Gratitude, good times and great gift ideas!

21

There’s only one way I could start this blog, and that’s with an almighty great THANK YOU! I have been completely overwhelmed with the response to ‘A New Kind of Normal’ – not just here on the blog – but on every other social platform. It has humbled me hugely, and also once again made me realise that there are so many of you who have far more than me to contend with in your lives, and yet you take the time out to support me. That is quite simply priceless.

Thanks to you, the Kindle version that was released on the 23rd October shot into the New Releases Memoirs chart, and hit number five – ahead of Sue Perkins and Jeremy Clarkson! 🙂 The paperback was launched yesterday and because of the unprecedented number of orders, I’m afraid may take a little longer to get it to you than I initially thought. I know that you will have received an email saying it could be three weeks, but having spoken to the printers, I can assure you it will be sooner than that!

I have my first radio interview with Jo Good at BBC Radio London today, Wednesday 31st at 3pm which I’m very much looking forward to, and on Saturday morning BBC Radio Shropshire are including me in their morning show with the lovely Eric Smith. Even Debbie McGee has asked me to come to Radio Berkshire the following Sunday (11th) for her morning show. I’ve been really flattered by so much interest in ‘A New Kind of Normal’.

When I started writing it well over two years ago, I wasn’t at all sure if I’d ever get to it to a stage where I’d be happy enough to see it in print, but now that it is, I’m so glad I persevered with it. If you would like a copy, it’s available on Amazon, and if once you’ve read it you’re able to write a review that would be marvellous. I’ve always read the reviews before I choose a book, as it’s great to know what other folk think! Much the same as reviews for products here at the Q.

Talking of which, a brand that has been a runaway success for years on the high street, but is one of our newer acquisitions, is Joules! They are just beginning to introduce sleepwear into their range here, and I’ve got a whole hour with them on Saturday 3rd November at midday. Before that though I thought I should alert you to our KitchenAid TSV today – 807319 – as those of you who regularly read the blog will know just how much use I get out of mine! This is a cracking offer at well under £300 and would make some lucky person a perfect Christmas present :).

Laura Geller has her Christmas TSV on Sunday 4th and includes everything you’ll need to create a fabulous face of make-up. Her Dusk to Dawn collection is available in 4 Easy Pay instalments, so make sure you’re following me on Twitter @alikqvc, as I will have an early bird link for you to make certain to get yours!

Colin and I were up with the lark on Friday as it was the first day of our long weekend away in Narberth, Pembrokeshire. We took Lucy and Honey to Bluestone National Park, where they have a wonderful purpose built holiday complex, complete with an indoor swimming pool, soft play area, outdoor activities, and a little village with special holiday entertainment.

It was quite a long journey so we broke it up by stopping at Ogmore-by-Sea – a fabulously dramatic bit of coastline, made even more so with the wind and showers! I was very glad of my Joules padded coat! The National Park at Narberth was equally beautiful, and we got to see a great deal of it from the little golf buggy that we hired to drive around in. Saturday morning was a little mixed, but after that the sun shone non-stop, and although it was cold, it was great to be out in the fresh air. We spent a morning on South Beach in Tenby – somewhere none of us had ever visited before – and I took these photos for you. Stunning isn’t it?

Having hurtled up and down the beach, and spent a fair bit of time skimming stones (throwing them actually) we all felt a bit peckish. We chose a fabulous seafront café to have brunch, so that we could enjoy the amazing sea views, and incredibly generous portion sizes. This was Honey’s cheesy garlic bread – from the children’s menu! Suffice to say we all helped her out with it, and decided it would be well worth going back there in the summer too, not just for the food, but the beautiful beach and pretty seaside town.

November sees the launch of another Diamonique Design of the month and this time it’s a pair of festive reindeer earrings! A bit of fun, and as always with this range, beautifully made. My regular Tuesday gifting show is on every week at 8pm, crammed full of other jewellery gift ideas too, so do join me.

Emu

Talk about perfect timing! With this really weird mix of weather we seem to be experiencing, it’s difficult to know what to wear on our feet most days, and so I’m delighted to give you a heads up on the Emu Explorer boot – our TSV for the 6th November. The Kerie is a classically styled, fashionable, feminine mid calf women’s boot available in Clay, Black, Mushroom, Claret and Charcoal and in sizes 3 to 9.  It’s ALL weather ready,  made with waterproof, full grain leather and lined with soft Australian sheepskin to keep your feet warm and cosy, while the rugged and waterproof rubber outsole will give you grip and traction if it’s wet or icy.  If you keep in touch with me on Twitter @alikqvc, I’ll be able to give you a heads up on the price before the day!

Well, that’s all my news for now, but once again, thank you so much for all your support and positive responses to my book. It really was a labour of love with Ali’s Army at the heart of it, and I’m delighted it has been so well received.

With my love,

Ali xxx

21 Comments

  1. Loraine Plumb October 31, 2018 at 5:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison lovely blog you deserve all the praise you are getting about your book . what lovely photos of you all Lucy looks like you we are of on our trip up north two weeks time flying up to Newcastle don’t know if you remember but Gary and Clare paid for it with accomodation so I could see my cousin’s for a few days. This Saturday is Gary’s 30 the meal can’t wait to see his face when he gets his surprise to Germany they go next thursday. Have you started Xmas shopping yet I have made a start thnk goodness. Well take care an again congratulations love Loraine xx

    • Alison Keenan November 5, 2018 at 6:20 pm -  Reply

      Dear Loraine, How was Gary’s 30th meal? I’m sure he was delighted with his surprise!
      Very excited for you, for that special trip up North. I’ve never been to Newcastle, but I’ve always wanted to visit that part of this country. I do remember you telling me that Gary and Clare paid for it, and I’m sure your cousin will be delighted to see you too. I have indeed started my Christmas shopping – most of it with QVC! It’s good to make a start a little bit early 🙂 Thanks for your kind words about the book and your review. Very much appreciated. Love Ali x

  2. Julie October 31, 2018 at 7:00 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    Well what can I say about your book? I read it in two sittings as couldn’t put it down. I knew you had been through the mill but had no idea how much. You are one brave lady! I found it very informative and for anyone going through ( or gone) through BC it’s a must read as it’s very direct but very honest and of course with your humour it made light of things.
    Glad you had a lovely time in Wales. We very often go to Ogmore and it is always blustery but as you say lovely. We always do large portions in Wales as you can see by Honey’s garlic bread! That said I think her portion would have kept me going for a week.!!
    Take care as always.
    Speak soon.
    Julie xx The Girls xx

    • Alison Keenan November 5, 2018 at 6:22 pm -  Reply

      Hello there Julie, lovely to hear from you, and that’s lovely to hear your comments about the book. I know you’ve been through similar times, but I’m glad that the humour shone through in my writing. How lucky for you to be close to Ogmore! We thought it was a stunning beach, and have every intention of returning to Wales in the summer. And you’re right about the portions! Mind you between the four of us it was almost entirely devoured 🙂 You take care and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  3. Maggie Hayes October 31, 2018 at 9:50 pm -  Reply

    Fantastic read Alison could not put it down xxx

    • Alison Keenan November 5, 2018 at 6:23 pm -  Reply

      Maggie I truly appreciate you taking the time not just to read it, but to comment here also. Many thanks, love Ali xx

  4. ALEXIS WILSON November 1, 2018 at 7:19 am -  Reply

    I have never left a comment before although I love reading the presenters blogs. Read your last blog last night and just had to download your book to my kindle Have just finished reading it and had to tell you how much I admire your bravery and spirit. You are a beautiful woman, both inside and out.

    • Alison Keenan November 5, 2018 at 6:32 pm -  Reply

      My dear Alexis, I am so pleased that you liked the book, and even more delighted that this is the first time you’ve ever commented. I do hope it’s not the last. Your kind words have warmed my soul 🙂 If you felt able to review it for me that would be amazing. Thank you very much, love Ali xx

  5. Joanna Downey November 1, 2018 at 7:48 am -  Reply

    Good Morning Ali, 1st November, there’s a battleship grey world outside my windows & an awful mess inside because of the change of conservatory roof & small extension being done at the back of our poor beleagured home. We’ve had to put Sox into the cattery because he’s a nervous little chap & the kettle’s never off! That’s my news but yours is so much better, I’m completely delighted with the success of your book but not in the least bit surprised because it’s everything I wrote about in the last blog & more. Your visit to that lovely part of Wales brought back the happiest of childhood memories; every autumn half term we went to an apartment in Saundersfoot & we spent hours on South beach, which I think is a mile & a half long, total bliss & we always had good weather. Lovely photos of a happy family & a little girl who changes with every one you share with us, that was a HUGE piece of bread. I’ve done a fair amount of reading & shopping online this week & bought the Diamonique snowflake studs yesterday because I thought they’d complement the Olly Doo glitter dress I bought the day before. These purchases were forced upon me because I’ve been limited in what I can do & where I can go that doesn’t mean being away from the tea tray, “Phil, can you hear that kettle?” is the regular cry & I do wish they’d stop calling me Phil… I hear a van approaching, have a lovely week & blow Curtis a kiss from me. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan November 5, 2018 at 6:29 pm -  Reply

      Good evening Jo, you have my sympathy – not just for the weather, but for the building works! A roof and any form of extension make a lot of mess, and you’re right, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much tea drunk and biscuits eaten 🙂 I hope it’s pretty close to finishing now, and that you’re happy with it – and I’m still trying to work out why the builders call you Phil – it should be M’aam! So glad to know that my photos brought back happy memories for you. How lovely to have visited this beautiful part of the world so often, and to have had gorgeous weather for your visits. We plan to return this year. Thank you so much again for making it possible for us to see Curtis – I have donated to The Haven in Fulham. He was sublime – what a voice! And the venue was fab – a night to remember. I have answered your previous and beautifully worded review of my book on the last blog, and apologies it took me so long to do it! Love Ali xx

  6. Mrs Janet Jones November 1, 2018 at 5:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, just a really quick reply to let you know my polyp was benign thank God just waiting for a biopsy result now , Speak soon love Janet xx

    • Alison Keenan November 5, 2018 at 6:30 pm -  Reply

      Janet I am SO relieved for you… that was a long wait! I hope the biopsy result will bring equally good news. With my love, Ali xx

  7. Lynn Hind November 2, 2018 at 1:57 am -  Reply

    Hi there Ali…so pleased you all enjoyed your mini trip away…family time is always a joy and having family there to share and make memories with too after reading your book it could of been so very diffferent and good health is a blessing, that said when faced with the odds stacked makes you realise how fortunate we are when we battle and fight to live and survive ,your book touched me just how hard you fought to survive and come out the other side and deserves its success for me you wrote so clearly and eliquently of the real struggle others with the disease go through and if it shines a light for just one frightened person Ali youve succeeded for that one person all the hard work you put in was worthwhile
    Hugs and love
    Lynn xxx

    • Alison Keenan November 5, 2018 at 6:34 pm -  Reply

      My dear Lynn, thank you so much for these kind and thoughtful words. It’s everything and more I could have hoped the book would be, and as you say, if it makes the whole process that little less frightening for just one person, then it will have been worth it. Sometimes life can throw a whole of things at us, but I never believe it’s more than we can deal with. Thank you for buying the book and for your support and kindness, love Ali xx

  8. Judith Lennon November 2, 2018 at 2:42 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    Well it’s another bright sunny day here although getting chilly. There was frost on next doors roof this morning so winter is coming …. I’ve had a fairly busy week this week. Both my grand daughters have have days with us and both spent differently. Rosie has changed so much since starting school and has really come on with her words and reading. Grandad and I were the pupils for the day and she being the teacher! Great fun was had by all. Katie wanted to learn how to sew. We spent an entire afternoon making Christmas bunting for her all from my scrap stach of Christmas fabrics. One away to use them up. We laughed and giggled the whole time. It was just lovely. Apart from the rotary cutting she pressed and stitched so well I was quite impressed. She was so proud to show her mum. I must tell you how much I enjoyed your book on kindle. Ali I, laughed and cried right the way through it. It really moved me just how strong you are to have endured all that in your life. You should be so proud of yourself. It is obvious from the reviews that I am not alone with my thoughts. I have left a review on kindle also. From an outsiders point I can empathise with the family and friends who went through this with you. You will remember Johns cancer earlier this year and we were all terrified of what was ahead of us. Thankfully he was in the clear. It really does help knowing others are with you during these dark moments. I am glad you enjoyed your time with the family. It looks like you were having great fun. Well I’ve rambled on a bit today so will so for now and as always send love and hugs. Judith xx

  9. Chris Page November 2, 2018 at 4:27 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali

    Congrats on the book! I hope it does as much to demystify breast and other cancers in the way the podcast by the lovely late Rachael Bland and her sidekicks. Reading the extract on your website, I noticed another thing we have in common – you worked at the Shell Building, and my Dad worked on its construction. I know it’s a tenuous connection, but it’s an interesting coincidence. If Honey ever needs “help” with her cheesy garlic bread, I’m always happy to assist.

    Love

    Chris xx

  10. Shauna Britton November 2, 2018 at 7:28 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali,
    It’s been a while, don’t know if you will remember me but I was one of the original Ali’s army.
    At the time I was supporting Mam who had been diagnosed with Myeloma and acute kidney failure at the same time as having our two youngest grandsons two weeks at a time living with us, now three weeks at a time as their Dad our son works away.
    Sadly Mam lost her 7 year battle with Myeloma 2 years ago and I miss her something awful, but accept that it was her time to go.
    having been diagnosed with breast cancer 14 years ago my world turned upside down last October when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my other breast, long story. I wasn’t gpong to write at first. I didn’t want to worry others feeling the dread that this awful thing can hit again,however after reading your fab book that at times felt so raw and relating to so many of your ups and downs I decided that I would, I’m once again looking at the light in the tunnel. Hair and nails growing back although at the moment I look like a beige poodle who has had some kind of a fright. Thank goodness for my fab wig. Part of the Trevor Sorbie charity, honesty anyone needing one check it out. Even consultant and breast nurses who knew I would lose my hair questioned me o my appearance.
    Anyway enough of me for now. Just wanted to say how so so proud of you I am>
    Much love.
    Shauna xxx

  11. Linda Finch November 3, 2018 at 7:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali , we have just got back from a week in Hornsea with Simon and crew ,it was fine when we arivved but very windy so we decided against putting the awnings up until the wind subsided a little,once we had got everything sorted we all enjoyed the meat and potate pie I had made and taken with us,after we all took Charlie , Simons chocolate labrador for a walk on the beach to walk the pie off .we have had a really lovely week lots of wind and rain but we all really enjoyed it. I really love spending time with them all ,looking forward to the next one now ,It is time now to crack on with the christmas shopping, I’m going to put your book at the top of my list and see who buys it for me 😕I’m glad you had a nice break in lovely Wales we too love Tenby ,it’s time we went back we haven’t been for a good while, so many places we want to see its hard to pick where to go first ,John would like to go somewhere near London so we can get the tube or bus into London for a bit of site seeing and of course a spot of retail therapy, I will keep you posted on what happens, lots of love Linda F xxx

  12. Christine November 4, 2018 at 12:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali just got your book, well kindle version, look forward reading it.
    Take Care x

  13. Pauline November 9, 2018 at 8:27 pm -  Reply

    Just asked a friend for your book for Christmas, really looking forward to reading it. Glad it’s been a great success x

  14. Kathy November 10, 2018 at 2:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    Well done on your book, look forward to reading it in the paperback form when ready. !
    Did i read somewhere you have a Top Publisher. ?
    Look forward to more of your books in the not to distant future. ! Take Care.

    Kathy x

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