Honey at Christmas

A wonderful Christmas!


The treeIt’s still daylight as I write this, but I have to admit to having the Christmas tree lights on and the log burner lit, in my attempt to squeeze the last drop out of what has been a lovely Christmas!  We didn’t get the tree up until the 23rd December, but here we are on twelfth night, with some wonderful memories made over the last month and the New Year to look forward to! (I promise I will take the tree and all the decorations down before midnight though : ) )

Thanks so much for taking part in our competition to win this fabulous centerpiece by Peony. I realise that we had problems with our website over the last weekend and you may have had difficulty in placing your guess, but I hope that by extending the deadline you were able to take part, and here is our winner! Gillian Dimsdale – Congratulations!


The lead up to Christmas was a bit of a scramble with Colin working hard to get the log burner installed, and me trying to get Christmas organised while still struggling with my rotten cold! As you can see though from the photos, what began as a breeze block build onto a flat wall, was completed on 23rd December and now looks like this! I am absolutely thrilled, and very proud of my man for having done such a great job with it. What makes it even nicer is that I unexpectedly received some money from my late Aunt’s estate, and so we bought the log burner with that.  Every time we light it, we will think of her : )

Fireplace beforeFireplace after

Christmas Eve was a hoot working with Phil Parker at QVC in the last show before our Christmas closure. He’s always a master with his demonstrations, but I managed to get a few manners on him before the end of play : )

I hope you managed to order your H2O TSV – I’ve got mine and it’s been a God send! I only had a couple of hours after I got home to get things ready for our traditional Christmas Eve get together with Colin’s and my kids. There were 12 of us in total and we decided to open our presents that evening as with seven staying overnight, it’s always a bit of a rush in the morning! We tried our hand at a game that was new to me – Cards Against Humanity – and although totally unPC , some of the suggestions were very funny : ) We all spoiled each other with some truly thoughtful presents, and I was quite happy to leave the house in a muddle the following morning and head off with Colin to Swindon,  as we were spending our Christmas Day with Honey, Lucy, Simon and his entire family.

Honey at Christmas

It’s only the third time in 35 years that I’ve not cooked Christmas lunch, and the first time ever for Colin and I to eat in a hotel restaurant! It was very well organised though, and I loved being with all the family, including Simon’s sister and her two girls.  Of course Simon’s three sons were there too, plus Honey, who along with all of them, was a saint. In spite of being full of cold, she sat in her highchair, on various laps, slept in her pushchair and then entertained us all when we went on to Granny and Grandpa’s for tea! I loved the little rocking horse Father Christmas brought for her : )

Honey on her rocking horseHoney playing















We went to see my mum and Joe on Boxing Day and she had a fabulous feast of cold meats and pickles awaiting us! As its Joe’s birthday too, we had a double celebration and were joined by my sister and Linda in the afternoon. I had bought mum a pair of Emu boots for Christmas, and she loved them which was nice. She in turn had sourced me some wonderful bakeware, so I can make even better use of my KitchenAid! Jenny and Linda bought Colin all kinds of log burner related gifts that were very well received, and are now in daily use! Equally well received was the mighty sized Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream I got for my sister, which she is promising to use night and day, not just on special occasions! I expect her to look even younger by this time next year!  : )

I worked the next couple of days and had some lovely shows including Gold Fever with Jan Springer, when I bought myself a beautiful pair of gold threader earrings with some Christmas money. I had to order them while I was on-air as they, along with most other things, sold out!

With CookieBetween then and New Year we managed to squeeze in a visit to Bournemouth where Colette (who used to do my nails) and her family live. Her birthday is on Christmas Eve and her husband Dave bought her a dachshund puppy called Cookie! How cute is she?!

As she’s only a couple of months old, Colette had to tuck her securely inside her jacket while we went for a somewhat blustery walk along the front! Colin took this photo (below) of the skyline before the heavens opened!  After a lovely take-away, we spent the night dancing the calories off with Colette, Dave and the children in their newly extended kitchen/dining room – good times : )


It was only a couple of days later we were celebrating again with my friend Jo, as it’s her birthday on New Years Day.  In time-honoured tradition we had a few glasses of fizz before sitting down to an enormous cheese fondue followed by Christmas pud that was fabulous, but rendered us unable to move until Big Ben chimed midnight! Colin’s twins Richard and Lily also have the same birthday, but they understandably had their own plans for New Year, so we caught up with them and the rest of the family on 3rd January.

Bournemouth skyline

I’ve managed to visit my son Sam and also Lucy and Honey in the last few days, and am hoping to see Jack again soon too. It’s all been very much about the family, and I hope that however you spent the last fortnight, it was in the company of someone special to you.

I think that’s all my news for now, except to say that Colin very kindly cleared our back bedroom so that I now have a dedicated space for my Aeropilates. I also have a tiny TV on the wall, so I can keep in line with the workouts that Marjolein suggests -it’s going pretty well so far! I’ll be with you tonight at 9pm for the Diamonique show, which as always, features a fabulous collection of the finest simulated diamond jewellery, so please do tweet into the show @alikqvc and be a part of it. I’d love to hear about your Christmas, so feel free to post a comment below, and I promise I’ll get back to you.

With my love,

Ali xx


  1. Joanna Downey January 7, 2016 at 6:43 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year to you and all you love, You really did have a wonderful Christmas and an extremely busy one by the sound of it and how fantastic to be able to get to see so many people. Honey is a very contented baby with a delightful nature and her parents are obviously doing a grand job with her. I love the photo of her on her rocking horse and ironically saw a troop of them earlier this week; there was a plaid one that would be perfect for a two year old who will be three in December and if it’s still there after payday it may be my first Christmas 2016 purchase..! I say “chapeau” to Colin for the outstanding installation of your log burner it looks so very stylish and I also love your bear which is standing on the hearth. It’s a strange feeling not being the one in charge of preparing the Christmas lunch but I’m not precious and we had ours, for the third successive year, with Bex and Ant. He’s an instinctive and inventive cook, she isn’t! He had to call on all that inventiveness because Bex was limited because of being pregnant and I’m a veggie who’s had to cut lots out of her diet since the Autumn due to severe stomach pains caused by possible food intolerances. To add to the mix Colin doesn’t eat meat but does like fish, fortunately Tallulah eats everything she’s given especially meat, she’s definitely not following me. She’s a December girl so an end of year gift overload is possible but we thought we’d got the balance right until we did our food shop, it’s become a Downey tradition to be at Sainsburys when the store opens at 6am on Christmas Eve, and within minutes I had seen Dino the remote controlled dinosaur 🙂 He was on the shelf – literally – at the end of the toy aisle and his box was a tad battered. He needed a home, so he now drives them mad with his gyrations and Tallulah loves him. I truly love Christmas and have always experienced the post holiday blues even though I’m very much a glass half full person but the news this week that my super brother in law has a tumour on his spine has put everything into perspective. It’s a case of hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. They’ve lived with uncertainty and dread for more than 12 years since he had his first brain tumour and the constant worry is totally draining for them and so very unfair. A lovely blog from from you and an epic from me, see you for Diamonique this evening. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan January 12, 2016 at 7:49 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Jo lovely to hear from you, and I’m so pleased you also had a wonderful Christmas. Does sound as if you might of been up against it regarding what to eat, and I’m sorry to hear that you struggle with dietary intolerances. That said, how lovely that your son in law Ant is such a good and determined cook! I hope that the new baby will enjoy everything that is served up over the years in the same way Tallulah does 🙂 Dino the remote controlled dinosaur sounds perfect, and I’m so glad your little girly loved him. Jo, I was sorry to hear about your brother-in-law and to know that the family have been living with this for the last 12 years. This sadly is what cancer does, and although one may well be given a clear diagnosis you very rarely feel completely free from disease. I will pray that there is something they will be able to do to make things easier for all of you as a family. Try to remain glass half full person, although I know it is difficult. Remember there is always hope. Sending you my love, Ali xx

  2. Loraine January 7, 2016 at 6:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi ali lovely family blog we too had a great xmas clare had some baby things we bought the cot bed for them so things are taking shape including her tummy we will see all the changes at the house on Saturday as we are going to dinner there they have been buying some furniture for the lounge to. Nice you managed to it a lot into your Xmas including your visit down here to Bournemouth one day I may bump into you as you know we are in ringwood so visit there a lot as our son lives there . you must be worn out need another break is Swindon far from you ? Glad your keeping well weather is turning colder so you will find the benefit of your wood burner . best wishes love Loraine x

    • Alison Keenan January 12, 2016 at 7:51 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Loraine, lovely to hear from you, and nice to know that you live in such a pretty part of our country! You must be very excited about Clare, and I hope that their house is now taking shape. Not long til the baby eh?! I have to admit our Christmas was fun but as you say quite exhausting, so I am enjoying the occasional day off! The wood burner is fabulous, and Colin did a marvellous job. Sending you my love, Ali xx

  3. Susan January 7, 2016 at 7:22 pm -  Reply

    Happy new year Ali! What a fabulous first blog of the year! I do not know how on earth you fit in all your fun socialising in amongst your family duties, of which there are many of you, plus working and doing all your gorgeous cooking and cakes! You’re amazing! How great to have birthdays to attend on Xmas eve and NYE!
    What gorgeous photos of honey and of your stunning be fireplace. Honey is so cute and the fireplace is so classy. Love it! Enjoy.
    Look forward to your next blog.
    Susan x

    • Alison Keenan January 12, 2016 at 7:57 pm -  Reply

      Dear Susan, you are kind, and your words are much appreciated. I have passed your comments on to Colin! I really have enjoyed all the festivities, socialising and cooking as well – in fact we have eight for supper this Saturday coming, so I will have to get my cooks Essentials out! We will deafly have the log burner alight that evening, and no doubt I will bore everyone rigid with more photographs of Honey! I can’t help myself really 🙂 Happy New Year to you, love Ali xx

  4. Alison Stott January 8, 2016 at 5:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, what a busy time you had it’s all about making memories!!
    what was the competitions winning answer ? xx

    • Alison Keenan January 12, 2016 at 8:32 pm -  Reply

      HI there Alison, it was actually baby James making noises while he slept, but I was happy to accept the answer of a baby sleeping 🙂 Happy New Year to you xxx Love Ali

  5. Linda January 8, 2016 at 6:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali , Happy NEW Year to you and Colin ,you know how to pack a lot into a few days.lovely pics of Honey as usual she is such a little cutie . We spent christmas day with SiMon ,Michelle,Harry and Ellie also Michelle mum and her partner. During lunch Ellie decided to treat us to her rendition of Let it go from frozen no one could eat for tears and laughter I just wish you could see the video we took (its certainly worth keeping for when she gets older) .After having such a lovely day I succumbed to the virus that everyone seams to be getting ,so 2 days in bed with places that ached I didn’t know I had ,after I was left with a ha king cough , but I can say iam back to normal now , so my first day out was New Years Day when we went to the coast for a good long walk to blow the cobwebs away even though it was really cold we were well wrapped up ,and a nice meal later made it a good day not much else to say at the moment ,looking forward to your next blog . Love for now Linda F xx

    • Alison Keenan January 12, 2016 at 8:39 pm -  Reply

      Dear Linda it sounds as though you had a house full over Christmas, but I love the idea of any treating you to have rendition of let it go! You must keep the video for when she is older 🙂 I was so sorry to hear after that you succumbed to the ghastly virus so many of us struggled with. Glad to know now though that you are over it. How lovely to be close to the coast and to get the opportunity to let the cobwebs blow away. Happy New Year Love Ali xx

  6. Kay January 8, 2016 at 11:01 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year to you all,

    It would be nice to know for sure what you ‘sound’ was?

    I only found a James Dimsdale in you last blog so wonder if I have missed something?

    Enjoy your family,
    Kay x

    • Alison Keenan January 13, 2016 at 11:02 pm -  Reply

      Hello there Kay, and I’m more than happy to tell you that the sound was baby James sleeping, but we were happy to accept ‘baby sleeping’ as little Honey featured in the blog too! Your definitely eagle eyed – the winners name came under the e mail name of James Dimsdale, but was in fact Gillian Dimsdale, so possibly a family e mail address? Happy New Year to you too, love Ali x

  7. Judith Lennon January 9, 2016 at 1:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I am sitting in my lounge having finished a mountain of iroining and taking 5 mins for myself. This is day 4 of continuous rain and the days have been so dark. No wonder everyone is going about with sad looking faces. However, having read your lovely blog it brought a smile to my face! Where do you get your energy from or are you a typical busy lady who just gets on with whatever!!!! I guess you are. Well we had a lovely family Christmas and the little ones as ever made it so special. I don’t know who was the most exhausted Nanna and Grandad or the little ones…. Well this is week four of my virus and I am really fed up with the constant coughing and needless to say lack of sleep. I think it’s now time to have another check with my GP. I’ve just finished making a pan of soup for lunch which will warm my husband up after a hard cold shift at the garage. The house smells amazing. There is nothing like a house full of cooking and baking aromas is there? I’m watching Dale and Richard Jackson on TV whilst I chat to you and can’t wait for the better days when I can get in my garden and get going with the plants. Everything looks bedraggled and sad just now. However the birds are taking an interest in the bird box again so hopefully that will be something to keep an eye on. My husband bought me a bird box with an attached camera for my Christmas pressie and I can’t wait to see the results, fingers crossed. I’ll have my very own springwatch programme.

    Well I’m going to get ready for the visit of the grandchildren this afternoon so will turn the lounge into a mass of toys. GREAT love it! Until next time take care and well. Love and hugs as always Judith xxx

    • Alison Keenan January 12, 2016 at 8:13 pm -  Reply

      Did you just how lovely to hear from you! I am fascinated by your Birdwatch project, and you must promise to let me know what the 40s looks like… I’m sure Richard Jackson very pleased to know as well. So glad that you had a great Christmas very sorry to hear that you are still struggling with your virus. I do think it is best for you to go to the doctor, sometimes these things begin as one kind of germ, and tend to become something different, so antibiotics might be the best answer. Whatever the outcome, I do hope you feel much better soon. Your Christmas sounds like mine busy but great fun, and I’m sure that your little ones very much enjoyed being with Nanna and Grandad. We have had a mixed weather here too, but I managed to get out in the sunshine on Sunday and re pot several roses and tidy up generally on the patio. Please do keep in touch, and I’m certain I’m not the anyone who would love to know about the footage from your camera in the bird box! Take care love Ali xx

  8. Denise January 9, 2016 at 7:53 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali as usual a great blog. It sounds like you’ve had a very busy but enjoyable time over the festivities. You must feel exhausted after all that – we used to have family in several parts of the country and after visiting me and hubby were shattered. We’ve cut it down now though and thankfully they understand. How lovely to share it with Honey I love the pics of her with the rocking horse and also the one in those gorgeous tartan trousers – very festive! Your fireplace looks very stylish and how clever is Colin. I’m jealous as my husband isn’t very DIY inclined haha wish he was but he’s more of a techy man(technical) . Our Christmas was lovely spending it with my son and daughter in law and I was spoiled with some lovely presents including theatre vouchers,a lovely new bag and L’occitane goodies. One of the presents I bought my husband was tickets to see a local comedienne called Lucy Beaumont she’s very funny and has been getting some national recognition including a comedy series on Radio 4 called To Hull and back with Maureen Lipman. Well when he opened them he just sort of said Oh. So I asked him what the matter was and he said you’ll find out. So it turned out my son had had the same idea for my present … Oops !! I need to go in and see if I can exchange them for another show hopefully. We had a very enjoyable NY Eve too spent with friends at a function including a delicious meal, danced the night away and then at 1 am they served up bacon butties! No wonder I need to get back to health eating and the gym!
    Well I wish you and yours a Happy New Year.
    Denise xx

    • Alison Keenan January 12, 2016 at 8:24 pm -  Reply

      Having a Denese, I love reading about your Christmas and New Year festivities, and I’m dead jealous about the bacon butty! How lovely that you got so many wonderful presents, funny that you and your son bought your husband the same present! It sounds like just the thing that Colin and I would enjoy – Maureen Lipman has always been a favourite of mine! I do hope you will be able to exchange the tickets for an alternative? My friend has just suggested a night out seeing Billy Connolly live, as it takes us back to our childhood when we used to laugh ourselves stupid watching his comedy sketches. I bought myself a Nutrininja when it was a TSV over NY, and that really helps with the fruit and veg intake! You take care and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  9. Christine Auchterlonie January 9, 2016 at 10:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali … Best wishes to you and your family for 2016 I enjoyed reading your latest blog and of course viewing the wood burner that Colin has installed for you I’m impressed …. I love a wood burner they make you feel so cosy and they make a home lovely and warm and welcoming …and the Christmas photos of little Honey and her pressies …lovely….. Photos are so important as they form a families history and great to look back on over the years when everyone gets together… We had Christmas Day and Boxing Day at Simons home ..with his girls Jessica and Katy and my daughter Fiona and some lovely presents were exchanged..we are very lucky to have such a caring thoughtful family…. The weather here in the North East has been terrible rain rain and more rain but thankfully we are lucky that we have not had any flooding unlike some where homes and businesses have been lost…poor souls… Looking forward to the Spring! I hope you are keeping well and that you continue to have special times with Honey … Take care till next time with love Chris x

    • Alison Keenan January 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm -  Reply

      Happy New Year to you Chris, and all your family. So pleased to hear that you’re not struggling with flooding in spite of the terrible rain that you have been experiencing. I like you and looking forward to the spring! Thank you for your kind comments, Colin and I are loving the wood burner, and yes it makes the room very cosy and warm. Infact I think we’ve probably watched more TV since it was installed than ever before! You are right about the photographs taken at family occasions. Too easy to let them sit on the computer, so I am making a determined effort to print them out and frame them. I am feeling pretty well, and relived that no surgery is required on my knee.. just physio as it is arthritis. Take care and a happy new year to you! love Ali x

  10. Julie C January 11, 2016 at 11:20 pm -  Reply

    I’d like to wish you and your family a wonderful 2016. It’s such a joy to watch you on QVC, you’re such a natural and likeable presenter! I saw you on the southbank in London last summer, can i just say you were absolutely stunning, even better than you look on TV X

    • Alison Keenan January 12, 2016 at 8:42 pm -  Reply

      Julie your sweet words are very much appreciated, and it really makes a difference to know that you are the other side of the camera while I am working. I think I remember meeting you last summer, while we were celebrating Lewises birthday. We had such fun, and I’m very much looking forward to that time of the year again… it’s all a little grey and cold for my liking! Love Ali xx

  11. Alison Keenan January 12, 2016 at 8:05 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jilly and Annie, it seems such a long time since we heard from you and about you, and I miss hearing from you. Please do get in touch if you can, and let us know how things are? Many thanks, Ali xx

  12. Alison Keenan January 12, 2016 at 8:30 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Julie , I’d like to wish you and your family a wonderful 2016 as well! I seem to remember meeting you on the South Bank last summer when we were celebrating Lewis’s birthday. Your kind words are very much appreciated. Feeling rather old at the moment, so you have cheered me. Love Ali xx

  13. Alison Keenan January 12, 2016 at 8:36 pm -  Reply

    Dear Judith my rather gung ho intro of “Did you just” Was actually me dictating Dear Judith!!! Apologies all round 🙂 xxx

  14. Alison Keenan January 12, 2016 at 8:37 pm -  Reply

    OOOOPs and the same for ‘Having a Denese!!!! ‘ That was meant to say Dear Denise… clearly I will either have to take elecution lessons or check through what I have written first … Sorry, but as always thanks for writing! Ali xx

  15. TINA S January 14, 2016 at 12:40 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    You certainly had a very packed Christmas! It’s only now that my cold is finally going. I don’t have colds very often thankfully but when I do they last for ages.I’m always glad though to get back to normal after the festivities. Yesterday was our 31st wedding anniversary so we went out for lunch. I can’ t believe we’ve been married all this time. It only seems like yesterday when we almost got snowed in and I was worried that the car we had hired wouldn’t arrive as it had to come from a very rural part where the roads become impassable. We also thought we would have to postpone the wedding as my husband’s mother passed away just 10 weeks before were due to get married. It all worked out in the end, snow or no snow. I’ m still waiting for my honeymoon though as the snow prevented us from driving to the cottage we had hired.
    Well I’m so glad you had a wonderful time over the holidays.
    Wishing you again a very happy and healthy new year. Thank you by the way , for my Christmas card.
    All the best, Tina S (S.Wales) x

    • Alison Keenan January 19, 2016 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Tina it sounds as though I wasn’t the only one to have a busy Christmas, and I very much hope that you’re 31st wedding anniversary lunch was fun. Gosh that is a long time to be married, and congratulations to you both. I remember you telling me about your wedding and the snow, and maybe this summer you could find a honeymoon cottage somewhere to celebrate a little more! I wish you a very happy and healthy New Year to, can’t believe it’s five years yesterday since my diagnosis, so fingers crossed all remains stable 🙂 Beauty Bash tomorrow which will be fine, and I’ll have some photos to show you from there in the next blog, love Ali xx

  16. Tricia coulsonwood January 14, 2016 at 5:50 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, lovely to read all your interesting news and see your lovely photos..I too have been thinking of Jilly and Annie as I know like me and Kathy her daughter was to marry in late 2015. I wish them well.My daughter Jan just had her oncology blood results and they remain stable and low..Its always such a relief, phwew we can carry on in good hope until the next ones.I wish for all of your sakes that a much longer test marker could be discovered.
    Your baby Bea is progressing beautifully, she’s absolutely gorgeous.My youngest daughter Liz is a foster carer and following another successful placement with a forever family we are expecting some new children in our lives very soon.Each and every one she has fostered has improved ten fold in every aspect of their little lives..But we do miss them so much..Not all new families keep in touch with the foster carer, this I find very hard as we grow to love them all. Happy new year and good health to you,Colin, and all your family and to all who are in touch with you.
    Tricia x

    • Alison Keenan January 19, 2016 at 8:12 pm -  Reply

      Hello there Trisha, had a very happy New Year to you. So relieved to know that your daughter Janz results are stable and loan, yes a huge relief! I agree a longer test marker would be a wonderful thing. Your daughter Liz sounds like an amazing woman, and the fact that the children she fosters a part of your lives as well, makes what she does even more special. I admire anyone who opens their home and their heart to these little souls, and completely understand how terribly difficult it must be to send them on their way when you genuinely care about them…. Thanks heavens though Liz does what she does, as I know there are many children out there who desperately need this kind of care. I am keeping everything crossed that Jilly and Annie will be in touch soon… Also Una and Debz too… You take care, and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  17. mary morphy January 14, 2016 at 10:12 pm -  Reply

    Good evening Alison. Great dimonique show but had to refrain from buying and like lots of others i expect, trying to cut back after Christmas plus my husbands birthday in on 17th Jan and our daughter will be 16 on 26th Jan!!
    What a fabulous xmas you had packed with family and friends..seems so long ago now. Thankyou for sharing the wonderful pictures too..tge fireplace looks stunning and Honey sitting amongst a stack of pressies took me back to when mine were small although at nearly 16 Chloe still likes all her pressies in a sack and they still both have a stocking which they open on boxing day.
    It was a busy festive season for me as i was chief host as my house although not big will accomodate 10 for dinner but does not have a downstairs loo so poor mum has to struggle up the stairs with lots of help. However it was an eventful cooking event as my fan oven broke but we got there and i entertained Christmas day, Boxing Day, Sunday 27th Dec and New Years Day!
    Thankfully i am feeling much better and went back to work kn 4th Jan to srart helping move our school into a new site..ironically next to where i used to work. We have been working really hard..the old site had to be emptied of everything..tjis was done mainly in the rain and we were soaked. It has taken almost 2 weeks to complete the move and unpack classrooms..the kids returned after a very long break today and they seem to have adjusted ok..parts of the new building are not working but its teething troubles we are told! Well thats it from me..i am looking after one of my sisters dogs this week as she is skiing, Phoebe is nearly 13 and is currently pushing me out of bed!! Erik, her younger dog of 20 months is in kennels. I have to research a cake my daughter has asked if i can make for her birthday..a duck egg blue mini cooper…think its going to be impossible and may end up looking like a skip on whheels!!! Have a lovely weekend..its jolly chilly here and extremely chilly!! Love Mary xx

    • Alison Keenan January 19, 2016 at 8:09 pm -  Reply

      Dear Mary so good to know that you are now feeling better, although it sounds as if it was hardly a holiday returning to work! Great to know though that you are into the new classrooms and the children in your school have adjusted to the new building. I do hope your husband had a happy birthday on 17 January and I’m sure you will make a stunning cake for your daughter on the 26th. Just be grateful she didn’t ask the actual car itself! I made Sam a monster truck for his 12th birthday, but made it flat on the cake board rather than 3D. It was a lot easier! Not sure I’d be too happy to have a dog pushing me out of bed, Colin’s snoring sometimes is enough to contend with!! 🙂 LOL Your sister though I am sure appreciates it, and no doubt you’ve been trying to cram in more walks along the sea front with your canine visitor! Temperatures down to minus 2 tonight, but the log burner’s lit, and we’re about to Watch War and Peace which we recorded on Sunday. Love to you, and stay well! Looking forward to seeing how you get on with the cake – just be grateful it wasn’t the actual car she wanted! Oh, and your mincemeat is delicious! Thanks so much, Ali xx

  18. martin forbes January 17, 2016 at 1:51 pm -  Reply

    happy new year to you and your family alison.
    glad xmas and new year is over for another year

    • Alison Keenan January 19, 2016 at 3:02 pm -  Reply

      Happy new year to you too and your family. I hope you enjoyed Christmas and this year will bring good things to you love Ali x

  19. Barbara Gooch January 18, 2016 at 8:33 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    You are such an inspiration to other women that have gone through or going through cancer. I’ve always enjoyed your presentations, as Brucie would say, ‘your my favourite’. I’ve just been diagnosed with follicular lymphoma and my first chemo is on Friday. I’m not sure I’ll ever be as strong as you were and I’m scared of all was going to happen to me. I keep reading your blogs of that time just to be inspired by you. I hope your future will be full of good luck and happiness and I’ll continue to follow you just to see how you can recover from this.

    • Alison Keenan January 19, 2016 at 3:01 pm -  Reply

      My dear Barbara, I was sorry to read of your diagnosis, but try not to worry too much about the chemotherapy. It is the beginning of making you better, and even if in the short term you feel poorly, in the long term it will be giving you your best chance. You’ll be surprised how strength will come to you, especially when you have those who love you to lean on. Please keep in touch with me, and if there’s anything more I can do to help, do let me know here on the blog. Sending you a hug and my love, Ali xx

  20. Barbara Gooch January 20, 2016 at 8:01 am -  Reply

    Thank you so much for those kind words. I’m trawling the website looking for head cover that doesn’t look like I have no hair underneath as the one I got was so flat to my head. Also what’s the best wigs did you find as I do have a sensitive head so wouldn’t want anything heavy that didn’t breath. I’m trying to prepare myself as I have been told this will definitely happen. It doesn’t look like QVC have the full wigs on their site. Thank you for your support once again Ali.

  21. Alison Keenan January 20, 2016 at 10:39 pm -  Reply

    You’re very welcome Barbara, and I’m glad you’ve enquired about the wigs. Our Hair U Wear range have some really pretty mid and short length wigs, in a variety of styles. I wore them constantly once I came back to work as my hair hadn’t grown back. They have some shows coming up soon, with several wigs in them, and not just the hair pieces. I agree what you say about the little beany hats that sit flat against your head. I always used to use long scarves and wind them around twice so I got more height on the top of my head… Try contacting Breast Cancer Care or Macmillan as they have leaflets and information to help you with all of this. I found it really helped to talk to folk about these kind of worries rather than keeping your fears and concerns to yourself. Do let me know how you get on, and if I find any more info re our wig range, I will get in touch. Stay strong, love Ali xx

  22. Sue Huskisson January 21, 2016 at 9:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali. Your fireplace and log burner look fantastic. How wonderful to have ” a man who can”. I’m afraid I have a ” man who can’t” so would have to get someone in! Still we can’t all have everything can we, and I wouldn’t change him! He’s just agreed to me having a new kitchen, floor included so I mustn’t complain!!
    I’m so pleased you had a lovely Christmas with your gorgeous family. Honey looked to be having a lovely time with her new toys!!
    We spent a lovely few days with our niece Lisa and her lovely baby Charlie. His daddy, Matt, said ” welcome to the local branch of toys are us”. He had so much!! He’s going to be a year old next Friday (29th) and is being christened on the 31st. Where did that year go? Seems only yesterday I wrote to tell you he’d been born!!
    Anyway Ali I wish you a very Happy New Year and look forward to your next blog.( l’m writing this whilst watching your diamonique show) Love Sue xx

    • Alison Keenan January 24, 2016 at 6:45 pm -  Reply

      Hello there Sue, and thanks for filling me in on your lovely family Christmas. So glad that you had time with your niece and little Charlie. I find it hard to believe it’s been almost a year since he was born, as I do remember you writing to tell me all about him. It sounds as though you have something very special to look forward to with the installation of a new kitchen! I am sure it will bring you just as much joy as our log burner does, and I’ll look forward to hearing all about it. Happy New Year to you and your husband too, and I’ll have a new blog, and a new competition for you on Tuesday! Love Ali xx

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