And the winner is….!


Well! What a fabulous response to my competition and thank you so much for taking time out to enter.  The lucky winner is Sarah Laycock – congratulations! Your prize will be on its way to you very soon! As you may have gathered if you were with me for my shows on Monday evening I have fallen foul of the dreaded lurgy! I thought I was going to get away with just a sore throat, but I now have a horrid cough and I’ve been in bed pretty much since Tuesday afternoon! So it’s been really lovely to read the responses to the competition, where so many of you correctly guessed that the sound was indeed me carving out a pumpkin!

Autumn leaves

Along with scraping ice off the windscreen, it was by far the most popular answer, and there was me thinking it would confuse you! I really enjoyed the slightly random answers too though like ‘someone running, shutting the door then running again’, and ‘squirrels getting their nuts ready for hibernation’ – they cheered me up no end : ). I have managed to reply to some of you who posted with an update, but for those of you I have not yet answered I promise I will get round to it this weekend.

My AeroPilates machine

Something else I haven’t got round to doing is trying out my brand-new AeroPilates machine which Colin very kindly put together for me. It’s all part of my trying to strengthen my back and get fitter regime! As the winter draws in, I know I’ll be less inclined to go out and walk so I thought this might be the best form of non-impact exercise for me! That said, I had a lovely walk in the sunshine last weekend, and took the photograph above. Autumn really is a beautiful time of year isn’t it?

Rae's pug AvicciTalking of photographs, one of our wedding presents from the children was a photo shoot for the entire family! It’s been booked for this Sunday, so heaven help the photographer! It should be great fun though, and Lucy and Simon are coming with Honey the night before so that we can all go together. There will be 16 of us in total plus Rae’s pug Avicci!  I’ll let you know how we get on : )

I thought you may like to see this picture taken last weekend at Carters Steam Fair. They set up on our village green twice a year, and for two days the place is buzzing. Beautifully painted rides, and old fashioned attractions like Hook A Duck, Shove Halfpenny and Strongman. They even had a Ghost Train which we all went on and screamed like children, but the carousel is definitely my favourite : ).

Carters Steam Fair

I’m very much hoping to be back with you this Sunday night when our TSV is a pack of two print and plain tops from Nina Leonard, but until then stay warm and stay well!

Pack of 2 Print & Plain Border Hem Tops by Nina Leonard - colours

With my love,

Ali xx


  1. Christine Auchterlonie October 23, 2015 at 9:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali.. Sorry you have not been well,I usually get the bug not long after I have had the flu injection…. How does that work??? You have posted some lovely photos of Honey… She’s so cute… Good luck for the photo shoot on Sunday with your family…my son Simon is interested in photography and I have had some lovely pics of my two granddaughters Jessica and Katy. Jessica has just had the lead role of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz in her schools Autumn production..I was so proud of her. I have been enjoying the Christmas shows on qvc especially the foodie shows …everything looks so delicious! Needless to say the temptation is great and I have started the Christmas shopping…. Hope you are feeling a little better and will see you on Sunday for Nina Leonard I have several pieces from the range … Always pleased .Till next time take care x Chris.

  2. Mary Morphy October 24, 2015 at 4:44 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali. I hope by the time you read this you are feeling much better. I have starred the half term with a cough..desperately hoping it doesn’t go onto my chest! Only a quickie…nothing to report really. As you can see I am typing this at 4.30am Saturday…having a warm moment or two!! Autumn is my favourite season. You can’t help but be in awe of mother nature at this time of year..or at any time of year I suppose but I love to watch the leaves change to their fiery red and golden tones..stunning! Hope the family photo goes well..what a great the daughter adores them and shares her bed with 6 pug cushions! I also bought her the pug in a Xmas sweater jumper from QVC. Arrived this week and she loves it. We are doing our Xmas tree pressure draw at the cafe this morning after our beach, my sister Denise and her two English Bull Terriors and my daughter Chloe always walk but my other sister Lucy and her son Harry are gonna meet us at the cafe to do the draw…We have “tree” presided on New Years day and everyone buys for two people, drawn out of bags, so everyone gets two pressures. Maximum per pressure is £10.. However as the kids are included I end up buying mine, my husbands and the kids!! We will be wearing Xmas jumper’s as is tradition! Me, Chloe and Denise are going to Eastbourne for a couple of days as we all need a mini break..Denise’s younger dog Erik is coming with us. Phoebe is staying with my other sister Lucy as she is 12 and cannot manage the Kong walks anymore. We are back Wednesday as Lucy goes away then plus I have holiday jobs to do…replacing the shed roof is first on the list. It’s a shame I can’t put photo’s on this blog..the dogs are hilarious..she has a face book blog. Erik and Phoebe, bullies by the Sea..some great photos there!! Well that’s all really. Hope you have a good week and are feeling well again soon..these pesky winter colds and coughs really knock the stuffing out of its victims. Take lots of hot lemon and brandy! Love Mary xxx

  3. Pearl Emery October 24, 2015 at 4:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Hope you are feeling better and have got rid of the dreaded lurgy!
    Ali can i say once again thank you so very much it was really fantastic of you.
    Stay well Ali.
    Love Pearl xx

  4. Susan October 24, 2015 at 4:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What beautiful autumn photos you have taken! I love it too. Though it can be a bit lonely and dark at times once the sun goes away! I hope that cold shifts soon and you enjoy the photoshoot. It’ll be gorgeous!
    You have such a talent for baking BTW. Lucy’s cake you made was another stunning Ali creation! Well done!
    See you soon x

  5. Joanna Downey October 25, 2015 at 9:58 am -  Reply

    Morning Ali, I wasn’t the winner of your lovely jewellery but I’ve just bought a pair of Diamonique earrings that have been on wait list for months and I’m looking forward to their arrival. I agree with you that Autumn is a beautiful season and the days of blue skies and glorious leaf colour are to be treasured. I had breakfast in bed this morning, I now know that I’m getting old because yesterday’s family lunch party for our home has wiped me out and not because of too much fizz! While I was eating I watched Countryfile which is a programme I don’t normally view, however, I loved it because it was a celebration of Autumn colour and very interesting. You had some thoughtful and imaginative wedding gifts and they have given me ideas for something for Ellie and David; I was finding it really difficult to think of a present for them because they have had their own home for three years so have most of the things that are traditionally given AND are getting married so close to Christmas… Enjoy your photographs and get well soon. Love from Jo x

  6. Anne Marie Mason October 25, 2015 at 5:31 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations Sarah. x

  7. Sue Radford October 26, 2015 at 12:25 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,

    Well, I’m not very good at guessing noises am I Lol!

    Just tuned in to QVC and was surprised to see you presenting the TSV. Glad you’re feeling much better, but your nasty cold can still be detected in your voice, so hope it will soon be completely gone!

    Oh, I love Autumn too Ali! The vibrant colours of the leaves look even more beautiful due to this beautiful sunny October weather – stunning!

    Take care.

    Love Sue Radford xx

  8. Alison Keenan October 26, 2015 at 8:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Christine, and lovely to hear from you. I hope you’ve managed to avoid this bug, although I don’t believe it has anything to do with the flu injection I had! How promised to be of your granddaughter Jessica. That is a mighty role to fill, and one of my favourite childhood stories! I wish your son Simon the very best of luck with his photography. My son Jack studies at college for film and photography and certainly has a flair for it. I’m really glad you are enjoying the Christmas shows on TV soon, and like me will probably be waiting for the chance to order the Christmas hamper! I have already done an enormous amount of Christmas shopping online. I hope you liked the Nina Leonard TSV, and thank you again for writing. Love Ali xx

  9. Alison Keenan October 26, 2015 at 8:48 pm -  Reply

    Mary must make sure you have plenty of hot lemon and honey (perhaps just a little brandy as you suggest!) And try not to get up as early as 4.30 in the morning! I do hope your cold doesn’t get any worse – this bug seems to take for ever to get rid of properly. I am glad you got hold of one of our Christmas jumpers – I’m not surprised your daughter loves it! I think perhaps I should get Rae the one with the pug on for a Christmas present. It sounds as though you have got fun coming up with Chloe and Denise and your time in Eastbourne. I do hope the weather is kind to you, and the dogs behave! Try and put your chores to the back of your mind, and I look forward to seeing you photos on Twitter soon. Take care, Love Ali xx

  10. Alison Keenan October 26, 2015 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    Fingers crossed Pearl it’s almost gone! Still a bit throaty, but feeling a lot better than I was. And you’re very welcome I think what you did was a marvellous thing. Love Ali xx

  11. Alison Keenan October 26, 2015 at 8:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Susan I’m really glad you like the photographs, and quite honestly if I didn’t have the camera I had on my phone, I would never have taken any of the pictures I end up taking. I never used to carry a camera around with me at all! Photo shoot this Sunday, so I’ve just had my hair highlighted. It should be fun, and I will have the evidence here for you to enjoy. Have a great week, love Ali xx

  12. Alison Keenan October 26, 2015 at 8:54 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Jo, thanks for taking part in the competition as always. So pleased that the earrings you have been waiting for are finally on their way to you. I always forget about things that I have on waitlist and they make wonderful surprises when they do arrive. I hope you’re feeling less tired now – how lovely to have breakfast in bed! So glad that the blog has given you a few ideas for wedding presents. Our friends and families were so kind and thoughtful – we felt truly spoiled. Not long now before Ellie and David’s big day! Take care, stay warm, and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  13. Alison Keenan October 26, 2015 at 8:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sue, remember it’s not about the winning its about the taking part! 🙂 you certainly got very good hearing, I was struggling with the TSV last night, I thought my voice was going to give up again. I still have a rather nasty cough, but I’m getting a little better each day. So many people seem to have been completely floored with this particular bug I think I got off lightly! I do hope you and yours are all well, and that you are making the very best of this colourful and vibrant autumn. Still lovely to go walking in the leaves. Take care, love Ali xx

  14. Denise October 27, 2015 at 6:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I hope you’re now feeling better. I noticed as I’ve been out and about a few people coughing and sneezing and keep my fingers crossed I don’t catch it as it takes me a while to shake things off. Apologies for not catching up with previous blogs but life’s been busy lately. Firstly I celebrated my birthday and had a very special day with my family. My best present was tickets to see Gypsy and train tickets to get there wow I’m so excited and can’t wait. A few days later my hubby was taken ill with blood pressure related problems and spent 3 days in hospital which was such a worry. It’s affected his sight which thankfully is improving but he can’t drive or fly at the moment. The day before this happened he got a nice bonus from work and we were going to treat ourselves to a holiday somewhere hot but that put paid to it. However in need of a break we booked a holiday to Cornwall last week and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The weather was mild, we had a lovely sea view in our room and we visited new places which were a delight. It’s whetted our appetite to return next year we enjoyed it so much. Isn’t it strange how things turn out?
    I hope your photo shoot went well – what a lovely thoughtful present and one to remember for years to come.
    Love Denise x

  15. Sally October 29, 2015 at 12:29 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali Lovely pic of the tree.
    Don’t know why but I always like this time of year with all the autumn colours etc used to sit quite happily with the children when they were young back in the 70s looking at books with pictures of children in their wellie boots kicking through the leaves on the ground with the wind blowing their hats off always stuck in my mind just gives a warm feeling inside must relate to something I suppose.
    My junior school was on Wimbledon common and having to walk every day as i got older on my own I used to like all the different seasons especially when the frost was so thick on the branches they were all white and glistened and the bushes you could just snap the leaves they were so crisp. We never had central heating but cant really remember complaining we were cold. It was quite a walk to my school from our house about 45 mins.
    All the times i walked home but only once remember being frightened i was almost home it was dark as we never finished school until 3.55pm a real pea souper fog appeared i could only just see the lamp post lights boy did i run home fast.
    I enjoyed my years at school and we had a happy child hood played in the street or round the park which was in next road or we went to the common in the summer or in the local cinema watching all the lastest films happy days we were lucky really,
    Glad you feel better best wishes Sally x

  16. TINA S October 29, 2015 at 10:10 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Sorry you’re not well, hope you’re on the mend soon. I hate getting “colds” as I always get a terrible cough for weeks. Its always worse at night and I end up going downstairs to sleep as I make so much noise.
    Loved the old-fashioned fair ground attractions. I remember the fantastic horses on the old fair ground attractions, painted with such vivid colours. They bring back happy memories of our childhood. As I’ve got older I’m so into nostalagia .
    Well I must get a move on as we’re out for lunch at my favourite seaside town. I got my Lulu Guinness Bird Cage umbrella yesterday. Looks like I may need it as it looks a bit overcast. I also had the Diamonique watch you designed a while back in the white metal finish. It really shines when you’re in the sunshine. Only one thing , could you possibly make the length of the bracelet a bit longer if you do another one? I have only got small wrists but its just a bit too snug as I like a bit of dangle!
    Well, take care and get well soon. Plenty of vitamin C and hot blackcurrant juice.
    Love Tina (S. Wales) x

  17. Alpa October 30, 2015 at 6:08 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,

    Thanks for a fabulous diamonique show 🙂 What a lovely wedding present to have a family photo shoot. It does sound like great fun 🙂

    Thank you for writing back. Yes, the Ombudsman was the only way of getting the help that I need at home. One would think ‘somebody somewhere would have to listen’ as you said. From experience, I am afraid no one has to listen!

    Any challenge to the government legislation on this illness is simply not tolerated. As far as the UK government is concerned, neurological ME does not exist. This is fed and portrayed by the media. Recently, an article in the Telegraph clearly implies that ME is a non-illness that can be cured by positive thinking and exercise! It defies belief that after 30 years, scientific evidence continues to be ignored.

    This is a link to an article which might clarify the situation on ME. It’s written by Professor Malcolm Hooper. He advises on Gulf War Syndrome and is also one of the few outspoken advocates of ME in the UK :

    Thank you for your kind words x

    Jo, thanks for thinking of me. I did contact an ME support group in my area. They have been unable to advise x

    Hope you’re feeling better soon, Ali.

    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  18. Linda October 31, 2015 at 10:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, so glad your feeling better,iam sure this weekend will really make you feel on top of the world with little honey in the house, it makes such a difference with a baby around .Cuddles with little armes round your neck is something you can not beat. My grandchilderen, Harry and Ellie have just been both dressed as zombies ,clothes, hair and makeup all done by Harry, just wish you could see them,they looked brilliant.hope your photo shoot goes well hope we see some picks . Love as always Linda Fxx

  19. Debz November 6, 2015 at 2:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali

    Sorry I’ve not been in touch sooner but am struggling a bit at the moment what with Ainzley being poorly, Neal having issues with his job. It’s hard to be positive all the time and I didn’t want to come on here and moan what with you all going through it too.

    Sorry to hear about your bad back. You have my every sympathy. It’s amazing how we take our backs for granted until they cause us pain in every movement. Glad you are now on the mend. Pilates is a good idea to strengthen your back and core. My Bodyblade is slow going as I’m lacking a bit of motivation at the moment.

    Hope your family photo shoot goes well. Sounds amazing. I hate having my photo taken as I really don’t photograph well at all!!! Our photos are mainly of Ainzley who is very photogenic!

    Alpha, it was so good to hear from you again. I was very worried about you. I am sorry that no one will listen to you still after all this time. I send you strength to deal with this and also for whatever else you are worried about. Please keep in touch with us as we may not have any answers for you but we can give you our support. You have been missed. XXX

    Off to give Ainzley his meds for the afternoon! Wish me luck!

    Love to Ali and all in your army.

    Love and licks

    Debz & Ainzley (=^_^=) xxxxxxxxxx

  20. loraine November 8, 2015 at 4:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison sorry I haven’t been inn contact recently hope all is well with you all Clare is still doing well in her pregnancy next scan is in a week and a half I’m having some treatment on my ankle which is an ongoing thing I get fluid retention on it which creeps up my leg makes my boots tight when I put them on also the treatment should help the nerve damage in my arm I have a feeling I may have told you all this before apologies if I have hope honey is getting well and your celebration night out we as nice love loraine xx

  21. Alison Keenan November 8, 2015 at 6:44 pm -  Reply

    Dear Denise,belated happy birthday to you and how envious am I for you having seen Gypsy! I’ve heard nothing but good reviews for this show, but sadly think I’ve missed it! So sorry that your husband has been through the wars, but very glad that you had your break in Cornwall and he is now improved. Sounds like you’ve found somewhere really special there! Yes the photoshop was great fun, and we should have the results in the next fortnight. Thanks so much writing to me. Stay well and keep in touch, love Ali xxx

  22. Alison Keenan November 10, 2015 at 10:05 am -  Reply

    Dear Sally lovely to hear from you, and to be live so are your memories of your childhood. I’m complete agreement with you I think autumn is the most stunning time of year, and I have fond memories of my children when they were small, spending time picking up leaves and making pictures with them! Weirdly I also have a very clear memory of walking in fallen leaves with Sam just before Jack was born and yet that would’ve been end of January! You certainly had a long walk to school, which I’m sure will get you warm in the cold! I used to cycle 7 miles a day to and from school, but I hated the rain more than anything else 🙂 I think it would be lovely to hear from other folk about their childhood memories, so may well blog about it next time. Thank you Sally, and I hope you have a lovely week. Ali xxx

  23. Alison Keenan November 10, 2015 at 10:10 am -  Reply

    Hi there Tina, I’m feeling well now. Just the old bones creaking a bit, so I have a bone density scan later in the week. I must say that this particular strain of colds and coughs has sticking power, and quite a few of the presenters struggled with it this last month. Well done for getting one of Lulu Guinnes’s birdcage umbrellas – I’ve always rather fancied one of those. Delighted too that you got the Diamonique watch I designed. I am tho worried that you may be missing a link because with both links on the strap it should be 8 inches long which gives it a fair bit of drape if you have small wrists like me… Do you want to measure it and let me know as I could try and find a separate link for you? Happy to help. Take care and enjoy your week – hope it’s not too wet and blustery for you! Love Ali xx

  24. Alison Keenan November 10, 2015 at 10:15 am -  Reply

    Hello there Alpa, and I am glad you enjoyed the Diamonique show – I rather missed it this last Thursday, but will be back with you this week. Professor Malcolm Hooper is clearly a very learned man, and passionate about the situation. I was horrified to read how many people actually struggle with this illness, in this country. It seems wrong that his words are not able to help those, like yourself, who need help so desperately. We have to hope that one day this situation will change… You take care, and try to stay positive… maybe easy for me to say, but I know it has helped me when things get difficult. Thank you for writing, love Ali x

  25. Alison Keenan November 10, 2015 at 10:17 am -  Reply

    Hi Linda I often think it’s a shame that you’re not able to post photographs in the way that I am! It will be lovely to see some things that you talk about. Harry and Ellie sounds delightful, and I’m sure look brilliant dressed as zombies for Halloween. The photo shoot was also fun, although we won’t have the photos until next week – I will be ready to share with you then of course!! Enjoy your week – I’ll have another blog for you by Thursday. Love Ali xx

  26. Alpa November 11, 2015 at 3:30 am -  Reply

    Dear Debz,

    It was good to hear from you. I’m so sorry you’ve been struggling with Ainzley being poorly and Neal having issues at work. I really do feel for you my dear and wish there was something I could do to make it better.

    I’m sorry you were so worried about me. I didn’t want to come on here and complain about my life. Thank you so much for sending strength and I send the same to you, along with a special cuddle for Ainzley from his Auntie Alpa and a big hug to both you and Neal.

    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  27. Alison Keenan November 22, 2015 at 11:30 am -  Reply

    Debz I am so sorry. I missed your comment last week! I will reply to you on the new blog. Very much hoping things have eased for you. With love, Ali xx

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