Baking, blustery days and an exciting update!

97

There’s nothing quite like a family birthday to make me realise just how quickly time is passing. My niece Emily’s youngest son Noah had his first birthday last week, and I was delighted when she accepted my offer to make his birthday cake. She calls him Noah Bear, and so a cake in the shape of a teddy’s face seemed like a good idea. I have tried 3D animals in the past and failed dismally, and I was hoping this might be more successful. Seriously, my KitchenAid has made such a difference to my cake making, and makes the very best buttercream icing! As I was working on Sunday I didn’t make it to the party, but Emily did send me this lovely photo. Next birthday is Lucy’s on the 12th October, so I’ll have to get my thinking cap on for her cake 🙂

I know that a number of you have been celebrating birthdays or attending weddings, and thank you as always for keeping me in touch with your lives. I love to catch up, and I hope you found the responses that I FINALLY got round to posting! Apologies! It’s been incredibly busy since we got back from Crete, but I think I’m almost on top of it.

Because we’d been away I’d not seen my boys for a while so headed off to Bedfordshire to see Sam and Jack. Sam’s been struggling a little with his leg lately – only temporary I’m glad to say – but Jack and I took Diesel for a walk before going back for lunch with Sam.

The rain held off and the wind had dropped so we visited Rushmere Park in Leighton Buzzard. It’s an incredible place and I couldn’t believe I’d never been there before having lived in the county for best part of 15 years! There are many massive wooden sculptures and also a magical mystery tour for children to explore. Jack and Diesel made the best of it with me trying to keep up, and we vowed to get Honey there before it becomes too cold for her to truly enjoy it.


Colin’s been working flat out ever since we got home, so I headed up to Swindon alone to spend the weekend with Lucy and Honey. Although she missed Granddad she was pleased to see me, and I her – particularly catching up on her new school timetable. We chose a carvery on Saturday night for dinner, and it was great to motor my way through a fab roast that I’d not had to cook! I didn’t have room for pudding, but to be honest the colour of the ice-creams put me right off! Can you imagine the E numbers in there?!

The weather was pretty appalling across the entire country on Saturday and Sunday, and so I had to borrow a jumper and Lucy’s wellingtons when we took Honey to the little petting zoo on Sunday to see the animals. I could have done with the Joules Heathcote Padded coat that we have as our TSV on the 3rd October. Lucy’s wellies were from Joules too – I love that label.

So many other brilliant brands are making an appearance next week when we have a two day Fashion Event starting on Tuesday 2nd October which will include one of our newest acquisitions in the world of shoes: Moda in Pelle. Such beautiful designs and incredible leathers; I’ve been wearing their range for years so I’m delighted we now stock them.

Back to the farm though, and never mind the animals, I’d have been happy spending time indoors with Honey in her owl jumper, but she wanted to see the bunny rabbits and the baby pigs, and was thrilled to get the chance to spend time with them in the specially built enclosure.


We had lunch consisting of the biggest ploughman’s I’ve in seen in a long time, and then I had to head back down the M4 for my Sunday shows at the Q – perfectly timed with the Cozee Home TSV being a huge success!

The ever changing weather has brought about some stunning skylines and bright nights, and I managed to get these two photos the other afternoon and evening. I couldn’t believe it was 24 degrees on Thursday – I allowed myself an hour or so in the sun to top up my tan and my Vitamin D levels too! I’m going to miss it when it’s too cold to sit outside anymore. In fact I’m seriously thinking about investing in a greenhouse so that I can share the space with some tomatoes and other veg, but benefit from the sun through the glass on those cold clear winter days. Maybe I am a tad obsessed, or possibly not alone? 🙂

I was really chuffed to be told at the end of last week that my regular Tuesday night Diamonique Show will be returning on the 9th October at 8pm! Because it’s less than three months until Christmas, the main theme will be gifting, with our Design of the Month taking centre stage. This pretty Art Deco style dress watch is under £50 and available in all three colours and one of my favourites from the hour is a metallic jewellery box for travelling, with two pairs of earrings included – one leverback the other studs, at under £30! (340176). So much more for you to choose between, I hope you’ll be able to join me.

You may remember a while back I told you that I’d finished my book and was hoping to have it published before the end of the year? Well, now that I’m forging ahead with this, based on some of your comments, I thought a few of you may like to have a read through first, and let me know your thoughts? It is very much a labour of love, and you were the inspiration behind it: giving me the impetus to put it all down on paper 🙂

I’ve written a brief synopsis of it on my website which you can find here under ‘My Book ‘ at ali-k-productions.com so if you’d be interested in reading it and letting me know what you think, just add your name in the comments below and I’ll pick a few names at random – please be gentle! It’s hard to describe what this means to me, but I think those of you who’ve been with me over the last eight years or so will understand. The book is called ‘A New Kind of Normal’ – as this is how I live and see my life now.

Well I’d better head off into the kitchen as we have Colin’s mum here for lunch today, and my mum and Joe with Lucy and Honey tomorrow! There’s a fair bit of prep to do. I hope that all is well in your world, and that you’ll find time to keep in touch.

With my love,

Ali x

97 Comments

  1. Carol October 1, 2018 at 11:45 am -  Reply

    Love your photos, your shots are perfect every time. Thanks for sharing

    • Alison Keenan October 2, 2018 at 4:22 pm -  Reply

      Carol thank you! I have to say I’m very impressed with the quality of the camera on my Iphone. I don’t think I’d ever have a proper camera with me half the time to catch these shots otherwise. Nice of you to comment, love Ali x

  2. Phyllis October 1, 2018 at 3:32 pm -  Reply

    Wonderful blog Ali & what a real cutie your Honey is turning into. Its such a blessing to have little ones in your life and my husband & have had the bonus of 2 little great grandchildren plus another due very soon (not bad after 61 years of happy marriage)!
    I have read the excerpt from your forthcoming book which, in my humble opinion, is and will be written with such inspiration and sincerity for all those who have lived with or lost loved ones to this dreadful disease. You are a prime example to others that you can come through this with dignity and positivity.

    • Alison Keenan October 6, 2018 at 11:15 am -  Reply

      Hi there Phyllis, and how lovely to know that you have great grandchildren and 61 years of a happy marriage! You should write a book on how to make it work so well! 🙂 Thanks for your kind words, and I very much hope you’re right. Even if just one person going through this finds the book a source of comfort it will have been worth it. Enjoy the weekend, love Ali x

  3. Ellie October 1, 2018 at 3:39 pm -  Reply

    Having been diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of June after a routine mammogram, I am very lucky that my cancer was caught at an early stage and very treatable. I have had two operations and my next appointment is to discuss radiotherapy treatment. Despite asking lots of questions, reading whatever I can find, I still feel that I am on a conveyor belt, a mere observer in my own treatment. Everything has happened so quickly and is so overwhelming, I really don’t think I’ve had a chance to process what has / is happening to me properly. I would therefore dearly love to read your book, which will hopefully help me on my journey to ‘A New Kind of Normal’.

    • Alison Keenan October 6, 2018 at 11:20 am -  Reply

      My dear Ellie, I was so sorry to hear that you too have received this diagnosis, but very relieved to know that you’ve had your operations, and are now moving on to targeted treatment. I absolutely understand that you feel overwhelmed by it all, and that you’ve not had a chance to process what’s happened to you. If I don’t draw your name out of the hat, I will definitely be giving you the link to enable you to get hold of the book when it’s published on the 25th October. Although the circumstances and your diagnosis are different to mine, the underlying emotion is the same. I would love to feel ‘ A New Kind of Normal’ will help you, as talking things through here on the blog as helped so many others – myself included. Take care, and please do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  4. Margaret Harding October 1, 2018 at 4:28 pm -  Reply

    I would love to read your book and comment. I would be gentle and constructive!

    • Alison Keenan October 6, 2018 at 11:22 am -  Reply

      Margaret thank you! I’ll let you know if your name is drawn, but if not, I will be letting you know where you can get a copy of the book once it’s published. A gentle and constructive review would be most welcome! Love Ali x

  5. Elaine October 1, 2018 at 4:56 pm -  Reply

    When my children were young we would go to Rushmere park but then it was called Stockgrove Park. They absolutely loved it there walking among the trees and running up and down the hills. Your blog brought back some very happy memories of when we went to that park

    • Alison Keenan October 6, 2018 at 11:24 am -  Reply

      Hi Elaine, thanks for reminding me of this! Stockgrove Park rings bells for me, although I don’t think we actually visited there, but it’s a fabulous place. Reminds me a little of The Lookout in Bracknell. I’m definitely going to be taking Honey to Rushmere though, and I’m glad the photo brought back some happy memories for you. Love Ali xx

  6. Debbie October 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm -  Reply

    Lovely blog as usual,glad you’ve managed to catch up with your family. I would love to read your book, think you are very brave to write your story! Take care. Debbie Xx

    • Alison Keenan October 6, 2018 at 11:28 am -  Reply

      Hi Debbie, so glad you enjoyed the blog, and yes it was lovely to catch up with everyone. It took a while to get the entire book together, and some bits were harder than others to write, but it’ll be nice to get it out there, and hopefully to those who may find it helps them along the way. Love Ali x

  7. Joanna Downey October 1, 2018 at 7:01 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, Your first sentence is very true; this year has been quite a big one for us with our birthdays & anniversary all ending with a 0 so definitely tempus fugit & seeing how grown up your Honey looks with her piglets is another reminder. We’ve had two consecutive babysitting weekends & after the awful weather of the first one I was delighted to have this last one filled with sunshine so I could take Etty out & about. It’s been lovely today & I’ve done the bittersweet job of taking out the nasturtiums so I can plant up the wallflowers, it seemed such a shame to pull them out so I cut off all the best flowers & hopefully they’ll last for a couple of days. Bizarrely, even though I’m not a happy flier, I love vapour trails & we’ve also had some spectacular banded skies. Finally, I’ve read your synopsis & was taken back to those worrying & uncertain days, your words sum up perfectly the balance between hope & fear & I know you’ll make a difference to all who read it. Your title is spot on & those are the very words I said last week to my sister as she copes with what we all know will happen to my brother in law – the bravest of men. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan October 6, 2018 at 11:36 am -  Reply

      Dear Jo, I’m just the same as you. I hate pulling the flowers out before they’ve finished blooming, and so I have little vases full of little offcuts. I’d planned to get out and water the pots this morning and mow the lawn, but it’s pouring with rain, so I have time to write to you instead before I head to the Q. I’m glad you’ve had time with Etty, and I hope that you’ll be able to see your sister again soon as I know you’re a huge comfort to her. Such a desperate situation, and yes, he is an incredibly brave man. You take care, Love Ali x

  8. Loraine Plumb October 1, 2018 at 7:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison what a lovely blog again you certainly are a busy lady I read the blog about your book it’s really good you should be proud of all you have achieved. So pleased you had a nice time with your son and honey at the farm we took Willa to longdown dairy farm back in the summer I probably told you before must be getting old repeating myself. Les and I are a bit lost at the moment the house seems really empty, Gary and his fiance have moved out now what a busy weekend it was they are renting a small flat it’s brand new they have it on short contract so they can buy something when the right thing comes along they have the money saved for a mortgage but they want 3 bedroom p!ace if possible otherwise it means moving when they start a family.By the way the cake you made is amazing I’m sure you don’t realise how clever you are love Loraine xx☺

    • Alison Keenan October 6, 2018 at 11:42 am -  Reply

      Hi Loraine, Longdown Dairy Farm sounds like the place Lucy and I went to with Honey – I don’t think you told me, but then my memory isn’t all that 🙂 What a pair we are! I do feel for you now that Gary and his fiance have moved out. Colin and I sometimes rattle around this house, and it’s more noticeable when we’ve had a whole heap of folk here. It sounds as though they’ve made the right decision though about the flat. Better to get a foot on the property ladder if they possibly can. I’m sure they’ll come back and spend some time with you soon – they’re probably missing you too! Thanks for writing, and for your kind words about the book. Much appreciated. Love Ali x

  9. Julie October 1, 2018 at 7:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    A lovely blog as usual. I can’t wait to read your book as you’ve helped me so much on my journey. I have read the brief synopsis and can’t wait to read the rest. If I’m honest I’m struggling at times. I knew it would be hard but didn’t expect it to be this bad. I can’t believe it’s a year this Friday I had my Mammogram and as you know not long after I had my results then the operation. So much has happened in that year as you know!!

    Take care as always and hugs to Honey.

    Julie xx The Girls xx

    • Alison Keenan October 6, 2018 at 11:45 am -  Reply

      Dear Julie, you’ve been very brave and I know because of your situation, it’s been harder for you than it might have been for others of us. It may be time to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, outside of the family. The feeling of isolation is understandable, but I’m sure there will be help for you if you put out your hand… Look after yourself, and please do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  10. Fiona Carne October 1, 2018 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    I read your synopsis,I admire your honesty and warmth,in helping other people. I think that when people get diagnosed,they worry too much about carrying on like before and I think you need time to yourself and your right laughter is best,by the way Honey is very cute

    • Alison Keenan October 6, 2018 at 11:52 am -  Reply

      Fiona, you’re right. It is all too easy at the beginning for it to take over your life, and I know there were times I felt that way. I was very lucky though to be surrounded by friends and family who kept me grounded, and definitely helped me to laugh at things. I hope all is well in your world, and thank you for your kind words. Love Ali x

  11. Karen Gower October 1, 2018 at 9:36 pm -  Reply

    Would love the chance to read your book, amazed you find time to write with your busy days! Looking forward to seeing the regular Diamonique show back

    • Alison Keenan October 6, 2018 at 11:53 am -  Reply

      Thanks Karen – it took me a year to write it to be honest, and I kept going back over certain chapters, but I’m glad that I did, because it has been really quite cathartic. I too am looking forward to the return of the Diamonique Hour! We’ve got some beautiful things in that first hour and moving ahead too! Ali x

  12. Linda Jackson October 2, 2018 at 1:49 am -  Reply

    Would be very interested to read your book Ali.

    • Alison Keenan October 6, 2018 at 11:54 am -  Reply

      LInda, thank you. I’ll put your name in the hat, and fingers crossed! Ali x

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 10:42 am -  Reply

      Thanks Linda, I’ll be making the draw today! Love Ali xx

  13. jennifer cann October 2, 2018 at 10:49 am -  Reply

    would love to read your book especially as i have just finished radio therapy

    • Alison Keenan October 6, 2018 at 11:55 am -  Reply

      Hello there Jennifer, I’m sorry to know that you’ve had to have radiotherapy, but glad that you have finished your course. As my oncologist told me it is the BEST targeted therapy. Take care, love Ali x

  14. Jane Franklin October 2, 2018 at 11:22 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali. I headed over to your website, and from you’ve written on there, I think your forthcoming book is going to be a great help to many people.
    I also second what Carol said… your pictures are good!

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 10:44 am -  Reply

      Hi there Jane, and I’m very glad that you enjoyed the photos as well as the blog! As I said, I’m really glad I’ve got such a great camera on my phone otherwise I think I’d miss most things! I do hope you’re right about the book – I’ll put your name in the hat too! Love Ali x

  15. Sally October 2, 2018 at 11:46 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    You write with ease and reading your snippet I know it will be read by many people. You are an inspiration and your naturalness shines through it certainly inspires me and I am just a normal bod out there. I am retired now and have plenty of time on my hands and I do love to knit and sew etc but how you cram all what you do in your days is amazing. Look forward to the book. Best wishes to all.

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 10:47 am -  Reply

      Dear Sally, that’s very kind of you to say such positive things about the book – I’m just a normal bod too – I just have a rather unusual job 🙂 I did try my hand at knitting a while ago with Roz’s help, and am two thirds of the way through making a scarf! I just try and squeeze as much as I can into each day, as none of us really know what’s round the corner 🙂 Take care, and thanks for writing to me, love Ali x

  16. eresa Karasavvas October 2, 2018 at 12:21 pm -  Reply

    Great blog as always Ali.

    Honey is well and truly a “little Honey!”

    i have only just got into reading and I would so love to be one of the lucky one to read your new book. Well done to you.

    Teresa

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 10:49 am -  Reply

      Hi Teresa, you’re right about Honey.. she really is such a little treasure to me. Great to know that you’ve got into reading. I used to read a great deal, but working strange hours put a stop to me reading at bedtime, so it’s usually holidays when I read – I’ll put your name into the hat. Love Ali x

  17. katie Stewart October 2, 2018 at 1:03 pm -  Reply

    I would love to read your book.

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 10:49 am -  Reply

      Thanks Katie, I’ll be doing the draw today! Watch out for the next blog when I can let you know. Love Ali x

  18. Elaine sallis October 2, 2018 at 2:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali lovely blog as usual. Honey looked lovely in her owl top. I would love to read your book. Elaine x

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 10:51 am -  Reply

      Dear Elaine, do hope all is well with you? I agree about the owl top – I had hoped they made them for adults too 🙂 I’ll add your name into the draw. Thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  19. Christine October 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali Looking forward to you book,it’s been a long time coming. Your photos are lovely. Up to my eyes in boxes we have had offer but they have to seep there’s,he’s hoping.

    Take Care, x

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 10:52 am -  Reply

      Christine, I’m keeping everything crossed for you. I know it can be a stressful time, but hopefully they will get a buyer soon, and you can crack on with it all. You take care too, love Ali xx

  20. Diane Moore October 2, 2018 at 4:03 pm -  Reply

    Always enjoy reading your post. The bear cake looked lovely! I’m sure Honey’s will be equally delightful. Enjoyed reading your synopsis of your forthcoming book.

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 10:55 am -  Reply

      Hi there Diane, so glad you enjoy the blogs – I really enjoy gathering all my photos and info and putting them together! Honey did a cracking job with Lucy’s cake and I’ll have a photo of it on the next blog. I’m glad you enjoyed the synopsis and hope you will enjoy the book too. Love Ali xx

  21. Sharron October 2, 2018 at 5:37 pm -  Reply

    I think many of us can identify with this Title. As a 3yr post Stem Cell Transplant Warrior, I too felt compelled to write my own blog. If only one person gains understanding & Comfort living their new normal with a very rare blood disease, I have succeeded.

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 10:57 am -  Reply

      Sharron, I’m sure it will be more than one person who will identify with what you’ve written and gain comfort from your words. Thank you for getting in touch with me, and I wish you health and happiness moving forwards, love Ali x

  22. Tricia Coulsonwood October 2, 2018 at 7:27 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, so pleased your book is ready or publishing..exciting!.
    I personally would consider it an honour to read your book.
    I and many more of us have followed your journey alongside our own journeys..It has been a unique experience that none of us ever thought we would begin.. Friends have been forged,many memories shared..wonderful caring people..so much support.
    I won’t go on but just to say love to all.Tricia.

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 10:58 am -  Reply

      Dear Tricia, that is so good of you to say, and I have your name already in the hat for when I make the draw today. You have been with me I know, and I have dedicated the book to you and everyone else in Ali’s Army whom I consider to be my friends. Such a great group, and as you say, so much support. Thanks Tricia, love Ali xx

  23. Siobhan Farrell October 2, 2018 at 7:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, I would love to read your book draft, the synopsis is an interesting one. Good luck with your publishing xx

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 10:59 am -  Reply

      Thanks Siobhan – I’ll keep my fingers crossed it will a help to a few, and hopefully interesting to a few more! I’ve put your name in the hat. Love Ali x

  24. Susan Gibb October 2, 2018 at 9:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, my beloved Mum had bowel cancer and my dad had lung cancer and I was with them all the way along both of their journeys. My beautiful Golden Retriever, Nina, was my support when Mum was so ill and after Mum passed away. Sadly, I lost Nina 18 months after Mum died and I miss all three of them so much. I think you are wonderful and deserve the very best. I would love to read your book. Best wishes.

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:02 am -  Reply

      Dear Susan, I am so sorry to know that you have suffered such loss over these last few years, especially when your mum and dad and Nina were so central to your life. I hope that as time passes, things will ease for you life will become easier. Thank you so much for your kind words, and I have included your name in the draw. Take care, love Ali xx

  25. Kylie October 3, 2018 at 9:04 am -  Reply

    Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures. I’m so happy that your usual diamonque shows are back. I think I’m a little but obsessed with diamonque. It is just SO good! I think I may have to buy the lovely watch to add to my collection.

    • Alison Keenan October 3, 2018 at 1:48 pm -  Reply

      Me too Kylie – more than a slight obsession I fear! The watch is really pretty and with the face to one side it works as a tennis bracelet too! Love Ali x

  26. CJ Calvert October 3, 2018 at 9:21 am -  Reply

    What a fab accomplishment to write a book is amazing Ali and I would certainly be interested to have a read.

    • Alison Keenan October 3, 2018 at 1:49 pm -  Reply

      Thank you CJ, I’ve got your name now, and will add to to the list of folk who’ve tweeted also! Have a good week, love Ali x

  27. Joanna Downey October 3, 2018 at 2:16 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, I think my post’s gone AWOL, I’ll wait a couple of days to see if it arrives & if not I’ll try to repeat it.
    Love Jo x

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 10:54 am -  Reply

      Dear Jo, it’s definitely here, and I’m sorry you’ve had a problem with the posting. The system has definitely changed as I have to type my name in each time I reply! Ali x

  28. Sarah Prescott October 3, 2018 at 2:56 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali I will be one of the first to read your book, it’s been a long time coming but I know will be so worth it, I am one of your biggest fans as you know, I have just read on your website and had a tear in my eye, lots of love my lovely friend 😘😘

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:03 am -  Reply

      Sarah, you are so kind – thanks for your continued support – and you’re right, the book has been a long time coming! Longer than I would have liked, but when a plan changes, you just have to go with it! I very much hope you will enjoy it, and of course I’ve put your name in the hat too. Love Ali xx

  29. Cheryl October 3, 2018 at 7:56 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali I would also love to read your book, as a fellow survivor I wish this book had existed when I was going through my own journey. Best wishes and continued good health.

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:05 am -  Reply

      Dear Cheryl, I’m sorry to know that you too have had to contend with difficult times in your life, but I am so very glad that you are in good health now, and like me, living your life. I wish you all the very best, and I hope that if you get the chance to read my book, it will resonate. Love Ali x

  30. Sandra catherwood October 3, 2018 at 9:39 pm -  Reply

    Would love to read your book life seems to energise your soul.

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:06 am -  Reply

      Sandra, that is such a lovely thing to say… I’ve written it down! Life does indeed energise my soul, and I am very lucky to have such a good life, with so many wonderful people in it. I will put your name in the draw too. Love Ali x

  31. Mary Morphy October 4, 2018 at 6:19 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison, thanks for a great blog, you’ve certainly been busy since your holiday. I hope you’ve managed some relax time.
    Your best cake was great and I agree with your comments regarding the kitchen aid, I don’t know how I managed without it and it does make fabulous buttercream; I use a new recipe of half butter, half trex, icing sugar, cornflour and a dash of milk and the result is almost moussy…it’s lush ..Just add your flavouring. I organised a cake sale at work for Macmillan Cancer last week and my kitchen aid helped me produce a Bakewell tart, coffee and pecan gateau and caramel centre cup cakes…three other staff members made cakes too and we raised £125.32..very pleased with that. I hope you were saved a piece of birthday cake.
    Me and my kids love a carvery and I agree that it’s so much nicer when you haven’t cooked it!
    Chloe is now driving herself in Denzel, her little black Clio which we had cleaned and valeted as a surprise for her..Denzel looks brand new..abd he’s 15 years old with only 47000 miles on the clock. I am full of anxiety when she goes out…at least she can text me when she arrives and when she leaves …I can totally sympathise with my mum when us three girls started driving and in those days we didn’t have mobiles!!
    Your Frog comments about the Duke are spot on…John’s cousin and her daughter both have them and me and Chloe said the same!!
    Still no news on the bungalow..my sister is on the case though. Our dog Olly has to have another operation , the same procedure he had done on his back left leg but on the right…we are battling with his insurance at the mo but looks like we’ll have to pay again…my aunt left me a little bit of money which I was going to use for a patio but think it’s going to have to be used for the dogs leg.
    I am watching the sun come up through the bedroom blinds and it’s stunning….I love the crisp cold mornings and Autumn is my favourite season, think the trees are going to look amazing this year.
    I have read your book synopsis..can’t wait to read the entire thing. Much love Mary xx

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:13 am -  Reply

      Hi there Mary, great to hear from you, and I do hope that perhaps this weekend has brought you positive news about your mum’s bungalow. I’m glad your sister is working on that, as it sounds as though you have more than enough on your plate! Thanks for the buttercream icing. I have copied it out into my Kitchen Aid booklet, and will try it next time. Well done for raising such a huge sum of money for Macmillan Cancer with your delicious cakes – they had a cake day here at QVC too, although sadly I wasn’t in, but so good to know so many of you put so much effort in. Denzel sounds like a find! That’s very low mileage considering the age of the car. I’m glad that Chloe is mobile, but you have my sympathy when it comes to the worry but as you say, thank heavens everyone has a phone with them nowadays. Mum gave me 10p that I had to keep with me whenever I went out so I could call her from a phone box! So sorry that Olly has had to have another operation. It can be very costly if the insurance doesn’t cover it. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. So glad you’re looking forward to reading the book, and thank you for your constant support and friendship. Love Ali x

  32. Jill turner October 4, 2018 at 9:45 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali just read the page of your book . Just reading those few words has given me some positivity to try to come to terms with my diagnosis I had in August. I will keep those thoughts in mind as I continue my treatment. Thanks Ali xx

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:15 am -  Reply

      Dear Jill, I am so sorry that you are currently going through treatment, and have had to come to terms with this difficult diagnosis. The first few months are definitely the hardest, but I do hope you will be able to stay positive. Being diagnosed and treated are the first steps on the road to recovery. Try to hold onto that. I hope the book will help you, love Ali xx

  33. Jilly James October 4, 2018 at 11:12 am -  Reply

    I cannot think of anyone more apt or compassionate enough to write a book on something that has not touch someone in their lives. You are not only one of the most honest people but truly an inspiration to all of us in everything you do.
    I wish you every success with your book and look forward to buying it.
    With much love Jilly xx

    Most

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:17 am -  Reply

      Jilly, thank you so much for your incredibly kind words. My mum always said, if you’re going to write, write about something you know. She was right, and I very much hope that even if it’s just one person who can see the light at the end of the tunnel a little more clearly, then it will have been worth it. Do stay in touch, and if you were able to review the book once you’ve read it, that would mean a great deal to me. Love Ali x

  34. Di October 4, 2018 at 11:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali as always I love to read your blog but I would love the chance to read your book. I think you are wonderful and I’m sure your book will be too. I have never managed to write my journey down .. but 26 years on and the big 60 on the 23rd I am still here. So get that book published love di xx

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:19 am -  Reply

      Di, YOU are an inspiration! It always cheers me to hear a story like yours. Such wonderful news as I am certain in the early years, you may have worried as I did. I wish you EVERY happiness for your birthday next week, and here’s to the next 60 years! I’ll put your name in the draw for the book, love Ali xx

  35. Chris Page October 4, 2018 at 6:56 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali

    Glad Sam’s leg is alright – I’ve been struggling with Cellulitis in my left one again (you may remember it happened four years ago). I spent from 17th August to 1st September in hospital, then spent the next four weeks in a care home convalescing, because I couldn’t manage to look after myself at home, for reasons I won’t go into here. Thankfully it was paid for by Social Services. The food was good, but the lack of stimulation was doing my mental health no good. I certainly hope none of my relatives puts me in a place like that when I’m older. The good news is my leg is much better, and my energy is slowly returning. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer again, but it’s good to be back.

    Chris

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:22 am -  Reply

      Oh Chris, I do remember you writing to me about this some time back, as Sam had the cellulitis 18 months ago. I am so sorry to know that you’ve been struggling with it again, and had to spend time in a care home. I realise it’s impossible to function normally whilst you’re recovering, so very much hope it’s not something you have to contend with again. I hope you’ll be feeling much more energised now that you’re home, and never feel as though you’re being negative – a problem shared is a problem halved I’ve always found. Take care, and thanks for writing, love Ali x

  36. Janet Jones October 4, 2018 at 7:08 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali, I have used the words from the title of your book many times about myself. I even used them to my friend the other day now she is in remission from leukemia .
    I had a gynaecological procedure under anaesthetic just under 2 weeks ago as things are happening that shouldn’t be, so the hardest part now is waiting for the results . I have been put onto the cancer pathway again and I pray to God that the cancer hasn’t come back elsewhere. I know they are extra careful when you’ve had cancer before. I should hopefully get the results next week. Needless to say I am not getting much sleep at the moment.
    I had my family down next weekend and they are also coming down this weekend and hopefully we will have a picnic in our local forest, weather permitting.
    We came back from the Canadian Rockies just over 2 weeks ago, it was an amazing holiday and I tried not to let my upcoming procedure at the hospital spoil it too much. I tried to live in the moment.
    I would love to read you book Ali as I know I will resonate with pretty much all you have to say.
    Take care Ali and I hope I have the good news I pray for when we next speak. Love Janet xx

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:25 am -  Reply

      My dear Janet, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write back to you, and I imagine you will have had your results from the procedure by now, so I am praying it will be good news. Great to know that your family have been spending time with you, and that maybe you enjoyed that lovely warm weather we had the week before which allowed you to picnic in the forest as you’d planned. Your holiday must have been fabulous, and I very much hope that the pending procedure didn’t spoil things for you. I know you’ve been through the same things that I have, and I totally understand your fear…. please let me know how you’re doing won’t you? Love Ali xx

  37. Hilary Patterson October 6, 2018 at 10:33 am -  Reply

    Love reading your blogs, I would also be very interested in reading your book, as you have been amazing and looking amazing anyone seeing you now and not knowing what you had been through would not kn W anything had been wrong you are definitely an inspiration God bless xx

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:29 am -  Reply

      Hi there Hilary, so glad you enjoy the blogs, and I do hope you will find the book equally interesting. It’s hard to believe that seven years have passed since my initial diagnosis, as so much else has happened in my life, but I’ve been incredibly lucky to have such a fabulous support network, including everyone here on the blog. Thanks Hilary for your kind words too. I’ll put your name in the draw. Love Ali xx

  38. Mandy October 6, 2018 at 11:39 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali! Hope you are well & adjusting to this autumnal weather! I have accepted it finally & bought a few new jumpers & a Joules pack away mac for the rainy days (great excuse for retail therapy) I mentioned last time I was in a bad mood when I read your blog- well I ended up in bed for a week with flu so have been watching a lot of QVC to keep me company. Your Noah cake looks delish & I am sure everyone enjoyed it. I do hope Sam is getting stronger & spending quality time with family is certainly a great distraction. Rushmere Park looks amazing- I imagine it looks like Narnia in the winter time; will have to put it on my list of places to visit. How chuffed am I that your Diamonique show is coming back? 🙂 It is so nice to sit & have an hour of sparkle & of course your company. We do have the same wicked sense of humour so I am always waiting for a joke or two. Can’t believe you beat me on the strangest place to make a QVC order- I howled with laughter Ali when I read your answer lol. Reminds me of the old Martini advert “Anytime any place anywhere…” I have just read your synopsis & shed a tear (or two) You have been great support & comfort to lots of us Ali but you have been an anchor to me & still continue to provide me with encouragement & motivation. Just because hair grows back & we look “human” again doesn’t mean we are “back to normal” & unless you have been through it you don’t understand so I am blessed to have a lovely lady like you who goes through the same emotions & anxieties & “gets it” I would absolutely LOVE to read your book as I feel that it would be a great road map for the “new me” Love your sky photos as always- another question for you- do you still look up at the clouds & see images? I do it all the time, a great way to switch off from the world I will tune in to see you on Tuesday
    Have a lovely week
    Love & Hugs
    Mandy xxx

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:53 am -  Reply

      Dear Mandy, glad to know I made you laugh, but I am definitely on a mission to see if any others can top my experience of weird and wonderful places to order QVC products. So sorry to know that you were laid low with the flu. You are entitled to a free flu jab each year which because of your low immunity, it would probably be a good idea to take up? Thank you for taking the trouble to read my synopsis of the book – I realise that a great deal of what I’ve written there will strike a chord with you. I’m also glad to know that even though our contact is sporadic, I’ve been able to help you a little with getting used to life ‘after’ cancer. I think there may well be a few pointers for you in the book, although of course we’re all different, yet fundamentally as women, the same… I’ve put your name in the draw and will of course keep in touch with you regarding the actual publication date. In answer to your question, yes i do still look up at the clouds and see images. Well, on most days, although today is just like a thick grey blanket above me. I’ll give you a wave on Tuesday, love Ali xx

  39. LORNA HEATH October 6, 2018 at 7:46 pm -  Reply

    I am not a fast reader, but a slow, thoughtful one. I don’t guess endings and would rather be led through to the end.

    I would live to read your book immensely and offer a thoughtful opinion.

    All the very, Very best with it Alison. xxxx

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:55 am -  Reply

      What a lovely photo of you Lorna! Great to see who I’m responding to, and thank you for your considered opinion. Like you, I hate to guess at an ending and would never read the last page first (although I know many who do!). I’ll put your name in the draw and hope that even if you don’t get chosen you’ll still want to read the book 🙂 Love Ali x

  40. Serena Potter October 6, 2018 at 7:58 pm -  Reply

    Just read your book sample Alison and have to say I will look forward to reading it all once it is out. I have followed you on QVC when you were ill and was so upset for you but happy to see you come out of the other side and be back on tv. I am now on my own journey, diagnosed in June this year. Just completed my 5th chemo so one more to go then surgery to follow. Unfortunately I have to lose my breast but if it means I am well again and can start to live it is a small price to pay. Just focusing on getting to this point every day, through the good and bad times.

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 11:59 am -  Reply

      My dear Serena, how sad that you too have been caught up in all that comes with a diagnosis of breast cancer… I hope that the treatment hasn’t been too tough on you, and that your surgery will be straightforward. It’s not easy – the surgery or the acceptance of it – but as you say, in truth it is a small price to pay to be able to get on with your life, and that’s what that, and the treatment, will enable you to do. Stay strong, hold onto the fact that the winning line is in sight, and I wish you the very best of luck with the final chemo. Some days are tougher than others, but you’ve completed the lion’s share already, so try and hang onto that. I hope that the book will give you the chance to look ahead to better times, as I have done. Please keep in touch, much love, Ali xx

  41. clare October 6, 2018 at 8:15 pm -  Reply

    Would love to read the book, love reading all the blogs, fingers crossed I get chosen

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Clare, so glad that you enjoy reading the blogs, and thank you for taking the time out to comment! I’ll put your name in the draw and hope that you will enjoy the book, if you get a chance to read it. Love Ali x

  42. Jean Sherman October 7, 2018 at 12:35 pm -  Reply

    I would love to read your book. I to have been though a touch time so someone else’s journey would be nice to read.

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 12:02 pm -  Reply

      Jean, I’m sorry to know that times have been tough for you, and I very much hope that there will be easier times ahead. You’re right, it is interesting talking to other folk and maybe reading about their experience – a bit like comparing notes. I will put your name in the draw, and thank you for getting in touch. Love ali xx

  43. Nina costello October 9, 2018 at 8:34 pm -  Reply

    I would love to read your new book. A very inspiring lady you are x

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 12:02 pm -  Reply

      Thank you Nina, I’ve put your name in the draw so fingers crossed! Do keep in touch, love Ali x

  44. lynn tervit October 10, 2018 at 1:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, great blog as always, I love catching up with what you and your precious family have been up too. Your cake for Noah is magical and I can’t wait to see what you make Lucy. You are a very beautiful and talented lady.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the show last night and iam so glad your back in your chair sharing all the beautiful Diamonique with us. Take care Ali, and wish Lucy a lovely happy birthday tomorrow.
    all my love lyn xxxx

    • Alison Keenan October 15, 2018 at 12:04 pm -  Reply

      Dear Lynn, thank you so much for your kind words, and I’m very glad that you enjoy keeping in touch this way. I will be including the cake I made for Lucy in my next blog, but it was Honey who decorated it, so very original! 🙂 Good to know you enjoy the Diamonique shows too, although weirdly the Tuesday 8pm slot tomorrow will be Candles as I have a Diamonique TSV at midnight instead! Enjoy your week, love Ali x

  45. Julia Johnson October 10, 2018 at 5:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,i have enjoyed reading you blog and reading all your Ali-K productions,and your lovely photos,i lost my husband 24yrs ago and i’ve brought up 3 children on my own,i enjoy your shows on QVC and i try to catch the ones you are presenting,i will be interested in reading your book.
    love
    Julia x

  46. Susan October 10, 2018 at 5:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I can’t wait to read your book! It’s going to be enlightening. I so admire you for doing it. I often think shouldn’t we all do that! Record our life stories. I’m sure it was very emotional for you. Hope your weekend went well xx

  47. Linda Finch October 10, 2018 at 9:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali ,I will make this a short one and hope it gets to you ,I must first say how gorgeous Honey looks in her owl jumper ,you are a very talented baker amongst other things, I have just read your book sample and I’m looking forward to reading the book, can’t wait ☺this weekend we are having Harry and Ellie to stay while Simon and Michelle have a weekend break I don’t know where they are going it’s top secret just in case the kids let the cat out of the bag 😀then we are all going away for Halloween, I can not wait .lots of love Linda F xxx

  48. Jan October 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I would dearly love to read your book and leave a comment on it. Wishing you continued good health and love. Jan

  49. martin forbes October 12, 2018 at 5:48 pm -  Reply

    hope you and family are well iam not bad

  50. Lynn Hind October 15, 2018 at 9:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali i am sorry ive been away such i while. Your blogs always give such a lift to us all. Life has been up and down really this summer has been particularly tough 3 dear friend aged between 48 -54 have sadly left us not through the awful disease cancer but equally tragic my friend of 25yrs claire was found at home by her daughter gone in her sleep. My school friend of 49yrs husband got up for a wee in the night collapsed fell down the stairs and broke his neck and died in her arms and my other friend just collapsed its like a episode from eastenders tbh lol you go beyond sad as theres no sad left but life goes on and im doing my best to support my friends families …me im doing ok lol my son daniel passed his driving test today so celebrations all round instead of been mums taxi for 28yrs he can drive me not that id make a good passenger lol lol but hes independant now with my car lol god help us lol im looking forward to reading your book im sure its going to help and give comfort and hope to sufferers ive bought the BCC kipling pouch and goodies to show my support for such a great cause
    Hugs and love Ali
    Lynn xxx

  51. Andrea May October 15, 2018 at 10:28 pm -  Reply

    Alison you are such an inspiration, I lost my sister to breast cancer 13 years ago, aged just 30 leaving behind a 3 yr old daughter, I watch you all the time and admire you so much, can’t wait to read your book. Much love. Andrea xxx

  52. Susan Huskisson October 16, 2018 at 3:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali. Having read the synopsis of your book I can’t wait to be able to buy it! You are such an inspiration to many many women as the comments on your blogs testify to. I haven’t faced this awful disease myself but lost my mother to stomach cancer when I was only 11 and she was 50. None of us know how we’d react if, God forbid we were forced to face it and the fact that you were able to smile is really inspiring.
    I’m currently trying to support one of my girlfriends as her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year and his sister was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. It is apparently a particularly aggressive form. She is currently having chemo and really struggling with it. I must admit I find it difficult as to what to say but I think I’m doing ok! My friend says just knowing people are there for her is a comfort and I guess that’s all we can do!
    Anyway Ali on a lighter note I’m looking after our Charlie tomorrow and he never fails to lift my spirits with his funny little sayings.
    Bye for now Ali, take care. Love Sue xx

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