Christmas is over for another year!



Well I’ve packed up all the decorations, the boxes are waiting to be put back in the loft, and I think you’ll agree that this year’s spruce (below right) fared rather better than last years attempt at festive forestry (pictured below left)! You can see Jack in the background there – he arrived just in time to help Colin get it out into the garden! I’ve even managed to keep one of my two poinsettias in bloom, and was given some happy holiday hyacinths that are still filling the house with their gorgeous scent : )

Last year's tree and this year's

Thanks again to all those of you who entered the competition, and wrote to me with Christmas wishes. I have replied to all of you who wrote in full, so I do hope you’ve found them as I’d hate you to think I hadn’t bothered!

What a whirlwind Christmas and New Year were! It was only when I went to transfer birthdays from last year’s calendar to this, I realized how much we’d actually done! For me Christmas began on the 19th when I drove to see my mum and Joe and exchange presents.  They were having Christmas Day with my sister Jenny, Linda and my nephew James, so this was our only chance to spend time together. As always mum cooked up a storm, and we even had chance to sneak into Bishops Waltham to buy my final few presents.

Having finished work on the 21st December, I was cooking and entertaining every day until Boxing Day when we went to see Lucy and Simon! In fact I was so busy in the kitchen, I took very few photos, but thanks to the family and our friends, I’ve got a few precious memories I thought you might like to share:) Lucy, Henry and George came for lunch on the Monday, and Jack drove up to join us. Lucy looks so well, and had her latest scan for me to see!!!

It was great to see Jack with the little ones – his love for Lego hasn’t diminished even though he’ll be 22 next month!  It was our chance to exchange presents as he spent Christmas Day with his dad this year and was back to work on Boxing day. Lucy and I went and bought the turkey and trimmings and after a cup of tea and cake all four of them headed home, and we made tracks to Kathy and Olley’s for a pre-Christmas supper which was fabulous! Kathy’s house looked amazing with all the decorations up, and as always she produced a wonderful meal : )

As Colin had been working right up until the weekend, he hadn’t had a chance to do any Christmas shopping and so 23rd December was his day to do that… I finished wrapping all the other presents, sorted the beds, and prepared a special Greek dinner for our friends Jo and Simon who were coming to supper that night.  It’s a slow cooked dish that takes about six hours and involves a leg of lamb, a lemon, garlic, and as many veg as you like!  I wasn’t sure about the lemon if I’m honest, but found that balsamic vinegar took the tartness away. We had a few glasses of bubbles, opened our presents, and then sat back to enjoy (for the second time!) Under Milkwood – a modern twist on the Welsh classic written by Dylan Thomas.  When Jo and I were in the third year at school our fifth year performed it at the end of year concert – absolutely brilliant!  They gave us some lovely presents including my Christmas jumper which I have pretty much lived in!

Christmas Eve dawned with the last of the wrapping to do, and lunch to prepare for Sam and his girlfriend Abbie. It was so good to see them again, and before we opened presents, we made a huge batch of mince pies – Sam’s becoming quite the pastry chef! Colin had headed out early to buy food for that evening’s celebrations, but it took us nearly the entire afternoon to find space in the fridge and sufficient plates to serve it on!

Abbie and Sam

If you are a regular reader of this blog you may remember that last Christmas Eve we had a party with all of Colin’s children and my boys too!  It was such fun that we decided to do it all again this year, and as you can see from the photos we had a great time.  Among the games this year was ‘Don’t show your teeth’ created by that comic genius Keith Lemon.  Someone names a theme, and the rest of you have to come up with words related to it BUT you can’t show your teeth while saying them!  Try ‘Wedding Day’ with your lips over your teeth… Hilarious eh? Sam and Abbie, Lily Richard and Harry all had to drive home, but the others stayed overnight, and true to form, were up early for presents on Christmas morning! Well, we were completely spoiled – all sorts of wonderful things including an Apple TV system, books, perfume, jewellery, clothes and some fab pyjamas! We had bought them all a Bose Sound Link so everyone was happy. Personally I was thrilled to be given diamond earrings from Colin and a complete set of Golf Clubs… as I can’t run any more, this is to be my new form of exercise in 2015, and one I can share with him, so watch this space!

Christmas Eve with the gang

Being grown up now, they all have other places they need to be on Christmas Day and so having cleared the decks, changed the beds and lit the oven, phase two of Christmas Day began. This time we were spending it with Colin’s mum’s cousins – Renee, Shirley, Les, Diane and Craig. I’ve known them for years and they are great company, so it was a pleasure to have them all here. I was so chuffed that the meal was on time and all edible – my only disaster being my parsnips, which I removed to add the honey glaze just 10 mins before serving and forgot all about them.  They were like sticks of charcoal! We experienced a cherry and pecan Christmas pudding that was extremely delicious, and then retired to the sitting room while Colin washed up bless him 🙂

Christmas p

Christmas II p

My sister Jenny and her partner Linda came over in the evening and we all played games and listened to music – Colin had bought me The Osmonds double album so we sat reminiscing and drinking port, oh, and called my brother Peter in Australia which made the perfect end to a perfect day.

Jenny and Linda stayed over with us, and they then drove to spend Boxing Day with my niece Emily, while Colin and I set off to Swindon to see Lucy, Simon and their entire family.  What a nice bunch of people they are, and all terribly excited about the baby. Lucy and Simon had spent ages preparing all sorts of delicious food and so we ate, played a terrific quiz (Colin’s team won!) and just enjoyed being together with the little ones. Having stayed overnight, we had breakfast, and then drove home so that I could prepare lunch (cold ham and veg) for Colin’s mum, while he drove to collect her from Watford. I have to admit to being totally shattered by this point, and was very glad that Kathleen was happy just to eat, and then sit with us to watch Victoria Wood’s Midlife Christmas which I thought was lovely.

I did fall asleep though when we moved onto the Dad’s Army movie, but I had seen it years ago! Colin took Kathleen home and I packed a bag ready to drive to Dorset the following morning. Our dear friends Ros and Chris moved there from Surrey just before Christmas, and had invited us to stay in their lovely new home. Such a beautiful part of the world, and one that Colin and I had visited many years ago. Have to say that the A303 was a bit of a nightmare past Stonehenge, but we arrived safely and had a great time catching up. The next morning was incredibly cold with a Haw frost, but the sun shone as we set off for Shaftesbury where these pictures were taken.


The lovely lad in the photos is Chris’s son Jack who was home from Cambridge for Christmas. They’d booked us into lunch at a lovely farm shop where Ros and I feasted on the most fabulous pork and cider pie, and Colin motored his way through a beef stew that would have fed ALL of us! All too soon it was time to leave but not before making plans to see each other again soon – I do miss the fact they no longer live just around the corner, but the bonus is getting to spend time with them in such a stunning location 🙂

With Dorset friends II

If you’ve read down this far, well done!!  I hope you like the photos and thanks to Rae, Craig and Ros for them – oh and Lucy of course :)I’ll look forward very much to hearing all about your special times and hope that I get to meet some of you at the Beauty Bash in a week or more’s time!

Take care, stay warm, and keep in touch,

With my love,

Ali xx


  1. twinkle January 9, 2015 at 5:54 pm -  Reply

    Hello gorgeous Ali 🙂

    Aww what a lovely blog and thank you for sharing your AMAZING festive season with us. Its sounds PERFECT u are a very lucky lady xx

    awww ITS A GIRL how lovely im so happy for u all as I know a girl is what u all really wanted. What a very lucky little princess she will be and how beautiful will she look for your Wedding 🙂 im so so happy for you and as always there was tears he he xx tje scan pic is so sweet. Did u see the link I sent u the other day to the special grandma frame to put it in?

    by the way next time u plan a trip to Southampton let me know. Il pop on the bus and see u 🙂 im not too far away in Bournemouth 🙂

    lots of love and hugs to your beautiful family


    ps love the little pug…. so cute xxx

  2. Gail Snook January 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, I really love to read your blog. It is lovely to see you so well and enjoying your family time. There is nothing to beat it. So pleased to read that you at to be a Nanny soon! I have 3wonderful grandchildren . Two 4years old and and an 8month old granddaughter. They are my world. One question. I have been a avid customer of QVC for 20 years and would love to know how you can be invited to your various beauty bashes etc. can’t be on what you spen as my husband says I would be top of the list!
    Keep well.

  3. lorraine January 9, 2015 at 6:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali what a lovely blog! I feel I know you so well you are amazing doing all those xmas get together. Sadly my Xmas was bitter sweet as my dad died on Xmas Eve. We had hoped he will make it thru Xmas but sadly not. All the family were around him at the hospice and we buried him on Weds.
    I am looking forward to really getting on with my life this year,I want to get a new job and new house!! wish me luck-what day are you at the beauty bash I want to say hi to you. lots of love lorraine xx

  4. Christine russell January 9, 2015 at 8:47 pm -  Reply

    What a fab Christmas blog. You must have been exhausted. Some great photos too, but have to ask, who is the little black puppy dog, he never got a mention lol xx

  5. Joanna Downey January 10, 2015 at 9:41 am -  Reply

    Happy New Year Ali, What a wonderful read on this dark Saturday morning, it was just like having Christmas all over again but with a different group of people. Super photos, especially the one showing the beautiful hoar frost which looks as stunning as a light dusting of snow without all the inconveniences. I truly love Christmas and usually experience what I call PYD (Post Yuletide Depression) in January so this year as well as my usual “No alcohol until March” rule I have also decided to go without bread and most dairy products during January to see if a REALLY healthy diet makes me feel less sluggish. I considered the Body Rescue Plan but as a veggie I thought I might struggle with an overload of pulses… How lovely to know that Lucy is having a girl and that you will get to enjoy a granddaughter, not that it matters what a baby is it’s who they are that is important and she will be an absolute joy for all of you. Tallulah obviously didn’t know that it was Christmas and fortunately wasn’t interested in taking anything off the tree or removing the wrapping from the presents. She also didn’t show much interest in her gifts with the exception of a yellow duck that was from her Baby Sensory class and a light up ball that cost £3 from that well-known auction site – I hope she remains a non-materialistic girl. Colin has a 19 mile fell race tomorrow so today we’re going into Birmingham and having lunch at an amazing place called The Warehouse Cafe. It’s a vegetarian restaurant that produces incredible food and will allow him to fill up on carbs and me to eat one of their super salads AND a pud without falling off the wagon and as it’s “Sunshine saturday” we may also discuss holidays. Lovely to hear from you, love from Jo x

  6. Janet Jones January 10, 2015 at 5:32 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali. Happy New Year, & what a year it is going to be for you !! I had a lump in my throat with joy for you seeing the scan of your new granddaughter, another little sweet pea. Your heart will burst the moment you have her in your arms, and the joy she will bring into your life, like Alfie has for us is indescribable, but the best feeling.We collected our little family on Christmas Eve and they with us until the 27th. We all had a lovely time helping Alfie unwrap his Christmas presents(he is still too young to know what was going on). His favourite present were some little mickey mouse figures and we watched Despicable me 2 many times over these days as it is Alfies favourite film, yet I have still haven’t seen it all the way through, due to many other things going on. In the evening when Alfie was asleep we played board games and watched TV and it was also lovely spending time with my son. We took them home to Emma’s Nana’s were we were invited to stay and have a meal with them, which was lovely, so all in all a lovely Christmas was had by all, and over with far to quickly!! I should be job hunting but since New Year I have had yet another bad cold, cough and chest infection , the cough is keeping me awake so am getting very little sleep,so as soon as I am feeling better I will get on to it, At least I was well over Christmas to enjoy my family. I too was given some white hyacinths for Christmas, they are in my porch in full bloom now and you can smell them as soon as you come into the house, lovely.
    Take care Ali, speak soon love Janet xx

  7. Elaine SALLIS January 10, 2015 at 7:28 pm -  Reply

    How lovely of you to share your Christmas with us. The scan picture is lovely like you I can’t wait to hold my new grandchild. Poppy was very excited yesterday as she brought her first reading book home from school. You have all this to look forward to. It’s wonderful.

    Love Elaine x

  8. twinkle January 12, 2015 at 11:42 am -  Reply

    Awww Ali what beautiful blog. This is about the 6th time iv read it 🙂 it made me so happy. Thank you so much for sharing your festive season with us. Its so lovely to hear about all you got up too and all the pics of your beautiful family 🙂

    Glad to hear Lucy is doing well bless her. Next xmas will be so special being the little ones first xmas. I can just imagine your excitement. It really shows every time you write about it or talk about it u are so adorable 🙂

    I agree Dorset is a beautiful place. I live in Bournemouth its a lovely place to live.

    Thank you again for a super special blog

    sending loads of love to u, Colin, Lucy, bump and the rest of your amazing family


    ps can I pass my condolences onto Lorraine and her family xxxx

  9. Theresa Hanlon January 12, 2015 at 1:20 pm -  Reply

    Lovely reading about your christmas events and your wonderful news about becoming a grandma, its a very special moment when you see the scans and even more so when your grandchild enters into the world and you hold them for the first time, when i held my grandaughtet for the first time ten years ago my heart just burst with love and its not stopped. Hope you have plenty of tissues as 2015 is your year with a new baby then your wedding and you and colin deserve a happy year take care x

  10. Chris Page January 12, 2015 at 1:40 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali – I’ve just read of your impending Grandmotherhood, and I’m over the Moon for you! Please pass on my congrats to Lucy and Simon, and tell Jack from me (Uncle to new Uncle) that he’s in for a whole new world of emotions he won’t have experienced before – and you’ll be able to win loads of Glamorous Granny competitions!

    I’m still under the weather – had the doctor out last week, and he stopped one tablet and gave me a couple more weeks’ antibiotics, but my legs are still swollen, and everything is such an effort that it leaves me breathless for five minutes whenever I exert myself. I think it’s the new blood pressure pill the doc in hospital put me on. I’ve read the leaflet that came with them, and the side-effects match what I’ve got. I’ll just have to persuade my GP to put me back on my old regime, as I know where I am with those tablets. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.


    Chris xx

  11. Alison Keenan January 12, 2015 at 11:34 pm -  Reply

    Dear Gail, thanks so much for your lovely comments and kind wishes. How wonderful for you to have three beautiful grandchildren, and great that you are all able to spend so much time together. Luckily Lucy is only an hour away, so once the baby arrives, I can be there whenever Lucy needs me!

  12. Alison Keenan January 12, 2015 at 11:39 pm -  Reply

    My dear Lorraine I was so sorry to hear about your father… How terribly sad for you all, and on a day that should be for celebrating… I pray that this year you will find peace, a new home and a new job too… Big changes, but a brave new start. Thank you for writing to me and please keep in touch. I will be at the. Beauty Bash on Wednesday 21st December so hope to see you there. Take care love Ali xx

  13. Alison Keenan January 13, 2015 at 6:04 am -  Reply

    Hi there Christine and I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog and the photos. 🙂 It was a great Christmas, although busy, but we’ve got some lovely memories to look back on. The little black dog is Avicci and belongs to Danny (Colin’s eldest son) and his girlfriend Rae. He is a tiny pug and very cute, and loved being there’ with us all. Infact he let us something of a souvenir on the dining room carpet, which wouldn’t have been so bad, had Lily not have trodden in it!

  14. Mary Morphy January 13, 2015 at 7:17 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison, thank you for that marvellous insight into your incredibly busy Christmas; I thought mine was hectic but at least all our family is within a 60mile radius!! Apologies for any typos; I’ve fired up the big old laptop but it has a habit of writing over previously written sentences so I have to type really slowly to avoid it happening..very slowly in fact. I have lots to write about today so this could take a long while! Your friends family clearly know how to have good time and the hospitality looks first class. I expect though that the time flew by? I also had a busy festive season starting with catching up with friends as soon as school finished on 19th Dec. We are all so busy that getting together in the holidays is a priority for us all and it was lovely to catch up with all of them and exchange pressies even though several of us were coughing at spluttering with dreaded Christmas germs.
    So Christmas Eve my younger sister and I went to the cinema with our children and watched Nativity 3, Mr Poppy the bonkers classroom assistant was back although I realise if you haven’t seen any of the Nativity Films you wont have a clue who he is although Lucy might as she is a teacher. It was hilarious! Then back to my other sister’s who had worked that day for a fish and chip supper out the paper and using fingers only. Delicious!
    I did some prep of veg for Christmas day when I got home and when the kids were in bed sorted their pressies into their sacks..they still like sacks even though they are 17 and almost 15!! I went to bed about 1am Xmas day to be woken by my daughter at 5am!!! She had been up since 4…she is so excited about Christmas and we sat together with shortbread, hot chocolate and special coffee (mine, with a large Baileys as special milk!) downstairs watching Xmas songs on the TV. She opened her Asus Tablet that I had got her (the TSV a few weeks ago) and that kept her occupied. It was going to be a long day! We had dinner at my mums small bungalow and we took all the food to her and cooked and laughed and sang. It was a superb feast and a wonderful day with a long walk in between courses on the beach. Mum was overwhelmed in a good way. Boxing day was at mine and I created Xmas dinner filo parcels for dinner with the leftovers from xmas day with a big dish of cauliflower cheese to accompany them..a great success. The following day we were in Maidstone with my husbands family; more pressies!! I was beginning to deteriorate illness wise b by now so New Years Eve I watched you whilst everyone else went out and coughed my way through a buffet New Years Day …a great festive time though for all the family.
    I am chuffed you got golf clubs; I met my husband on the golf course!!! I was a learner lady left hander and I decided to play as mum, dad and my twin all played. I had come out of a very long relationship which affected be quite badly and needed a new focus. My dad gave me one of his clubs to practise with but I told him it was the wrong way round..he muttered something under his breath!!! Any way once I got my initial handicap of 29 I played regularly with my sister..who hit the ball miles and played off 9…and improved and was bitten by the bug. One day I went to pick my dad up from the club house and Jon bought me a drink as he’d won the club championship that morning..a gin and tonic was only 50p..he got me drunk on about £2.50 and me and dad walked home!! Well we played golf together in club competitions and married 5 years after we met, its our 19th Wedding Anniversary in August. My handicap reduced to 15 and I followed in the footsteps of my mum and sister and was Lady Captain in 1996/ the year I got married. we had a guard of golf clubs when we walked out of church. I played up to 7 months pregnant with both the kids but sadly with as the kids got older and the fees got higher golf is no longer affordable and with cricket and other pressures of life we no longer get time to play but my son Jack plays…I may dust off the old clubs one day. Happy memorable times though. Laptop battery flashing so I will end now but still suffering with bronchitis and now I have no voice due to laryngitis plus yesterday my husband fell off the front step and has broken his elbow!! Happy swinging 2015!! Much love Mary

  15. Linda Martin January 13, 2015 at 3:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali I don’t normally write on any of the presenters blogs but I must say I fully enjoyed reading yours you seem to have had such a wonderful time with yours and Colin’s families. Also I am so pleased to hear that you are doing so well, I myself was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas and to see you looking and seemingly so well makes me feel more positive for whatever is to come.

    I wish you Colin and your families a wonderful happy and healthy New Year.

  16. Joanna Downey January 13, 2015 at 4:52 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Ali. What a wonderful read on a dark January day. It was lovely to read about all the things you did and just like celebrating the holiday all over again but this time with different people. I truly love Christmas and as I’ve got older the imperfections (small) that happen add to the colour of the season. Tallulah didn’t really understand what was happening and ignored the tree and the decorations. She didn’t show much interest in her gifts either with the exception of a cuddly duck that was “free” from her baby sensory class and a coloured ball that was less than £3 from that well-known auction site… As always you shared super photos with us especially the one of frosty Dorset which looked as pretty as if it had been dusted with a light dusting of snow without the inconvenience. I have started my two months without alcohol and I’ve also decided to give up bread and most dairy products for January to see if I feel less sluggish without them. I considered doing the Body Rescue Plan but felt that, as a veggie, I would overload on pulses and as I only like lentils it would be a tad grim. The bulbs are appearing in my garden and at school and we booked a holiday last night so Spring AND Summer are around the corner and you must be fizzy with excitement. Love from Jo x

  17. Judith Lennon January 13, 2015 at 5:32 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali

    Happy New Year to you and what a new year it will be for you! It’s
    all very exciting stuff for you with the wedding and Lucy’ s baby. I hope Lucy is keeping well and I hope also that you keep on feeling stronger with each new day. Your photos are lovely and proof of the good times you had with family and friends. I always feel very blessed to have mine around me even though like all families we have very different ideas and thoughts but are always there when needed. I would have loved to be with you at the beauty bash and meet other presenters, guests and customers but it’s a long way from my home to London for such a short time. Perhaps sometime in the future another one could be organised a little nearer. There must be others in the same situation as myself. Well Ali I will close for now but as always keep well lovely lady and am sending you hugs and love. Judith xx

  18. Lynn Hind January 14, 2015 at 1:06 am -  Reply

    Hi there what a lovely blog it is to share, i loved seeing the people who mean so much i only wish we could do the same for you to see us and our families!.. christmas for us was alot easier for us time does heal but the empty chairs still sting so we decided or shall i say my son Dan did for us to go to a swanky restaurant thats in the last working windmill in the country, it was beautifully deorated with tree and candlight on xmas eve then we decided we would go to church xmas carols by candle light he even had ordered me a rudolph walking stick with a flashing red nose sooooo funny made everyone smile and was quite a hit with folks lol lol.. christmas day was a relaxed day for the 3 of us a typical roast beef dinner on trays lol watching films and dans friend joe who has no family but has been in our lives so long hes part of ours came and joined us and he stayed with us the lads cleared off and did their own thing! boxing day was a whirl we do open house i prepare a buffet and our friends call in stay for a bite aome pop as they are going to familyothers come for an hour and roll home at daft oçlock in the morning lol its a yearly ritual theres no formal invites as such but every year the house is a hub of activity lol i jokingly said its off this year and we nearly had a riot lol ..its tradition they all bemoaned lol but as long as i can that will be the form lol i am soo glad everyone is fine with you and the little one to be its going to be a even more special this christmas for you all wont it so blessed love as always Lynn xxx

  19. Alison Keenan January 14, 2015 at 11:05 pm -  Reply

    Dear Twinkle, Bless you for reading the blog (so many times!) and for all your kind words. I’ve passed on your best to Lucy, and yes, you’re right I am very excited about the baby. She is having this brand new 4D scan thing in February which she has asked me to be with her for, so I will be able to see the baby quite clearly then, which will be amazing 🙂
    How lovely for you to live in Bournemouth – that’s where my lovely manicurist Colette moved to last summer. The beach there is fab! Do keep in touch here if you have time, and thanks again for writing, love Ali xx

  20. Alison Keenan January 14, 2015 at 11:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Theresa, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog and the photographs, and although it’s 10 years since you held your granddaughter for the first time, I am sure you do remember it as if it were yesterday. I am certain you’re right, and I will also be all emotional when my first grandchild is handed to me – personally I can’t wait, and Colin is also terribly excited 🙂 I’ve just started looking at wedding invitations, as this month is moving very rapidly and we need to send them out pretty soon! Thank you for all your good wishes, and I hope that this year will also we a wonderful one for your family and yourself, with love, Ali xx

  21. Alison Keenan January 14, 2015 at 11:13 pm -  Reply

    Dear Chris, Happy New Year to you, and thanks so much for taking the time to write, when you clearly are struggling. You poor thing, I am so sorry to hear that you’re legs are still causing you pain, and that the new medication isn’t helping. I too have just started another course of antibiotics for a chest infection, and further issues with my right side which still hasn’t healed after surgery in October! I totally understand you being sick and tired of being sick and tired! 🙂 Your words of congratulations were very sweet and I will pass them on to Jack and Sam – I’m not so sure about the glamorous grandmother competitions, but it’s something to work towards! 🙂 I do hope you feel better soon, and please do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  22. Alison Keenan January 14, 2015 at 11:22 pm -  Reply

    My dear Mary, so lovely to hear all about your Christmas but really sorry to hear that yet again you’ve fallen foul of the bloomin’ bugs and germs that are prevalent at this time of the year. That said it sounds as though you managed to see your mum and your sisters, and fed everyone by the sounds of it! So glad that you managed to be catered for when you went to Maidstone, but sorry that New Year was ruined by the lurgy. Bronchitis is miserable, and with laryngitis you can’t even moan to people about how poorly you feel! I’ve started yet another course of antibiotics today as I have a chest infection and am still not healed on the right side after surgery in October. Feeling very uncomfortable and fed up! But I have to sympathise also with your husband Jon – a broken elbow – ouch!! Cant imagine there’ll be much swinging of clubs for ANY of us on the golf course, but I will definitely be coming to you for tips about the game when I’m feeling better. Congratulations on your 19th Wedding Anniversary this year – not surprised your children are both so sporty when their parents fell in love walking the course 🙂 Do take care of yourself Mary, and stay in the warm while it’s so cold and windy outside. Let me know you’re improving, and I’ll be in touch, love Ali xx

  23. Alison Keenan January 14, 2015 at 11:30 pm -  Reply

    My dear Linda, I was so sorry to hear of the news you were given and can imagine that it made Christmas and the New Year pretty difficult to get through…. But get through it you will, and the fact that you have now been diagnosed means that from this point forward you are moving towards a recovery from the cancer. I have been writing this blog since way before I was diagnosed, and if you want to know about the treatment and cracking on with life while on it, then do have a look at the Breast Cancer section of this blog as I documented it all there. I’m so glad that you can see each time I’m on QVC, that I like 1,000’s of other woman have come out the other side of this, and you will too, I am certain. Staying positive is half the battle, and now that you have written here for the first time, please don’t make it your last. Ali’s Army are a great bunch and can offer you all sorts of advice and support, as they did for me. You’re not alone, and we’re always here 🙂 I will be thinking of you, and hope that your path to recovery will be smooth. With love, Ali xx

  24. Alison Keenan January 14, 2015 at 11:38 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year to you too Jo! Thank you as always for your kind words about the blog – lovely to know it brings as much pleasure to you as it does for me to write it 🙂 You did make me smile about Tallulah – sometimes it’s just the wrapping paper that they want to play with! I’m glad that Christmas went well for you all, and that you were with your family, especially as you look forward to it so much each year. Gosh, I take my hat off to you for giving up alcohol for the two months and changing your diet so drastically. I do hope it goes well for you and that you feel less sluggish. Debbie Flint’s a mine of information when it comes to nutrition as is pretty much veggie herself I believe, so you could always drop her a line on her blog too! I think a holiday though is definitely the best medicine for you and I’m delighted you have yours booked. And yes, apart from feeling a little under the weather with a chest infection, I am fizzy from excitement for all that this new year will bring to our family! Watch this space 🙂 Take care Jo, and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  25. martin forbes January 16, 2015 at 6:30 pm -  Reply

    good photos alison congratulation son your fiorthcoming grandchild is it your first bet you will spoil ghim or her rotten when is it due.

  26. Janet Hancocke January 16, 2015 at 9:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, wonderful blog as always! I hope you receive this as it’s the first time I’ve tried. My daughter and I met you last October when we manned the phones at the Breast Cancer event and even though you had just spent 3 hours presenting you still took the time to speak to us and we had our photo taken with you and Colin, Michal and Craig. My daughter was seven months pregnant at the time and has since had her second son, Ethan. He was born on December 16th after a five hour labour! It was her birthday the next day so an early present for her! I now have 5 grandchildren, 3 girls and 2 boys. Good luck for the arrival of your grandchild too! Thank you again for being so nice to us when we met you at the studio. xx

  27. TINA S January 17, 2015 at 12:58 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    WOW what a busy, fantastic Christmas you’ve had. It seems so long ago now! I must say I was glad to take the decorations down as it always feels so flat afterwards.
    I’m glad you enjoyed our great Welsh Bard’s ” Undermilk Wood”. Have you ever been to Llaughne where Dylan Thomas lived? It’s really beautiful. We’ve been a few times and been in The Boathouse where he used to live. You can see his “shed” where he used to do most of his writing. Fishguard is where they filmed “Undermilk Wood”. It is also a lovely, pretty place to visit if you ever get the chance. I bought a C.D. for my sister for Christmas of Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Welsh Christmas.” It is another of his lovely works.
    We had a quiet Christmas ourselves. Last Monday we celerbrated our 30th (Pearl) Wedding Anniversary. The years have just flown by. I spent a lot of the day remembering , when my father was still with us. The day was crisp and sunny with snow on the ground. The night before the wedding we had a phone call asking if my future hubby, Dennis, could go out to the chapel to clear the snow away! I was shattered with one thing and another. It’s funny that both me and my 2 sisters got married in the winter. It snowed when I was a bridesmaid for one of my sisters wedding. I remember standing having photo’s taken and my feet were so cold, I cried. The satin shoes were dyed to match our dresses and all the dye ran, so I had turquoise feet, not just blue due to the cold!! Still- “happy days!!”
    Well , hope you are keeping well and enjoying your time off. Your photo’s were lovely and the places you visited looked lovely to.
    Take care- love and best wishes, Tina S. (S. Wales)

  28. Ljnda January 17, 2015 at 9:24 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, So love reading your blogg’s and Colin sound’s so nice!! I have a great man as well lucky us!! . Janurary half way through I “don’t believe It”!! I have dog’s come to stay with me when their Mum and Dad’s go away we had five Christmas including my two It was sooo much fun the Lounge was covered In wrapping paper In the end Hubby called a halt as they were opening our presents and we didn’t know who they were from!! so we had It all again Boxing Day. Janurary I don’t have many Doggies come to stay It’s nice ust having my two Daisy a rough coated Jack Russell VERY bossy and Teasel he is a yorkie Russell I found him In a hedge after Travellers had moved on they had left him behind their loss he’s a super star.I look forward to your next Blogg and Hope you feel better soon I have followed your Recovery what a brave Girlie you are good for you Love Linda xx

  29. Louise January 18, 2015 at 6:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali. Forgive me for not having posted for a while; I work for a huge technology company, and I was allowed the luxury of a day off on the 25th! Christmas/new year has been a hectic and financially thriving period in retail. so I was in christmas eve, and back in on boxing day. As I love my job, and my customers, I prefer to be at work. It was otherwise a quiet time for us, me, mum and my little biscuit (Caspar), my first and Cas’s first without his dad, who we lost in May, at 12 a good age for a boxer. Christmas brings it home to me, and you are I suspect the same, that I really do get more pleasure from giving presents, than receiving them. When are you back at the Q? Don’t get to watch much, with work, but haven’t seen you lately. How are you, health wise? Any tips for broken ribs? I am so thin, it is easy to case such a mishap and, unfortunately, nothing can be done for them. Compared with your ordeals, it is a niggle. I always feel that, whenever you are worrying about anything, work takes your mind off it. Your photographic evidence shows what a lovely family christmas both yourself and Colin had. Can I also add my congrats on impending grandmotherhood? My mum would have loved it but, unfortunately for her, I never wanted kids.
    Well, Ali, you take care, sweet. See you back soon. xx,

  30. Louise January 18, 2015 at 6:02 pm -  Reply

    What a dolt am I? Switched on the tv, and who is presenting? Ali Keenan! Welcome back! x.

  31. Rhona Fenton January 19, 2015 at 11:34 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison, WOW! busy or what and here was me thinking we had it busy over the holidays!! really enjoyed reading your blog as always and the pictures look lovely it is so nice to see everyone enjoying themselves 🙂 and as you know things won’t slow down for you either, new baby and a wedding!! we find out on the 2nd off feb if my niece Emily is having a Girl or boy so like you we are so excited 🙂 I sent you an email Alison so I hope you got it okay and your Christmas card also? enjoy your week and love to you all as always Rhona xx

  32. Sue Radford January 21, 2015 at 8:18 pm -  Reply

    Gosh Ali, how did you manage to have all that energy to get through so many visits etc during the Christmas period! I’m glad you had so much fun. We have just returned from a week’s holiday in Costa Adeje, Tenerife. I would definitely recommend the Riu Princess – the pool and grounds surrounding it are beautiful, and the staff couldn’t do enough for you. It was chilly first thing in the morning and evenings, but the sun shone everyday, so it was perfect weather for me as I don’t like it too hot. A bit of a shock to come back to such cold weather at midnight, and we didn’t have our heating on – the house was freezing! Isn’t your friend Ros lucky to live in beautiful Dorset – one of my very favourite places! Hope all is going well with your wedding plans, and Lucy is keeping well too. It was lovely to see Sam and all your family looking so happy.

    Love Sue Radford xx

  33. Sue Radford January 21, 2015 at 9:58 pm -  Reply

    Oops, I meant to say we stayed at the Riu Palace

  34. Alison Keenan January 22, 2015 at 11:33 am -  Reply

    Hello there Martin, and I’m glad you enjoyed the photos – good times! Very excited about becoming a grandmother, and it will be very hard not to spoil the new arrival you’re right! I hope all is well with you and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali x

  35. Alison Keenan January 22, 2015 at 11:37 am -  Reply

    Dear Janet, how lovely to hear from you, and with such great news! I do indeed remember meeting you after our fundraiser, and it was a pleasure, and lovely for Colin to meet and chat with you too. I am delighted to know that your daughter has given birth to her second son Ethan, and the day before her birthday too! My Sam was born on the 10th March, just six days before my birthday – very special 🙂 How marvellous for you to now have five grandchildren – I can’t wait to hold my very first. Please do keep in touch, and thanks for writing to let me know how your daughter got on, love Ali xx

  36. Alison Keenan January 22, 2015 at 11:43 am -  Reply

    Hi there Tina, and a very happy new year to you too! Also very many congratulations to you and Dennis for your 30th Pearl Wedding Anniversary. Your wedding sounded memorable and not without stress (your poor feet!) but as you say Happy Days! Thanks for writing to me with all your news, and for suggesting another place in beautiful Wales for us to visit. I’ve never visited Fishguard or Llaughne, but having watched and loved Under Milkwood, I feel this is somewhere I need to go! 🙂 I will also order A Child’s Welsh Christmas as I’m sure I’d enjoy it. I’m still getting over my chest infection but have a wheeze like an old boiler, so am staying in the warm today until I need to head into work for 6pm. Hope you can join me for wonderful winter coats with Dennis at 8pm and then my regular Diamonique show at 9pm 🙂 I’l be in my pyjamas at 11pm – but still with you and Carole Hochman 🙂 Take care Tina, and thanks again for writing, love Ali xx

  37. Alison Keenan January 22, 2015 at 11:48 am -  Reply

    Dear Linda, so pleased to know that you enjoy reading the blog, and that you’re also prepared to take the time out to comment – I love hearing from you. Yes, I am indeed lucky to have my Colin, and am glad that you also have someone to stand by your side and support you come what may. I have to admit that five dogs on Christmas day sounds like mayhem – little Avicci was quite enough on Christmas Eve, but at least he didn’t find the presents! You are a star to look after them though, as I know it’s hard for folk when they have to visit or stay away, to find a decent place to care for their animals. Lovely names for yours – Daisy and Teasel – he must have thanked his lucky stars the day you found him in the hedge and made him your own 🙂 Thanks for your kind words – I’m feeling a lot better than I was thank you, and cracking on with what is going to be an exciting year 🙂 Take care, and please do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  38. Alison Keenan January 22, 2015 at 11:54 am -  Reply

    My dear Louise, sorry to hear that your company could only give you one day off over Christmas, but then as you love your job and your customers, no doubt you made the festive period a lot easier for them. Can’t have been that easy for you and your mum though, having lost Caspar’s dad, although as you say 12 is a good age for a Boxer dog. I’m just glad that you have Caspar who I’m sure kept you entertained. Sorry to hear about the rib – not much advice except maybe a tight vest rather than a bandage so you’re held in place, and try to steer clear of this rotten chesty virus that’s going around! I broke a rib once through coughing when I had bronchitis, and it was horrid, and nothing really they could do for me. I do hope it eases for you. Completely agree though that work takes your mind off your woes – that’s why I was so keen to get back after my chemo and radiotherapy.. it gave me back a sense of normality. You take care of yourself, and I hope this New Year will be a better one for you, love Ali xx

  39. Alison Keenan January 22, 2015 at 11:57 am -  Reply

    Hey Rhona, lovely to hear from you and Happy New Year! So glad you enjoyed reading the blog and the photos. We definitely did enjoy ourselves, but it was a whirlwind! Still feel a tad exhausted from it 🙂 How exciting for you to find out Emily’s baby’s gender on the 2nd February – that’s my Jack’s 22nd birthday! I did indeed get your Christmas card and I hope mine arrived for you, and I will check back over my e mails to make sure it arrived – unfortunately if I allow even one day without reading through them, I have so many it’s awfully easy to miss the important ones! Love to you and yours, Ali xx

  40. Alison Keenan January 22, 2015 at 12:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sue, and welcome home from sunny Costa Adeje in Tenerife! I am sitting here in my onesie with the heating on, and dreaming of the sunshine and the sitting poolside! The Riu collection of hotels are fabulous aren’t they? That’s who we’ve stayed with both times in Morocco, and if I can get my act together, we may see if we can sneak a week there before Easter – soooo miss the warm sunshine! Totally agree with you about Dorset, and it’s a place where Ros and Chris have wanted for years to set up home. Wedding plans all on schedule – trying to choose/design a wedding invite at the moment, but dress fittings already in the diary! Exciting! Lucy is blooming, and I will be going with her to her 30 week scan end of February – it’s a 4D extravaganza and so I should be able to see the baby’s face – unbelievable! Very glad that you enjoyed the blog and the photos, and yes it was great to have Sam and Abbie with us – they’re coming to stay over tomorrow night too which will be fun. You take care, and thanks as always for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  41. Rhona Fenton January 23, 2015 at 4:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison so good to hear from you and I am saying now please pass on our Birthday wishes for Jack for the 2nd of feb only because I don’t trust myself to get to the computer that day with all the excitement off Emily’s baby as you know 🙂 plus Jack’s Birthday is only 2 day’s after Rebecca’s 21st so I expect to be trying to recover from that ha ha 🙂 glad you got your Christmas card sadly yours never arrived but nor did a few cards from dear friends and family that is known to happen a lot in this area 🙁 but I will still thank you all the same Alison so kind off you to send one 🙂 well busy weekend ahead birthday shopping am sure it will be the same for you so have fun 🙂 and birthday wishes once again to Jack hope he has a lovely day! love to you all from me and mine Rhona xx

  42. Jilly January 27, 2015 at 7:55 pm -  Reply

    A very belated Happy New Year Ali and everyone. I have just spent some time catching up on your wonderful blog and news. Loved it all. Piccies are great but goodness I was exhausted for you and had not got to Christmas day! it is just great reading though and delighted that you all had such a fab time. I laughed at the tree pictures!
    I had started writing a little while ago but did not save it so it was lost forever. I Won’t do that again.
    Our Christmas was really lovely with the house looking very festive and the laser light show on outside. It has not been a brilliant start – at New Year very suddenly our wonderful neighbour of nearly 18 years died. The whole road has been in shock as he was a very fit man who called in for a cuppa most days. I gave the tribute at his funeral which I was told everyone enjoyed (it was light and fun which is what the family asked it to be)
    Two weeks ago Annie found a small squidgy lump in the reconstruction breast. Needless to say we were horrified and worried but I had read oil cysts are very common and this is what it was. She had it drained and was all done within an hour. It is very common she was told but had to hold the leg of the specialist while he was draining it!!! She said there was nothing else to hold onto!! I cannot tell you how we felt after the appointment though – although you will know Ali.
    Annie’s hubby started an infection on Sunday but they have treated it in time and hopefully he will be feeling better within the next few days.
    Just caught your show the other evening Ali, you looked great with you hair down – although I also love it up!
    Well I had better stop and get this posted but just to say hope everyone has a better year than last with lots of exciting things to look forward to – like a wedding and grandchild Ali- what a year this is going to be for you all. Just Fabaroo. Wishing good health to you all for everyone young and old and looking forward to more catch ups. Love Jilly xx

  43. Alison Keenan January 27, 2015 at 7:59 pm -  Reply

    Thanks Rhona I will definitely pass on your good wishes to Jack – we’re hoping to see him on Sunday before he starts his new job on his birthday! Happy 21st to your Rebecca, and of course major excitement with Emily’s baby due too!! A great start to your year, and so many reasons to celebrate – like me – how lucky are we 🙂 So sorry your card didn’t get to you as I definitely remember sending it, but hopefully I can get a congratulations card to you when the baby arrives. You take care, and thanks for writing – a new blog hopefully posted tomorrow! Love Ali x

  44. Pam ashdown February 28, 2015 at 3:37 pm -  Reply

    Tossing a pancake

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