My trip Down Under – Part 1


Ali with Peter at Ripples restaurantG'day!! How are you? I can't believe that this day three weeks ago we were just about to land at Sydney Airport having travelled over 10,000 miles… well I say travelled, but it felt more like a fabulous night in with lovely food, champagne, and movies of our choice to watch. Etihad Airways had upgraded us to Business Class, and so we felt seriously spoilt πŸ™‚  

Apart from a mild struggle with my flight socks (unbelievably tight!) and nearly choking on a mysterious delicacy I believed to be part of my Mezze, but turned out to be an ear plug, all was well and before we knew it we were grabbing our bags and heading for the arrivals gate… I have to be honest and say that my heart was in my mouth as we pushed our baggage trolley along the concourse – which in itself was no mean feat due the ENORMOUS amount of clothing I had decided to bring.  

Ali in front of the Sydney Opera HouseIt's hard to describe how it feels to see someone after eight years, but suffice to say I shouldn't have bothered reapplying my mascara! Peter didn't really look any older and inspite of all that's happened over those years, I felt the memory of it falling away as we walked out into the rain.

Yes I would have liked to tell you that it was a warm balmy evening that awaited us, but sadly the weather was wet and chilly, but nothing could have dampened my joy at seeing the family again, or my anticipation of what was to come.

Peter lives in a suburb of Sydney which is about 40 minutes out of the city and quite beautiful. Wide tree-lined roads, and no two houses that look the same. Some have wide verandahs, other's – beautiful wrought iron balconies and some, like Peter's, are shuttered. After a good night's sleep we bought a boot full of food at the local grocery store (by jingo it's pricey in Oz!), headed back and spent the rest of the day in the garden as the sun broke through and brought the temperature to a heady 28 degrees.
Ali with Colin at the 50s partyThat evening we went to a 1950s themed party which was great fun, and the next day visited Balmoral – one of the 120 beaches which surround Sydney.

Sarah and Clare (my sis-in-law and niece) made a fabulous picnic and we sat eating a beautiful salad and drinking a glass of wine, while watching the sun go down over the sea. Much grander than the usual ham and pickle baps I come up with, but requiring meticulous balancing skills so as to avoid sand in your salmon fillet!!

We decided to make our way into Sydney centre by train the next day to begin our week-long stay at the Marriott Hotel in Circular Quay. Both Peter and Sarah work and had very busy schedules, so with a few evenings planned for later in the week, we headed off.  

Trains in Sydney are on two levels which I think is a cracking idea – hardly anyone has to stand even in rush hour – and the fares are seriously cheap! During the following week we used the train many times to get about as well as the buses, but our favourite mode of transport were the ferries that leave Circular Quay and take you to any number of fabulous bays and beaches that make up the coastline around Sydney.

Inspite of the weather, which was again cold and grey, we headed of to Manly beach and spent an hour or more huddled up on a towel, wearing jumpers and watching the surfers who were clearly a great deal hardier than us!

Grey-headed flying foxesTuesday was also wet, but we visited the Art Gallery which was fascinating and then as the skies cleared and the sun broke through we spent the afternoon walking around the fabulous Botanic Gardens that stretch for miles along the edge of the city.

They were initially opened in 1816 and now include plants and shrubs from all over the world and some pretty unusual creatures too. Grey-headed flying foxes can be seen hanging like large furry ornaments from the trees and raucous cockatoos screech across the skyline, followed by the more sedate kookaburra.

Actually all the pedestrian crossings in Sydney use the kookaburra's call to let you know it's safe to cross – very peculiar!  

Over the next few days we visited The Rocks, The Australian Museum, Darling Harbour, and Paddington. We had a fabulously sunny day on Bondi Beach and met up with Peter to watch a movie in the original 1900s cinema in Roseville. We saw a live band in the Marble Bar beneath the Sydney Hilton Hotel, and had a lovely night out with the family in a restaurant called Ripples, which was situated just underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  

Bondi BeachThe weekend we spent with Peter and Sarah and they took us to all the places they had lived in prior to Pymble. We visited Double Bay, then Seven Shillings Beach where we had a swim, Rushcutters Bay for lunch at the Sydney Cruising Yacht Club (anyone who lives outside of Sydney is allowed in?!) and then on to the open market in Paddington.

We also had a wonderful time in Watson's Bay where they have the original Doyles Fish Restaurant serving fabulous fare such as Barramundi – which I  can tell you is delicious. The sun was hot and the sky was blue and so to round the day off we headed to the Opera House, where we sat drinking wine and watching the sun go down… perfect πŸ™‚  

Watson's BayMonday saw us checking out of our lovely hotel and heading back to Peter's before the next leg of our journey – Tasmania! And to be honest there's so much more to tell you about that trip that I think it best if I save it until next week… so I very much hope you enjoy the photos and my memories, and it brings you a little flavour of all that is Down Under – so to speak!! πŸ™‚  

Have a great weekend, and I'll look forward to being with you on Wednesday at noon with Laura Geller's TSV. Always a treat to spend time with her, and to have the added bonus of a make-over from the lovely Johnny! Being a leap year we've got everything on 4 Easy Pay ALL DAY, so see you there! Love Ali xx 


  1. Tina February 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    How fantastic to see your blog and photo’s of your Ozzy adventure. It all sounds and looks amazing. To think you are the other side of the world! It must be wonderful to see your family after so many years.
    Hope you are keeping well.Wishing you a safe return journey.
    Best wishes, Tina ( From South Wales).

  2. Julie February 24, 2012 at 6:02 pm -  Reply

    Oh Ali, what a lovely blog. The photo’s are fantastic(love the hair too-really suits you)can’t wait for your next one if this one is anything to go by-not envious you must understand-much!
    So pleased you enjoyed your time with the family. You managed to fit so much in. Have to say I would have been really nervous about the long flight,as for the flight socks I had a pair for other reasons (when I had my accident)I know they’re suppose to be tight but mine wouldn’t come over my ankles! so they went in the bin.
    Hope you’re keeping well and not spending too much time on the computer!Take time to relax before you go back to work.
    Speak soon if Lily hasn’t burnt us all down-shouldn’t jest should I???
    Take care
    Julie xx Lily xxxxxx

  3. Susan February 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali!
    Wonderful to hear from you and all your adventures!! Sorry the weather wasn’t wonderful all the time but possibly a bit more to appreciate on the nice days? I am soo glad the flight was good – must be that first class!! Lucky duck you! I bet it was an amazing feeling to hug your lovely brother after all those years. I have to say some of your memories brought back my own brother’s trip. He was there for 4 mths and loved it! It was a mammoth few photo sessions I can tell you lol! So glad you are back safely though. It was strange without you again. Much missed. Must be something in the air as I see Julia’s Sophie is away for 3 wks to Oz now before starting new job – not sure what she’s off to do now but good luck.
    Can’t wait to see you lovely smile onscreen again.
    Love Susan x

  4. Pauline Johnson February 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm -  Reply

    Glad you are having a good time, you deserve it just wish I was with you,may-be as your lady -in -waiting ha ha.
    Love pauline

  5. JACKIE SANDERSON February 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm -  Reply


  6. Magda Chetty February 24, 2012 at 8:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    So glad you had a fab time and you are both home safe and sound.
    You look great in the photos, I have been praying for you to have a great time and enjoy your trip, and thank God it looks like you did.
    So look forward to see you back on QVC, and may this year carry on to be the best for you. I can also tell you that I have been fine, a few little things here and there, but so far 2012 is a lot better than 2011, may it keep up like this for us both.
    Much love.

  7. Marie Mugford February 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I haven’t blogged your before but I thought now is the time. I do enjoy reading your blogs have you thought about writing a book? You surely must have the talent. I just wanted to say how much I admire you. You are my hero I fortunately have not suffered your illness and not given a great deal of thought to it until I started to read your blogs but you have moved me on so many occasions and made me realise what women go through. i am so pleased your are having a good holiday with your family and your lovely Colin (my husband is called Colin I think they must all be lovely).looking forward to seeing you back on air. Lots of love Marie xx

  8. denise February 24, 2012 at 8:46 pm -  Reply

    Lovely to hear from you Alison. The trip sounds amazing I’m so pleased its lived up to expectations. Thank you for sharing it with us and I look forward to the next instalment.
    Love Denise

  9. Babs lincs February 25, 2012 at 11:05 am -  Reply

    WOW ALI WHAT A HOLIDAY!The way you have discribed it i could have been there with you. Just a dream to me.You have started 2012 in style and disservedly so, you must be feeling on top of the world. Would you consider emmigrating? it looks very nice there. I bet your family are happy to see you and you see them. Looking forward to seeing you on screen.Love to you and your family hope you are all well xxxxx babs

  10. Mrs. Christine M. Hindle. February 25, 2012 at 9:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali; Just read your first blog and I have been awaiting lst installment every day since you left for OZ. You are amazing and I will look forward to your next installment next week. When I was 26 (71 now) I had the “Last Rites” after a long illness of Ulcerative Colitis ( now O.K) so I know what Illnes is all about. You have extreme courage and I wish you both well and look forward to seeing you back on Q.V.C. soon. Lots of Love to you and your family Ali. Christine Hindle Mrs. Oswaldtwistle.

  11. Tricia February 25, 2012 at 11:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    How lovely to read your super “blog” – you really should write a book – maybe you have, and I just don’t know !
    Delighted to know that you had such a super journey,know what you mean about those darn flight socks – total nightmare trying to get them on, quite ridiculous really, I was bright red in the face and got into quite a state!
    Oz sounds fantastic – and how lovely to be sharing time with family out there, your brother is very good looking I have to say.
    Carry on having a great great holiday – you sooo diserve it Ali, and like everyone else I look forward very much to reading “what happens next in your life!
    Much love x Tricia

  12. maggie shankster February 26, 2012 at 11:52 am -  Reply

    IM so glad you both had a fantastic time in Australia,you certainly deserved it,you look lovely with your short hair.I hope 2012 will be a happy and healthy one,

  13. Joanna Downey February 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, I’m sure I can remember you being on The Holiday Show some years ago but have you ever thought of being a travel journalist? You should because you’ve really sold Australia to me and I hope their Tourist Board executives are aware of your blog! Enjoy the rest of your holiday and roll on the next installment. Love from Jo x

  14. Rhona Fenton February 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison & Colin what an amazing holiday you both are having loving the pictures just what the Doctor ordered:) you will be both enjoying all the time with your lovely family and going out seeing all the lovely sights on offer:) enjoy your special time together and look forward to hearing more about it,lots off love to you both Rhona xx

  15. Carole Gosling February 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm -  Reply

    Loved reading your blog. I have been to australia twice so seeing your photos brought back so many memories.You look so haapy. Take care.

  16. Mrs Janet Jones February 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm -  Reply

    G’day Ali! Soo glad you had a good trip to Australia especially spending time with your brother,that must have been quite emotional for both of you. I look forward to the next instalment of your trip to Oz. You make it sound so fab but I don’t think I could manage the flight! I look forward to seeing you on our screens with Laura Geller,but in the meantime have a rest before you come back to work!!! Take good care Ali speak soon love Janet xxx

  17. kay salisbury February 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm -  Reply

    Wow, wow, wow-fantastic-thank you for that-really enjoyed it—were the’flying foxes’ the bats? Am I being stupid? Strange to think of it being cold there—good job you had been warned before you left. The 1900’s cinema sounds wonderful. Your hair looks really long now-doing well. I do hope you are not thinking about leaving us to stay there permanently!!!!!I am looking forward to part 2. Glad you are back again and hope to see you on screen very soon. Love K.XXX

  18. elaine sallis February 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Lovely to hear from you what a fab time you are having. You did make me laugh with the mezze story. Well, I have some news, as you know Jodie got married in August, Adam got married at the end of January and it was a lovely wedding. Well, Jodie has just told us she is having a baby and it is due on September 6th. I did not expect them to have a child that quick, but I am so excited. So another one for me to look after and enjoy
    Hope the rest of your holiday is fantastic.
    Lots of Love Elaine

  19. Alpa February 27, 2012 at 9:22 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Welcome back – you have been missed πŸ™‚ I’m so pleased that you and Colin have had a fantastic time and it’s lovely that you spent time with your family there. I have no idea how you found time to write to all of us and post a new blog in such a short space of time – a BIG thank you! πŸ™‚
    Good news is that the boiler seems to be better now after a new part, although it did feel like a freezing few days without heating and hot water at the time! And a replacement laptop is on the way – fingers crossed it’s a keeper!
    Apart from that, just trying to take each day as it comes, keep calm and not think too much.
    Love to Helen, Debz, Magda, Marj,Susan, Gail, Shauna, Sue and all in Ali’s Army x
    Una, thinking of you and sending my love x
    Ali, may this be the beginning of many more happy adventures for you. Looking forward to seeing you on screen. Take good care and I hope you are not overdoing it!
    Alpa xxxx

  20. mary morphy February 27, 2012 at 11:43 am -  Reply

    Good morning, afternoon or evening…whatever time it is when you read this! WOW, how much have you crammed in, you are certainly making the most of your well deserved break and sounds like you, Colin and all the family are making the most of every minute and I am sure it will continue for the rest of your stay. The photo’s are fabulous with some breath-taking scenery which I am sure was even more spectacular when experiencing it ‘live’. Keep them coming!
    Well, the snow has long gone; sadly we didnt have 6ft of it in Westgate so I had to go to work and the kids went off to school but Chloe was out in it at every available moment and thoroughly enjoyed it.
    The weather is getting warmer and I am eagerly awaiting the delivery of my apricot begonia corms curtesy of Richard Jackson..I had them last year and they are all I am going to grow in my tubs and baskets this summer as they were truly spectacular.
    Enjoy every last moment of your hols. Looking forward to seeing you back on screen. Love Mary xx

  21. Debz February 27, 2012 at 4:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali or should I say g’day!!
    My didn’t you fit in a lot whilst you were down under as it were!! I know the weather wasn’t the best but I don’t think it mattered as you so needed to get away from it all. The pictures are stunning both the scenery and your good self and the lovely Colin!! Let’s hope that your holiday has given you the extra strength to face your remaining surgery.
    I’m really looking forward to seeing you on our screens again. It feels like you’ve been away forever!
    Alpa, I’m so sorry that you’ve been through it with your boiler but am glad that (fingers crossed) all seems to be well now. It must have been horrible to be without your lap top. I know mine is a real lifeline to all the lovely friends I’ve made on here. My dear old Grandad always used to say “Live a day at a time” and I’m glad that’s what you seem to be doing. Stay strong my lovely. Sending you a hug and a special lick from Ainzley for his Auntie Alpa.
    To Helen, Magda, Susan, Gail, Shauna and all the other lovely ladies in Ali’s Army I hope you are well and Ainzley and I send our love to you all.
    Lots of love and licks
    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  22. Debz February 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm -  Reply

    My dear Una
    Oh how I wish I could put my arms around you.
    I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through my love and I really can’t find any words that will comfort you.
    Some things in life are just so hard to comprehend but, for the sake of others who rely upon us, we have to try to make our peace with events that have happened. We may not ever understand but, sometimes we just have to accept what has happened and live with it the best we can.
    I wish you all the strength and resilience that you are going to need over the coming months. You will find a way Una I know you will. There is a fighting spirit inside you I just know there is. We are all thinking of you and sending you strength and love.
    Look after yourself my friend and please know that we are all here for you and that you are never far from our thoughts.
    Lots of love

  23. Liz, Morecambe February 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    So wonderful to hear some of your fantastic adventures! How did you manage to fit all that in such a comparatively short length of time? My Mum teases me about our itineraries when she and I trot off on our little trips but yours beats mine by a long way! Very lovely of you to tell us so much about your hols – takes me all my time to write a postcard with any imaginative stuff on it. Will look forward to reading part 2. By the way, loving the way your hair is growing!!!
    I’ve had a phone call today cancelling my op again. The local hospital has been in the news as they have a lot of problems shall we say and have decided to cancel all routine ops for at least the next 2 weeks while they try to sort things out….Nurse said my surgeon was upset and furious about it. I am fuming but not a lot I can do as it is elective surgery and not an urgent case – no wonder my blood pressure is still on the high side! Anyway, provisionally the new date will be March 15th. We’ll see…
    Look forward to seeing you on screen again very soon.
    Take care, with lots of love,
    Liz x

  24. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen February 27, 2012 at 6:47 pm -  Reply

    glad to know you had klovely holiday with your brother in australia .i bet you enjoyed the rest.but along flight for you.
    how long did it take to get there . i am well.

  25. Alpa February 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm -  Reply

    Dear Debz,
    Thank you for always thinking of me, my lovely friend. I hope you are feeling ok. At least the days are getting longer now and I don’t feel like it’s time to go to bed in the middle of the afternoon!!
    It was strange without my laptop as I was so used to using it every day and I did feel very disconnected from my friends here. The new one I’m using is faulty and will be going back but it still works and a new new one is on its way to me, so that’s good!
    I think your Grandad was a very wise man when he said taking it a day at a time.
    Thank you for the hug and special lick from Ainzley. Sending you a big hug and a special stroke for Ainzley from his Auntie Alpa.
    Take care,
    Lots of love, Alpa xxxx

  26. Alpa February 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm -  Reply

    Dear Liz,
    I’m sorry to hear that your op has been cancelled again. How infuriating and your poor blood pressure as well! I hope the hospital will be back to normal in time for the provisional new date you have been given.
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  27. Eileen P. February 27, 2012 at 11:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Welcome home, great to read your blog and see the gorgeous photos. My son is staying in Sydney near Bondi beach, he says its only five mins walk from his mates flat/apartment. He hasnt posted any photos yet but says he loves it and would love to stay there. You hair looks to growing really fast and quite dark. Looking forward to seeing you on screen with Laura Geller on Wednesday. Take care. Love Eileen P. xx

  28. Linda,Glasgow February 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Lovely to have you back in Blightyx although you seem to have had a brilliant holiday, jam packed with things to do and loads of family time(you cant beat it ehxx). You’ve been missed but i’m looking forward to your LG show tomorrow – i am so getting her TSV(always great value and such good quality) she is such a lovely lady who has a vast knowledge of skin, makeup and its application. How nice of QVC to give us four pay on all on-air items tomorrow – i’m sure i’ll find a few items in my cyber shopping basket!! I’ve recently added Emma Hardie skincare to my routine(Elemis,Decleor and Liz Earle) and am really enjoying her products especially her Moringa Balm(which i’m told might be something “special” on QVC in March),if you get the opportunity to try it you’ll know what i mean. I’m getting into massaging my face and neck using oils and balms, i’ve been watching Emma H and Sarah Chapman(both excellent facialists) and trying to copy their techniques – if nothing else my skin is tingling afterwards. Anyway Ali as i always say – onwards and upwards – look after yourselfx Love Linda,Glasgow p.s. any word on Amica? Please let her know we are all thinking and praying for her and wishing her the best-looking forward to seeing her on QVC soonx
    To Una – I’ve left you a message on Julia’s blog but just wanted to repeat that i’m thinking and praying for youx Please remember your not alonexx – and – to anyone else suffering at the moment please accept my best wishes and sincere kind thoughtsx

  29. Linda,Glasgow February 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm -  Reply

    I had to come online to tell you – YOU LOOK FANTASTIC GIRL!!. I have just tuned into the midday Laura Geller show and at first thought we had a new presenterxx Is that your own hair?,it looks great Ali and your tan looks so natural and youthful – your appearance belies the year you have just had. You go girl – onwards and upwards!! As Always Love Linda,Glasgowxx

  30. Liz, Morecambe February 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm -  Reply

    Aw, thanks Alpa! Think my blood pressure has come down slightly since Monday’s delay….
    Hope things are better with you and your laptop will behave very quickly.
    Liz xx

  31. Mrs Janet Jones February 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali have just seen your hair on Laura Geller it looks fantastic and it looks so lovely and thick. My hair came back thicker, I was very grateful for that.
    Just thought I would let you know.
    Love Janet xx

  32. Alpa February 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    It was lovely to see you with Laura Gellar – only watched the beginning of your show as I had to see my doctor. You look amazing and I love your hair. It really does suit you and highlights your beautiful face.
    Hope you are not doing too much!
    Take care,
    Lots of Love Alpa xxxx

  33. l February 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Looks like you had a wonderful holiday down under. I saw you on QVC today and love your hair. Its lovely to see you looking so well again. Take care and send lots of hugs.
    Louise xxx

  34. Joanna Downey February 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, I’ve just watched a video of you with Laura Geller earlier today – work does get in the way of QVC! You looked wonderful; your holiday glow was complimented by Laura’s make-up and the colour of your dress really suited you. However, it was your hair that grabbed my attention, so long and a lovely colour. I got all emotional and if it wasn’t for the fact that this is the last day of my two months “on the wagon” I’d have raised a glass to the two of you, I had a cup of tea instead.
    Love from Jo x

  35. Liz, Morecambe February 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm -  Reply

    I sent a post earlier today but it’s disappeared so I’ll try and remember what I wrote! I had just been Nordic walking on the prom, got in and turned on QVC to see you doing the Kipling show. How great did you look? The holiday obviously did you the power of good and your hair like that is fantastic, really suits you (and I’m not just saying that).
    The Nordic walking is the one with poles and is supposed to be really good for you, working loads of muscles with minimum effort and no need to make the effort to go to the gym before you even start exercising! There is a UK website for it and I’m lucky in that I can walk on the prom, 20 yards from my home.
    Hopefully this post will get through. Lots of love to you and the rest of Ali’s army.
    Liz xx
    PS Magda – I did get your info passed on from customer care. Thank you for your offer and hopefully we will be able to meet sometime in sunny Mallorca!!

  36. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 9:17 am -  Reply

    Hello there tina, lovely to hear from you and really glad that you’ve enjoyed the blog πŸ™‚ The return journey was equally enjoyable, and it’s been good to see the children again and come back to work. Hope the week’s treating you well. Love Ali x

  37. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 9:19 am -  Reply

    Julie and Lily, good morning! so glad you liked the photos – and my hair – although as you may have seen yesterday I’ve had the colour changed and am attempting (not very well) to tame the incredible curls that cover my head! To be honest I find the longer flights less of a worry than the short ones as there’s far more time between take off and landing πŸ™‚ Have a good weekend, love Ali xx

  38. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 9:23 am -  Reply

    Susan, I’m sure your brother loved Australia as much as we did, I’m just glad for you that he chose to come home – regular visits are very difficult!! You’re right about the mammoth photo sessions though – poor Jack Lucy and Sam kind of glazed over after the first 100 snaps πŸ™‚ Yes Julia’s Sophie has also gone to Sydney and another of our friends at QVC has a daughter out there for six months – there’s a lot for them to see, that much I can guarantee. Have a good weekend, and thanks for writing to me, love ali x

  39. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 9:25 am -  Reply

    Pauline, I wish you could ALL have been with me – particularly on our wonderful sunny evening by the Opera House – we’d have had a ball πŸ™‚ Hope you’re enjoying the warm sunshine today, love Ali x

  40. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 9:28 am -  Reply

    Morning Jackie, I’m so glad you decided to write something on the blog for me. Lovely to hear from you and yes, it is a long flight to Australia, but the first bit to Dubai was only six and a half hours, then we had an hour and half wait before heading off for the 12 and a half hour stretch….. we were of course very spoiled as we were able to sleep and have a lie down, which makes all the difference! Have a good day, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  41. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 9:29 am -  Reply

    Magda, thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers. Yes we did have a wonderful time and have some marvellous memories as well as photos to remind us of it πŸ™‚ You’re right, so far 2012 and is looking a lot better than last year at this time! I’m glad that you too are feeling well, and as you say, long may it continue. love ali xx

  42. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 9:33 am -  Reply

    Marie, thank you so much for your lovely comment, and for making this the first time that you’ve ever written on the blog. I have to say that actually writing about my cancer on the blog was very cathartic for me, and the love and support that has come my way because of this, invaluable πŸ™‚ Thank you for being amongst those. And yes, I think you must be right about all those called Colin πŸ™‚ My love to you and your husband, and wishing you a healthy and happy 2012. Ali xx

  43. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 9:34 am -  Reply

    Denise, it’s my greatest pleasure to share my trip with you, and I’m currently trying to decide which one of the 200 or so photographs of Tasmania to include next week!!! Have a great weekend, love Ali x

  44. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:08 am -  Reply

    Hello Babs, and thanks for writing, and so glad you enjoyed the blog and it brought Australia to life for you .To be honest were I younger, and in a different situation then it may well be a country I would love to live in, and I certainly think it has an enormous amount to offer young people, but England is my home and most of family and all of my friends are here, and I’d be lost without them πŸ™‚ I hope you’re well Babs, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  45. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:11 am -  Reply

    Christine I’m so glad to hear that the illness you suffered with all those years ago hasn’t held you back, but I imagine it’s taken huge courage on your part to stay strong and keep on going. I hope that life is good for you now, and thank you for your kind words about the blog. I’m just sorry i made you wait so long for the first instalment!! Love to you and yours too, and I’ll be back on air again at 11am on Saturday. See you then, Ali xx

  46. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:14 am -  Reply

    Dear Tricia, my sister in law Sarah in Australia was INSISTENT that I write a book too! I haven’t yet, although there are many odd chapters filed away on the computer… all of them random, and tied in with my life at that time…. Perhaps a collection of short stories might be a better plan for me. Oz was fantastic, and it was so good to see Peter – yes he is a good looking guy – and so was my dad – equally lovely too πŸ™‚ I hope you have a good weekend, and the chance to enjoy the warm sunshine we have at the moment. thank you for writing to me, love Ali x

  47. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:16 am -  Reply

    Maggie, my mum likes my hair short like this, and luckily colin does too! I’m just glad to have hair at all, but am finding the incredible curl rather difficult to deal with. The new colour is nice though, and it was good to be back on air yesterday without wearing a wig πŸ™‚ Love to you, Ali xx

  48. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:19 am -  Reply

    HI Joanna, Yes, you may well remember me on the Holiday Programme, and it shows what an incredible memory you have as it was 1999, and I went to Brittany with Jack and had a fabulous five days there reporting for the BBC. Ncthing compared to all Kathy’s fabulous years of travel, but very enjoyable nonetheless. I would love to be a travel journalist – right up my street – but can’t imagine when I’d have the time to go away as there’s so much still to do here at home and QVC! Next instalment hopefully on Monday once i’ve sorted the photos πŸ™‚ I hope you have a lovely weekend, and good to hear from you, love Ali xx

  49. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:21 am -  Reply

    Helllo Rhona, back home safely now, after a wonderfully busy and happy time away. So good to be with the family, and certainly plenty to see not just in Sydney but Tasmania too. It’s good to be back and to have such lovely warm weather too! I’m wondering if we’re going to have an early summer like last year…? Lots of love to you too, ali xx

  50. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:22 am -  Reply

    Carole, so glad that you’ve enjoyed reading the blog, and that having been to Australia twice now (same as me!) it brought back some lovely memories for you. All about Tasmania next week, so I hope you enjoy that too. Have a good weekend, love ali xx

  51. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:24 am -  Reply

    G’day Janet! Lovely as always to hear from you, and yes a grand time was had by all, but certainly a few tears shed when it came time to leave….. I think the flight was made so much more comfortable cos we were able to have a sleep and actually lay down! such a treat. Not much time to rest as sorts going on with family and work, but good to keep busy prior to the Marsden appointment in March. I hope that you’re well and happy, love Ali xx

  52. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:26 am -  Reply

    Kay, you’re spot on! Yes the ‘flying foxes’ are indeed bats – blooming great things that mercifully stayed asleep while we walked around the Gardens. It was a good job we knew the weather was none too great, but it did mean taking a massive amount of luggage with me though. Much as I loved being out there, there’s no danger at all of me emigrating – this is my home πŸ™‚ Hope you’re well and will have agood weekend. Love Ali xx

  53. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:29 am -  Reply

    Hi Elaine, and CONGRATULATIONS!!! I remember so well when you mailed the photo of your new grandchild, and now you have another on the way! How lovely for Jodie too, and to know that you are there to help her with the new baby is fantastic. A great year ahead methinks πŸ™‚ Yes the entire holiday was a wonderful experience and we have some lovely memories as well as reams of photographs!! Take care, love Ali xx

  54. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:32 am -  Reply

    Hello there Alpa, always good to hear from you, and delighted to hear that your ‘boiler’ problems have abated, although horrified to hear that you struggled through that freezing weather without heating or hot water!! I hope your new laptop is up to scratch too… such a nightmare when technical things go wrong isn’t it?? I’m so glad you liked the blog and I’d actually made a diary while I was out there so I wouldn’t forget all that we’d done, and that’s why I was able to write it up so quickly… that and not sleeping through jet lag too πŸ™‚ I’ll be back on air again Saturday morning, so see you then, love Ali xx

  55. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:35 am -  Reply

    Eileen, I can completely assure you that your son will have been having the time of his life. I know exactly the road he would be staying on too, and the couple of days we spent on Bondi were some of the best weatherwise. I’m glad he’s enjoying himself, but hope for your sake he doesn’t choose to stay there! My hair is growing pretty quickly now, but as you will have seen if you watched the Laura Geller show yesterday, I’ve had the colour changed as I much prefer being lighter. I hope you have a good weekend, and it stays warm for you, love Ali xx

  56. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:40 am -  Reply

    Hi Linda, and thank you for your lovely comment. Thanks also for the heads up on Emmie Hardie. I am working with her on Sunday in a premier beauty show which I’m very much looking forward to. I know that Sarah Chapman is an excellent facialist, and am excited to learn more about Emma’s products. It sounds as though you have a very simimlar beauty regime to mine, although I include Gatineau in my line of must haves! All news regarding Amica is good and incredibly positive. I am sure she’ll be back at work soon and then can tell you all herself, but she’s very brave and strong πŸ™‚ Love Ali x

  57. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:42 am -  Reply

    ……and thanks again Linda for the vote of confidence re my hair! Yes it is my own – a mass of very unruly curls that have to be tamed with a strong brush and a lot of patience, but the colour is fab, and has made me happy to look at the woman in the mirror again. Onwards and upwards it is – and to you too, Ali xx

  58. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:44 am -  Reply

    Hello again Janet, and I remember you writing to me when your hair first came back πŸ™‚ It is indeed thicker than before, just a little difficult to cope with as it’s soooooo curly, but hey, anythings better than no hair right??! πŸ™‚ thank you for taking the time to drop me a line, love Ali xx

  59. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:45 am -  Reply

    Oh Alpa thank you for that πŸ™‚ I hope that your trip to the doctor went well, and that you’re not feeling too jaded at present. A little busy at the moment with Sam, his house, and also new travel plans, plus work of course! Back on Saturday and Sunday, so see you then, love Ali x

  60. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:46 am -  Reply

    Louise, thanks very much for writing to me, and yes we did have a wonderful holiday. I think a tan always makes you look healthier (although Ali Young may disapprove…) but thank you for your kind words about my hair too. Love Ali x

  61. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:48 am -  Reply

    Jo two months ‘on the wagon’ – you’re a stronger woman than me my love!! πŸ™‚ I hope that when you are able to raise a glass it will be a large one… well done you πŸ™‚ I have to say I was a tad emotional after the shows – first time in a year with my own hair… just so glad everyone thinks it suits me. You take care, and I’ll have a cup of tea for you too love Ali xx

  62. alison keenan March 1, 2012 at 10:51 am -  Reply

    Liz thanks for perservering, as it’s always good to hear from you, and I intend to have a look at the Nordic walking website once I’ve finished my blogging. You are very lucky to live right by the prom – bracing sea air is no doubt exceptionally good for you too! I’m glad you like my hair – just about to do battle with it again – it has a mind of its own, but as I said to Janet, so much better than no hair πŸ™‚ You take care and have a walking weekend, love ali xx

  63. Susan March 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I have yet to see your new hair but am eager after all the positive comments!! You’re a stunner anyway but I do love you with lighter hair too so no doubt I’ll love it! Hope Sam, Lucy and Jack are doing ok. Meant to say that last time. Hope Jack’s flat is suiting him. Can’t wait for Tasmania on Monday!
    Enjoy your weekend,
    Susan x

  64. Debz March 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm -  Reply

    Well Ali what can I say?
    I saw you yesterday in the Laura Geller hour and burst into tears! Tears of happiness I hasten to add as you looked simply stunning. Your hair is divine, such a lot of it too which must be taking a bit to get used to I bet!! Still no more cold head in the middle of the night. Mind you, with your “tropical moments” you probably had your own heating system eh?!!
    When I think of what you were gong through a year ago and how you are now it makes me so happy that you have come out the other side looking so beautiful and full of life. I do so hope that you can look at that stunning creature in the mirror now with pride instead of wondering who is looking back at you.
    I really do think you should write a book or a diary type thing of your experiences. I’m sure is would give hope to others faced with the same awful situation that you were in.
    Anyway, must go as I have to wrestle with Ainzley as it’s time for his water tablet. Wish me luck!!
    Lots of love and licks to you and all in Ali’s Army
    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  65. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen March 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm -  Reply

    glad you enjoyed your holiday you were glad to see your brother .how does it feel being back at work.hope your sons and daughter are doing well

  66. mary morphy March 2, 2012 at 6:46 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, although I have already written ‘this time round’ (begonia bulbs now nestled in compost!) I just had to say to you that your hair is amazing but then I have already said that I prefer your hair shorter as it shows off your beautiful slim face. It looks in fab condition too so must be a great confidence boostfor you. Great to see you back on air on 29th Feb looking tanned and healthy. What a difference a year makes! Lotsa love Mary in Westgate xx

  67. patricia kurton March 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, Just wanted to say what a lovely descriptive Blog about your Holiday,really looking forward to the next Chapter. Have just been watching you with Diane Gilman and you look great. Your Holiday really seems to have had a wonderful effect. Your hair is fantastic. I remember about 18 months ago now you were asking should you get your haircut short. Most of your Bloggers advised – keep it long. I however along with a few others said cut it short. Ironic really after all you have been through isn’t it? Have to say though that with your small face you look fabulous with short hair. Will be tuning in for your next Blog. Take Care Ali, Lovely to see you so well and best wishes for your future surgery Hope it all goes well. Luv Anne x

  68. Julie C March 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    Hasn’t the time flown! So pleased that you had a fab time in Australia, I find that memories of special times/places get me through the tough times. I’m back at work now albeit on reduced hours, it’s great to fell “normal” again. Watching you on Sat 3/3 on air with Diane Gilman, loving the new hair – very Yazz!!!!
    Love Julie xxx

  69. SUE RADFORD March 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Loved all your photographs! Can see that good looks run in your family – your brother is ‘dishy’ isn’t he? LOL!! I can imagine some tears were shed when you caught sight of him, especially as you hadn’t seen him for 8 years – very very precious moments Ali. I can tell from the photo’s what a fantastic time you’ve had and I’ve enjoyed reading about it very much. Can’t wait to hear more! I’ve just returned from a Caribbean cruise and it was everything I imagined it to be. Antigua and Barbados were my favourites – I now know what paradise must be like – the beaches were breathtaking! What a nice treat – Lovely Charlie Dimmock was on board too – she was so friendly and pleasant.
    Thanks for your kind words – life goes on, it has to doesn’t it -for the sake of the rest of the family. I really believe that loved ones never leave us completely though. I really hope Una will gain strength by holding on to this thought, and I hope her grand child will bring her much love, joy and happiness in the future.
    You look lovely Ali. Your hair looks great! Hope you’ll look forward to many more lovely holidays.
    Extra love to Una and best wishes to all Ali’s army.
    With Love from Sue Radford xx

  70. Mrs Norma Smithson March 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali Only just read your blog tonight and it takes me back , five years ago we were doing just the same things as you and Colin, the Rocks, the Botanical Gradens, the ferries and of course the wonderful Opera House, thank you for rekindling happy memories, you looked great on the photographs and I hope your trip was just the extra pick me up you needed. Much Love Norma xx

  71. helen March 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm -  Reply

    Hia Ali, saw you on TV on Saturday, I love your hair, that’s how my Mums was when hers started growing back, really funky.
    Thank you for putting me in touch with Alpa, we keep in touch now and keep an eye on each other, its fab.
    I do hope that our Una is keeping ok, if you hear anything from her will you keep us posted, I sure that I speak for all the army that we miss her dreadfully.
    I’m not feeling that grand and am waiting to seen another gynie on the 13th as the first one hasn’t even put me on his list for the exploration thingy as he promised. Great eh, I’ll just have to keep on suffering a bit longer!!!!
    Take care now and lovely to have you back
    Love and hugs
    Helen s xxxx

  72. alison keenan March 4, 2012 at 5:59 pm -  Reply

    Aaaaaw Debz bless you πŸ™‚ You are so kind and sensitive, and also right about the enormous amount of hair I now have – a tad unruly with all those curls, but I’m getting better at ‘taming’ it! I have to say I was a tad nervous before the show, but everybody was so nice and kind abut my hair that it was a real confidence booster, especially as I’d had my make up done too…. Perhaps I should think about doing something wtih the blogs that I’ve written, as you’re not the first person to suggest I write a book about all that’s happened…. and yes I do feel much happier about the woman who is looking back at me from the mirror these days…. Still a bit wobbly about the others bits and pieces but hopefully the reconstruction will help that πŸ™‚ I do hope that Ainzley was a good boy and allowed you to give him his water tablet without a fight…. Well I’m hoping!! Love to you both, Ali xx

  73. alison keenan March 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm -  Reply

    Hello Mary, glad that you have your begonia bulbs all set and ready to bloom! Thanks for writing again, and your comments are much appreciated. I do think a slight tan makes most of us look healthier, and I shall start to use my Beau Bronze when it begins to fade! You’re right…. such a difference a year makes. Take care, love Ali xx

  74. sue bayley March 4, 2012 at 6:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Sorry, did I not warn you that you get 4 seasons in one day in Tassie!!!! It’s our favourite state – we got married there! Can’t wait to hear what you visited down there. The ABT railway hopefully….an experience you don’t forget.
    You look wonderful by the way. Love the hair
    Sue x

  75. Alpa March 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    It was a joy to see you on Saturday and you look fabulous, you really do πŸ™‚ The cut and colour of your hair really does suit you and your outfit was lovely.
    Thank you for writing back and for your concern. All ok on the bolier front now. It was only a few days withought it working – so no worries! The new replacement laptop has arrived and although I have yet to unpack it and set it up, it is here.
    I have seen my doctor and it is unlikely that I have had a stroke, although what happened last week really did scare me. My speech has been badly affected and I am trying not to talk at present unless I have to (as I am finding it hard to do!) Back again to the doctor this week as my blood pressure is higher than usual. I just don’t feel right.
    I am so pleased you have more travel plans and look forward to hearing where you are off to next. I hope that Sam and Jack are settling into their new home and that Lucy and Rich are both ok. Also hope Colin is well and a big thank you to him for taking care of you for us, what a man!
    Thank you so much for making it possible for Helen and I to keep in touch. What would we do without our Ali?!
    Debz, I hope you are feeling ok and did not have to wrestle too long with Ainzley to get him to take his water tablet!x
    Una, we are all missing you and thinking of you and sending you lots of love x
    Love to all in Ali’s Army x
    Ali, hope your appointment on Wednesday (I think) goes as well as it can.
    Look forward to reading about your adventures in Tasmania and I think your blogs are most definitley a book in the making!
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xx

  76. alison keenan March 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Martin, yes it was good to see my brother, and I have some lovely memories – all seems a long while ago already! Lucy and Jack are doing well, and Sam has taken himself off to South Africa to do a bit of travelling… the house all went through without a hitch, and thank you for asking. I hope all is good with you, love Ali xx

  77. alison keenan March 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Susan, hopefully you managed a glimpse of my hair over the weekend, and that you liked it!! I found a detangling brush on Kathy’s dressing table and having attacked my hair with that, found that the curls were a little less agressive! πŸ™‚ Lucy was a star over the weekend having organised a fabulous hen night for her best friend Mel in my garden. They had a huge tent with treatments and belly dancing laid on for the girls, and she and a friend did all the food! I came to a glass of champagne and my supper – excellent πŸ™‚ Jack has nearly completed his HNC in film and photography and it’s Sam who bought the house, but has infact made the decision to do a little travelling and is currently in South Africa! Hope all good with you, Love Ali xx

  78. alison keenan March 5, 2012 at 8:19 pm -  Reply

    Dear Anne, that is very kind of you to say such nice things about my hair. I do remember asking that question all that time ago… if only I’d known eh…? I am certainly getting more used to it now, and ironically it takes me back to a time when I used to go through hours of having my hair permed or demi waved to get some kind of curl in it! I’m sorry not to have written my blog up yesterday, but my three days at QVC have been full on, and so I shall make up for lost time over the next couple of days. I’ll let you know about the surgery as soon as I do. Have a good week, love Ali x

  79. alison keenan March 5, 2012 at 8:21 pm -  Reply

    Janet that’s wonderful that you’re back at work!! I have no doubt you feel more normal now…. coming back to work, although initially tiring, was the best thing for me – less time to think about things, and more chance to keep looking forwards… Yazz!!! I couldn’t remember her name, but you may be right, although she’s probably 20 years younger than me!! πŸ™‚ Take it easy and stay well, love Ali xx

  80. alison keenan March 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm -  Reply

    Sue I shall make sure I pass your kind comments on to my brother – he always was a looker, and age hasn’t changed that πŸ™‚ Your cruise sounds fabulous, and after so many years of saying I didn’t think I’d enjoy it, I’m beginning to change my mind. My Lucy is adamant I’d love it. Having visited Antigua with Colin several years ago, I too agree that certain parts of the island are indeed breathtaking. We weren’t very lucky with the weather though (story of my life!!) but I too have some fabulous photos and memories. Onwards and Upwards most definitely my friend, and thank you for keeping in touch, it’s always good to hear from you, love Ali x

  81. alison keenan March 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm -  Reply

    Norma, the trip was indeed a fabulous pick me up! I hadn’t realised quite how tired I was until I was away, and although we kept busy, it was lovely to be able to relax and spend time with our families. I am so glad my photos brought back some happy memories for you too. Australia is indeed a lovely country. Have a good week, love Ali x

  82. alison keenan March 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm -  Reply

    Oh Helen, your poor thing! It does seem never ending for you! I very much hope that somebody within the medical profession will be able to solve the mystery and relieve your discomfort. I am glad though that you and Alpa are now communicating regularly, and hope very much that we all hear from Una, as and when she’s ready. If I hear anything at all, I will (with her blessing) let you know. Funky my hair certainly is! Am getting more used to it now, although I do miss my lovely cinnamon wig a litte πŸ™‚ You take care and don’t overdo things, love Ali xx

  83. alison keenan March 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm -  Reply

    Sue, I hate to tell you that we didn’t do the ABT railway, although I think it was the one that crosses the main roads regularly, and we saw it whilst in Devonport!! Colin’s brother Phil drove us everywhere, but maybe when we go back we’ll climb aboard! How lovely for you to have been married in Tasmania – we both loved it – very similar to the Lake District I felt, but more beautiful in a stark kind of way. I hope the week’s going well, and thanks for writing, love ali xx

  84. alison keenan March 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm -  Reply

    Alpa, I am so sorry to hear that you’re struggling with impaired speech amongst other things. That must be very worrying and distressing irrespective of what caused it. I do hope that your doc will be able to help you there as well as with your blood pressure. So glad that you and Helen are now in touch regularly – more than happy to help πŸ™‚ I am hoping to post my Tasmanian blog later today or tomorrow – rather busy with working over the last three days, and have a mountain of washing to get through too! Lucy is grand and looking forward to her honeymoon in August, and Sam decided to head out to South Africa for a change of scenery, so Jack’s holding the fort until he’s home πŸ™‚ Bless you for remembering the 7th – acutally the meeting at the Marsden has been changed because not all the surgeons could make it – there will be four on the day – but it’s been rescheduled for the 21st… will be glad when it’s done. You take good care of yourself, and I like you send Una my love. Have a good week, love Ali x

  85. Susan March 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Yes I did indeed catch a glimpse of your locks at the weekend…gorgeous! You really do suit blonde. And that beautiful tanned glow is lovely. I agree, I think a slight tan looks healthy but a deep one can look orange and age us! I remember seeing a group of French people on holiday one year who were in fact orange and ALL wearing white…well many a giggle was had! Team Blanco! I am eager to hear your Tasmania blog as I know nothing about it. I am jealous of Miss Sue with her Caribbean cruise…love to visit during my lifetime! And I just want to add I hope you get through your surgery ok. No doubt another rough road, but hopefully the last. My friend is due hers this month too. You’re brave ladies.
    Let us know how Sam gets on in S Africa!!
    Susan x

  86. alison keenan March 6, 2012 at 8:07 pm -  Reply

    Susan, you made me laugh out loud…..and I remember working with Judith Chalmers! Wonderful to have a tan though, and I plan to top it up regularly so I continue to look healthy. Please pass on my best to your friend and I wish her the very best of luck with her surgery…It’s the last hurdle hopefully πŸ™‚ Thank you for writing to me, Love Ali xx

  87. Dawn Bore March 7, 2012 at 12:24 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    I have not been watching qvc for quite while i logged on to your blog. and i read and watched breast cancer video with you giving a heart felt speech. And i just wanted you to know you looked lovely and you brought tear to my eyes. Your pictures of down under look great and hope you had fab time. Most sign off now break nearly over i am on night shift.
    Regards Dawnxx

  88. Alpa March 7, 2012 at 11:51 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Thank you for writing and your kind words. Back to see my doctor tomorrow!
    I hope Sam is enjoying his time in South Africa. That’s my part of the world! It’s a very beautiful country (as is home which is next door to SA, as we call it!) and one we have visited many times. My sister was at varsity in Durban and I was meant to study in Capetown – still have my student visa for that in my old passport!
    I’m sorry your appointment at the Marsden has been changed and hope all goes well on the 21st.
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa

  89. Liz March 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, What a sensational trip to Australia. I have just read parts one and two….when are you going to write a book!!! It brought back all the wonderful memories of our trip a few years ago. As you say, the ferries are the most wonderful way to travel and see lots of different parts of Sydney that would be hard to reach otherwise. Strangely we experienced torrential rain on our first few days there but coming from Glasgow we were used to it! How you managed to cope with all the travelling and wining and dining was amazing. You are some woman.
    Looking forward to part three. I have only spent one day in Dubai but it was hot all day and all night.
    Love from Liz.

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