Blue skies, nothing but blue skies…

35

July? How did that happen?! June disappeared in the blink of an eye although as always I seemed to cram a lot in. 🙂 Thank you so much for your lovely comments on the previous blog, and for keeping in touch with me on Twitter as well. It’s been a busy month at the Q and at home, but then when isn’t it?!

I’m very grateful too for your kind words about my book. It’s quite a big undertaking to self publish, and there are many things I need to put in place first, but I’m hoping that it will become a reality towards the end of this year. Lucy used my original manuscript and had a single hardback copy of it made for me as she knew how disappointed I’d felt and told me she just wanted to remind me that you that “you can do this”. Bless her heart. I promise I’ll keep you in the loop – after all it’s mainly because of your support I wrote it.

I was able to give a little support back to Lucy last week when she had parent’s evening and I came to stay over and look after Honey. Of course the weather was lovely and we headed out to the park where we spent an hour or more just playing together. It’s all so uncomplicated with little ones, and I never take for granted this chance to have it all again now that my own children are grown up. I made a little film of her chatting away, and she told me that my eyes were “green like cucumbers” whereas hers and mummy’s were “blue like blueberries”. Love it!

Lucy had the following day off and had bought tickets for us to go to Bowood House in Wiltshire, where they were hosting Kirsty Allsopp’s Handmade Fair. I’ve never been to an event like this before, but there were tents and stalls set out in the sunshine, selling a myriad of different things from jam to gin to jewellery, embroidery kits and painting sets. There was also an amazing food market with a huge array of some of the best of British delights to eat and drink. Rhubarb gin, chocolate cheese, and some incredible marinades made with garlic – very fiery – were just a few of the more unusual. We did bring our own picnic, but also sampled the home-made cakes – well it would have rude not to!

The highlight of the visit though was when Kirsty Allsopp herself came into the main tent and started chatting to Honey who was with Lucy. It was really warm in the tent, but she was absolutely charming, and agreed to have this photo taken with us, although it can’t have been that pleasant for her as I was having a major hot flush at the time! A happy day, and some great memories.

I headed back down the M4 that afternoon as I was with at the Q on Friday with our Kipling TSV and the lovely Marie Francoise-Wolff who announced her engagement on air! So delighted for her and Johnny, and she was thrilled with all the tweets and messages that came through for her.

Colin and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary at the weekend, because both of us were working on the Tuesday, and after our very long trip, I don’t have much leave left to take! He has bought me the most beautiful piece of jewellery that I’m going to keep under wraps until I write to you next. Suffice to say it came from QVC and is just stunning. We had a wonderful meal out in a local Italian restaurant which is run by the Caldesi family from the Amalfi Coast in Italy. We thought it was particularly fitting as we’d honeymooned there. I can’t believe it’s been three years since our wedding day in Bray, but we’re both looking forward to many more together.

Colin and I were to have visited my mum and Joe this weekend as it’s mum’s 83rd birthday on the 3rd July, but she finds the heat unbearable so we’ve postponed her lunch out until it’s a tad cooler. I was sorry as we’d been looking forward to having some time together, but my sister has taken mum’s presents for me so she can open them on the day, and it’s something for us to look forward to in the next few weeks.

As you’ve probably gathered I’m the opposite to my mum with the heat and have been spending as much time as possible in the garden. My pots need constant watering and attention, but are thriving with Richard Jackson’s Flower Power. Just look at my beautiful rose ‘Perfect Match’ and my Calla Lilies that have double the number of flowers from last year. Actually, talking of lilies, our TSV on Wednesday 4th July are a collection of Montrose Autumn Colour Burst Asiatic Lily Bulbs that come in their own planter (517447). A great price for 18 bulbs, so do try and join Richard and me at midnight for the launch.

We’ve got another well-timed TSV the following night from Abi Cleeve who has an Ultrasun 5 Piece Holiday Favourites Collection (234644) with an Auto Delivery option so you can keep your skin protected throughout the summer, and if we’re to believe the forecast, it’s going to be hot one.

The clear skies have afforded me so stunning shots of the moon – it fascinates me – look how far it travelled in just 24 hours! Love the pink moon too, so I thought I’d share them with you. The only downside to this amazing weather is the mosquitos! I hope you’re not plagued with them, but I’m keeping myself liberally sprayed with insect repellent just in case, but if you’ve got any tips at keeping at bay, I’d love to know!

Take care, stay cool, and do keep in touch.

With my love, Ali xx

35 Comments

  1. Mandy July 2, 2018 at 6:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali! What a lovely blog(as always of course!) I am soo looking forward to reading your book & imagine that it must be so frustrating for you at the moment but, as they say “All good things come to he who waits” & so we will wait with baited breath to dip in & enjoy!
    How lovely of your Lucy to have a copy made for you- I am sure Honey will be very proud of you when she is old enough to read it. Yes, where on earth has this year gone? We must be spinning round faster lol. Kirsty’s Handmade Fair sounds fabulous- wish I had been there & pleased the sun shone for you. You did make me laugh about your hot flush moment with Kirsty. I went out for a family Sunday lunch yesterday & all the ladies who are not menopausal were the ones “sparkling” (my husbands word for tropical moments) so I was quite pleased with myself as I was fine. I can’t believe you have been Mrs Elsworth for 3 years- doesn’t time fly when you are having fun? I am definitely enjoying my garden more since I have been using Flower Power & did buy some for Dad for Father’s Day as he always comments on how well our flowers & hanging baskets seem to suddenly explode with colour overnight! The pink moon photo is gorgeous- I too love sunsets, moon & of course the stars. I did see a blood moon last time I went on a sunset cruise in Greece so fingers crossed I get to see some spectacular views when I go on Friday- OPA!! I can’t wait Ali as last time I went was when my treatment has just ended so I was quite weak but needed to be there to heal & take time for myself. I do have a few tips for you regarding the dreaded mozzie bites- if you are O positive you are more likely to get bitten & the best thing I have found to avoid bites is….Avon Skin So Soft Dry Oil Spray!! I have been using it for years after my Mum’s Avon lady recommended it when I was younger. It also smells nice so try it & let me know how you get on. Have a lovely week Ali & enjoy your playdates with Honey & your time relaxing in the garden with your Colin!
    I will catch up with you when I am back from Greece
    Love & Hugs
    Mandy xxx

    • Alison Keenan July 9, 2018 at 1:28 pm -  Reply

      My dear Mandy, by the time you get this you will be in Greece, and I hope you are having a fabulous time! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you get to see your blood moon too 🙂 Incredible to think the last time you were on holiday was when your treatment had finished – look how far you’ve come! So glad that you will be in great health this time around, and will no doubt enjoy it so much more. Thank you for your encouraging words regarding my book – very much appreciated. So glad that you’ve been getting some spectacular results from Flower Power – I’ve completely converted my sister to it, and this is her second year of planting out her pots and being thrilled with the results. Thanks so much for the recommendation about the Avon Skin So Soft Dry Oil spray. I am blood group 0 so will definitely give it a try. I’ll look forward to hearing how your holiday went, and hope that it will be a relaxing time for both of you, with my love Ali xx

  2. Mary Morphy July 2, 2018 at 9:46 pm -  Reply

    Good evening Alison and thank you again for sharing your busy life with us. I also cant believe that we are in July..only three more weeks left in the school year…it wasn’t long ago that it was Christmas!
    I am loving the sound of Kirstie Alsopp after.. that’s right up my street..and to meet the lady herself, wonderful.
    Talking of home made I am again making fudge for the summer after at school and have two boxes of calico assorted fudge..20 bags in all, to make and bag up. I put a brown label on each celophane bag tied with string and finished with a nice ribbon bow. We are also making bead keyrings with the kids to sell too.
    Hopefully the weather will cool down otherwise the fudge will be one big lump in each bag!
    Chloe has finally decided that she wants to look I to doing a career with makeup…finally!! So she is hopefully going to enrol on a years course at the local college..£600 but cheaper than uni!! It’s an evening course, 3.5 hours a day from 5.30 to 9pm which means she can get a part time job. This will give her a qualification to practice makeup so we have suggested that she writes to makeup companies, department stores and tv to ask how she can best get into a career in the makeup industry.
    I am pleased that she has made a decision and it’s something which she loves but wish she had decided 2 years ago before she did her A levels!!
    It’s so hot still..I have a wedding cake to make in a month which is one cake and 120 cupcakes with buttercream..i am praying the weather cools down..it could get messy!!
    Looking forward to the Lily tsv..just perfect for a spot I have In the garden. Love Mary x

    • Alison Keenan July 9, 2018 at 1:32 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Mary, by the time you get this you’ll only have two more weeks left at school! Well done for making up all that fudge – I just hope you have a cool box in which to keep it! My sister tried to run the cake stall last year and had me in stitches telling me about the enormous queue of folk trying to choose between flapjack and Victoria sandwich while everything melted! Great news about Chloe – so glad for her and you – and your advice to her is excellent. Get her CV out to as many places as possible, and I’m certain she’ll find herself a part time job. The college course sounds good too. I totally get your comment about her timing, but to be honest at 16 I didn’t have a clue as to what I wanted to do, and that’s why I had to get a job rather than go to college.

      Crikey that wedding cake sounds pernickity! I do hope it’ll be cooler on the day you make it, otherwise it could just be one very large melted cake! 🙂 I hope you got hold of the lilies. They were very pretty, and good value too I thought. Thanks as always for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  3. Susan July 2, 2018 at 9:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I just wanted to say how lovely it was of Lucy to have your book printed. So kind and thoughtful and one for keeps. It’s your story.
    Hope Lucy enjoys her summer when she finishes. It’ll be good to have time to enjoy honey. I can imagine it’s the best reason to keep on going having a child as you say.
    Lovely photos of the moon and your flowers also. How are you coping with the water restrictions! I’m sure plants will suffer!
    Enjoy your week x

    • Alison Keenan July 9, 2018 at 1:37 pm -  Reply

      Dear Susan, You’re right, Lucy is incredibly thoughtful, and the book is something I will always treasure. Lucy and I are already planning days together over the summer, and I’m up there again this Thursday which will be lovely. It’s not easy bringing a child up on your own, but just one of those little smiles makes it all worth while 🙂 I’m glad you like the photos, and yes, the water restrictions aren’t making it very easy with the pots. I water either early in the morning before the sun, or late at night, so they get the best of it. Adding flower Power to the mix each time to help. Thanks for writing to me, love Ali x

  4. Joanna Downey July 2, 2018 at 10:16 pm -  Reply

    Good Evening Ali, It’s been another scorchio day, our lawn has all but disappeared, I spend my evenings watering it & the heat has made Sox very lazy which is a good thing because it gives the birds a chance to escape his clutches. I read that this is a goldfinch summer which I think is a lovely description. As you wrote you’ve filled the past month with lots of activities, I love events such as the one you went to at Bowood House & Kirsty Allsopp was lucky to meet you & Honey – I loved the little film of her describing all your eyes, what a bright little girl she is & only just three. A stunning piece of jewellery & a meal in an Italian restaurant is my idea of the perfect way to celebrate an anniversary. I’ve been on my own for the past two weeks as Colin is walking around Mont Blanc so I’ve just treated myself to a pair of Diamonique earrings as a treat. it’s a big 0 year for us starting with C’s birthday next week, we’re going to spend the afternoon in Birmingham seeing Dippy the Dinosaur, then eat before going to see ‘Sinatra at the Sands’ with Curtis Stigers & these earrings will be perfect for the dress I’m planning to wear. I love your photos of the Moon, there is something truly magical about her & I often wax lyrical (no pun intended) about all the history she has witnessed, at which point Colin starts singing ‘Moon’ songs or quoting from The Mighty Boosh! Finally, I really hope you achieve your dream of publishing your book, as Lucy said ‘You can do this’, we know you can too. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan July 9, 2018 at 1:44 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Jo, my lawn has also disappeared to be replaced with a yellow strawlike covering. The only thing that’s surviving is the clover which is great news for the bees. My lawn mower is gathering dust! I knew you would have enjoyed Bowood House – right up your street when I think of all the creative things you are involved in. How is your Colin getting on with his travels? Does he keep in touch much while he’s away? I’m glad you’ve treated yourself to a pair of earrings – what have you bought Colin for his birthday? Especialy as it’s a big one! OMG Curtis Stigers! Not surprised you’ve already planned what to wear – sounds like it will be – or will have been – a magical evening! I would SO love to see him again. I have a bit of a story there.. When I presented This Morning, Curtis was one of the guests and stayed in the same hotel that Granada TV had booked us into. The night before our inteview, I bumped into him in the bar and he sang Puppy Love to me! His promotional single then was Keep me from the Cold, which I can never listen to without crying… beautiful lyrics and a very different time in my life… but a good time.

      Thank you as always Jo for your positive comments, and I will keep on working towards the publication of my book. Take care, and let me know how Sinatra at the Sands went -also if it’s touring! Love Ali xx

  5. Kath boddy July 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm -  Reply

    I.hope you don’t mind my sending you.this ! But I have to go to the breast clinic on Friday the 13th.and I’m really frightenf.I’m sorry. To ask for a little advice from you,as you.are such a strong lady.and I’m a scared rabbit court.in.headights I understand if I don’t hear from you but.you.will.be in my.thoughts telling me to be.strong.thank.you kath x

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2018 at 4:02 pm -  Reply

      My dear Kathy, I completely understand your fear, and it’s absolutely normal to feel this way. To be honest, if would be odd if you weren’t concerned, but the best way I think to try and look at it is that whatever they are going to talking to you about, or whatever tests they may need to take, it is ALL going to ultimately be to help you. If there is a problem – whatever it might be – once they have all the information they need then they can begin to put the problem right. It may be that all is well, and that there is no need for treatment of any sort. The way I dealt with any fear I had, was to accept that whatever I was told and whatever I had to face, it was the beginning of getting better. They are the experts and they are going to help you. I have always held onto the belief that NONE of us are ever given more than we can deal with in life… I hope this works for you. Whatever may be ahead of you, I’m always happy to chat to you. PLEASE do let me know how you get on. Stay strong, love Ali xx

  6. Elaine sallis July 3, 2018 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    Well Granny cucumber eyes Lucy is right you can definitely publish your book. Look at all the challenges you have overcome. Elaine x

    • Alison Keenan July 9, 2018 at 1:46 pm -  Reply

      LOL! Elaine, thank you for your vote of confidence! 🙂 Much appreciated. I do hope all is well for you and you’re not finding the heat too much, love Ali xx

  7. Christine July 3, 2018 at 8:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali can’t believe 3 years your anniversary congratulations to you both. Think time goes fast as we get older. The weather is beautiful, I used to have prickly I use Gatineau tan eccelerator which helps lot.
    Hope you get your book published.

    Take Care X

    • Alison Keenan July 9, 2018 at 1:47 pm -  Reply

      Dear Christine, so glad to know that the Tan Accelerator helps with your prickly heat. I’ve been using the product for years now, and it’s not only a fab moisturiser but definitely keeps my tan going when I’m not able to get in the sun as often as I’d like! Thanks for your support re the book. Much appreciated, love Ali x

  8. Patricia Coulsonwood July 4, 2018 at 8:24 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali, lovely to catch up..I am looking forward to reading your factual book later this year..I have recently self published a little children’s book which I wrote inbetween my serious knee injury and subsequent knee replacement operation..I thought about my little character Uproot Snort and his friends whilst bed bound and housebound for quite a few months during last year..Coincidently I thought of you and your struggle to rehabilitate your shoulder last year,.Now since my knee replacement It helps with getting through the pain threshold to read other people’s experiences and successes.Just as your many,many words of comfort to others whilst you yourself were going through recovery with cancer.I will always say that you have helped many of us who have faced cancer first hand, in my case my daughter Janette who is 5yrs cancer free since her surgery and chemotherapy for ovarian cancer..It helped us enormously over the past several years to read your story and your wonderful words of support.Leading us
    all to try to support,encourage and help each other through you.
    I say hello to all the boys and girls from over the years and I wish we could all attend your book launch ( and signing perhaps ).It would be wonderful to meet you on that day..Please let us know.
    Love to you and your family and congrats to you and Colin upon your 3rd wedding anniversary .Tricia. X

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2018 at 8:54 pm -  Reply

      Hi Tricia, I just wanted to thank you again for writing, and to point out that my response is a little further down the page. I hope you have had a good week. Love Ali x

  9. Loraine Plumb July 4, 2018 at 2:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali hope your all ok weather being so hot I like it but my feet don’t not keen on the humidity though never mind never satisfied I suppose what lovely flowers you have our garden is looking lovely too but the grass is straw like . We had a lovely time for our anniversary and lovely gifts a visit to a gin festival for us girls and Les is going to Silverstone with the boys also they are paying for us to fly to Newcastle to see relatives that live in nearby Sunderland where my mum was from I have happy memories from there and Les also has been there alot, it was thoughtful of them as a I was unable to attend my aunties funeral a while ago and regretted not going so may be able to catch up with a few cousins etc, the foodcand cake was all taken care of and photos and banners were up at the meal .Les bought me a white gold princess cut ring which I think I told you about previously and I got him a chunky Armani bracelet. Hope you birthday was good look forward to seeing your item of jewelry. Take care best wishes Loraine xx

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2018 at 4:09 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Loraine, so good to catch up on all your news, and thrilled to know that you and Les thoroughly enjoyed your anniversary and were given such thoughtful presents by your children! How wonderful for you to be able to visit Sunderland and see your relatives. Nothing like a good old family get together. Your ring sounds beautiful and I hope Les liked his bracelet. Good time and still more to come! Our lawn too looks like straw, although there is the promise of a small shower of rain on Friday… we’ll have to see! I’ll post a picture of my present in the next blog 🙂 Love Ali xx

  10. Vivien Gore July 4, 2018 at 5:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali seems only yesterday that you and Colin got married. Hope your still enjoying yourselves. It will be our 50th anniversary in March next year and it still feels like it was yesterday that we were married. We’ve had a wonderful life together and hope it will go on for a long time to come. The secret is look after each other and give and let live. Love is after all a wonderful thing. You asked about mosquito cures lve heard on FB that Listerine mouth wash in a spray is a good deterrent mossies hate the stuff. Spray it around your table and chairs while out in the garden and they leave you alone. Hope it works for you. Enjoyed your blog as always and look forward to your book being published l wish you good luck on that and l will be looking forward to reading it when your in print ? l have no news myself still recovering from my latest op but l will get there. Bye for now lots of love Viv ?

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2018 at 4:12 pm -  Reply

      Dear Viv, as always, lovely to hear from you, and thanks for keeping in touch on Twitter too! Sounds like you have a special time coming up next year. 50 years together. How marvellous! I know that life hasn’t always been that easy for you, and I’m sure the love you have for each other is what’s pulled you through, and I like your ethos too… Thanks for the Listerine mouth wash tip! I’ve just found an empty spray bottle so I might well try that tonight.

      Thanks so much for your support and kind words about the book too. I will definitely make sure you have first sight of here on the blog 🙂 I’m glad to know that you’re doing well following your operation. Take it easy, it was a long procedure and the body takes a while to heal. Stay well, love Ali xx

  11. Linda Finch July 4, 2018 at 10:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, what wonderful weather we are having I can’t remember it being so hot for so long ,the last time I think was when Simon was born in 1976 ,that’s the only time I can remember, it just doesn’t seem like 3 years since your wedding, and I’m sure you are going to have many more happy years and travels to come .Well John and myself have just had a fantastic week in Cambridge, John has a thing about cathedral’s and churches, so we made this trip especially to go to Ely cathedral as they were holding there anual flower festival and it was absolutely amazing, the flower displays were absolutely breathtaking, ,also in the grounds were different marquees selling all kinds of hand made goods and delisious cakes☺which we resisted buying because they would not be eat able by the time we got back to the caravan, I would recommend it to anyone. So this week has been a constant stream of washing and ironing and getting the caravan ready for our next trip where ever that may be we have one booked for October with Simon and crew, but I’m sure we can sneak one in before then, your reference to gin ,I gave up drinking years ago so could say I’m tea total but I try ed rhubarb and ginger gin at Simons the other night and I could seriously get into drinking that with a dash of lemonade it’s mmmm ,if you get the chance to try it give it a go and let me know what you think .we’ll I must go now stay cool if you can when you’re in the garden lots of love Linda F xxx??

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2018 at 8:45 pm -  Reply

      Dear Linda, thanks for your lovely newsy comment – I like you, seem to think it was 1976 when we last had a run of hot dry weather like this! I left school that year and I remember revising in the garden or at The Upper Deck – the outdoor swimming pool near to Hampton Court. Your trip to Cambridge sounds fabulous. I don’t think I’ve ever visited Ely Cathedral but I’m sure that the flower festival would have made a beautiful building even more stunning! Loving the sound of the cake stalls too! It must be great to have a caravan and to just go and visit all kinds of places while bringing your home with you! I’ve spent a little time in Kathy Tayler’s motor home and that’s fab! I have had the rhubarb and ginger gin and you’re right – it’s Delicious! My mum used to make rhubarb and ginger jam which was equally delightful but in a different way 🙂 I’ve just watched the Nadal match on the TV – nearly four and a half hours – incredible tennis. AT least with all this sunshine you’ll have been able to get your washing dried! I hope you manage to squeeze in another trip before October. Keep in touch and thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  12. Linda Finch July 4, 2018 at 10:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I can’t believe the weather we are having at the moment, I can’t remember it being so hot for so long the last time I think was when Simon was born in 1976 , I can’t remember one after that,.Well John and myself have just returned from a week in Cambridge, John has a thing about cathedrals and churches, so we timed this to visit Ely while they had there flower festival, to say it was amazing was an understatement the flower displays were wonderful, and in the grounds were different marquees with all kinds of homemade goods and cakes ,which we didn’t buy we were good ,your reference to gin ,if you get the chance try rhubarb and ginger gin, I haven’t drank for years ,but I try ed this with a dash of lemonade and its mmm ,let me know what you think if you do .well I can’t believe it’s 3 years since your wedding, I’m sure you will hAve many more happy years and adventures to come. This week has been a long week of washing and ironing and getting the caravan ready for the next trip wherever that may be ,we have one booked for October with Simon and crew, but I’m sure we will have one before then ,we’ll enjoy the sun and try to stay as cool as possible, lots of love Linda F xx ☺

  13. Susan Huskisson July 5, 2018 at 2:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, lovely blog as usual. How lovely to meet Kirstie Allsopp. I love her and imagine her to be very friendly!
    How wonderful of Lucy to have a copy of your book made. She sounds such a thoughtful and considerate daughter, you must be very proud of her!
    Your flowers look beautiful. I too have some big white calla lilies, they’ve been spectacular this year thanks to flower power! There is a mystery surrounding them however. They appeared from nowhere in my friend’s garden. She didn’t plant them and has no idea where they came from. She gave the plant to me as she has a cat and can’t have any lilies.
    It’s amazing that you and Colin have been married for three years now, it’s flown by! I can’t believe we are over halfway through this year already, where does the time go?
    My husband is a lollipop man at our local primary school so will soon be getting six weeks off. Here’s hoping the weather stays nice and we can get some good days out! We’re on the edge of the Peak District so there are some great places to visit and we’re hoping to get further afield too. We had a new car in April so hubby’s keen to go on a good run to test it’s performances!
    We celebrate our 38th anniversary on the 26th July so maybe a nice outing will be on the cards then!
    We haven’t seen our Charlie for a couple of weeks as they have been camping in Wales. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it from him, he’s so comical in his descriptions. Much like honey with your cucumber eyes!
    I’ll say bye now Ali and get on watching my beloved Wimbledon ( not much gets done this fortnight I’m afraid)
    Love Sue xx

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2018 at 8:51 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Sue, yes Kirsty was very friendly and generous with her time, and genuinely liked little Honey 🙂 Yes I am very proud of Lucy – and she is incredibly thoughtful. She’s looking forward to the summer holidays – I think they break up in a fortnight – I’m just keeping everything crossed that the weather will hold for August. It’s not always the best of months is it? Great too that your husband will be home from work – we had a lollipop lady when I was at school and she used to give us sweets! It must be very special to live so close to the Peak District. I remember visiting there when Lucy was at Derby University. It was beautiful. It’ll be good for you to get a chance to try out the new car too. I just finished watching the Nadal match – can’t believe they were playing for nearly four and a half hours!! Enjoy – I’m working at the Q on Sunday so will miss the final but will record it. Take care, and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali x
      Wishing you both a VERY happy anniversary on the 26th July – I’m sure you’ll be taken somewhere nice for that. Charlie should be home by then so I hope you get to spend some time with him too. You must let me know what he thought of the camping expedition!

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2018 at 8:56 pm -  Reply

      Sue, apologies I completely forgot to mention your lilies! I don’t have any white ones in my pot – just green/cream and the fabulous black ones. So glad you find Flower Power works for you too. How very odd that your friend suddenly found them in her garden. Maybe a squirrel took the bulb and planted it?! I’m not sure if Calla lilies are toxic to cats or if it’s just the stargazer ones? Glad you have so many beautiful blooms though. Love Ali xx

  14. Judith Lennon July 5, 2018 at 4:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    What a fabulous run of glorious weather we have had. It’s so nice to see folks smiling. I have enjoyed the time to relax in my garden when I could as it doesn’t happen very often. We have been busy tidying up having had a new and much needed driveway installed. Cement dust gets everywhere inside and outside the house. However it is all looking lovely and my pots and troughs of flowers are all back in situ and looking beautiful. How nice for you to have quality time with Honey and Lucy. A real girly time is great. Great for you to meet Kirsty as well. I love her sense of humour. How nice of Patricia Coulsonwood saying what she said in her blog. It’s nice to think that over the years we have told and read of each others ups and down and health issues. Support is great here even though we don’t know each other. I’ve seen the consultant again over my shoulder and I will,have to undergo surgery after all. That’s due end of July. Not looking forward to it but hope that will be the end. Off now to feed my plants with Flower Power. Perhaps I need a dose of this too lol…. take care and love and hugs. Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2018 at 9:03 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Judith, you’re absolutely right the difference this glorious weather has had on most folk. It’s so much easier to smile with the sun warm on your back. I know though that for some it’s been too much, like my poor old mum who’s been struggling badly swollen ankles. She’s happier now it’s a tad cooler. The new drive sounds fab, and I’m glad you’ve got the dusty bit over and done with. There’s an enormous house being built behind us, and not only is it noisy with angle grinders and drills etc, but also a great deal of dust. Mercifully the construction is mainly over now so it’s a lot quieter and less dusty.

      I am sorry to know that you’ve got to have the shoulder surgery but I very much hope it will rectify the problem for once and for all and that your recovery time will be short. Just keep up with the physio and I’m sure you’ll be fine. My shoulder is so much better these days – got a problem now with the left one! 🙂 Perhaps we should ask Richard Jackson if he could formulate something for human beings too!

      It was very kind of Trish to write about the support here on the blog. Even though we don’t actually know each other, it feels very much to me as though we do, and I would have been lost without your support over these last few years. If the books gets published and I have a little launch party it would be great to finally meet you. Take care and do let me know how the surgery goes. Love Ali x

  15. Debz July 6, 2018 at 4:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali

    Long time no see for which I apologise. I’ve been struggling a bit but am trying to get back on an even keel. Losing Ainzley hit me so hard that it seemed to magnify everything else going on around me. Anyway, life has to go on and Harry and Lily have slowly but surely made their way into my heart and have helped me finally to start to move on.

    They’re not fond of this hot weather and keep roaming round trying to find the coolest place to sleep! They’re indoor cats so cool places are hard to come by but they do like the fan on! Keep hinting to Neal that we need a Dyson fan for them but nothing doing. Yet! I shall wear him down eventually!

    Can’t believe it’s your 3rd wedding anniversary! Time certainly flies by! Congratulations to you and Colin!

    Also, good luck with your book. I know self publication is difficult but all the more rewarding I’m sure.

    Well, I’m off now for yet another cold drink! Have a lovely weekend.

    Lots of love and double licks!
    Debz, Harry & Lily. XXX

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2018 at 9:08 pm -  Reply

      My dear Debz, how lovely to hear from you! You’ve been in my thoughts, especially since Sam has added his little puppy Diesel to the family. I fully appreciate how difficult it is to try and move on with your life, when you feel as though a part of you went with Ainzley.. He was also such a large part of your life, and I loved reading your stories of visits to the vet and life generally. I don’t know if I told you that Colin’s daughter Lily has a partner called Harry! That’s how I remembered the names of your new cats. I’m glad that they have found a place in your heart, and they are both very lucky to have you as their mum. Thank you for your kind words about the book – I will keep you in touch with my progress. Stay cool and thanks so much for getting in touch again. Be kind to yourself and do write again when you have a moment, with love, Ali x

  16. Linda Finch July 7, 2018 at 8:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali ,I keep writing on your blog but it doesn’t seem to want to post so will try again, hope your keeping cool in this weather the last time I remember it this hot for this long was in 1976 when Simon was born, but I must admit we do kneed a little rain for the gardens ,we have just returned from a week in Cambridge and it’s the first time we have been there ,we went to Ely cathedral where they were holding the annual flower festival, it showed the cathedral of in all it’s splendour, the flower displays were wonderful would definitely go back another year.Of all the things to happen in this weather is the fridge in the caravan stopped working so we had to go buy an electric cool box ,which I must say did the job perfectly and we will be able to use it on days out as it plugs into the car.It sertanly doesn’t seem 3 years since your lovely wedding I’m sure you are going to have many more happy years together, hope this gets to you ,if not I don’t know what to do, lots of love xxx Linda F ?

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2018 at 9:10 pm -  Reply

      Hello lovely Linda! As you will have seen all three of your comments have come through, and I have responded a wee bit higher up the page. Loving the sound of your electric cool box. My car was so hot the other day I would have happily sat inside a cool box! Thank you for perservering with posting your comments. There is still a slight glitch in the system but I know the team are on it! Have a fabulous weekend, love Ali xx

  17. Alison Keenan July 9, 2018 at 1:51 pm -  Reply

    My dear Tricia, thank you so much for your lovely comment and MANY congratulations on your children’s book! I will look it up on Amazon and buy it for Honey 🙂 Sounds brilliant! I remember you writing to me about your knee injury and I very much hope that the surgery has put all that right now. I also remember you getting in touch when your Janette was diagnosed with ovarian cancer… I am so glad for all of you that she is now cancer free, and it means more than you will ever know to read your kind words. Thank you so much. My love to you, and I promise I will keep you in touch with my progress and the book. Ali xx

  18. Joanna Downey July 9, 2018 at 10:33 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Debz – WELCOME BACK & much love to Harry & Lily. I have missed your witty comments, I can totally understand how much you miss Ainzley but please remember that he’ll always be part of your life & your smile. Thanks Ali, as always for letting me hijack! Love from Jo xxx

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2018 at 9:11 pm -  Reply

      Jo, no thanks needed. Your kind words will no doubt be a comfort to Debz. A xx

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