Christmas preparations and parties


Christmas treeWell I have only four presents left to wrap, and have posted all my Christmas cards, which for me isn't bad going! Thank you for all YOUR beautiful cards, and apologies if the ones your receive aren't the usual glossy QVC ones, but our print run was short and I missed out on them! My own choice was a little smaller and less glossy but sent with love πŸ™‚

 I chose the tree with Jack and Sam last week, and managed to jam it into Sam's rather large car. It was about a foot too tall, but with the help of a bread knife (Ok, but I'm not all that good on the DIY) and Jack's sawing skills, it was reduced to a size that enabled me to put the star on the top πŸ™‚ Looks pretty doesn't it? Actually it looks identical to the picture I took last year, but I promise you it is a new tree!! 

Debbie's Christmas doTalking of trees, I'd have been hard pushed to beat Debbie Greenwood's tree that stands proudly in her atrium… if I can say that in polite company. You'll see it behind Kathy Claire Deb and I in this photo that was taken the night of Deb's pre-Christmas party. We had such fun πŸ™‚  

She cooked a fabulous Beouf Bourguignon with rice and roast vegetables, and then a scumptious chocolate (well it had to be really) bread and butter pudding – a Nigella recipe apparently – which most of us shovelled down in a rather piggy manner!

I had a few mighty tropical moments during the night, and so the wig came off, but was used to very good effect in a game called 'guess the hairstyle!'- hilarious πŸ™‚ I can't quite remember WHY we were standing up on the chairs a little later in the evening, but am amazed I managed it in my pin heels.

Ali and Colin wearing Ali's wigAfter we'd sat down Debbie's Paul set up a cracking quiz which we played until well after midnight, and then while he and Colin washed up the remaining glasses (seriously!), Deb and I sat in front of the fire and put the world to rights – the perfect end to a perfect night.

I was lucky enough to be a guest again at Greenwood Towers last Friday night, as the QVC Christmas Bash beckoned. With a 1920s theme it promised to be a hoot, and we weren't disappointed. Julia and her daughter Sophie were there, Anna and Claire, plus Craig and Miceal.

And I have to say we were ALL 'giving it large' on the dance floor. It reminded me of a night some years back when Colin and I went to a do, and some young chap came up to him and said of my gyrating, "She can throw some wicked shapes for an old bird!" – high praise indeed πŸ™‚ Thought you might like to see a few pics but had a bit of a palava sending them over so will pop them up after Christmas… and yes the wig did come off again!

Ali, Debbie and Claire dancing on chairs at Deb's Christmas doWith two more days of work before I'm off over Christmas, I just wanted to thank you all again for everything  you've done to help me through one of the most difficult years of my life. Your constant contact as 'Ali's Army' through this blog, endless cards, letters, flowers and special gifts have meant the world to me.  

On the nights when I couldn't sleep, the days when I felt so rough, all those times I looked in the mirror and didn't know the face looking back at me, you were there 'holding my hand' – red and crepey though it was for several months – and it's made all the difference πŸ™‚ I know we may never meet, but I feel I know you, and it's lovely to be able to call you friends. None of us know what the future has in store, but I know that whatever the next few years bring, I will be able to deal with it because I have you in my life.

Have a wonderful Christmas, and may I wish you a very happy and healthy 2012.

Love always, Ali xx


  1. Mrs Norma Smithson December 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali I’d just like to wish you and your family a wonderful christmas and a healthy, happy, and successful 2012, I was going to say let’s forget 2011, but I know that in this year even though you have been terribly ill you will have grown in stature as my husband did after overcoming colon cancer nearly 20years age. It has been grand to see you back in work this last month and I look forward to our time together when you are on screen in 2012. Much Love Norma xx

  2. Martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen December 22, 2011 at 6:20 pm -  Reply

    many thanks for your card alison it arrived today.merry xmas to you and colin and your daughter lucy son sam and your other son.and happy new year in 2012.hope your year is going to be brilliant

  3. Julie December 22, 2011 at 6:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Obviously hope 2012 is far better for you than 2011. It’s been a pleasure keeping in touch with you.
    Hope to speak soon
    Lily sends you loads of hugs
    Take care
    Julie xx Lily xxx

  4. Alpa December 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Thank you for your uplifting Christmas blog. It’s such GREAT news that your MRI scan was clear as well as your bone scan, a very big YAY!!
    I’m watching you on the Q as I write this and you are looking fab in your red dress and with your red locks!!
    Your Christmas tree is very pretty and looks nice and chubby, just as they are meant to and there is nothing like a real tree!
    Thank you for sharing the photos from your supper at Greenwood Towers. I thought you were dancing on the chairs in the photo of you and Debs and Claire and why not?!!
    So pleased that Sam had his offer accepted on his new home and I hope that he and Jack will be very happy there πŸ™‚
    A big thank you Ali, for sharing this year with us, always taking the time to write to us and for the making of Ali’s Army. It is an honour to call you my friend πŸ™‚
    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and all that you wish for yourself in the New Year πŸ™‚
    Ad astra per astrum (A rocky road leads to the stars)
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  5. Liz, Morecambe December 22, 2011 at 8:56 pm -  Reply

    Oh Ali, what a lovely post as ever. Looks like you have had a great deal of fun at the events at Greenwood Towers. I have to say I think you really suit your hair short – so flattering and reflects your fun spirit.
    The Christmas tree dilemma sounds a bit like something that would happen to me but my partner is a very handy man and always has a solution for any problem – granted it may not be straight forward and he needs guidance from me on occasions to do things more carefully. Think bull and china shop and that’s about 50% of how he goes about things!!
    Think I posted last time that I was thinking of having a mastectomy but no reconstruction on my ‘good’ side to try and help my posture and balance me up. Well, I went to see the surgeon last week and he’s happy to do it, seeing as I’m comparatively stable and it’s 4 yrs since my original surgery. A letter arrived for me today with an appointment for a pre-op chat and tests for Jan 16th so it’s all systems go. I’m looking forward to it in that odd way!!
    I hope all of the other lovely people who blog on here have a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas and New Year and may it bring good times to all. It’s been fun reading all your stories this year!
    Anyway, all it remains for me to do is wish you a wonderful festive season with your family and friends, Ali. Eat and drink plenty to build you up after the traumas of this year. Most importantly, have a very healthy and happy New Year.
    Lots of love, Liz xx

  6. Lindalou December 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm -  Reply

    Merry Christmas Ali to you and all your family, may 2012 be a great and happy time for you. It has been lovely to read your blogs. I hope that in time you only remember the beautiful thing that happened in 2011 when your beautiful daughter got married. Its so good to see your happy fun loving self on qv again. May you have a lovely fun Christmas. God bless linda xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. mary morphy December 23, 2011 at 4:02 am -  Reply

    Happy Christmas Ali….and yes, It’s 3.21am and I am awake,,,nestled on the sofa watching a QVC repeat..rather dissappointed as its household helpers and having steam cleaned everything in the house that didn’t move last weekend I have, quite frankly, had my fill of cleaning and the only household helper that I needed was someone to do it for me! Anyway, I have given my husband my cold so he’s growling and snuffling upstairs so I have left him to it and hope that a large dose of flu remedy will sort him out.
    By gosh Ali, your tree is enormous! Definately one not to miss but like you, I agree if you are going to have a tree, have a big one! It looks gorgeous. My tree takes up the bay window in the lounge and although not real ( I am allergic but burn my pine scented yankee candles to fool all visitors!)it is 20 years old this year and when naked, it is definately starting to look a bit shabby but considering its been hauled up and down the stairs and loft each year it’s not doing bad. My grandad died the week before Christmas twenty one years ago and left me a small amount of money and in those days, artificial trees were becoming popular but were so so expensive but I decided to use my money to invest in one as it would always remind me of him and would be something that at that particular time, I would never have been able to afford myself. Needless to say, every year it looks beautiful.
    Your Christmas parties look fabulous and your short hair suits you so well. Your wig game sounds hilarious…not sure whose man is wearing the wig in the picture but I think he looks like a slightly red version of a Boris Johnson hairdo!! I am so glad that this moment has come for you and hope you have many more this year and have plenty of the ‘ole Christmas spirit’, the kind that comes in a glass!
    I myself was in London on Monday as me and a friend Sarah took our best friend Sherry to London for the day as it was her 50th birthday at the end of November. As we all work in schools it was a lovely way to spend the first day of our Christmas holidays and we had booked afternoon tea at Harrods too. Despite the continuous rain we had a fab day. We travelled from Ramsgate to St Pancras on the Bullet high speed train..a first for two of us then with my friend Sarah as tour guide ( referred to as Tour Guide Sarah all day…she’s a regular visitor to the Capital with her hubby and 5 year old son but said we were far worse to keep under control…how rude!) we negotiated the underground like true professionals and visited Winter Wonderland ( glad my kids were not with me, the rides were so expensive) where Sherry, the birthday girl, was forced to buy a brolley as Sarah and I only had mini ones and refused to walk with Sherry who decided to wrap her head in her cream scarf and looked like she should have been in the casualty dept. We then went to Harrods where we wandered round dreaming of ‘if only’ and picked out our favourite fine jewellry pieces…Sherry bought some blue and white striped oven gloves in the sale and a box of vibrantly iced cupcakes which looked lovely at the time but when looked at on the way home had re-arranged themeselves to look like modern art and not very attractive! Tour Guide Sarah wanted a bauble from Harrods with the year on however we were un-impressed with the Christmas shop..she did look at one that was in a box, looked a bit tacky but she was determined to get one but when she was wrestling to get the bauble out the box it suddenly developed a life of it’s own and leapt out the box smashing on the floor…OMG! I had to walk away as I was laughing so much I thought I may have a wee accident, Tour Guide Sarah stood motionless mumbling humble apologies like a chant.She then explained to the assistant what it was she wanted and to that the assistant replied,” Yes, we do have bauubles with dates on, one of which is smashed on the floor!” WE beat a hasty retreat and enjoyed a sumptuous cream tea then went shopping to Oxford Street. We arrived home just after 10.30pm totally exhausted but had a memorable day.
    Well, I have rambled on as usual…apologies for that..and all that there is left to say is Happy Christmas to you and yours, have a wonderful time and I send you all love, good health and happiness for 2012. Much love Mary xxxx

  8. Mrs Janet Jones December 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali, sorry I haven’t blogged for a while, but I did send you a letter with a Christmas card so I hope you got it.So glad to hear you have been having fun with your friends lately, as when you are going through all your treatment, you think you will never have fun again!But doesn’t it feel good, and as you say we have a different kind of ‘normal’ to deal with now.
    I am very happy to say that my son is coming home on Christmas Eve and is staying for a few days so I can’t wait.I still do a stocking for him which I enjoy doing and he enjoys opening!
    I am so proud to be part of Ali’s army and it warms my heart that we have been a help to you. Like you say we will probably never meet but I feel I can call you my friend and as always my hand is always there for you to hold. Have a Very Happy Christmas with Colin and your family and here’s to a Healthy New Year.
    Take care Ali ,speak soon Love Janet xx

  9. Magda Chetty December 23, 2011 at 2:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Have a great great Christmas with the family. Great blog as ever and so happy that you are back to your normal self, and it is great to see you back on QVC. Like you Iam wishing that 2012 is a much better year for us all. And I add my voice to yours to thank all the ladies of Ali”s Army who kept us going through our treatment and helped us make it through, Thank you from the heart.
    Iam in London now, and look forward to see you and Debbie Greenwood soon. All the very best.
    Much love.

  10. Denise December 23, 2011 at 3:29 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, Thanks for another fun blog. It sounds like you are having an amazing Christmas season and long may it continue.I’m just watching you onscreen as I type this doing a Kitchen show. Wow I love those Slate serving sets but drat sadly too late for Christmas dining. I’m very tempted by them.
    I do hope you and your family have a lovely,lovely Christmas and look forward to a wonderful 2012. Enjoy the holidays.
    Love Denise

  11. Liz December 23, 2011 at 6:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Wonderful to be wishing you a Merry Christmas. You have been a star this year coping with all the treatment with great dignity. Now you look sensational and what a choice of hairdos too!!! Have a lovely time with your family and then get ready for your trip to Australia with Colin next year.
    Love Liz.

  12. elaine sallis December 23, 2011 at 6:27 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Your Christmas tree is lovely, and it was wonderful to see you having fun and hopefully putting the last year behind you. I was doing really well, one of the few I had managed to read without tears in my eyes. Until you mentioned Alis army and what a support it has been to you. You have been so open through all your treatment and I know you will have helped many women who have been through this dreadful disease.
    I feel very honoured that although we have never met you feel that we have helped you through this.
    Thank you for your card, I was so excited when I received it.
    I hope you and your lovely family have a wonderful christmas and that 2012 will be a fantastic year for you all.
    Lots of love

  13. Lesley McGregor December 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Never done this before but I’m having a go. Watched you on the kitchen show and you were hilarious with the rice……… certainly enjoyed it. Glad to hear your “coffee” taste buds are back.
    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that 2012 will be your best year yet.
    Take care and God bless
    Lesley xx

  14. Pam Richardson December 23, 2011 at 9:21 pm -  Reply

    Have a wonderful Christmas with your family Ali. It is lovely to receive presents from our loved ones but the best part of Christmas for me is sitting round the table with my lovely children and just enjoying being together.
    I wish you a very happy and healthy new year and hope that 2012 will be a wonderful year for you in which you grow stronger every day.
    Love Pam x

  15. Jenny Morrison December 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Wishing you and your a family a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Peaceful and Healthy New Year.
    Love Jenny from Sutton

  16. Carole Dane December 24, 2011 at 9:17 am -  Reply

    what an upbeat blog Ali, I am just starting out on the breast cancer journey, with chemo to come in the New Year. Please keep up with the blogs as it keeps me going and postive
    Carole x

  17. kay salisbury December 24, 2011 at 3:03 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali-I wrote to you last night at 11pm—then accidentally and stupidly deleted it— and couldn’t face it twice. Your last paragraph was so lovely–I wasn’t going to write again as I know you are fine now-but when I read what you had written I felt I want to keep in touch forever-not just when times are tough.This is where QVC is fantastic-it IS a family—-I used to laugh in the VERY old days when the presenters used to call it “the family” but now it is true.My husband saw you on tv the other day and said-“Is that the lady you write to?”-and I proudly said, “yes it is!” I do think women are wonderful and compassionate—-we support each other even when we don’t know who we are. So, my friend, happy Christmas with your family, and a wonderful and positive 2012.Love Kay.XXX

  18. Eileen P. December 25, 2011 at 12:23 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, your tree looks lovely, wish mine was that good. Love the photos from the party, glad you had a good time as thats just what you need. Merry Christmas to you all, hope you have a lovely day with Colin and the family.
    Love and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2012.
    Love, Eileen P. xxx

  19. Joanna Downey December 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, All the planning and spending, wrapping and cooking and then pooof Christmas is over. I was looking at the QVC Sale and I found your latest blog so just want to wish you and yours a wonderful New Year full of laughter, love and vibrant life! Love from Jo.

  20. TINA SHADDICK December 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Just sending a belated “Happy Christmas” but more importantly, a very happy, HEALTHY, New Year. Christmas has become so commercialised and our expectations for Christmas become so high that it is often a let down. It’s rediculous the amount of food we buy! There’s only the 2 of us and I’ve got enough food to feed an army.Every year I say I’m not going to buy so much! I end up giving loads of chocolate away as I decide to go on yet another diet. When will I ever learn. It shoulnt just be about how much food we eat. I decided to visit my 2 sisters who I hadnt seen in years. We had just drifted apart over the years. We never fell out or anything. I just thought ,right, its Christmas and it should be about family and friends. I’m so glad I did.
    Anyway, I am so glad you have had a good time over Christmas and wish you continued health and happiness.
    All my best wishes are sent to you.
    From,Tina(West Glam., South Wales)

  21. Tracy King December 27, 2011 at 11:02 am -  Reply

    Merry christmas Ali and family, here’s hopiing 2012 is ‘your year’.
    A huge Happy New Year to all of Ali’s Army, it’s been lovely being part of the family!!
    Awrra best from Fife, Scotland
    Luv n Hugz n Stuff
    Tracy (aka Fronk) and Cath by proxy xxxxxxx

  22. Morag December 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm -  Reply

    HI Ali
    Hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas – a time to celebrate and be thankful for life and love. You richly deserve to celebrate after all you have been through, and we the viewers have been privileged to share it with you through your blogs. Thanks for being one of the most inspirational people I have come across, and sending you much love, wishing you happiness, peace and most of all good health for 2012.
    Morag xxx

  23. Linda Marshall December 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Hope you had a lovely Christmas with your family. Here’s hoping we all have a better 2012 i think we deserve it.I just want to wish you and all Ali’s army a very happy new year.
    love Linda xxx.

  24. Jude December 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali,
    I’ve only just discovered the presenter’s blogs!
    I was going to leave a message for you saying i’m pleased you’re back presenting ( although I knew you were off for a while, I had no idea why )and how fabulous your ‘new’ hair colour suits you.
    Imagine my total shock to read your about your terrible year.
    What an inspiration you are. I’m sure very many people will gain comfort and strength from your blogs.
    May 2012 be a great year for you and your family.
    Love Jude

  25. alison keenan December 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm -  Reply

    Dear Norma so lovely to hear from you and with the lovely and heartfelt message. How wonderful that 20 years on your husband is still well and that you have another New Year to look forward to πŸ™‚ As you say, here’s to a healthier 2012! With love, Ali xx

  26. alison keenan December 29, 2011 at 7:19 pm -  Reply

    Martin, you’re very welcome and I’m glad that card got to you. I hope you also have a very happy New Year, and I’ll pass on your good wishes to Sam, Lucy and Jack too πŸ™‚ Love Ali x

  27. alison keenan December 29, 2011 at 7:22 pm -  Reply

    As it has been a great pleasure keeping in touch with you too Julie πŸ™‚ I hope that Lily and you all had a great Christmas, and here’s to an even better New Year, love Ali xx

  28. alison keenan December 29, 2011 at 7:25 pm -  Reply

    Alpa it’s been my absolute pleasure sharing my life with you over the last year, as it has been being a part of yours and all the other girls in Ali’s Army…. Christmas went very well, was fun, and was a chance to well and truly put the worst of this year behind us. I know it’s not all been plain sailing for you in 2011 and so I hope very much that next year will be happier and healthier πŸ™‚ Please do stay in touch, with love, Ali xx

  29. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 9:38 am -  Reply

    Dear Liz, lovely to hear from you and I hope that you will have had a good Christmas, and now that you have your planned surgery for the New Year, that as you say, it’s something to also look forward to πŸ™‚ It’s lovely to know that you’ve remained so well over the last four years, and thank you for your all your kind and supportive words. Hard to believe I initially went for my check up on the 4th January… nearly a whole year ago… in some respects the last 12 months seem to have gone very quickly. May 2012 bring you and your family all that is good in life, and thank you for keeping in touch this year, love Ali x

  30. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 9:41 am -  Reply

    Hi there Linda, thank you for your lovely message – Lucy made me a special wedding album for Christmas and so those memories are the ones I remember best from this year πŸ™‚ The rest is behind me, and it’s good to be back at QVC Towers too! May 2012 bring you all that you wish for, love Ali xx

  31. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 9:48 am -  Reply

    Mary it sounds as if you Sherry and Tour Guide Sarah (as she will be known from this point onwards) had a wonderful day in town! I’ve never been on the high speed bullet… my commute used to be Hampton court to Waterloo with EVERY stop in between! I often thought I could have got there faster if I’d have walked πŸ™‚ Shame about the cupcakes and the bauble, but glad you got the oven gloves… I bought a pair when I went to Wimbledon in the Summer and they’re a lovely reminder of a fun day πŸ™‚ How lovely that you still have the tree that you bought with your grandad’s money… a very fitting way to remember a special person… And even real trees can look a little shabby when naked! Mine hasn’t dropped many needles so far, so fingers crossed that stays the case over the next week! Thank you for your lovely messages over the year, and I shall look forward to continuing to hear from you in 2012. May it be your best year yet, love Ali xx

  32. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 9:52 am -  Reply

    My dear Janet I did indeed get your card, letter and photo, and thank you for them. I do hope you got mine! By now you will have had your Christmas with your boy, and I do hope it was all you wanted it to be, with some special ‘together’ time. The parties for work were a perfect pre-cursor to a ‘jolly’ Christmas, and with all Colin’s children over too on Christmas day, we felt quite exhausted by the end of Boxing Day! It was lovely to have them all together, and you’re right, I am enjoying my ‘new kind of normal’…. Take care, happy new year, and please do keep in touch in 2012. With love, Ali xx

  33. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 9:56 am -  Reply

    My dear Magda, it was lovely to get your message, and I too sincerely hope that 2012 is a better year healthwise for us both! I hope too that your GP has sorted out your medication and you are feeling better. I’m not sure if by now you will have returned to Spain, but if you get the chance to blog again and let me know I will see if I can get in to meet you. I hope that you will have had a wonderful Christmas, and thank you so much for keeping in touch, even though things have been difficult for you. It means a great deal – not just to me – but to all of us in Ali’s Army πŸ™‚ xxxx love Ali xx

  34. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 10:14 am -  Reply

    Hi there Denise, they were fab weren’t they! I have a little slate cheese board, but it didn’t come with any of the other bits and pieces which I thought were really useful! I hope very much that you and your family are enjoying the Christmas holiday, and will have a very happy New year, love Ali xx

  35. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 10:28 am -  Reply

    Thank you Liz! πŸ™‚ It has been a bit of a year, but I am most certainly looking forward to next year – not least because of the trip to OZ – still finalising travel details, but very excited. I hope that 2012 will be a good year for you too, and that you will be able to cross a few more countries off your visitor’s list! Take care, and lots of love, Ali xx

  36. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 11:09 am -  Reply

    Elaine I’m so glad you got the card in time for Christmas, and thank you for yours! Glad too that you have enjoyed the blogs over the year and thank you for being a part of them… as I said, it has made the world of difference to me πŸ™‚ I hope very much that you and your family will have had a lovely Christmas too and that the New Year will be your best yet, with love, Ali xx

  37. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 11:14 am -  Reply

    Lesley, so glad you took the time out to write! It’s an easy way to keep in touch, and so I hope it won’t be the last time we hear from you. That risotto was seriously tasty – you don’t often get a chance to taste things, but Tracey is such a good talker I was able to be a glutton for a few moments! πŸ™‚ Happy New Year to you, and I hope 2012 is a healthier one! love Ali xx

  38. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 11:15 am -  Reply

    Pam you are a woman after my own heart… that was the best bit of Christmas day for me too, especially when we had all Colin’s children arrive as well. Packed in like sardines, but a great time was had by all πŸ™‚ Wishing you and your family a truly Happy New Year, love Ali xx

  39. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 11:16 am -  Reply

    Dear Jenny, I wish you all the very same things for a happy and healthy New Year. Thank you for writing, love Ali x

  40. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 11:19 am -  Reply

    My dear Carole, I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but can truly say you WILL get through this, and anything I can do, advice wise, please do let me know. Just try really hard to stay positive, and if you get the chance to scan through some of the comments on this site, you’ll see there are so many women who have been where you are now, and we’re all doing fine. :)I also wrote a blog for Breast Cancer Care while I was having my treatment, which you may find useful to read. I wish you the very best of luck for a full recovery. Stay strong, love Ali xx

  41. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 11:23 am -  Reply

    Dear Kay, I am so glad that you have decided to keep in touch through this blog…. because as I wrote, the support it has given me, and also other women in difficult situations, has been phenomenal. Good or bad, sharing is what women do so well and as you say, it’s the caring and compassion that makes all the difference. I hope that you and your husband have a very Happy New year, and I look forward to hearing from you again in 2012. With love, Ali xx

  42. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 11:24 am -  Reply

    My dear Eileen I’m sure your tree looked just as lovely πŸ™‚ And thank you yes we did all have a wonderful christmas Day and night with a quiz that Lucy devised and a bit of dancing too!! I hope that yours was equally enjoyable. Here’s to a happy 2012, and thank you for continuing to keep in touch, love Ali xx

  43. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 11:29 am -  Reply

    Hello there Jo, yes you’re right it did all seem to be over rather quickly, although we saw my mum and sister this year which was nice, and are hoping to spend New Year with friends, so it’s been fairly busy! Sending you my love, and looking forward to keeping in touch in the New Year, Ali xx

  44. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 11:37 am -  Reply

    Tina, that was a lovely thing to do this Christmas, and I’m sure your sisters appreciated your kindness too. Hopefully it’ll pave the way to more time together in the New Year. You’re right about the food.. I thought everyone was stopping for lunch on Boxing Day – wrong!! I have frozen the turkey meat, and gave the carcass to mum who managed to take off an additional 3lbs!! She’s making soup bless her πŸ™‚ Chocolate not a problem, but cheese is, although my friend Jo said you can freeze it? Have a wonderful New Year and let’s hope it’s a healthier and happier one for all of us, love Ali xx

  45. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 11:38 am -  Reply

    And Tracy it’s wonderful having you as ‘part of the family’ too πŸ™‚ Thanks for making me smile over this last year, on many occasions, and I hope that 2012 will be a year to bring you and Cath plenty to smile about, love Ali xx

  46. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 11:40 am -  Reply

    Morag your words have touched me….. thank you. And I so very much hope that this next year will be a good one for us all, with plenty of good health and positivity! I am indeed incredibly thankful to be here to say goodbye to this year…. Take care, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  47. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 11:42 am -  Reply

    Linda, I’m with you on that one, and thanks for continuing to keep in touch, and be a part of Ali’s Army as we march towards a New and better Year, with love, Ali xx

  48. alison keenan December 30, 2011 at 11:48 am -  Reply

    Dear Jude, I’m so glad you have found us here on Presenter blogs, and even happier that you took time out to write! Delighted that you like the new hair colour – it’s great having the option to change it at a whim, although my own hair is getting to the point where I may be able to go without a wig… not sure I’m liking it quite so curly, but then any hair is better than no hair πŸ™‚ Thank you for your kind words, and I hope that 2012 will be a very good year for you too. With love, Ali xx

  49. Pearl Emery December 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Hope you and your family had a great christmas,wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year, love Pearlxx

  50. Linda, Glasgow December 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    What absolutely lovely and heartfelt words you have used at the end of your blog – thank you, but you must remember that you have enriched our lives too with your courage and wit and for being a generally great galx I love being your cyber sister and as you say we may never meet but you can be assured i(and the rest of Ali’s Army)will always be there for you(we are just a tap of a computer key awayxx). You(and the others) look as if you certainly enjoyed your visit to Greenwood towers and the meal sounds scrummy. Your tree looks magnificent.I do hope you,Colin and the family had a glorius Christmas and that 2012 holds much peace, happiness and loads of love and cuddles for you allxx As i’ve already said i love leaving comments on your blog and look forward to “speaking” to you lots in 2012(were does the time go eh!!). Thank you Ali for making me feel so appreciated but rest assured you are appeciated and loved very much tooxx Love Linda,Glasgowxx

  51. Babs Dyson December 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, Thanks so much for your lovely blog. Just wanted to say Much Love to You and Yours Always and a VERY Healthy and Happy 2012.
    Much Love,
    Babs Dyson

  52. Debz & Ainzley December 31, 2011 at 4:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    A wonderfully uplifting blog as always. I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and can now look forward to a better 2012. What a year 2011 was for you, but here you are still standing and still able to “throw some shapes”!!
    Thank you for what you said about Ali’s Army. We will always be here for you and for each other in good times and bad. I feel like I know you all and would like to add my own thanks to those of you that have taken the time to offer me words of comfort when I’ve felt down and lonely. It really does mean a lot.
    Alpa, I hope you had a good Christmas and I really hope that 2012 will be better and brighter for you. That goes for you too Helen my lovely. I’m glad that you two found each other on here as you have found someone who truly understands what a horrible illness MS can be.
    To the rest of Ali’s Army I hope 2012 will be a good one and I hope we can all be a little healthier and a little happier.
    Lots of love and licks
    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  53. Susan December 31, 2011 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year for later Ali! I hope 2012 is a bit kinder to you and all our friends. You’ve come through it amazingly and I am so glad you are looking so beautiful as always. Back to normal. I just looked at Kathy’s new blog and WOW look at those photos!
    Happy New Year,
    Love Susan x

  54. Marian Bolton January 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm -  Reply

    Way to go party girl! A very happy and healthy New Year to you Ali.

  55. caroline wessels January 2, 2012 at 7:19 am -  Reply

    Loads of fun in Bahrain over Christmas, Im 52 going on 25 again. Heres to 2012, its going to be a good one!! x

  56. martin forbes January 2, 2012 at 11:03 am -  Reply

    happy new year alison hiope you had anice xmas i certainly did and aquiet new year iwatched alan carr on hogmanay brilliant did yoyu manage to see him.he was brillint in aberdeen in october 10th last year.

  57. Linda, Glasgow January 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    I thought i had posted a message on your blog between Christmas and New Year but i cant find it. I just wanted to wish you and your a fantastic 2012 and hope you all had a great timexx Over Christmas i have welcomed two new additions to my home – two white west highland terriers(Mac and Mabel) a boy and a girl,brother and sister. Ali i adore and love them so much already – its involving a little more steam cleaning around the place but i dont mindxx On a more serious note, i have just found out that dear Amica has had a set back re her health – when you next see her or text can you please tell her that myself and many other QVC viewers are thinking about her and she is in many prayers around the country – send her my love,hugs and best wishesxx As usual my love,hugs and best wishes are sent to you tooxx Look after yourself Love Linda,Mac and Mabelxxx

  58. SUE RADFORD January 3, 2012 at 1:24 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. It was lovely to see you having so much fun at Debbie’s house!!
    I’m sending you my extra special good wishes for 2012! I bet you can’t wait for your holiday! This year will be a good one for you Ali, I can just tell. You have amazed me by replying to all our blogs! It’s been a privilege to be a “kindred” friend to someone as special as you Ali.
    My best wishes to all “Ali’s Army”, especially those who have had a difficult time – I really hope 2012 will be a happy and healthy one.
    Onwards we all proceed together to A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
    With love – Sue Radford xx

  59. alison keenan January 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm -  Reply

    Dear Pearl, thank you we all had a lovely time at Christmas and I hope that you did too. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2012! Do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  60. alison keenan January 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Linda, you are a sweetie πŸ™‚ Thank you for such a lovely comment, and I’m delighted to know you’re going to be keeping in touch this year too! We had a great Christmas – managed to see ALL the family – even my mum – and of course I have Australia to come when I can see my brother again – exciting times πŸ™‚ I hope very much that you also had a lovely Christmas, and that 2012 will bring you all the wonderful things you wished for me – thank you πŸ™‚ Take care with love from Ali xx

  61. Magda Chetty January 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Iam in London for 2 more days 4th and 5th of JAN. I went to Devon for the new year. I did write to Debbie Greenwood to try to arrange to see you both. I do hope to be able to see you before going back to Spain on the 6th.
    Much love.

  62. alison keenan January 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Magda, I’ve been in touch with Debbie, and I could definitely see you around 4.30pm tomorrow the 4th February? If you write back I’ll pick up your reply and can meet you in reception at that time πŸ™‚ Hope that suits. Love Ali xx

  63. Steven January 4, 2012 at 10:16 am -  Reply

    All the best for 2012 Ali. Saw one of your shows last night. You looked fantastic I have to say xx

  64. alison keenan January 4, 2012 at 10:54 am -  Reply

    And much love to you too Babs! I hope that you had a lovely Christmas and that this new year will be a good one for you – happy and healthy! πŸ™‚ Ali xxx

  65. Chris Page January 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm -  Reply

    Crikey, Ali – your leather trousers and boots combo you wore on Tuesday night’s show nesrly made me spill my brandy and coke all over my lounge floor – very Emma Peel!

  66. Magda Chetty January 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm -  Reply

    HI Ali
    Sorry just seen your blog, and it is 4.45pm, so have missed you again. So sorry, I will keep my computer on and hope to see you onthe 5th if possible.
    Much love.

  67. martin forbes January 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm -  Reply

    you looked so well last night doing thev fashion showv the way you onlu look 40 not fifty.happyn new year

  68. Alpa January 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Happy New Year and as always, thank you for writing back πŸ™‚ May this year be filled with much love, happiness, laughter and good health for you. Thank you for making each of us in Ali’s Army feel special and I hope you know how very special you are to us and we think the world of you x
    Debz, hope you had a good Christmas. I have been feeling very yuck and was not able to organise anything special for the day, which I wanted to do even though I was on my own! I slept most of the day x
    Helen, how are you feeling? I have been thinking of you x
    Love to you both and to Una, Marg, Susan, Gail, Shauna, Magda and all in Ali’s Army x
    Take care Ali,
    Lots of Love Alpa xx
    P.S. Ali, Jo is right and you can freeze cheese!

  69. Ann MacDonald January 5, 2012 at 11:25 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali and Ali’s Army!
    Happy New Year to you and yours, and I truly hope it’s a good one for everyone.
    I’m just about to take down the Christmas tree etc, and am glad the sun is shining as it’s already making me think of spring although the wind is gusting here like it’s mid-winter! The towels are still on the washing line, even if the roof on the local racecourse took off earlier in the week!
    So here’s to 2012, with challenges and opportunities for us all. I guess it’s how we face them that counts and you’ve been such a great inspiration – as have many of Ali’s Army – courage and dignity, plus a sense of humour will get us a long way, eh!
    Love and hugs from your BCC t-shirt-wearing correspondent in downtown Epsom!
    Ann xxx

  70. Susan January 5, 2012 at 6:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alpa,
    I’m soo sorry you spent Christmas Day sleeping and not feeling good and on your own. I must say you deserve the biggest doseof happiness and good company. I hope you get that this year. I also have to say I echo Sue Radford’s comment about thinking about all who have not had a good time over the last year – and that is a lot of people. Here’s to us all and a better 2012!
    Take care Alpa,

  71. Mary McFarland January 5, 2012 at 7:06 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    Lovely to see you looking so well and it is great to see you back on QVC – you were missed.
    Please pass on my very best to Amica – hope to see her soon.
    Your photograph of the ‘wigs’ made me laugh. I used to leave my wig in some strange places when it was a relief to take it off due to the heat. I never did take a photograph – I’ve still got the wig though – so there is still time!!!!
    Look forward to seeing you soon.
    All the very best to you Ali.
    Mary McFarland

  72. helen January 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alpa, how are you my lovely? How did you get on at the Drs? Were your blood test results ok?
    I’ve been thinking about you too. I ‘managed’ Xmas ok with all the fuss that is brings but my girl made it magical of course. I’ve been a bit rotten the last few days and have made an appointment with another of the Drs next week, what for I don’t know really. Just another opinion I guess, as 1 says is ME the other says its perimenopause, 3rd time lucky? I’m just so fet up of not being able to make any plans or simply just go out and enjoy. I’ve had some lovely clothes for xmas and they’re still hanging there!!
    I do hope that you are weathering the storm, can you remember what actually started off this relapse with you last year, were you as bad as this before? Oh, I sound like a Dr myself.
    Please let me know how you are.
    Take care my friend
    Luv and hugs
    Helen s xxx

  73. jackie January 7, 2012 at 11:10 pm -  Reply

    hope you had a wonderful christmas and a happy and healthy new year to you and your family
    jackie northern ireland

  74. helen s January 9, 2012 at 11:30 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Hope that you enjoyed the festive holidays, how quickly did they go? My sweetpea made the time magical of course ans Santa still lives on thank goodness, well for another year at least.
    Hope that you are keeping well and looking forward to your holidays? If off to the Drs tomorrow, another opinion I guess as i’m still far from right.
    Any way, love and hugs as always
    Helen s xxxx

  75. alison keenan January 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Debz and Ainzley – so sorry not to have got back to you sooner, but I sincerely hope that your MS abated enough to allow you to have a good Christmas. All that you so kindly wish for me this year I also wish for you, and PLEASE do keep on keeping us entertained with your wonderful writing…. Ali’s Army wouldn’t be the same without you πŸ™‚ Take care, with love, Ali xx

  76. alison keenan January 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm -  Reply

    Aaaaw Susan bless you πŸ™‚ that’s very kind of you to say. Struggling a little now with the blonde wig as my very dark hair is starting to show through, but still loving the red wig – may need to order another one soon! I too looked at Kathy’s blog and cripes her Christmas table was awesome! She really is a star when it comes to cooking up a storm πŸ™‚ Happy new year to you too, love Ali xx

  77. alison keenan January 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm -  Reply

    ………and a very healthy and Happy New Year to you too Marian… Let’s hope it’s partying all the way πŸ™‚ Love Ali xx

  78. alison keenan January 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm -  Reply

    Caroline so pleased to hear you’re having fun inspite of your initial reservations about being so far away from home πŸ™‚ 52 going on 25 sounds fab!! you take care and have fun with love, Ali xx

  79. alison keenan January 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm -  Reply

    Martin I LOVE Alan Carr!! Yes I saw him over Christmas but would love to see him live πŸ™‚ Glad you had a good Christmas and I hope you have a very happy new year, Love Ali xx

  80. alison keenan January 9, 2012 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    Dear Linda, Thank you so much for writing again to me having lost the last message! Mac and Mabel sound delightful and must be thrilled to together and starting the new year with such a lovely new mum! At least you HAVE a steam cleaner!! πŸ™‚ Thank you we did have a lovely Christmas and New Year was fun too – seems a long time ago now…. Yes I did know that Amica had had a set back but she is in good spirits and had a lovely Christmas. I will of course pass on your best wishes πŸ™‚ Take care, and enjoy your ‘babies’, love Ali xx

  81. alison keenan January 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm -  Reply

    Bless you Sue, the feeling is mutual πŸ™‚ Thank you for your lovely messages and for keeping in touch. I hope that you too had a wonderful Christmas, and that maybe a holiday somewhere special is on the cards for you later this year? We will of course keep marching forwards – as Ali’s Army does so well – and I’m sure that this year will be a better one for us all. Love to you, ali xx

  82. alison keenan January 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm -  Reply

    Dear Magda, So sorry we missed each other, but I wasn’t in on the 5th πŸ™ So hoping that you had a good visit, and may indeed return at some point later in the year. Wishing every happiness and a much healthier 2012! Love Ali xx

  83. alison keenan January 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Steve, long time no hear, but thank you for your compliment! I hope that you had a cracking Christmas and that 2012 will be a great year for you, love Ali x

  84. alison keenan January 9, 2012 at 5:53 pm -  Reply

    Humble apologies Chris!!! Good job I wasn’t wearing the bowler hat too! or was that just Steed??? πŸ™‚ Happy New Year to you, love Ali x

  85. alison keenan January 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm -  Reply

    Martin, I thank you πŸ™‚ Love Ali xx

  86. alison keenan January 9, 2012 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    Alpa you have such a lovely way with words, and thank you for always saying the right things πŸ™‚ I’m sorry that you had a mouldy Christmas, and wish that I could magic you through the computer so I could make you a Christmas lunch and have a bit of a chat. I know it’s not just me, but all the girls who appreciate your kind and wise suggestions, and hope that this year will be good to you and see you in better health, with more energy, and more reasons to smile πŸ™‚ Take care my friend, love Ali x

  87. alison keenan January 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Ann – MY BCC T shirt wearing correspondent!! πŸ™‚ I hope you managed to get your Christmas tree down without too much trouble and without leaving a trail of needles everywhere! Excellent to hear you can actually have your washing out on the line – it’s been dry and warmer here today, but I’m still tending to ‘drape’ on the radiators! I hope that 2012 is going to be a good one for you, and that as you say we can ALL face any challenges with Grace and Dignity. Love to you, Ali xx

  88. alison keenan January 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm -  Reply

    Mary so glad that your ‘wig wearing’ days are over and I hope that in this New Year you continue to stay well πŸ™‚ You should definitely have a photo taken wearing it though, just for posterity πŸ™‚ I will pass on your best to Amica and hope to see her again soon, with love Ali xx

  89. alison keenan January 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm -  Reply

    Jackie, I did thank you and all the very best to you and your family for an equally Happy New year too! Love Ali x

  90. alison keenan January 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm -  Reply

    My dear Helen as I write this I am very much hoping that your Doctor’s visit brought about some answers and that you will be given the necessary medication or advice to make life easier. So glad though that you were able to enjoy Christmas – wonderful that your daughter still believes…. And why not?! πŸ™‚ Let us know how you are, love Ali xx

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