needed πŸ™‚ you take care, and keep moving forwards, love Ali xx

  129. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 4:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Julie, good to know that the physio has started working with Rebecca and I hope the situation will improve. Do keep in touch in that, and thanks for yours and Lily’s hugs and good wishes. Yes, Colin isn’t just a romantic but a traditionalist too – just the way I like things πŸ™‚ love to you, Ali xx

  130. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm -  Reply

    Dear Susanne, sorry not to have been able to reply before, we still have no broadband at home and a very weak mobile signal, so I have been finding it tricky getting sufficient signal to answer! That said, it has given me enormous pleasure to read all these wonderful comments and to know that my news gladdened your heart – as it did mine! πŸ™‚ yes, colin has been incredibly supportive and kind and stayed with me thru the bad bits, which not everyone manages…. I hope you don’t mind but I am adopting your saying ” sometimes you have to be in the shade in order to see the sunshine”….. Beautiful… Thank you Susanne, love Ali x

  131. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 4:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Orla, Lisa, Anne and Rosemarie – who knew Colin was the one! – your kind words and congratulations are much appreciated by us both! I hope that life is good for you too, love Ali xx

  132. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 4:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Margaret, Colin and I scrolled through at least half of these posts together, and he liked your comment about his good taste in not just jewellery but women too! πŸ™‚ thank you for your kind Congratulations and I hope that life is good for you also, love Ali xx

  133. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 4:34 pm -  Reply

    Rhona you are funny… Checking my finger on screen after any holidays or romantic weekends away has clearly paid off! πŸ™‚ And yes, Colin did choose the ring himself, and I love it, as does everyone who has seen it. You’re right also about the network of family support,and what with that, Ali’s Army, Twitter and Facebook we have been overwhelmed by the kindness that has poured in. Look after yourself, and do keep in touch, love Ali xxx

  134. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 4:35 pm -  Reply

    Jackie altho you say you don’t often reply, I’m delighted that you’ve chosen this blog to do so. Your words really touched me, and I hope that you also will remain healthy and happy love Ali xx

  135. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 4:36 pm -  Reply

    So from Jackie who rarely posts to you Carol, who has never posted before today! πŸ™‚ bless you for doing so, and for wishing us the best of everything for the future, as we do you, love Ali xx

  136. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 4:38 pm -  Reply

    And another Carol, – Carol Woods – yes feeling very supported and loved at present, and know that I’m lucky to have someone by my side who makes everyday better. I hope you have that in your life too, love Ali xx

  137. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm -  Reply

    Well Louise, I can confirm that I am definitely smiling this time, and not laughing in the face of adversity as before! And yes, I’ve had a number of people offering to plan the whole wedding, but as you say, maybe I should leave it to colin as he did such a great job of the proposal! πŸ™‚ At least we’ve got the whole family thing sorted, altho I like you, was thrilled to hear about Beth’s daughter… Florence Amica.. A truly fitting name for a beautiful little girl. I hope that all is well in your life, and thank you for writing, love Ali xx

  138. Alison Keenan February 23, 2014 at 4:44 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jilly I do hope that by the time you get this you will have received my thank you letter also. Fabaroo news indeed – great word! And yes, I’m definitely lucky to have a strong man by my side, and glad that you do too. I feel this is just the beginning of a much happier year for so many of us. Take care, and love to Annie, Ali xx

  139. Gail February 24, 2014 at 7:46 am -  Reply

    Many, many congratulations Ali and Colin, wonderful news. I’m really over the moon for you both. I recall reading one of your tweets Ali which said ‘happiest ive been in years’, well long may that continue I say xx
    A very exciting time for you both; enjoy enjoy enjoy. I’m definitely going to enjoy reading all about the wedding plans, can’t wait.
    A wonderful proposal Colin, didn’t he do well :). I’m even more impressed Ali that Colin is able to clothes shop for you. I cringe at the thought of what my husband would bring home for me, ha ha. Too horrifying to even think about actually πŸ™
    I’m thrilled for both of you. Sending you both lots of love and good wishes xxx

  140. Gail February 24, 2014 at 7:59 am -  Reply

    Love the ring Ali, it’s beautiful. How could I have forgotten to mention it? It’s beautiful, a really lovely choice.
    I loved Una’s suggestion too. Could you imagine it, ha ha. What a group picture that would make. I know we’ll all be with you in spirit on the day, lol xxxx

  141. Alison Keenan February 24, 2014 at 10:34 am -  Reply

    Dear Mary, firstly I’m very glad that you have escaped the worst of the weather, altho I don’t like the sound of sand exfoliation on the face! πŸ™‚ do however love the sound of your new oven – so glad you got it sorted and are busy baking and polishing!! πŸ™‚ how was Choccywoccydoodah? I’ve never heard of it, but I am sure Chloe loved it, if she forgave you for recording her snoring that is! I did the same with colin one night as it was driving me mad, but en felt mouldy so didn’t play it. Couldn’t work out what it was months later when I listened to it! :). I have to admit to watching just a little if the Winter Olympics… Things like the Skeleton terrify me, and the downhill race I watched ended up with 3 if the 4 skiers sliding over the finishing line on their bottoms! So glad you liked my diamond – you’re right it is beautiful and I feel very lucky. Take care, and thanks as always for keeping in touch, love Ali. Xxx

  142. Alison Keenan February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am -  Reply

    Dear Ann, that’s exactly how I feel – things are much brighter – and I feel I lot more secure about the years ahead too. Sounds daft but it’s just boosted all that I have to look forward to πŸ™‚ hope all good with you too, love Ali xx

  143. Alison Keenan February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am -  Reply

    Hi Trish, definitely in agreement, he is a good man, and I feel very fortunate that from a blind date all those years ago, we now have the rest of our lives together to look forward to πŸ™‚ I had a few tears myself too! Have a great week, love Ali xx

  144. Alison Keenan February 24, 2014 at 10:41 am -  Reply

    Dear Linda, I hope all is well with you and it’s just life being busy? Thanks though for taking the time to write to Colin and I – he has read through all the replies and was really touched by everyone’s kindness. I hope your week will go well, love Ali xx

  145. Alison Keenan February 24, 2014 at 10:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Liz, it certainly is a wonderful way to start the year, and as you say we have so much to look forward to, and it’s sort of taken everything to another level. Happy days πŸ™‚ thank you for your kind words and for writing. Love Ali xx

  146. Alison Keenan February 24, 2014 at 10:41 am -  Reply

    Una, lovely to hear from you, but sorry to her that Meli has tonsillitis and I very much hope that the Calpol will have helped! Was a staple on our medi cupboard all those years ago. So glad you like the ring, and I honestly coukdnt have chosen better myself – I feel very lucky. I also worry about Alpa but am hoping that our previous blogger may have opened up another avenue of enquiry for her. Colin sends you his best, as I do, and let us know Meli is ok. Love Ali xx

  147. angela dunne February 24, 2014 at 3:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    I won the lovely bibi bijoux jewellery in your competition, which arrived today.Thank you so much, I have never won anything before and it was a great surprise.I have followed your blog for a long time and was so pleased to see your good news, you deserve it, you are such a lovely lady.I would like to congratulate you and Colin on your engagement and wish you every happiness and health for the future.
    Love Angela x

  148. Una February 24, 2014 at 6:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali.
    That would be brilliant if Alpa had a little bit of help from the other lady. Any information is worth looking into, just to eliminate if nothing else.
    Thank you Colin, we are doing grand just now.
    So. My absence from the army for so long. Well, you know how you watch these daft movies, where the husband and best friend are a little bit more than friendly. You think, oh you stupid woman, HOW could you not know………… TADA, I had NO clue. None whatsoever. I was absolutely shocked to the core. Apparently, they couldn’t handle seeing me so bereft about my girl, and THEY needed comfort!!! Blah blah blah.
    Meli and I have had to move, AGAIN, and I now don’t have a job either. No wonder she was so been to ‘help me out” by giving me a few hours working in her shop a couple of days a week!
    Anyway, its in the past. Like you Ali, I’m a tough old bird, and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. By now, I should be, able to take on Hercules!!
    Luckily, Meli was able to stay at the same nursery, so that helped a bit. She’s had so much to deal with in her little life, and I really didn’t want more upheaval for her. She’s fine though, bounced back and doing her own wee thing. As long as she’s happy, thats all I want.
    The 2 of us are planning a trip to Crete in June or July. To visit our lovely Joe and his new wife. They had a gorgeous wee girl on boxing day, we haven’t seen her yet, we can’t wait. Her name is Maura. Think its a family name, very unusual and pretty.
    Have to go and feed the wee monster. She didn’t eat much last week when she was poorly, but my goodness, she’s making up for it!! She got up at 2 a.m. looking for her breakfast lol.
    Lots if love my lovely army friends, I have missed you. Have get myself organised now, and to be honest, I can see light at the end of the tunnel, and feel more settled than I have in the last 3 years. Can’t quite say I’m happy, but I know now, that one day, I will be happy again. In the meantime, I’m not a miserable wreck every day, so that’s progress.
    Lots of love again
    Una xxxx

  149. Alpa February 24, 2014 at 6:22 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,
    Thank you for writing. Glad that you have found a roaming connection and are able to make use of it! So pleased that you love your Wedding Fund pot. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was for you. It’s an unofficial terramundi pot, as the ‘official’ ones were not quite as nice. I remember there was a funny story Una shared a few years ago, when she was looking for one. Love your stunning diamond and white gold engagement ring. It really is beautiful and Colin chose the perfect ring for you. Jack’s comments about Colin being a ‘lucky bloke’ make me smile.
    I read Suzanne’s post. I have come across the type of EDS she has been diagnosed with (from my own research) It was very kind of her to think of me and share this information. I hope she is able to get the help/treatment that she needs. My neurologist is based at the same UCLH London hospital Suzanne mentioned. In January last year, I saw a consultant at the Autonomic Unit at the same hospital. He believes I have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and low circulating blood volume amongst other things. This may explain why I have blackouts and be one of the reasons I feel so sick all the time. POTS is associated with ME although it is not recognized in the context of ME here. Now it’s a case of waiting for tests to confirm the diagnosis. Recently, I realised that that has not been confirmed in writing and will get that addressed. Will tell you properly about that next time as I am determined not to write about my misbehaving body here!
    I have a doctor’s appointment booked for Thursday with a different doctor. Just have to try and write up my notes so that they are in one place. At least I will feel better for going there as you said! Will also collect the form for my chest x-ray as that was not done. And the new washing machine is to be delivered and installed on Wednesday. So maybe a little progress although it does not feel like it. I am still very much on tortoise time over here! Your fabulous news has really cheered me as has your very kind and thoughtful message. The comment about your boils did make me laugh. It was just too funny!! And of course, the kindness from my friends here as well makes all the difference.
    Sue, thank you for your thinking of me and your kind words x
    Una, lovely to hear from you. I now have visions of Meli as a wee womble oompaloopa type person πŸ™‚ I hope she is feeling a little better now. Thank you very much for the hugs. Be good if Meli’s cure all hugs could be bottled. Love to you and Meli x
    Debz, bless you for thinking of me. So sorry you have been struggling. Thank you for the hug and special lick from Ainzley. Sending you a big hug and special cuddle from me to Ainzley. My love to you and Neal x
    Jilly, thank you for letting us know about your son-in-law and Annie. May the tough times soon be less for your family. Thank you for the timely reminder that you can pick your friends but not your relatives. Too true! Love your word, FABAROO πŸ™‚ Love to you and Annie x
    Lots of Love to all in Ali’s Amy x
    Hope your broadband is restored soon Ali. So good to see you so radiant with happiness. Very happy days and glad that you and Colin are away in March for a well deserved break πŸ™‚
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa

  150. Elaine sallis February 25, 2014 at 7:38 pm -  Reply

    Really don’t know what to say to you so am just sending you my love x

  151. Gail February 26, 2014 at 9:25 am -  Reply

    Oh Una, read your comments through teary eyes. Life does throw some punches eh? You’re a lovely lady and I truly wish you all the best in the future. Stay strong, lots of love.
    Gail xxx

  152. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:54 am -  Reply

    Dear Janet – that is definitely the plan! Quite a lot to organise, but hopefully by this time next year, we’ll either be wed or on the verge! :). Hope all good with you, love Ali xx

  153. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:54 am -  Reply

    Ooh Helen that sounds ghastly! Only ever had route canal work once, and it was grim. I wish you better ASAP – try oil of cloves in the meantime. Thank you for your sweet words, and I will make sure I get a few more pics up for you ASAP. Take care, love Ali x

  154. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:55 am -  Reply

    Sandra, yes the planning has sort of started already – Ali Young was on the verge if ordering the dress last week! Bless her πŸ™‚ Just overwhelmed by the response – delighted so many of you have taken the time to write to us too – Thankyou! Love Ali xx

  155. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:55 am -  Reply

    Dear Isabel, so glad that sharing our news made you smile – I’m still smiling! πŸ™‚ do keep in touch, and thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  156. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:55 am -  Reply

    Hi there Debbie, and thanks for your comment. I think it’s so true what another member of The Army wrote and that is you have sometimes be in the shadows to see the sunshine… Or learn to dance in the rain, and there’s been plenty of that around recently! So much to look forward to, and I’ll look forward to sharing it with you. Have a great week. Love Ali xx

  157. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:56 am -  Reply

    Gill, just realised having re read Una’s post I missed the comment about bridesmaids, but I have noted your colour preferences! πŸ™‚ I am actually working in a quiet way towards a proper get together for as many if Ali’s Army as possible prior to the big day, so will keep you posted. Enjoy your week, love Ali xx

  158. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:56 am -  Reply

    Bless you Alpa, I think we needed a communal box of tissues πŸ™‚ but for the nicest possible reasons! Please do keep in touch with me and the rest of the Army as we all care about you πŸ™‚ thanks again love Ali xx

  159. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:56 am -  Reply

    My dear Annette thank you very much for sharing your really touching story with us… I am so sorry you lost your dear dad, and completely understand why you didn’t feel able for the wedding to go ahead.. But how wonderful that all these years later you have not only a part of all that made your parents’ wedding and marriage so special, but a tangible memory of them too. As you say marriage means different things to different people, and the fact that you and Chris are still so happy all these years later compounds your decision. Thanks for your good wishes, and I hope that you too have a continued happy future ahead, love Ali xx

  160. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:57 am -  Reply

    Wow Tina you certainly didn’t hang around! πŸ™‚ Clearly it was the right thing for you and your lovely man as you’re still together 29 years later, so congratulations to you both! I can imagine your trepidation at telling your dad in the one breath that you’d started seeing him and were now going to marry him! Continued happiness to you both and thanks for your kind words and best wishes, with love, Ali xx

  161. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:57 am -  Reply

    Dear Denise, Margaret Kelso and Margaret Upton, I hope you don’t mind the joint e mail, but am still struggling with just the iPad to work on as no broadband! I just wanted to thank you for your kind words and so glad you loved the ring! Ali xx

  162. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:58 am -  Reply

    Dear Christine, thank you so much for your prayers over the years, and also your blog comments. As I have mentioned before, the support I have received here have made things so much easier to bear, even when the going was tough. Delighted to know that you’ve been with us for 20 years now and here’s to the next 20! With love, Ali xx

  163. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:58 am -  Reply

    Dear Lucy, sending a big hug back to you! So glad that you’ve kept in touch with the blogs over the years, and I thank you for your support. Yes, we are very happy
    and there is so much to look forward to :). Thanks again, love Ali xx

  164. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:59 am -  Reply

    Jan thanks for the tweet too! Didn’t get the chance to reply to all those or even the Facebook congrats, but we were both truly chuffed πŸ™‚ I agree, Colin is a diamond – and it is a beautiful ring! I hope you have a great week, love Ali xx

  165. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:59 am -  Reply

    Anne I love that ‘the best is yet to come’ ! And I wish it for you too. Yes, we’ve hard out fair share if difficult times, but so do most folk, and the fact that we’ve come out the other side stronger is a testament to all the support we’ve had – thank you! Love Ali xx

  166. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 9:59 am -  Reply

    I think I could write a book of positive sayings having read all the lovely comments here! πŸ™‚ Undiluted joy – that’s another great one Pat, and I thank you for it :). With love, Ali xx

  167. Una February 26, 2014 at 10:21 am -  Reply

    Awe Elaine. Thank you so much.
    It all kicked off in November, so have had some time to take it all in.
    What’s for you won’t go past you. As my old granny used to say.
    I’m sure its all going to make perfect sense one day.
    Till then, meli and I will just keep in doing what we’re doing.
    Thank you
    Una x

  168. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 10:58 am -  Reply

    Don’t laugh June, but Colin actually has five brothers but they are all spoken for! Hope you get lucky like I did :). Have a great week, and thank your kind words and good wishes, love Ali xx

  169. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 10:58 am -  Reply

    Dear Jean, it definitely was worth that awful drive through the wind and rain – altho stopping for a Cornish pasty on the way was a bonus! Usually couples get married and then go through the hard times, which I’ve sometimes seen driving them apart. As you say, if we’ve managed to get this far, I can’t imagine anything much putting us under stress now! Love to you and thanks, Ali xx

  170. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 10:59 am -  Reply

    More thanks to Rhianna, Linda, Anita, Jeni and Christine πŸ™‚ from colin too! Love Ali xx

  171. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 10:59 am -  Reply

    Annette I definitely It’ll be a good year – it’s certainly started really well :). I hope that things are good in your life too, and thank you for keeping in touch with me, love Ali xx

  172. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 10:59 am -  Reply

    Dear Jeanette – loving that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from truly belonging with someone! Hope you feel it too, and thanks for writing, love Ali x

  173. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 10:59 am -  Reply

    Dear Carole what a lovely lady you are, and it was so good to read your kinds words and wishes… Life is what you make it, and sometimes the road is more of an uphill climb than a straight run, but we’ve been lucky in so many other ways πŸ™‚ I hope,that life is good for you,and that you will keep in touch with everyone here . Love Ali xx

  174. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 11:00 am -  Reply

    Dear Rhona I so hope you are right…. It all feels good though, and no more check ups til April, so fingers crossed πŸ™‚ thank you for always. Being so positives and for keeping in touch, with my love Ali xx

  175. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 11:00 am -  Reply

    Dear Anne it was indeed romantic and all the nicer because Colin had planned it himself. Feel very lucky to be cherished in this way πŸ™‚ . I hope you will haven’t his same kind of support in your life, and thank you for writing to me at this time, love Ali xx

  176. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 11:00 am -  Reply

    My dear Vanessa so sorry to hear that you are struggling with life and your health, and I know how much harder it is trying to brave for your children when you are frightened for yourself. May this year be a better one for you too and I pray that your health will improve, and make sure you do ‘stay strong as a warrior’! Sending you a hug and my love, Ali x

  177. Alison Keenan February 26, 2014 at 11:02 am -  Reply

    Dear Debz I have been thinking of you recently when reading various posts – I am sorry that you are struggling and just pray that Neil is coping and you can lean on each other for support. I hope too that Ainzley is being good and giving you cuddles when needed :). Thank your for your continued support and kindness – you will never know quite how much it has meant. I look forward to hearing from you with all your news very soon, With love Ali xx

  178. angela white February 26, 2014 at 11:37 am -  Reply

    hi una, sorry to hear your news I hope you are ok how awful for you,what a friend eh? bitch!!! tricia,yes I think it is normal to have aches after chemo I did especially tops of legs I could hardly get upstairs sometimes but it will go eventually like most side effects except the hot flushes! phew!!! debz I hope you are ok and my Thomas cat sends you a big purrrrr! ali, yes still enjoying kitchen apart from water mark down wall from leak in header tank its not to bad and luckily insurance covered it so we waiting now to have combi boiler fitted. our garden is still a jungle but the birds love it! I have to fill feeders up nearly every day and theres a old water butt down garden and a blackbird was having a lovely wash but nearly drowned the robin watching it!!! right im off to make a Cumberland pie,love to you ali and allthe army xxxx

  179. Alpa February 26, 2014 at 2:28 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Una,
    I’m so sorry you are having to go through this. I’m sure Hercules would be no match for your strength! Although we may be geographically challenged, if there is anything you need, please let me know.
    Thinking of you and sending a big hug to you and Meli.
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  180. Una February 26, 2014 at 3:29 pm -  Reply

    Gail, thank you for your kind words.. feeling more positive than I have in a while. Think seeing the sun peeping through the last few days has helped too!
    Gill, I forgot to mention. Your colours are most definitely my colours lol!! Wouldn’t want to clash!
    Ali, I hope you got the card. Meli was going to do some XXX on the photo, but that was when she wasnt feeling well, so she had a strop instead lol!
    Lots of love xxx

  181. Pearl Emery February 27, 2014 at 4:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,Just read your blog,congratulations to you and your lovely Colin as some body else said he is a diamond just like you,and you both deserve great happiness after all you have been through.
    I wish you both every happiness now and forever.
    Much love to you both.
    Pearl xx

  182. Una February 28, 2014 at 10:13 am -  Reply

    Alpa, thank you so much for that. Especially when you’re going through so much yourself.
    It really means a lot.
    I’m not even angry, just really really sad. They’ve caused so much pain and completely split up families. As if we haven’t had enough anguish and pain to deal with.
    Her 2 girls and my daughter were at nursery together, and they were like sisters more than friends. They were heartbroken when she passed away, and have both been such a comfort to me. Popping in with all their girlie gossip and moaning about their boyfriends. As you do lol!
    They are so upset, they won’t even speak to their mum. That has upset me more than anything. I know what its like to not have your girl near, and that saddens me.
    Its not really my place to force them into anything. I can just let them know im here fr them too. I just hope that in time, they will see her again. We all make mistakes, their mistake was just horrendously stupid.

  183. Una February 28, 2014 at 10:21 am -  Reply

    Oops, posted that too soon alpa!!
    Time heals all as they say!
    Hoping you are feeling OK,.
    Ali, meli and I send our love as always.
    Have a lovely weekend everyone. Hope the weather stays like this for a couple of days. Its lovely today. Very bright, but cold. Meli and I are wrapping up later and going for a walk. We saw squirrels in the park nearby, so we are going to feed them later. She loves it, they’re so tame ,they take the food from your hand. She forgets herself though, and yells when they start to get close, then they scarper, and she cries. Its a long process! Lol!!! Wish me luck!
    Lots of love
    Una xxx

  184. Sue Radford February 28, 2014 at 7:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Una,
    I’m so very upset for you. I echo Angela White’s comment!!!
    To be deceived by someone you are close to is so awful, but to be deceived by a friend too! After all you’ve been through and had to cope with – how could they have been so heartless. The very same thing happened to one of my friends and to an Aunt of mine – they both didn’t have a clue either. They have since met new partners and have made new lives for themselves and are happier than ever. I’m sure happiness is waiting just around the corner for you Una. In the meantime I hope you’ll keep positive and strong and enjoy every minute with your lovely little granddaughter.
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  185. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 7:11 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jean, so nice to hear from you, and thanks very much for your kind and thoughtful words. I am feeling very lucky with my lot, and so glad that the future look bright πŸ™‚ I hope all is good with you too, Love ALi xx

  186. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 7:13 pm -  Reply

    Over the Moon, is a great way to describe how I am still feeling Lyn πŸ™‚ And you’re right the hard times are behind us now, and we have so much to look forward to – I hope its the same for you, Love Ali xx

  187. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 7:19 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, I’m in complete agreement with you – yes Colin is a romantic and a true gentleman, and his proposal was so sweet. I’ve been spoilt rotten with the ring too – apparantly the diamond was one of two from the same original! Simply beautiful. To be able to share all this with you and everyone else in Ali’s Army, plus our Facebook followers and Tweeters too, has made it an amazing couple of week πŸ™‚ I feel very blessed, and yes you ALL have a special place in my heart too, love Ali xx

  188. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 7:21 pm -  Reply

    Dear Wendy, your words are perfect – it is a new beginning, a new chapter in our lives, and I feel so lucky to have been given this chance so late on in my life too. I hope all is well with you and that you will have enjoyed this lovely sunny weekend, Love Ali xx

  189. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 7:22 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia and Lilian, good to hear from you both, and I really appreciate your kind wishes and congratulations, love Ali xx

  190. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 7:27 pm -  Reply

    Dear Liz, if I’d have known you were there on Thursday I would have given you a wave πŸ™‚ I am glad you enjoy the shows, as I really enjoy working on them, and particularly when we have great guests like Renee. Colin and I have already started planning for the big day, but have so many ideas that it’s going to be a job to make a choice! We don’t intend to waste a moment of time either – one life, live it – and that’s what we both intend to do πŸ™‚ I hope all is good with you and yours, love Ali xx

  191. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 7:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Irene, and thank you for the compliment! πŸ™‚ Colin has read all these lovely messages, and is so very grateful that you’ve taken the time out to write. It’s always a tricky one finding the right outfit to wear on air but that’s very sweet of you to say that I am ‘well turned out’ – my mum would be proud πŸ™‚
    Very best wishes to you too Irene, Love Ali xx

  192. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 7:35 pm -  Reply

    Dear Tricia, I am so pleased to hear that things have been good for you this last three years, and you remain healthy and happy. Yes it was tough at times, but to be honest the worst of it seems a long time ago now, and getting engaged is just the icing on the cake for me πŸ™‚ Thank you for persevering in getting through to me – it was no doubt a glitch in the system – so I hope you won’t be a stranger from now on. With love, Ali xx

  193. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 7:45 pm -  Reply

    Dear Tricia (gosh two in a row! I have often thought of your Jan, and wondering how she is getting on. Yes I also had painful joints following the chemo, but I had a nuclear scan a year or so ago because of pain in my hip, and it was fine. It is completely normal though to worry, and I know that the chemo and tablet treatment can all work against supple joints, but her oncologist should be able to suggest some supplements to help. Let us know she is OK, and then you can enjoy YOUR fabulous Valentine’s Day news πŸ™‚ Many congratulations to your daughter Liz, and we’ll have to start comparing notes on wedding plans!
    I am indeed still riding on my cloud of happiness, and was just remarking to Colin as we sat in bed this morning looking at the blue skies and sunshine, it doesn’t get much better than this πŸ™‚ Love to you all, and try not to worry, I am sure it will all be well, Ali xx

  194. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Maggie, and thank you for your lovely comment and good wishes. I was with Lucy last Tuesday, and we were indeed talking weddings and dresses, and she has some lovely ideas, so I will keep you updated! I hope you have a great weekend, love Ali x

  195. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 8:03 pm -  Reply

    Una, thanks so much for your card and the lovely photo! What a beautiful little soul Meli is, and I can see why she makes you so happy. Very glad to know that she is now feeling better now, and I’m sure all your love and caring have made her recovery far swifter. So glad you liked my ‘outtake’ – I also thought Sally held it together very well too – what’s life without humour eh? You take care, give Meli a hug for me, and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  196. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 8:11 pm -  Reply

    Dear Martin, lovely to hear from you, and thank you from Colin and I for your kind words and wishes. Good for you for having a couple of weeks to enjoy the skiing, and I hope that you are well, love Ali xx

  197. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    Dear Liz, sooo love your analogy about the diamond on my finger and the diamond I’m marrying πŸ™‚ You have my complete empathy about the internet situation – we have been without internet or a landline for now over 6 weeks! It is driving us mad! Luckily I have been able to get into work earlier and use the trusty QVC computers to reply to you all. Love Ali xx

  198. alison keenan March 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julie, your kind words and congratulations have made me smile, and Colin also, as he has been reading through all these lovely comments. It has been wonderful to share our news with you all, and has made the future plans all that more exciting! I do hope all is good with you and yours, and thanks again for writing, love Ali xx

  199. Sue Jennings March 1, 2014 at 11:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali it’s me again….after my post I sent you and Colin and Engagement Card ..I hope you got it
    Take care
    Love Always
    Sue Jennings xx

  200. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen watching via sky tv March 2, 2014 at 1:15 pm -  Reply

    congratulations on yourv engagement alison and to colin
    ihave had anice 2week lazy hhol from work doing nothing baxck on tuesdaty how unfortunate only 12 13 weeks on hols again for 2weeks june cant wait

  201. Jilly March 2, 2014 at 2:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Just have to say you looked super stunning last night on the late show. The orange dress and your hair up was just the tops. It was too late by the time I had finished watching to come on here then. I too have the iron and love it. Wished I had bought one years ago but thought paying so much for an iron was just not on – how wrong can you be. This does make ironing so easy and you can have the water tank on the floor so don’t need a huge ironing board. It also is so light to use. I would not be without it now. I ordered the sponge cleaning things so will see what they are like when they arrive. I think Annie uses them all the time.
    Wouldn’t it be just fab to have a huge “Ali Army get together” – name badges would be a must and it would be a hoot deciding who was who – or thinking so and so is not as I imagined!! Great stuff.
    Your news has cheered so many people up and all from a blind date – that must have been some date all those years ago!! I am still so delighted for you all and the children must be thrilled to see their mum so happy and so well looked after. We will want to hear all the wedding details as things progress and I would think Colin and his band will be doing a “gig” during the reception – how cool would that be when the groom gets up to play etc.
    Una I was horrified to read about what you have gone through recently. There are best friends and best friends and perhaps who you thought was yours is not but then you are better off without both of them. My motto is onwards and upwards and that is what we all must do in whatever situation we find ourselves in.
    Ali your card is sitting in the middle of our kitchen dresser and looks lovely there – thank you very much. Looking forward to hearing your latest when you can. Love Jilly XX

  202. beverley March 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm -  Reply

    That is such lovely news xxx
    Wishing you both all the love ,health and happiness you both deserve
    Soooo exciting!!!!

  203. Alison Keenan March 3, 2014 at 10:34 am -  Reply

    My dear Una, if it hadn’t have been for my mum texting me as she was so upset by your news, i wouldn’t have realised until this morning how terribly hurt you must be feeling. As Gail, Alpa, Sue and all your other friends here have said, I am devastated for you… The deception, selfishness, cruelty and betrayal has left me cold… To have been through all you have been through, and for them to say THEY needed support is incredible. But you know, the MOST incredible thing about all of this is that you have picked yourself up, never faltered in your love and support for Meli, and even felt sorrow for your ‘friend’ as her daughters are understandably reeling because of their mother’s behaviour….. As a woman I am staggered by your strength, and feel humbled that you feel my last few years come anywhere close to the kind of pain and sorrow you’ve had to cope with. Una, you are right, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, although I have tears in my eyes as I write this, because sometimes all you want to do is curl up in a ball and let someone be strong for you….. I hope the love and support that I know we’re all feeling will make it’s way to you, and that the very special bond between Meli and you will get you through the worst of this, although it seems to me you’re doing incredibly well already. Anything I can do just ask. Sending you my love as always, Ali xx

  204. Alison Keenan March 3, 2014 at 10:45 am -  Reply

    Angela Cumberland pie, and I haven’t even had breakfast! πŸ™‚ bit back to front here as still no broadband – 7th week! – and takes forever trying to make sure I don’t miss anything. That said as you will realise I did miss Una’s devastating news, but have since responded…. Unbelievable behaviour…. And their loss in so many ways. Sorry to hear about your water leak your kitchen, but glad that the insurance will cover it – hope it’s not too long before they sort it out for you! We used to have a water butt at the cottage, and the ducks used to swim in circles in it! πŸ™‚ good times. You take care, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  205. Alison Keenan March 3, 2014 at 10:50 am -  Reply

    Hello here Pearl and thank you for your kind words and Congratulations! πŸ™‚ was such a lovely surprise and the evening couldn’t have been more perfect. As for the ring, yes it is a beautiful diamond – very sparkly! – and exactly the style I would have chosen for myself πŸ™‚ hope all good with you, love Ali xx

  206. Alison Keenan March 3, 2014 at 10:54 am -  Reply

    Hi there Gail, and apologies for not responding earlier. I have been using the computer at work to try and reply, but left my list of responses at home πŸ™‚ you did make me laugh with your comment about your husband trying to buy you clothes! Probably safer you continue to buy for yourself πŸ™‚ Thanks from colin and I for your kind words of congratulations – it’s a good time for both of us πŸ™‚ love Ali xx

  207. Alison Keenan March 3, 2014 at 10:55 am -  Reply

    Martin I’m a firm believer in the importance of holidays! I hope that the time you take off in June will be equally lazy and enjoyable πŸ™‚ love Ali xx

  208. Alison Keenan March 3, 2014 at 11:00 am -  Reply

    Hi thee Jilly, and glad you liked the dress. I found it in a boutique in Brighton when were there – I bought. A navy blue one too! Very reasonable and in that lovely jersey which makes it very comfortable too :). I am glad you got the card and again thank you for the beautiful gift – I see it first thing in the morning when I wake and it’s message stays with me thru the day πŸ™‚ I promise I will pursue the idea of a get together for Ali’s army at qvc although it may be a little later in the year. Name badges will be a must as you say, and I think we’d need to make it a full day as we’d have so much to talk about! You will love the It Works blocks – not surprised Annie has been using them for years – I gave my last lot to Lucy! Keep in touch, and I should be posting a new blog tomorrow with a request to you all – re jewellery! Love Ali xx

  209. Alison Keenan March 3, 2014 at 11:02 am -  Reply

    Very exciting Bev! Can’t quite believe it – thought I was too long in the tooth to have another chance, but it feels so right after all we’ve been through, and what we mean to each other πŸ™‚ hope all is good in your life too, and thank you for writing to me, Love Ali xx

  210. Una March 6, 2014 at 12:16 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali & my lovely army of friends.
    I actually tried to send a message a couple of days ago, but after spending ages typing it, I’m sure its gone AWOL!!
    Thank you so so much to everyone, for your very kind words. So many of you are going through awful times too, and I feel very humbled at the support you have given me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    Its very true Ali. Many many times, I’ve wanted to hide under the duvet ,curled up, and never come out. Then I hear Meli giggling at something, and I just can’t help a smile or 2.
    It was awful, and I feel hurt and lonely sometimes, because, she was my best friend for 20 years. Much as I hate to say it. I have to accept some responsibility. I was so wrapped up in my own grief, and trying to make sure the wee one was OK, I forgot to think about anyone else. I couldn’t think about anyone else. Then, I had to go to the States for that 6 months, to finalise the adoption, I was so completely drained by the sheer terror that we might lose her, that nearly finished me. I must’ve been awful to live with.
    Marriage is like a fisherman’s net. You see the fisherman checking their net every single day, they tighten the knots to make sure its strong enough. I just didn’t check the knots, and these relationships weren’t strong enough.
    The thing is. Its not the worst thing thats ever happened to me. The worst thing was losing my girl. I survived that, by the skin of my teeth, so I’ll get over this. I know its going to take time, there will be more tears ( not mine I’ve cried enough) but we will be fine.
    I hope you are all coping with everything that’s being thrown in your direction. Life is just so hard sometimes, then something or someone makes you laugh, and you just think, huh, its not so bad after all.
    My love and thanks to every single one of you.
    Una xxxxx

  211. deanna charlton March 6, 2014 at 11:23 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations and best wishes to you both, be happy xx

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