Getting dressed up for the Retail Jewellery Awards


Ali, Andrea and CraigI have started to write this on at least three occasions, but either something or someone has stopped me! However, I am alone and sitting in the cool on this balmy afternoon, so I will now fill you in on this last week's happenings…

The Retail Jewellery Awards

Of course, one of the major events was the Retail Jewellery Awards that took place at The Grosvenor House Hotel. QVC were nominated for an award, but the competition was fierce, and we were pipped at the post sadly. That said, the evening was well organised and very enjoyable.

The delightful Andrea Maclean who has her own range of Diamonique jewellery as well as a very successful TV career, spent the night with me Craig and some of our jewellery buying team, and it was great to have the opportunity to get to know her a little better.

I had decided to wear the same dress I wore to the Bafta Awards in 2006, 'cos evening dresses never date, and thought you might find it funny to compare the pictures of then and now!!

The food was fab, the company great, and Craig, Andrea and I stayed on and danced the night away as luckily none of us had work in the morning πŸ™‚

Colin very kindly picked me up after the do, so I didn't have to worry about driving home, and at that time of night at least the roads were clear.

The same cannot be said for the two major roads I now have a choice of traversing on my way in to work. They have both been temporarily blessed with… an Olympic Lane!!

Bafta Awards 2006 Ali at the Jewellery Retail Awards 2012

The Olympics

Not all of us have got our heads around this (or is it just me?) so I would beg the question, how do the Powers that be know whether the person in that lane should be there or not? What if I wore a track suit, or even bathing cossie and nose clips, would I be accepted as someone who was legitimately involved in the Games?? Is it just for those competing, or for spectators as well?

Maybe there's a sticker or flag you are supposed to have on display, but woe betide any of us who veer into this hallowed area of tarmac when we aren't meant to, as there is an ALMIGHTY fine to be paid – so much for Sportsmanship eh?? If you can enlighten me, I'd love to hear from you πŸ™‚


Spider in the bath

I have to say that I would have been first over the finishing line had this monster of a spider appeared before me, rather than in the bath!!!! (the penny is there to show you exactly how big it was) I had to wait for Colin to get home so that he could remove it πŸ™‚

I did call him in advance and he asked whether it was wearing a shower cap… I told him no, but that it had already exfoliated and was now shaving its legs!! 


Ducks with pretzelsWith a little help from my man, a Lock and Lock and an A4 sheet of paper, the very large visitor was deposited outside – I swear it turned round and waved at me…!

It's not just spiders that we've been seeing a lot more of lately, but also ducks – these are the 'little ones' that were born in May, and having shared my bag of pretzels with them just yesterday, they came back with their friends today!

 My weekend

Ducks and their friendsInfact it's been pretty busy in the garden as Jack, his girlfriend Hana, and my Lucy all came round yesterday evening for a BBQ, but having prepared all the food, and put the table in place I discovered I was out of gas!!! Not just that, but I could NOT get the bloomin' attachment off the gas bottle to get more.

All three young ones had a go but to no avail, so I cooked everything indoors and we ate outside – it was still lovely to have them here though. I am sure that when Colin comes home from Brighton he will be able to sort it for me – again!!

Having worked the weekend, I've been incredibly lucky to be blessed with this outstanding weather on my days off. I've washed everything in sight as it's so easy to line dry, and I have given my patio furniture a new coat of paint, oh, and I've sat in the sun a bit too πŸ™‚

Poppy fieldI was, however, up early this morning for my walk/jog and thought I'd check out the poppy field as I remember it was this kind of time last year I got that lovely photo… Suffice to say I am a few days early… there are just a few scarlet heads bobbing in the breeze mixed in with the bright yellow St John's Wort flowers, but I thought it was worth taking a picture of anyway. Hope you enjoy πŸ™‚

I'm back on QVC on Thursday with a terrific two day clearance of all things from Fashion to Festive Lights, so please do join me. Oh, and if you have any thoughts on the Olympic Lane conundrum I'd love to hear from you!

Stay well and happy and I'll see you soon, Love Ali xx


  1. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen July 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm -  Reply

    good to hear you alison hope you enjoyed your food

  2. Norma Smithson July 25, 2012 at 9:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali Just flicked to your blog as you said you were composing shortly, pity about the jewellery award, but Qvc did well just to get nominated, as for the dress been worn six years ago the only difference I can see is that your hair is a bit shorter, you look great as does Craig and Andrea. Regarding the Olympic lane, it’s absolutely stupid as you remarked, maybe they trust you to be truthful and not use it but how they can monitor it I just don’t know. Just got to know the date of my husband Harold’s date for the operation on his back, 28th August will be the latest date, but could be earlier if there are any cancellations, so at least we are on the way to getting him well again. Lovely for you to have the family barbeque( even though you cooked indoors), it’s just lovely to be outdoors it’s Harold’s birthday today a very young 76, and we have just had birthday cake with my daughter and her husband and two boys, really lovely as last week it was pouring it down in Yorkshire, and we wouldn’t have been able di it. Close now, take care Ali Love Norma x

  3. Babs lincsxxx July 25, 2012 at 9:59 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali Ha Ha Ha You do make me laugh, You have a fantastic sense of humour and so does Colin.I could’t stop laughing at your blog.The olympics have caused lots of problems for people who travel through that part of London, WHY only those who’ve brought it about know.If the attachment on your gas bottle would’nt budge try putting a rubber glove on,it gives more grip, i use a rubber glove to open all jars and bottles ie nail lacquer bottles. As always you look stunning in your dress you wore at the Jewellery Awards and honestly who would know it’s the same dress you wore 6years ago at the Bafta Awards, you really are a credit to yourself,Colin and your family must be so proud of you and i’m sure all your friends are proud to know you and be your friend. I look forward to seeing you Thursday. Love to YOU, Colin and your family. Take care.Babs Lincs xxxxx

  4. Judy Clements July 25, 2012 at 11:08 pm -  Reply

    Aaww Alison you are such a beautiful, lovely lady, i really enjoy reading your blogs, photos & of course QVC. Wishing you health and happiness for the future xxx

  5. mary morphy July 26, 2012 at 8:38 am -  Reply

    Good morning Ali from a warm sunny Westgate..and that’s at 8.12am as I begin writing; all doors and windows flung open and the baby seagulls are screeching for food and their parents screeching even louder..oh I do like to be beside the seaside. When I am away that is the sound I miss!
    Well once again your blog had me in stitches; Olympic lane news hit the screens yesterday with fines for thoise using it who don’t have green stickers in cars; I suggest a bit of crafting on the side and making your own! Sounds absolutely horrendous and whilst I am very pro Olympics I don’t think that the general public have got a good deal here so you have my sympathy.
    So you don’t do spiders either then; my twin has a terrible spider phobia and even though she is a very confident ex police officer she crumbles and screams like a little child if there is one in the house. I am her spider buster and put them in a safe place; she sucks them up with the hoover if she is brave enough…cruel I know but she does empty the dust bag immeidiately to give them a fighting chance! (Apologies for all spider lovers who may read this!)
    You looked lovely in your dress, as lovely, if not more so than when you wore it for the first time. You, Craig and Andrea looked like you had a ball and I am dead jealous; what a wonderful event to attend.
    Now talking of events, the second wedding of the year was attended nearly two weeks ago now in Bournemouth. It was my (and my twin sisters) God-daughter who got married in Poole Dorset in a lovely hotel that looked over the Bay. We went with my younger sister and had a fabulous weekend, we do not get the opportunity for sister time very much now without kids so it was very special. The Olypic torch was going through Bournemouth on Friday and leaving Saturday morning and we were there. It was extremely cold and windy but we had a lovely fish supper in Harry Ramsdens then joined the crowds on the seafront Friday evening and watched the torch. The atmosphere was magical and when I saw the torch I felt quite emotional. We then, windswept and a little damp from the rain, walked up to a meet and greet gathering for the wedding party in a hotel on the other side of town;it all looked a bit formal when we arrived but that soon eneded; dirty laughs, lots of giggles and lots of reminiscing put paid to that. My god-daughter was a bridesmaid at my wedding 16 years ago and she is now a doctor and very grown up.
    The wedding was simple but very appropriate; we three sisters scrubbed up well! The best man’s speech was hilarious ( and very rude in places which did not amuse the brides mother) and although the weather did not allow us to enjoy the outside area with views over Poole Bay an enjoyable day was had by all.
    Well I broke up from school on Thursday and so far the weather has been fabulous. The kids playing lots of cricket; Chloe played all day Saturday for Kent, played for the ladies of which her auntie plays on Sunday in Brighton so it was great to see auntie and niece play together, we did Chessington World of Adventure on Monday – I was very brave and went on all rides that the kids wimped out of! More cricket all day Tuesday; very hot in the field behind Leeds Castle where the ground was and we all fried but the girls won all three matches they played that day. We had a chill day yesterday and today, in about two hours, we are off to Surrey for another county game. More cricket Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday and in between that, I am taking Chloe and her friend Molly to see Olly Murs at Quex park for his outdoor concert on Sunday! Hubby Jon accomodating our son Jack and all his cricket so we are all strangers in the night!! When did I get time to go to work!
    Hope the house hunting is improving and the ducks are being good. Have a fabulous week, love Mary xx

  6. Elaine sallis July 26, 2012 at 10:43 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    The Difference between the two pictures is that you look even more glamorous in the latest one. How do you do it? Your family and Colin must be so proud of you. Jodie’s friend has finished her chemo and has had a double mastectomy radiotherapy still to go but they are really pleased with her progress so far. Jodie finishes work on Monday so I will see more of her as we await the arrival of the baby. She has passed her doctorate and her husband has got his history degree we are very proud as they have got married, done up a house and dealt with the pregnancy whilst studying. It makes me tired just thinking about it! My son Adam and Tom Jodie’s husband both start a year of teacher training in September.
    How lovely that you could spend time with jack and Lucy. You did make me laugh with the barbecue and spider stories. Is Sam ok and still enjoying South Africa ? Enjoy the sun whilst it’s here.
    Love Elaine xxxx

  7. Elaine sallis July 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm -  Reply

    Well just got my woman and home magazine you look gorgeous

  8. SUE RADFORD July 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    The dress looked beautiful, and no one would ever know that there were 6yrs between the photo’s being taken – in fact I think you look younger in the latest one! Great you had an enjoyable night with Andrea and Craig, but sorry you didn’t win the award, but I could certainly win an award for all the jewellery I’ve purchased from QVC throughout the years – don’t tell my husband though LOL!
    Sorry the Olympic lane is causing problems for you – all I can say is get yourself a tracksuit and get crafting LOL LOL! I have heard that you have to display a green ticket or there’s a Β£130 fine – I feel so sorry for small business’ as times aren’t good for them anyway!
    Your spider story made me laugh. It reminds me of a time when my neighbour came running in a panic – she was so stressed she couldn’t get the words out. Anyway, after she’d calmed down she said there was a huge spider in her house and begged me to get rid of it for her. Well I thought she may have been exaggerating about the size until I saw it with my own eyes – IT WAS HUGE, but as I’m not afraid of spiders I did manage to get rid of it. He didn’t wave at me once freed from the cup I managed to capture him in, but I’m sure two of his legs seemed to stick up in a “V” sign when he ran up the garden path LOL LOL! I have a fear of lions and snakes, but spiders and little critters don’t bother me at all – thankgoodness, as there’s loads around at the moment.
    Anyway, it’s great to see you looking so well. Let’s hope this beautiful weather lasts and lasts!
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  9. Joanna Downey July 27, 2012 at 11:51 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali from sunny Stourbridge, I’m sitting in the garden trying to work out where to plant a hydrangea that I didn’t need but I loved its pale pink flowers so much it came home with me. The sky is heavenly blue and the honeysuckle, which this year we have in abundance, smells divine. Lovely photos from your “do”, classic dresses never date and you look the same in both; golden and smiling with just a slightly different hairstyle. “Olympic lanes” I ask you and where does the fine go to if you do stray into the wrong lane? I feel a tad exhausted by all the hype and it hasn’t even started yet, the Jubilee and the Games seem to have merged in my mind and as soon as August is over the build up to Christmas will begin… One of my holiday tasks is clearing out an outdoor storeroom and the spiders I disturbed on Monday could come and play with yours. I put two at the top of the garden, however, their freedom was brief as they became lunch for the robin who swooped down and picked up both of them returning a few moments later to thank me by doing a little dance! Ducks, family BBQs (or any al fresco dining) and your poppy field – I love Summer and washing dried outside is the best. Ironing is not in my top 100 things to do but the hot flushes woke me at dawn and I decided to do mine before it got too warm, the fragrance in the kitchen was gorgeous and getting it done rather than putting it off made me feel virtuous which doesn’t happen often. May the sun carry on shining. Love from Jo x

  10. Debz & Ainzley July 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Sorry it’s been a while but I have had to loan by beloved lap top to my other half as his has given up the ghost. As he needs a computer for his work, I bravely handed over mine!! I really miss it. He’s gone to get some A4 paper so thought I’d pop on and have a look at how you’re getting on.
    My but you get more gorgeous every time I see you. Those photo’s of you in the same dress from 2006 and now, well, I agree with Sue. You look so much younger and dazzling in the current one!!
    Thanks for the spider picture!! I HATE spiders and our house seems to be where they all congregate at night before they go clubbing or whatever it is spiders do! Honestly, Neal has to do “Spider Check” every night before I go to bed as I go up first. He also has to keep his mobile phone on until he comes to bed just in case I find one that needs dealing with!! The man is a saint!!
    Ainzley is well. We have had to revert back to his half wet food and half biscuit food. I know the vet said that the wet food is bad for his liver but Ali he was looking so sad and old and had started not eating anything. Ainzley lives for his food and to be faced every day with stuff he didn’t like must have been awful for him. I think he was beginning to give up. So, I made the decision to concentrate on his quality of life and his happiness rather than his health. I knew he would probably not be with me as long if I carried on feeding him his favorite food but Ali he is so much happier and brighter that I just knew I’d made the right decision. Not sure the vet will agree with me but I have my old Ainzley back so that’s all I care about.
    Anyway, I must go as Neal will be back soon.
    Take care Ali and keep on enjoying life. Loved you in that orange dress in the Nina Leonard show yesterday by the way!
    Love to all in Ali’s Army. I hope the warm weather is lifting your spirits.
    Lots of love and happy licks

  11. Debz & Ainzley July 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Alpa my lovely
    So glad to hear that FINALLY you have been seen and taken care of. I do hope that you get your Neurology appointment soon. We are all thinking of you and sending you good wishes.
    How lovely to have your parents with you. Sometimes they can be trying I’m sure but sometimes only they will do if you know what I mean. I was bought up by my grandparent, neither of whom are with us now and, to this day, I still wish I had my Grandad to ask advice and my Nan for a hug. No one offers comfort quite like a parent – grandparent in my case.
    Stay strong my lovely, you are always in my thoughts and prayers.
    Ainzley sends you a very special lick and a purr for his Aunte Alpa.
    Lots of love and licks

  12. Steven July 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm -  Reply

    Looking good Ali. I’ve just been watching the beach volleyball at the olympics. Dont ask me why πŸ˜€ Take care xx

  13. Marg July 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi ALI, Like the others I would have to guess about the pictures, six years between and you just improve, I think I will have to find out where that renewal flame is and start to call you SHE, who must be obeyed (King Solomans Mines).
    Its lovely the little ducklings have stayed around this year, they mature so quickly. How is the house hunting going? Do you enjoy it? or is it near deadline time, we always seemed to move when its the depths of winter, so last time I made sure it was in July, we were totally knackered, winter has its compensations,I didnt think deeply enough about it,
    You look very at home in Chiswick Park, everything had stopped banging and making funny noises during the shows, it was quite entertaining for a while. I managed to get a Thomas Donachek ring in the sale and was delighted, I have some small studs of his and it will fit very well with the ring. I love the gold shows with or without gems,but I know gold is very expensive, I cant wear silver so I just wait and hope. Years ago there was a jewellery designer Alex Munro, I got a lovely little gold heart, when opened there is a tiny butterfly moving freely from the top of the frame, I have kept track of him and have a collection of his little neck charms, he was on QVC only a few times.But if anyone of my close friends or family get me a gift they know what I like. Wish he would come back to QVC,
    oH goodness I have gone on about little, I hope you enjoy the OLYMPICS and then afterwards the roads will get back to normal,
    Keep doing whatever it is you do cause its working,
    Kind thoughts Lovely friend,

  14. Liz, Morecambe July 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    Ali, you look gorgeous in that dress – really stunning. I am so jealous you can still fit in it after chemo and everything else thrown at you. I put on 2.5 stones in a couple of months !!!
    Spiders don’t bother me – snakes are my phobia. I can’t even look at a picture of them. Could never live in a climate where they slithered around.
    Mum and I had the most fantastic time in Paris last weekend. We did some culture, sat on the Paris beach eating lunch we had bought at one of those little French boulangeries (quiche and cakes – very yummy!!), strolled around some lovely streets and gardens and of course saw all the men in tight lycra in the Tour de France!! That day we went and grabbed a pitch by noon with just less than a kilometre left to race. The atmosphere was wonderful and there were so many British people to cheer the boys on. One lovely young man was wearing Bradley Wiggins sideburns he had made out of brown fabric and was then making them for others. Entering into the spirit of things, Mum and I each had a pair and wore them all afternoon. Lots of passers-by commented and we felt like celebrities as people asked to take our photo!! We also grabbed one of the green hands each that are given away by the promoters of the race so we looked quite a sight. Saw the men go past us 8, yes 8!!!!, times and got some good pics. It was such an experience to be there on the day the Brits won their first tour, had 2nd place and won the last stage for a record achievement. Already plan to go back next year!!
    My scan did show a bit of progression in one of the bones in my spine as I suspected. Oncologist is ordering a couple of other scans and then going to discuss my case with the neurosurgeons to see if they have anything in their bag of tricks that would help at the mo or do we keep them in reserve until a later date??? Hopefully these will all be done in the next 2 weeks so we can have a treatment plan sorted when I go back to see the consultant. A blast of radiotherapy will more than likely be on the list but that’s fine. I completely trust my oncologist and her judgement and she did say the spread wasn’t too bad considering I’ve lived with it for 5 years and she can see no reason why I won’t still be around for a good number of years yet – hope she’s right!!! Venice with a friend calls in late Sept and then other trips…..
    I’ve just been testing a lumbar support topper for QVC and have been asked to be a T caller during the midnight launch for it on Tues. My moment of TV fame !!! Shame you’re not doing the show but never mind!
    Have been watching the Olympics, so come on team GB!! The weather up here in the North has not been brill but at least it was warm and sunny in Paris so I was able to top up my tan!!
    Take care Ali, keep well, don’t do too much and happy house hunting.
    PS It was lovely to hear from Alpa.
    Love and hugs to all, Liz x

  15. alison keenan July 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Norma, and thank you for writing to me – also for your comments about the Olympic Lanes – we clearly are thinking along the same lines! Happy birthday belatedly to your husband Harold, and I’m very glad to hear that he will be getting his operation next month. I’ll keep my fingers crossed he may even get a cancellation so you have less time to wait – I do hope so. I’m glad you’ve been able to enjoy the weather, and I send you both my love, Ali xx

  16. alison keenan July 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Babs, and thanks for the tip about the rubber gloves! I actually found out that there was a small catch under the on switch that I needed to press and it releases the cap – all good now πŸ™‚ Thanks too for all your kind words about the photos, they made me smile – and yes the dress had survived the move and several years in the wardrobe well! Love to you and yours and lovely to hear from you, Ali xx

  17. alison keenan July 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm -  Reply

    Judy, that was really kind of you to write to me, and I’m delighted you enjoy reading the blogs. I do enjoy writing them, and it’s great being back at work too, and I wish you health and happiness for the future. Love Ali xx

  18. alison keenan July 29, 2012 at 9:55 pm -  Reply

    Dear Mary, so lovely to catch up on all your news and to know that you and your family have been able to make the very best of the glorious weather, and enjoy the cricket too!! I’m imagining you’re a household who will be very much involved with the Olympics! How was your Olly Murs concert? I do hope you enjoyed – I also think he’s very entertaining πŸ™‚ House hunting took a bit of a back seat last week, but we have a few more to look at tomorrow. I’g glad the wedding you went to was fun – sounds great to me! So nice for you to be able to spend special times with your sisters – I’m hoping to see mine at the end of this week. Take care and good luck both of your children with their sport! love Ali xx

  19. alison keenan July 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm -  Reply

    Elaine, I am so glad to hear that your Jodie’s friend has finished her chemo, and I hope that the radiotherapy won’t make her too tired πŸ™‚ Exciting it’s not too much longer for you to have to wait for Jodie’s baby now… You’re right she has done incredibly well, and I’m sure you’re very proud of her and her husband πŸ™‚ Yes it was lovely to see Lucy and Jack – crazy when we all live so close together that we rarely see each other, but as you rightly say, life can be very busy! Sam is still enjoying South Africa, but is coming back for a few weeks in August, which will be lovely. I have missed him very much…. Take care and enjoy the summer, and thank you for keeping in touch. Love Ali xx

  20. alison keenan July 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm -  Reply

    Thank you Elaine! You must also get the magazine on subscription – I had a look in WH Smith’s but they’re still selling the August edition! I shall have to wait patiently for my copy πŸ™‚ Take care, A xxx

  21. alison keenan July 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm -  Reply

    Sue, you did make me laugh with your idea about making my own green sticker for the car, oh and your spider story – it sounded huge! At least with a fear of snakes and lions you’re less likely to find one in your bathroom!! πŸ™‚ I too was very much hoping that the weather would last and last, but we’ve had a heck of storm tonight, and I’ve had to put the heating on to dry the washing πŸ™‚ You take care and I do hope all is good with your family and you of course, love Ali xx

  22. Lynn Hind August 1, 2012 at 1:21 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali your blog does cheer me up lol spiders well…we have 2 HUGH ones in the garage we call them harold and herman lol we have NO insects in there whatsoever my husband says we have to leave ’em alone lol. QVC may not of won the jewelry awards but you would win one every day of the week! the dress looked lovely and honestly, if none of us had known the ‘journey’ you have made with the breast cancer you seriously would not have known…you looked stunnning!! i wish i could look that good in a dress lol. i hope the house hunting finds you a place to feel home in but im sure anywhere you lay your hat will be home!!
    take good care of yourself and take it steady ok loving thoughts and hugs always
    Lynn xx

  23. Susan August 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Elaine and Ali,
    Elaine I totally did your daughter and her husband do all that?! Good luck with the baby. Hope it arrives safely.
    Ali, what a stunning photo. You do look even more glamorous!! Lovely for you all to be able to attend such events. It must really put a spring in your step to be able to go to such things. I have to feel for the Olympic volunteers more so than travellers I have to admit..someone phoned into the radio station to say why are you not offering ALL those empty seats to the volunteers who work SUCH long shifts day after day, have spent their hard earned money and given up their time?! THEY are the worthy ones I feel! Crazy they have to pay for tickets as well!
    Hope you’re well, chat soon,
    Susan x

  24. alison keenan August 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Martin, Yes the food was delicious! We had asparagus with parma ham and parmesan cheese to start with, then a delicious fillet of beef in red wine sauce, and the pudding was a chocolate creation – heaven!! Do hope all is good with you, Ali xx

  25. alison keenan August 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm -  Reply

    Joanna, I do so hope that the sun continued to shine in Stourbridge, and you found a new home for your pink hydrangea? I hope too that your decision to clear out the storeroom didn’t take up too much of your time, or that your disturbed any more spiders!! So sorry you’re struggling with the hot flushes – try the Liz Earle Skin Tonic in a light spray, it does tend to cool things down a tad πŸ™‚ You take care, and enjoy the warmer weather while it lasts! Thanks as always for writing, love Ali xx

  26. alison keenan August 2, 2012 at 7:33 pm -  Reply

    Hellooooooooooo Debz!! And Ainzley of course :)I hope that he continues to be happier and brighter now that he is on his favourite food, and I’m sure this will help him in the long term. Lovely to hear from you, and many thanks to your Neal for loaning you his laptop! You did make me laugh with your spider comment – and hat’s off to your man for keeping a spider watch – he clearly loves you to bits πŸ™‚ Maybe now that Ainzley is feeling more chipper he will be able to chase them off the premises – Willows and Dodge used to make short work of our eight legged friends! Thanks for your kind compliments about the dresses – I also loved the orange Nina Leonard one – so comfortable as well as a great colour. Love to you and both yours, and do keep in touch – laptop allowing! Ali xx

  27. alison keenan August 2, 2012 at 7:34 pm -  Reply

    ……Debz, just read your comment to Alpa – and am sending you a big hug…. I may not be your parent, but it’s a ‘mum type hug’ for you πŸ™‚ Enjoy the rest of the week,
    Love Ali xx

  28. alison keenan August 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm -  Reply

    Steven, I couldn’t begin to think why you would be watching the beach volley ball……….. along with ninety million other males!!! πŸ™‚ I quite enjoyed the men’s swimming!! πŸ˜€ Ali x

  29. alison keenan August 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm -  Reply

    My dear Marg, the secret to my apparantly youthful appearance is a soft filter on Craig’s camera!! Househunting is going slowly, and you like I last moved in December – the 1st, 2010, in all that snow! Nightmare! Hopefully we’ll find somewhere way before that. So glad you got the Thomas Donachek ring, and even better that it was in the sale – he is a lovely guy and a very talented designer. I can’t say I remember Alex Munro, but the heart charm sounds very pretty. I have definitely been enjoying the Olympics and stayed over with Ros and caught the rowing team winning Gold the following day. Excellent! Kind thoughts and love to you too Marg, Ali xx

  30. alison keenan August 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm -  Reply

    My dear Liz I could almost smell the coffee from your fabulous descriptions of the streets of Paris, and how teriffic to be there with your mum, and see the delightful Mr. Wiggins win!! I hope you didn’t use superglue to keep the sideburns in place… πŸ™‚ I was sorry to hear about your disappointing scan, but as always you have put a positive spin on things and like me, are trusting your oncologist implicitly. Here’s to the next 5 and 30 years eh? πŸ™‚ I missed your call for the lumbar support topper, but I’m sure you were great – maybe next time. I hope that your tan is still topped up, and that you are having a good week inspite of the showers. With love, Ali xx

  31. alison keenan August 2, 2012 at 7:51 pm -  Reply

    Ooh Lynn, and hello to Harold and Herman! Crikey, what is the shelf life of a spider?! Not surprised there aren’t any insects in your garage – you want to watch out they don’t borrow the car! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for the lovely things you wrote – they mean a lot. Still hunting for the perfect house, but getting closer I feel! Love to you and yours, Ali xx

  32. alison keenan August 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan, and so very interesting that you too raised the question and suggestion as to filling that disappointingly large number of empty seats at the Olympics. Virtually everyone taking part in the Games has made a big point of thanking the volunteers so it would seem a perfect reward for them to actually have some leisure time sitting down and watching! Thank you as always for your lovely comments – yes I am VERY lucky to be given the chance to attend these kind of events, and it really did give me a boost to dress up and have some fun. I do hope all is good with you, and thanks so much for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  33. madeline August 3, 2012 at 7:35 pm -  Reply

    hi Ali. you looked fab in your dress, in both photos, glad you had a good night out, lifts the spirits to have a laugh and a jolly. I can catch spiders, and put them outside on the bushes,
    but then its a race to see who can get back in the house first,
    as I am sure the spider that appears the following night is the same one. take care madders

  34. alison keenan August 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm -  Reply

    Madeline – you made me laugh out loud!! You are far braver than I, but think you may well be right that the spiders find their way back in again without us knowing! Yes, the night out was a real spoiley, and did indeed lift my spirits. Next big night out is the Breast Cancer Care Fashion Show in october – then I’ll have a few more than one outfit change! Take care, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  35. Susan August 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Just had to say your dinner sounded delicious!! You and Kathy are culinary whizzes!! I also hope that all the volunteers get a well deserved leisure time free experience as you said!! Hope Sam gets home / got home ok…just read he is home with you for a bit! Exciting for you!
    Be in touch,
    Susan x

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