Ali’s Army Marches on!


I’m writing to you on my iPad, while propped up on some cushions in an attempt to find a more comfortable sitting position. I can’t tell you how ticked off I was to miss my Diamonique Show with you on Tuesday, but also how grateful I was to Charlie and Craig for covering my hours.

My back is playing up again, which it hasn’t done for a while now, and although it’s a lot better than it was, it’s still stopping me doing a lot. I’m not going to moan on, as I know a great many of you struggle with pain on a daily basis, and this is only temporary. Instead I’m going to say a hearty CONGRATULATIONS to Karen Witney who is the winner of the Decleor competition I set last time and who will be receiving all this in the next few days!

The correct answer was of course C.) which most of you guessed, and I’m already working on an idea for the next one competition.

Great to hear from you and to know that life is jogging on with its regular mix of emotions. Not always that easy for some I realise, but I’d like to mention Una, incase you missed her comment, as I know you’d want to join me in congratulating her on her recent engagement. Such wonderful news for Ali’s Army ?

Plenty of reasons to smile in my own life over the last few weeks as although I wasn’t able to see Lucy or Jack on Mother’s Day this year, they sent me beautiful cards and flowers which made me feel very loved. I even had this card from Honey bless her.

Sam wasn’t working so he came over with my card and fab flowers and made us all a cooked breakfast with ingredients he’d brought with him which was delicious! He couldn’t stay too long as I was working that night with Fiona from Decleor, but it was very kind of him to make the trip.

It was also kind of my friend Jo to organise a trip to the seaside for the two of us as my birthday had been somewhat banjaxed the week before. She found one of those incredible deals online which included hotel, dinner, breakfast and a spa treatment, so we headed down to the South Coast to enjoy.

We couldn’t have been luckier with the weather that day, although the wind was brisk, the sun was very warm and afforded us these beautiful views along the front. As always we had an absolute hoot, and have vowed to try and get away again soon.

A few busy days at the Q followed but I did get to work with one of the sweetest guys around, Antthony Hankins of Antthony Fashion Designs. Not only has he a unique talent in fashion design, he has a great sense of humour. We always end up laughing on air, and we share a love of music, particularly Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and of course his beloved Eydie Gorme.

This visit I was telling him all about the British singer Clare Teal whom I’ll be seeing live as part of my birthday present from Colin. She’s presenting and performing a collection of Ella Fitzgerald’s finest songs next Tuesday as part of BBC 2’s Friday Night is Music Night series, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

Of course it will mean I can’t be with you next week for my regular Diamonique show BUT the great news is I will be launching Diamonique Day the following Tuesday 18th April after my regular show at 8pm and presenting the finale on Wednesday at 9pm.

It’s hard to know where to begin there are so many new designs and fabulous pieces of jewellery, but this stunning pair of earrings are our TSV on the day and at under Β£30 with almost 7cts in stone weight they are sheer luxury, I’ll be introducing a new stone cut too -The Rose Cut which is truly beautiful.

We’ll have specific hours with Tova and Michelle Mone and themed hours too. If you follow me on Twitter @alikqvc I’ll be able give you a heads up nearer the time so you don’t miss anything ?

It seems as tho I’ve spent more time away than at home recently as this last weekend I was with the girls from the village I used to live in. We always stay in the same beautiful house in the village of Bampton, and this year we were blessed with stunning weather.

Along with an Easter bonnet making competition (I got first prize) we had a three legged race which I felt was fuelled rather than hampered by several large Cosmopolitans – Antthony’s TSV trousers helped too! We went on several walks too and visited Burford where I saw this stunning church. Such a beautiful part of our country.

I hope you managed to catch me on the midnight show with one of my favourite brands of shapewear Vercella Vita. Designed and made in Italy it is luxurious yet practical and since my mastectomies I tend to wear this in place of classic underwear – so much more comfortable!

How beautiful was this weekend? So glad we got the weather we were promised. I hope you have a very Happy Easter, I look forward to hearing from you, and reading your comments.

With my love
Ali xxx


  1. Karen Witney April 10, 2017 at 10:52 am -  Reply

    What a lovely surprise on this Monday morning to find out I had won the Decleor competition ! I have not stopped smiling and I am looking forward to my fantastic Decleor goodies!

    Thanks Ali ! x

    • Alison Keenan April 12, 2017 at 12:25 am -  Reply

      Hi there Karen and I’m so glad you are happy! Thanks so much for taking part in the competition and I hope you enjoy the products when they arrive! Do keep in touch and happy Easter to you! Love Ali x

  2. Jacqueline McRobbie April 10, 2017 at 4:54 pm -  Reply

    Did anyone else on reading this via email instead of reading ‘ticked’ off at the beginning read ‘pissed’ off?
    Sorry I had to laugh at the shock of Ali writing that, and at one point thought her account has been hacked!
    Don’t know what’s happened but our sweet gorgeous Ali would never say such words πŸ™‚

  3. Jacqueline McRobbie April 10, 2017 at 4:58 pm -  Reply

    Just to add I took a screenshot of the email incase anyone thinks I’m joking. x

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 6:37 pm -  Reply

      Jacqueline I hope you got my apology – posted last week! Sorry for the typo, but bless you for noticing! I hope you had a happy Easter. Love Ali x

  4. Cathy Smith April 10, 2017 at 6:03 pm -  Reply

    Get well soon. Love the Eas
    ter bonnets. Look like great fun. Well done for winning. X

    • Alison Keenan April 13, 2017 at 4:15 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Cathy glad you enjoyed it and I hope you have a very Happy Easter too. Love Ali x

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 6:38 pm -  Reply

      Hi Cathy, I hope you had a very Happy Easter, and thank you for your kind wishes. I’m feeling fine now and will be with you later on for our Diamonique Extravaganza! Love Ali x

  5. Susan April 10, 2017 at 7:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I love your first prize bonnet! They were all pretty fun! I hope your back gets better soon. All our niggles can get us down. I’m just wanting to say congratulations to una while I’m here. Lovely news! Hope all round! You always take such an interest in our lives Ali if we choose to share. Not everyone does. Thank you. Enjoy your Easter x

    • Alison Keenan April 13, 2017 at 4:21 pm -  Reply

      Dear Susan, lovely to hear from you and thanks for your kind words. My back is very much better now and I’m spending some of my Easter with Honey so am happy to be able to pick her up and cuddle her again! It was such good news about Una and I’m sure she’ll be very happy to see your message as I was. Thank you for taking the time to be a part of the blog. Happy Easter! Love Ali x

  6. Patricia Smith April 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm -  Reply

    HI Ali, I have never written to you before,but I have been on the same journey as yourself,six years ago I was diagnosed with B.C same time as you. I had a mastectomy right side,after three operations I had to stay flat,had chemo and radiotherapy, a few scary moments since,but everything ok,have osteoporosis in spine,thyroid gave up,but at least I’m still here. I have recently had my 65 th Birthday,and hope for many more, I joke with my family that I’m too nosey to go yet. I have a son and daughter,two lovely grandchildren, my eldest is Kallan who is 16yrs who has Autism, Megan who is 5yrs and I love them both, they are a good reason to carry on. I work at the local hospital on Maternity as a care assistant and been there 30yrs,I could retire but love it too much. Now I have introduced myself,I’ll get on with what I have to ask. Vercella Vita Bra, I can’t bring myself to have another op(could have tummy turned into a boob! ) would you say the bra would hold a softie and give support for the real thing about a B cup. I have tried other brands but the softie works it way out and not enough support for the other side. I know you mentioned you wear this bra,would you recommend it in my case. I don’t like the heavy pretend boob. My other option is too go flat,and be cemetrical,but that’s another op! I have been with QVC since day one,and bought alsorts,and during my recovery you guys kept me company when I was home alone. ( I followed your story and kept watching for your return, and your colleagues like mine were truly amazing)Thank you Patxx


    • Alison Keenan April 13, 2017 at 10:11 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Pat, so lovely to hear from you and to know that this is the first time you’ve written in a blog! Our paths seem to have run parallel for a while but I am so glad you are now feeling stronger and well and we clearly getting on with your life! How wonderful to have a job that deals with new life and families. You all sound very close πŸ™‚ Now to Vercella Vita. I also gave the softie prosthesis and yes the medium control vest/bra crop tops are perfect. The best one is the one with the lace band across the bottom as it holds in place and certain,y would keep a B cup safe. Do give them a go and I hope they will work for you, I hope you’ll keep in touch and let me know how you get on. Happy Easter do yin, love Ali xx

  7. berylbough April 10, 2017 at 8:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison thank you for getting in touch with me and your your coment s cant wait for your Dominique show have a lovely Easter to you and your family xx

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 6:40 pm -  Reply

      Dear Beryl, thanks for getting back to me, and I hope you and yours also had a good Easter. I’m glad to know you’ll with me later on today for our Diamonque special. So much to treat you too and some fabulous new designs to treasure. Take care, love Ali xx

  8. Gail April 10, 2017 at 8:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I obviously need to go to Specsavers as I’m sure I read ‘p—-d off’ rather than ticked off, ha ha, how funny. Not like you at all, but did make me laugh.

    Ouch, back trouble, been there, done that etc. If it’s nerve pain caused by bulging disc, I’m there, ouch. After years of disc trouble it went big time and I couldn’t move. Ended up in hosp for nearly two weeks, waiting for a bed in another hosp I was under for my back. Transferred on a Sunday night for op next morning. I’m not joking when I say that I near enough wheeled myself into that operating theatre. Best thing I ever did, although never had a choice really. The funny thing is, I had to learn to walk again. Two weeks not moving had sapped my strength completely, quite frightening looking back. Anyway, enough about me.

    Great Ali that you have been able to get away; the time with the girls looked like great fun and any excuse for a day at the coast is okay with me.

    Wonderful news re Una. Congratulations Una, I’m very happy for you. Keep us all updated xx. Big hug for Karen Jenkins too xx

    Plenty of reasons to smile as you say, especially since I bought this new toothpaste that is activated by light. I now walk around with this big false, unnatural grin on me when outside, obviously looking sillier than usual, but WHO CARES!!!!! I’m gonna end up with either lovely white teeth, being carried off in a straight jacket or lock jaw – I’ll keep you posted πŸ™‚

    Lovely photos as per usual on your blog, with the beautiful Honey being the star.

    Have a lovely week and I hope your back gets better.

    Lots of love xxx

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 6:43 pm -  Reply

      Gail you’ve had me laughing out loud with the description of your new toothpaste and its effects! I HAVE to have this in my life! Imagine what my teeth would look like under the studio lights! πŸ™‚ So sorry to hear about your back trouble. Mine is nowhere this bad, and I very much hope that the operation you had to have is something you’ll never need again. It all sounds very scary, and as you say, the pain is pretty awful. I’m relieved to tell you that my back is definitely on the mend altho I’m not back on the Letrazole for another few months to see if it causes the same joint pain as before – I’m praying it won’t! I hope you and yours had a lovely Easter, and that you enjoy the Diamonique special. I’ll give you a wave! Love Ali xx

  9. Helena Wilson April 11, 2017 at 10:09 am -  Reply

    Lovely words Ali. Get well soon. Xx

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 6:44 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Helena – delighted to say I’m feeling much better now, but thank you for your kind wishes, love Ali xx

  10. Loraine Plumb April 11, 2017 at 3:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison so sorry to hear your back is bad hope it’s getting better now nothing worse my problem is always ankles they swell especially when hot or on my feet alot then go down at night when rested so uncomfortable so when we all go to wakes this weekend i will be armed with supports and have some suede walking boots i got recently hopefully it will help on and mustn’t forget the SBC arnica don’t want to miss out on doing things with the family and Willa who is one on Easter Monday bless her . Nice photo of you with your friend was that down here near ringwood ? I saw your picture with Claire at her party looked good fun she seems so lovely well hope you have a nice Easter with your family best wishes to you all and take care love Loraine xx

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 6:47 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Loraine, I do hope you’ve had some decent weather in Wales and that your ankles haven’t played up? Arnica gel is great but SBC also do a cooling gel that may work even better whilst you’re on the move and then Arnica at night. How was Willa’s birthday? One already?! Almost as hard to believe as Honey being two in a couple of weeks! Glad you liked the photo of Jo and I – yes it wasn’t far from Ringwood. Claire’s party was a hoot, and she has to be one of THE most glamorous 50 year olds I know! I hope you all enjoyed the Easter break and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  11. Loraine Plumb April 11, 2017 at 3:52 pm -  Reply

    Sorry Alison it should say Wales not wakes xx

  12. Ali carr April 11, 2017 at 8:11 pm -  Reply

    Sorry 2 hear your still in pain with your back. I’ve been hobbling around fir the last couple of wks due 2 my arthritis flared up in my ankle so I’m in a lot of pain. Miss seeing u on qvc can’t wait 4 u 2 come bk. Hope your backs better very soon x

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 6:49 pm -  Reply

      Oh bless you Ali. This bloomin’ arthritis is horrid. Particularly difficult I can imagine when it’s in your feet, ankles or knees. I do hope there is something effective you can take or use on your sore joints? Mine is mainly in my fingers and my neck… not very nice! I’ll be back with you tonight (Tuesday) for my 8pm Diamonique show which will give you a taster of what you can expect on Diamonique day! My back is feeling much better now, and I do hope your arthritis is too. Take care of yourself, love ALi xx

  13. Christine Auchterlonie April 11, 2017 at 9:19 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali ..sorry I haven’t responded to your last couple of blogs but since loosing my husband in February …I haven’t been what you would say been feeling up to anything much…however it is early days…I’m sorry you have been having trouble with your back nothing worse I hope things are improving for you. I read with interest that you have a love of Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald me too I also enjoy Clare Teal hope you enjoy it…lucky you.Fiona took me for a lovely afternoon tea at Horton Grange just outside Newcastle last week it was a lovely afternoon …although after 45years together with Derek I do feel lost at times even though Simon and Fiona look after me.I look forward to seeing Jessica and Katy and this Easter weekend we will be doing things together… Hope the weather will be good to us…it is still chilly here in the north east …I loved the picture of your Easter bonnet and I am always interested in your news … Clare Sutton was lucky with her trip on the Orient Express wow something I would love to do!!! did you get Honey The Butler and Wilson Honey Bee jewellery …I thought it was so sweet and I just love Simon I was lucky enough a couple of years ago to go into his shop in South Molton Street and Simon was in there at the time he’s so lovely and the shop is dripping with goodies!! Needless to say a couple of purchases were made! I hope you are making a good recovery and you have a good Easter time with your family look forward to seeing you on QVC soon take care with love Chris x

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 6:54 pm -  Reply

      Dear Chris, I was so glad to hear from you, and am so glad that both Simon and Fiona are looking out for you. 45 years is such a long time to share your life with someone, and I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it must be to find something good in each day, when no doubt you miss him very much. You are being very brave though and I’m certain that Easter weekend with Jessica and Katy will have cheered you and enabled you to make some new memories. Wasn’t that a wonderful surprise for Claire! We didn’t know until the day before that this was her treat, and no one deserves it more. I like you would love to do that one day, so my theory is ‘never say never’ πŸ™‚ I missed the Honey Bee jewellery, but you’re right about Simon Wilson – he is delightful man, and incredibly kind too. My back is much better now thank you , and I will be back with you for my regular Diamonique show. Take care and thank you for keeping in touch. Love Ali xx

  14. Karen Jenkins April 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, so sorry to hear about your back, it is very debilitating to be in constant pain especially back pain. As you know I had a tumour removed from my spine along with a vertebrae and some ribs just about a year ago now at the end of this month and am still in quite a bit of pain but mine is now nerve pain more than anything due to the operation. I really sympathise with you…….awful ! I hope it improves for you very soon, but bless you, you are still smiling. Many congratulations to Karen on winning the competition she must be over the moon. Thank you also to Gail for thinking about me as usual, lovely lady, it really helps.
    Love your photos, cheered me up as always and thank you for involving us in your life. I hope you have a lovely easter and that the easter bunny is good to little Honey, look forward to your next blog and to you returning to qvc as soon as you are well enough. Happy easter to you and to all my friends on your blog, be healthy everyone, take care Ali, love Karen. x

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 7:05 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Karen, great to hear from you, although I am sorry to know you are still in a fair amount of pain following the operation. I think that nerve pain is one of the most awful things – I struggled with it after my mastectomy – so you have my total sympathy. My back is now feeling much better, and I very much hope that you will start to feel more like yourself asap. Were you able to see Hallie over Easter? I spent a lovely couple of days with Lucy and Honey and have some fab photos to share in the next blog. So glad you are enjoying part of this network, as I know folk love to hear from you. Take care, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you next time. Love Ali xx

  15. Sue Huskisson April 11, 2017 at 10:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, so sorry to hear of your back trouble but great to see you now back on air. I too suffer from time to time with sciatica. It flares up periodically and is really painful for a while!
    Anyway some good news is my recent mammogram came back ” satisfactory” which is, I suppose, the best we can hope for.
    You looked to be having a great time at Claire’s party. I would have loved to see you all doing the dance her daughter had organised. I bet that was great fun!
    I’ve been babysitting our Charlie for the last two days and needless to say have had lots of kisses and cuddles. He’s potty training at the moment and it’s a work of art getting him to use the potty before any accidents! He’s very good telling you when he needs a wee but not so good with the other! Still he’s so adorable, we love him to bits.
    Your spa break with your friend looked and sounded just the ticket! Likewise your break with your friends from your old village. Love the Easter bonnet, very fetching. The large Cosmopolitans sound good too!!
    I too read p—-d off in the email. It made me laugh as it seemed so out of character!
    Anyway Ali I hope you have a lovely Easter and see plenty of your loved ones. Love Sue X

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 7:09 pm -  Reply

      Hi Sue, I’d be glad with ‘Satisfactory’, although I know the words “Nothing to worry about” would be nicer. I do hope your sciatica is behaving itself at present – awful business and very painful as you say. Keeping on the move is pretty much the only way to deal with it, although you feel unlike doing anything when it’s really bad! Claire’s party was great fun, and I had a good old dance, which certainly loosens the joints! The flashmob that Maddie organised was a hoot, and Claire was thrilled. I was more than a tad worried that I’d get it wrong, but had been rehearsing in front of the mirror at home for a week, so wasn’t too far behind! I’m sorry about the typo you found initially in the blog – my copy editor had a moment! You’re right, not something I’d say here! I very much hope you and yours had a lovely Easter – we did – and I’ll look forward to hearing from you next time, love Ali xx

  16. Alison Keenan April 12, 2017 at 12:22 am -  Reply

    Hi Jacqueline and Gail, bless you for your sweetness in believing that I would never have written ‘p…ed ‘off in a blog. You’re right. I didn’t! I’d actually written ‘pipped off’ but my copy editor had – to use her words – a little slip up :). All’s well now though so apologies! Xx

  17. Gail April 12, 2017 at 1:50 pm -  Reply

    Yeah right, we believe you don’t we Jacqueline πŸ™‚

    No apology necessary, in fact it gave us a laugh which can’t be bad. Glad to know alls well and look forward to seeing you on the tv xxxx

    Nerve pain is the worse Karen so I sympathise completely. Makes all our littles moans quite trivial hearing what you are and have been going through. Stay strong and have a lovely Easter, thinking of you xxx

    Happy Easter to you too Ali. Lots of love xxxx

  18. Christine April 12, 2017 at 5:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali the Internet be playing up. Don’t have miss it when it goes wrong. Sorry to hear about your back, I had bad year last year, 6 months could not move. When you have this problem it is always there.
    Any news on your book?

    Happy Easter Ali

  19. Lorna April 12, 2017 at 9:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali. I really liked the two-piece “suit” you had on for the Vercella Vita TSV. Is it a QVC? if so who’s? Lots of love and best wishes for Easter.

  20. Dorothy hollingsworth April 12, 2017 at 9:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi ali, glad you enjoyed your mother’s day isn’t it great when you get cards from your grand children, I love it even though isabel rose will in double figures this august just don’t know we’re the time and years go.So I will get watching your diamond show as I always watch diamonique shows I just love it.Speak again soon love dorothy xx

  21. Mary Morphy April 13, 2017 at 7:15 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali. Apologies for what seems ages since i last wrote on the blog but I can honestly say i don’t know where the last weeks have gone..And Congratulations Una.. Fabulous news. X
    Your south coast spa sounds fab..The brisk breeze made me smile..It seems a permanent fixture where i am in Westgate.. Windy. Corner as we say..But the weather has been glorious which is a bonus in the Easter holidays.
    I hope the back is easier for you..Saw you on the TSV launch with Carla..A great double act!!
    My birthday was mother’s day and apart from flatly refusing to cook after beautiful cards and gifts that day rolled like any other Sunday, after walking Olly on the beach with my twin and her dog Erik, we went and had crispy bacon sandwiches with my mum..I have brown sauce and mustard on mine..I know, very rock and roll!! I had some magnificent Lilly’s and money from John and the kids..And have very kind generous friends so felt thoroughly spoilt.
    I have almost completed my holiday ‘to do’ list. I have treated the decking and patio, the entire front garden which is crazy paved for us to park with Richard Jackson’s treatment then did mum’s..Like amazing and the green was gone overnight. I had a day in he garden chopping and tidying and last weekend decided to spend my Grand National winnings on new paint for the cabin. ( I only backed the winner because i made a christening cake last year for a boy called Arthur..So One for Arthur was a no brainer and i won Β£60!! The cabin will be sage green with cream window and door frames and a cream apex. I have started using a brush on the small shed attached to it but it needs 4 coats so my sister is lending me her Paint sprayer. I won’t get it finished for Easter but a least i have started.
    Daughter Chloe returns today after being away in Breacon Beacons since Friday doing her D of E Gold practice.. have missed her so much. We spoke yesterday when she came off the mountains and she is severely battered and blistered but had fun!!! I have a fresh clean bed and new pyjamas and soft fluffy socks ready and waiting for her. I have been asked to make toad in the hole and Millionaires shortbread for her dinner tonight.
    Well i must go as have things to cross off my list and it’s nearly beach time with Olly. Have a fabulous Easter Ali and to all the Army. Much love Mary. Xx

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Mary, I’m not surprised you’ve not had time to write to us here – your life moves at 100 miles an hour! So glad though you didn’t have to cook for your birthday, although I hope you had a little more than just bacon sandwiches on the day itself! You should teach your Chloe how to bake cakes and then she could make something fab for you! Glad your friends rallied too and that you enjoyed your special day. I so could have done with a paint sprayer when I attempted a new colour on the big shed in the garden. Took forever! I bet you did miss Chloe while she was away… I remember the odd occasions mine went on a school trip or sleep over, it felt like forever til they came home. Cottage pie was usually their favourite meal. I hope the beach wasn’t too windy for you and that Olly continues to be a good companion for you. We’ve had a great Easter – my first not working for 7 years! – Love to you too Mary, Ali xx

  22. Joanna Downey April 13, 2017 at 8:06 am -  Reply

    Good Morning Ali, The army is still marching but that sounds like the last thing you could have done recently & I hope that by now you are feeling better. It is also lovely to have new recruits & know that they too find support & humour on your blog. Your trips away with your friends always look fun; you are obviously an inventive & artistic group. Colin & I have just returned from Slovenia, a long weekend he booked just before Christmas so that we could see the 2Cellos in concert. We had the most wonderful time & both fell in love with Ljubljana, which must be the prettiest capital city in the world. Colin had climbed Triglav, their highest mountain. a couple of years ago & loved the country telling me how stunning Lake Bled & the surrounding area was so we had two nights in the two locations. The concert was every bit as amazing as we hoped it would be, the weather was perfect & the whole experience was made even better when the ‘boys’ – Luka Sulic & Stjepan Hauser walked passed us when we were having lunch on Saturday… Fortunately I had finished my meal & was able to smile & mouth “Hello” without looking too starstruck. I don’t have major plans for Easter apart from gardening, we saw Bex & the children yesterday & Max is well on his way to being mobile, then the fun will begin! Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 7:24 pm -  Reply

      Ooh Jo, you should be a travel writer! I am desperate to visit Ljubljana now – it sounds stunning! Music, scenery, fab food and your man – sounds like a wonderful combination, and I’m not surprised you enjoyed yourselves so much – you deserve it! I’m also intrigued to read up on the 2Cellos – I love my music – and it may be something my Colin likes also. Our night of Ella’s music was sublime. Some of my favourite songs performed perfectly. Did a fair bit of gardening last week but he lawn needs mowing again! My pots are coming on thanks to Richard Jackson’s flower power – awaiting delivery of my Root Boost! Glad you saw Bex and the children.. you’re right about little Max! That’s when you have to start moving things πŸ™‚ Enjoy your week, and thanks as always for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  23. Susan April 13, 2017 at 9:18 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali just thought I’d ask if you know if birkenstocks are discontinued with you? Have you any others with orthotic insoles other than vionics?x

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 7:25 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Susan, I don’t believe Birkenstocks are discontinued, but to my knowledge the only orthotic insoles are in the Vionic range. You may like to try Earth Spirit or even Skechers – both of which have cleverly designed insoles and construction. Ali x

  24. Gail April 13, 2017 at 10:23 am -  Reply

    Oops, hope my last comment didn’t come across as rude Ali; I was only teasing you ? xx

    • Alison Keenan April 17, 2017 at 7:25 pm -  Reply

      Gail, not remotely πŸ™‚ I know you were only teasing xxx

  25. Judith Lennon April 13, 2017 at 6:10 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    I hope by now your back is feeling much better. Nothing more miserable as no matter how hard you try you cannot get comfortable! Loved the Easter hats. I’ve done this myself in the past – great fun. You seemed to be having a lovely time with Jo and the weather looks good. We have have some decent weather the last week and it’s lovely to see sunshine and blue skies for a change. Little Honey is growing so fast. What a little treasure she is, and may I say looking more like you with each new photo. We are hoping apart from seeing the family over Easter that we have a chilled out time to re charge batteries. The last few months have been very hectic and we both need to STOP! Easier said than done but we will see. I need some rest since I took a tumble in the park with my youngest grand child last week. Would you believe a fell over a mound of sand some children had been building. Over I went and face planted in the ground beneath me. I felt so stupid and just lay there and cried! Nothing broken but I have been a tad sore since. I was glad my husband was with us as nobody came to my rescue. Well Ali time to get some dinner ready, Happy Easter to you and your family and take care. Love and hugs as always .Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan April 20, 2017 at 1:38 pm -  Reply

      Bless you Judith, seems I’m not the only one damaging myself! Do hope you are less sore and I’m very glad your husband was there to look after you πŸ™‚ I fell over when I was out for a run once, and I cried too – mainly out of embarrassment as a driver stopped to help me! I do hope you managed to get to see the family over Easter, and have been able to rest these last few days. You’re right about just taking some time. It’s quite nice just to sit down for a moment and write to you – been rushing around doing housework and washing this morning. I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog. More photos to follow next week. Take care of yourself, and thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  26. Linda Finch,, April 13, 2017 at 6:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi ,Ali , hope your feeling much better have really missed you on Q ,so you will be spending time with Honey over Easter that will be so nice for both of you ,we will be having a quiet Easter cos Simon and crew are spending the weekend in Wales taking their touring caravan for its first outing this season. We could spend some time over the weekend preparing our touring caravan for our first outing ,we decided last weekend to go to York for a few days ,at least then we will have had one holiday before John has his knee op ,because as yet we don’t know how long he will be before he is able to drive ,so it may not be until later on in the year .Hope the weather is kind to us all much love Linda F xxx

    • Alison Keenan April 20, 2017 at 1:41 pm -  Reply

      My dear Linda, thanks for taking the time to write to me, and how wonderful for you to have a touring caravan. I know that Kathy Tayler and Olley have had some brilliant days and nights away in this country and across the channel too! Very good idea to get your trip in before John has his knee op, although I’m sorry you weren’t able to see Simon and the crew. How long have you had the caravan for? Have you ever driven the car and pulled it? We used to have a boat and I could never get the hang of reversing the car and the trailer! Disaster! I do hope you’ve had some sunshine over the week, love Ali xx

  27. Linda Finch,, April 14, 2017 at 7:23 pm -  Reply

    Sorry Ali my last note should be we go to York in may ,once again sorry ,happy easter xx???

    • Alison Keenan April 20, 2017 at 1:41 pm -  Reply

      Ah well that’s even better Linda, as May is only a month away! Ali x

  28. Margaret Upton April 15, 2017 at 1:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    I am laughing at reading the ticked off in this e mail whereas on the one which arrived in my inbox the curse was much more fitting!! I have to say it put a smile on my face.
    I hope your back pain has gone by now, it really does make everyday movements we take for granted impossible.
    Loved the Easter Bonnet, very creative, something sadly I am not.
    The three legged race however I do remember from our Village sports days, I did manage a third place certificate! There were just four pairs in the race so not such an achievement!


    • Alison Keenan April 20, 2017 at 1:43 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Maggie, so glad you enjoyed the blog and it brought back memories of your three legged race. That photo was just a still from a short video that Debbie took, but there was so much shrieking and laughing I thought I’d better not post it! You’re right the first option in my blog was possibly more fitting but not allowed – glad it made you smile though πŸ™‚ I’m not normally very creative either, although I have to start thinking about Honey’s second birthday cake. She wants an animal! HELP! Take care love Ali xx

  29. martin forbes April 17, 2017 at 11:43 am -  Reply

    hi alison hope you and family are well iam nae bad which in aberdeen means not bad did you get any easter eggs it is so commercialised nowadays just like xmas

    • Alison Keenan April 20, 2017 at 1:45 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Martin, Glad to know you’re ‘nae bad’ and I hope you didn’t have to work over Easter? I did get an Easter egg from Colin but that was because he’d eaten all my birthday chocolates! We’re going to share it. I agree, it’s all very commercialised, but a good excuse to get together with family and friends πŸ™‚ Love Ali xx

  30. Sue Jennings April 18, 2017 at 9:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali….apologies first for my absence mainly due to dreadful joint pain from Anastrazole and generally feeling yuk with it all. I’ve had my first mammogram result back and it was NED which is good news but I had to wait 4 weeks for the results as they weren’t back when I saw my surgeon. Our postponed holiday to Jamaica was on the horizon and I had to go with the uncertainty as to whether all was well or not ! Sorry to hear you have been under the weather recently , hope you are feeling better this week. I love your Easter Bonnet very swish and your 3 legged race looked great fun. You always make you blog so interesting …take great care Ali Sending much love

    Sue Jennings xx

    • Alison Keenan April 20, 2017 at 2:05 pm -  Reply

      Oh bless you Sue, you have my sympathy regarding the joint pain, and even more understanding of the terrible anxiety waiting for results. Four weeks is far too long to have to wait altho I was relieved to know that it was good news. I hope you managed to enjoy Jamaica anyway? Glad you enjoyed the blog – I love writing them – there’ll be another one next week πŸ™‚ Take care, Love Ali xxx

  31. Lynn April 20, 2017 at 12:10 am -  Reply

    HI Alison and Charlie well done brilliant show with lots of humour as always, not forgetting Katherine who is always a Stunning picture of Elegance and poise my partner is always glued to the screen when she is on he often jokes she would be the ideal woman for most men. Take care. Lynn

    • Alison Keenan April 20, 2017 at 2:11 pm -  Reply

      Lynn so glad you were with us last night, it was such a hoot and I love working with Charlie! and I’m in complete agreement with your husband – Catherine is stunning! She’s also very articulate and funny – some women have it all! πŸ™‚ Ali xxxx

  32. Una April 20, 2017 at 12:30 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali.
    Thank you for mentioning us in your blog, that was lovely of you.
    Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to send their good wishes. You are so kind to think of us.
    The proposal was slightly unusual, in as much as. Graeme proposed that we spend the rest of our lives together as Γ  family. Not so much marriage. He’s well aware of my feelings regarding that, given that my last one turned out to be pretty much diabolical!!! For now, I am absolutely delighted with that prospect. Maybe one day i will feel differently, but we are both happy with our decision. Some of my friends are having a problem with it unfortunately, but it’s what we want and honestly, it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks, Meli is happy and so are we and that is all that matters.
    We decided we could still get rings to exchange, and he has chosen a very simple narrow gold band. I on the other didn’t make things easy!!!! “Of course you didn’t’ i hear you say.
    He told me the budget, which was silly money, and no way was i going to spend that much. We toddled off for a day in Glasgow, loads of jewellery shops thereΒ‘! and came home with a teddy bear for Meli and a can of deodorant for me!!!!
    I just couldn’t believe the price of some of these things. Diamonds are a girls best friend, and forever, and all that, but really????!!! I just couldn’t find anything i thought would justify the amount of money we finally agreed on.
    A friend was visiting the next day. His brother used to be a jeweller and he gave him a call to see if he might be able to help. Luckily he still had some pieces which he has been keeping all these years. He had the most beautiful eternity band of white gold ,channel set with black diamonds. It is a perfect fit. I absolutely love it. Think it was meant to be.
    I have to tell you what a gem of a man i have found. I met a lovely family when Meli was in hospital, we spent many hours drinking tea and keeping each other company in the dead of night, when Meli was having a tough time, or when their little boy was very poorly. Often hanging onto each other because there was nothing else we could do. Sadly,they are not going to have a good outcome, and although things are going ok at the moment, they know they will have a short time with their little one. Having said that, they’ve known since he was 7 months old, he had a life limiting illness, and he is now 6 and fighting on. Graeme decided that as he didn’t spend as much money on my eternity ring as he intended, he is paying for the family to go to Spain for 10 days. He’s booked 2 villas and flying the whole family, grandparents and aunts and cousins. 21 in total so they can all have a break and make lovely memories. They have never really had a proper holiday. The mum didn’t go back to work after the diagnosis and dad only works part time so he can be as hands on as possible. They deserve this break so much and really looking forward to it.
    I’m so proud of him for thinking of them and making such a difference for them.
    I’m so glad you’re feeling better Ali. Caught a few minutes of your show the other night, and saw the picture of Honey. What a delight, that smile will get you through anything. She is so cute.
    Thank you again for all your good wishes, we really appreciate it. (We!!! Haha, that still feels weird to say!!!)
    Glad to see our little army is still marching on.
    Lots of love
    Una, Meli and Graeme. X
    Also, was wondering too if Birkenstocks were being discontinued. Have been trying to keep an eye out for upcoming shows, and only a few pairs on the website.

    • Alison Keenan April 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm -  Reply

      My dear Una, as both Gail and Susan have said and I can only echo, what an absolute gem your Graeme is! That type of selfless kindness is unusual and rare, and as I’ve said before, if anyone deserves it, you do. Better yet, Graeme is looking out for Meli too, and his proposal of a lifetime together was for all three of you. Never mind what other folk think, sometimes things we share with someone special can’t be seen or felt by anyone else, but that’s what makes them so precious to us. Thank you for sharing with us, and for realising that we all care about you – it’s what the blog is all about! I’m glad you enjoyed the photo of Honey on air the other night – I’m going to put in my next blog. It makes me smile every time I see it. Just seen that you are taking to Disneyland – as you say earplugs may be required when she realises that’s where she’s headed – what a fabulous surprise. Bless her. Take care Una, and love to you, Meli and Graeme. Ali xxx

  33. Gail April 20, 2017 at 1:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, loved watching you and Charlie last night, hilarious. What you did to that biscuit had me in stitches. You both have a great sense of humour. Glad you had such a lovely Easter.

    What a joy to read Una’s comment. Graeme really does sound so incredibly kind, thoughtful and generous. What a lovely gesture, what a lovely man. Congratulations again Una and Graeme.

    Must say I haven’t seen much improvement with the teeth yet, but you did make me laugh about how yours might do under the studio light. A trip to the cosmetic dentist beckons!!!

    Lots of love xxx

    • Una April 21, 2017 at 10:17 am -  Reply

      Ah Gail, thank you for that. I really can’t believe how lucky I am. He is just a lovely person person​, so kind and thoughtful. I keep poking him and asking what is wrong with him lol!!! I’ve seen the absolute worst of humanity in the last few years and it is difficult to get it into my head that he is genuinely nice.
      Our friends are over the moon and everything is now in place for them to fly out in 3 weeks. They don’t want to go when it’s too busy, or height of summer when it’s boiling hot outside. That would not be good for the little boy. I just hope they have an absolute ball.
      Thank you again for your good wishes Gail x

    • Alison Keenan April 24, 2017 at 12:22 pm -  Reply

      Gail, so glad you enjoyed it! We had an absolute hoot – Charlie is a very dear friend, and has a wicked sense of humour. I’m hoping we’ll get more chances to work together soon. Watch this space for a re run of the moment, and also for Charlies response to my apology πŸ™‚ Keep persevering with the teeth – it’ll be worth it I’m sure. Thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  34. Susan April 20, 2017 at 6:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi una and Ali, I just want to say how special Graeme must be to do that for your family friends una. I don’t know anyone who could afford that but more to the point who would be so unselfish to do it! Lovely to know you’ll make a difference to that family. And I know what you mean about saying we. But as I say it gives us all hope and you just enjoy it x

    • Una April 21, 2017 at 10:40 am -  Reply

      Hi Susan
      I hope you are well.
      There IS ALWAYS hope. I would not have been able to get through everything that’s been thrown Γ t me if i hadn’t believed that. I bought Ali’s “I Hope” jewellery for that specific reason. When my daughter was killed, I kept saying to myself.”i hope i get through tomorrow” and “I hope she thinks I’m doing an ok job with Meli” .
      It was such a lovely gesture. I didn’t even know he was thinking about it until he came down with his iPad, and asked if i liked the 2 villas!!! I was thinking, what’s he done now!!!
      Graeme has had a lot of heartbreak too. His wife passed away when she was young and they hadn’t been married very long. She had been ill as a teenager but they thought she was good. Unfortunately the illness returned with a vengeance. Subsequently, he just poured EVERYTHING into his company, and was working stupid hours every week.
      He sold up, and came back to the UK permanently last year, and is now taking it a bit easier. He’s finding the word “retired” a challenge lol. He’s in his very early 50s (I’m not allowed to tell his age!!) Having said that. He’s bought 3 properties recently and is having billions of meetings with planners, architect etc every week and is in his element. He can’t wait to get the go ahead and get his hands dirty.
      WE!! Are going to Disneyland Paris soon and haven’t told Meli. I can’t wait​ to get to the airport and we tell her. I will make sure i have my earplugs in situe!!!!! She will be screeching lol. I pity anyone who gets in her way, she will be hurtling through the park with balloons flying from her walker!!! It’s amazing the speed she can get to with that thing! I’m sure sparks fly from the wheels!!!
      Lots of love from all of us Susan x

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