Happy New Year to you!


I can’t believe we’re here already – the last two weeks have literally flown by! Thank you SO much for all your competition entries and kind words of congratulations for Lucy and Simon and my pending Grandmother status! I have tried to reply to as many of you as possible but to be honest I seem to have had so little time for anything outside of pre-organised events that I fear I may have let some of you down!

Suffice to say, I couldn’t let 2015 begin without thanking you so much for being there for me over this last year, as you are every year. Ali’s Army is my lifeline and a link to those of you whom although I may never meet, mean so very much to me. It’s wonderful to be able to share news, experiences, happy and even sad times, and to provide support for each other in this unique way : )

Something else, of course, I must do is let you know the winner of my Seasonal Sound competition, which was based around a noise you would ONLY hear at Christmas! Although I may not have managed to answer all of you, I had great fun reading through all the answers.

From opening Christmas cards, sleigh bells, bones cracking on a turkey, and pulling crackers, you were all heading in the right direction, but clearly Reindeer landing on a rooftop was the favourite! Much as I would love to say that was the right answer, of course I wouldn’t have been able to record them prior to the big day as they don’t arrive until Christmas Eve!! : )

The sound was in fact me plugging in my Christmas tree lights – recorded with some difficulty laying prone under the tree with pine needles in my face! And the winner is … Katherine Davis from Stafford! Congratulations Katherine, your prize will be with you shortly.

And talking of short, I know that this blog is, but I will write in full next week, and hopefully find some photographs of our seasonal shenanigans! I thought you may like to see one of the presents Lucy gave to me though, which I thought was beautiful. I already have the mother and daughter sculpture and so this one sits next to it now – happy times ahead : )


I very much hope that 2015 will bring you happy times, good health and good news, and I look forward to sharing it with you.

With my love always, Ali xx


  1. Steven January 2, 2015 at 12:45 pm -  Reply

    Happy new year Ali. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and all the best and good health for 2015 – 2015!! That’s the first time I’ve written that. Cant believe its 2015.

    Love Steven x

  2. Mary Morphy January 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali.Just a quick one ftom me too as im coughing regularly and typing a miss and tenner lady firmly in place..What a way to srart the new year. I managed to keep partially awake for the N Y Eve show..hilarious entertainment much better than the ordinary channels so I toasted it in with a large baileys coffee and antibiotics!!! taking down decs today..extremelytiring and I fdidn’t realise I had so many baubles on my tree!!! much love Mary

  3. Susan January 2, 2015 at 3:56 pm -  Reply

    Happy new year Ali! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and new year? Looking forward to seeing your photos! We had a busy time and sad times too as I mentioned to you before Christmas. It always goes in a blur of wrapping, driving, chatting, cooking, cleaning and washing up lol! Looking forward to some warmer weather and spring flowers soon. Have you made any resolutions? Again happy new year x

  4. loraine January 2, 2015 at 4:08 pm -  Reply

    Much happiness to you and yours for 2015 look forward to seeing your xmas photos Les and I had a great time with our family seemed extra special this year looking forward to the coming year now love and best wishes Loraine xx

  5. twinkle January 2, 2015 at 5:28 pm -  Reply

    Awww Ali u are so sweet. Bless u please don’t worry about not replying to everyone, you had so many comments and it was a v busy time of year. I know everyone will understand.

    I am so pleased that myself and the rest of the wonderful Ali’s army members make u happy and feel supported. U are a very special lady and loved by every single one of us 🙂 and mean so much to me too xx

    I love your ornament that isso cute and very special 🙂

    look forward to seeing your next blog and sharing all your lovely pictures abd news

    lots of love and hugs xxx

  6. Amy Wall January 2, 2015 at 5:38 pm -  Reply

    Couldn’t wait to find out what the noise was Ali. Didn’t have a clue so well done to Katherine Davis and enjoy your prize. Wishing you health and happiness for 2015 and lots of fun when you become a Grandma. Ther is nothing like it Ali. Look forward to reading your future blogs. Take care x

  7. Cheryl January 2, 2015 at 7:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali A very Happy New Year to you, Colin and both your families. Thank you for replying to my comment on your last blog and how lovely a June wedding, I myself got married on the 30th June 1984 and it was the most amazing day, marrying my best friend, he has never let me down and is an absolute diamond as is your Colin, he is and has always been their for me and we are lucky enough to have 3 gorgeous, caring children, I should really say young adults. Love Cherylxx

  8. mary annagry January 2, 2015 at 9:49 pm -  Reply

    delighted to hear your news you will be a wonderful grandmotherxx

  9. Pearl Emery January 3, 2015 at 9:56 am -  Reply

    Wishing you and your family a Happy Healthy and Prosperous New Year.
    Many congratulations to Lucy, Simon and Grandma to be Ali on their forthcoming very happy event.

    And wishing Ali’s army a Happy and Healthy 2015.

    Love Pearl xx

  10. Susan Newbery January 3, 2015 at 10:18 am -  Reply

    Congratulations Ali, on the news of becoming a Grandma, I cannot tell you the pleasure I have from my Grandchildren, my youngest Daughter is having another baby, due 26th Feb 2015. Do you know, I am as excited about this little one, as when my eldest Grandson was born he is 18 this July. It will change your life, in the most wonderful way ever. I love my Grandchildren so much. I do hope 2015 is going to be a Healthy one for you, my Darling, you so deserve it. Lots of love Susan Newbery xxxxxxxx

  11. Sue Radford January 3, 2015 at 1:35 pm -  Reply

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALI AND ALL THE ARMY! A lovely photo of you and Colin. I love the present Lucy bought for you. It will certainly always remain special to you along with your mother and daughter one. I love those little sculpts, and funnily enough I was browsing the shops recently and saw one of a young girl kneeling which reminded me of my beautiful granddaughter, and wished I’d bought it. Hope you had a lovely Christmas. Lots of planning lays ahead for you now – so exciting! A new member of the family will be attending the wedding to!

    Love Sue Radford x

  12. Sue Radford January 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm -  Reply

    Oops sorry for the typo, I meant too!

    Sue Radford

  13. Sue Radford January 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm -  Reply

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALI AND ALL THE ARMY! A lovely photo of you and Colin. I love the present Lucy bought for you. It will certainly always remain special to you along with your mother and daughter one. I love those little sculpts, and funnily enough I was browsing the shops recently and saw one of a young girl kneeling which reminded me of my beautiful granddaughter, and wished I’d bought it. Hope you had a lovely Christmas. Lots of planning lays ahead for you now – so exciting! A new member of the family will be attending the wedding too!

    Love Sue Radford x

  14. Jean Reynolds January 4, 2015 at 12:14 am -  Reply

    He’ll Ali. So good to hear how you are doing and living life to the full. I can just imagine you under the tree as it is the kind of thing that I get up to when the old joints allow. These little statues are lovely and the one you have been recently acquired is just so fitting and beautiful and your pic with your lovely man is just lovely. Keep well and don’t overdo it as we want to have you fit enough to keep watching you and hearing about your antics.

    With love and best wishes for a long,healthy and happy future
    Jean, Glasgow

  15. TINA S January 4, 2015 at 4:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    “Happy New Year” to you, and more importantly I wish you a Healthy New Year to you and your family. It will indeed be a happy one with all the happy events awaiting you.
    I can’t believe how quickly the festivities have gone. I took our decorations down yesterday as it feels as though Christmas was ages ago. I know you are’nt supposed to take them down until 12th Night but I could never have left them up that long!
    I never make New Year’s Resolutions, just a list of things I hope will happen this year. The top one being to sell my house and move nearer the coast. We have had so many problems with our current house that I hope nothing else is going to go wrong this year. Most of all though is that we keep healthy and well this coming year. I am going to make the most of everyday, life is short , we should be living every day to the most. And I am going to stop worrying about silly trivial things. As Monty Python’s song goes ” ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE….”
    Wishing you all the best, love Tina S. ( S.Wales)x

  16. Rhona Fenton January 5, 2015 at 8:10 am -  Reply

    A very Happy new year to you, colin and all the family hope 2015 will be a good year for all!! trying to get my reply in early this time as I might be one of the ones you missed but after seeing all your reply’s last time it’s no wonder I did think good luck Alison getting through them, but you being you would give it a good go ha ha!! I was so happy to hear Lucy and simon’s good news, the boy’s will be so excited to, do you think they might be holding out for a wee sister? I myself is going to be a great auntie again in June, my beautiful niece is expecting her first baby so like yourself my big sis is going to be a grandmother for the first time also, so happy news all round 🙂 I was telling you in your last blog I was reduced to tears on Christmas morning when my mum handed me my Christmas gift off your lovely necklace as I never got a chance to get it but I have it now and it is stunning so I couldn’t wait to tell you 🙂 well will keep this short in case like last time your replys come flooding in ha ha! sending you all our love up here to you all down there love Rhona xx

  17. Elaine sallis January 6, 2015 at 3:29 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year to you and Colin and your families. A big year for us too with grandchild number four due in February and Geoff retiring after thirty years in the Fire and Rescue Service.

    Elaine x

  18. martin forbes January 6, 2015 at 6:17 pm -  Reply

    haooy new year alison hope you had anice xmas with your family i hhad anice quiet xmas and new year.glad it is allover for another year congratulation on going to be agrandmother of course alison you are only 41.

  19. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 9:34 pm -  Reply

    And a very Happy New Year to you too Steven ! It’s strange writing 2015 for the first time isn’t it – I usually end up paying a bill and writing it on a cheque! 🙂 Every happiness to you and yours for the coming year, love Ali xx

  20. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 9:38 pm -  Reply

    Mary I am so sorry to hear that you are yet again struggling with a bloomin’ chest infection – I hope the antibiotics work – never mind the tena lady! Thank you so much for your kind words about Dale and my two hours up to New Year. Great to know that you enjoyed it as much as we did – particularly the bloopers bit! 🙂 Well done for you taking your decs down on the 2nd Jan – I only just managed to get mine sorted and the tree out today with Jack and Colin’s help! I have lovingly wrapped all my baubles up including the beautiful little tree one you gave me in 2013 – can’t believe it’s only 11 and a half months before they’re out again! Eeeek! Love to you Mary and may this New Year bring you all that you wish for yourself – the best of everything I hope 🙂 Ali xx

  21. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 9:40 pm -  Reply

    Hello dear Susan, I do hope you managed to find my reply to your lovely Christmas message somewhere amongst all the competition entries… I know it wasn’t the easiest time for you, but I loved your synopsis of what it’s all about.. couldn’t have put it better myself! I am desperately asking around for copies of photos as my phone doesn’t seem to have saved/copied mine! Have quite a few already that I didn’t even know had been taken.. MIGHT show some of them (spoken in a hushed tone)… Love to you and every happiness this coming year, Ali xx

  22. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 9:41 pm -  Reply

    Dear Loraine, I am so glad to know that you had an extra special time with Les and your family this Christmas, and hope that as you say, the coming year will bring you more of the same.. Take care and stay strong, love Ali x

  23. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 9:43 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Twinkle, and thank you for your constant support and kind words. I managed to reply to everyone who wrote anything other than a competition guess – so please do check last week’s blog incase you’ve missed it! I know that Christmas was a bit of a mix for you, but I very much hope that the New Year will bring you nothing but positives. Love Ali xx

  24. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 9:45 pm -  Reply

    Amy, bless you for having a go at guessing the competition.. I will have another one for you in a couple of weeks – once I’ve gathered up some more fab prizes! As you said though, very well done to Katherine Davis as she was one of only a small handful of correct answers. I have been to see Lucy today and took a tiny wee sleep suit with scratch mitts attached… Soooo excited about the baby and all that you say being a Grandmother brings. Can’t wait. Wishing you every happiness this year, and thanks as always for contributing and supporting the blog and me! Love Ali xx

  25. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 9:48 pm -  Reply

    Dear Cheryl, how lovely to hear of your wedding also in June – was it a blazing June?? What a lovely thing to say that you married your best friend – the same will be true for me – it takes someone really special to be with you through the rough and the smooth, and there’s been a fair bit of both over the years 🙂 congratulations on your long marriage and your three children – may you have many more years of contentment and hopefully grandchildren in the years to come. Please do stay in touch, love Ali xx

  26. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 9:48 pm -  Reply

    Dear Mary, many thanks for your kind and good wishes – I wish all the same to you and your family for the coming year – may it bring you many happy times. Do keep in touch via the blog, love Ali x

  27. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 9:50 pm -  Reply

    Pearl how good to hear from you! Happy New Year, and I wish you and your family, all that you wish for me, Colin, Lucy, Simon and the entire family! It’s going to be a corking 2015! Thanks for keeping in touch, and I look forward to hearing more from you as the year moves on, love Ali x

  28. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 9:55 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Susan, and many congratulations on the imminent birth of your next grandchild – how exciting! Especially as your eldest grandchild is almost a man himself now! Marvellous to have the full spectrum of ages, and delighted that you clearly make the very best of the time your spend with not just your children but your grandchildren too… such precious times, and I can’t wait for it to add another unbelievably special dimension to what I already consider a very blessed life. Having our own children is incredible, but when the circle of life is repeated it is something I find difficult to measure… That said, no doubt I will be waxing lyrical come the end of April! Fingers crossed all will be well in March for my next 6 months check.. need to be fighting fit for my grandchild 🙂 Much love to you Susan, and thank you for writing to me, Ali x

  29. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 9:58 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY TOO! I thought you’d like the sculpture, and think you should head on back to the shop and get the one you saw to give to your granddaughter… she would treasure it I am sure! We had a lovely Christmas and I hope you did too – I did reply to you on my previous blog, but it may have been a tad difficult to find in an amongst all the competition entries! As you say wonderful to think we’ll have the baby at the wedding too! It’s going to be a corking year for us all – and you too! 🙂 Love Ali xx

  30. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 10:00 pm -  Reply

    Jean, it was no mean feat I can tell you! As for those aching joints ! I can’t believe I used to run 5k three times a week! Everything is creaking and wheezing these days like an old boiler (one of my Dear and departed Dad’s favourite expressions 🙂 I am sticking to the cross trainer for less impact and walking rather than running! Colin bought me all that I need to start up golf so that may well become my new passion 🙂 Love and best wishes to you too Jean, Ali xx

  31. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm -  Reply

    Dear Tina, I think you’re right not to make resolutions – they are to easy to break and too hard to stick to! I pray that you won’t have to struggle with the same kind of problems this year, and that you will find your dream home on the coast . You’re right.. we should ALL be living each day as if it’s our last… I never plan too far ahead these days – the wedding is the furthest I’ve looked ahead for years! 🙂 Wonderful to know that you also love the Monty Python song ‘Always look on the bright side’ .. I have to tell you quietly that it’s on my list of songs for my own funeral! But that would hopefully be looking WAAAAAY ahead 🙂 Lots of love to you Tina, and every good wish for a healthy and happy new year xxxx

  32. Alison Keenan January 6, 2015 at 10:22 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Rhona, I did reply to you in my last blog – as I did everyone, but would completely understand if you hadn’t had the time to got through all the replies to find it! 🙂 And yes you’re right, Lucy and Simon and the boys have their fingers crossed for a little girl… I have my antenna working, and feel good about it all! Wonderful news for your family too by the sounds of it – I wish you niece the very best of everything with the birth of her baby in June, and congratulations to your sister being a first time grandma like me! I was so touched when I read about your I Hope pendant, and am thrilled that you mum bought it for you… I have been wearing mine today 🙂 Sending you all our love to you up there from all of us down here, Ali xx

  33. Lynn Hind January 7, 2015 at 2:56 am -  Reply

    Thank you for your lovely eply to me last blog xx had much fun holding Holly Lynn shes doing well love the smell of johsons baby powder lol scrummy lol
    Happy new year to you and all the army i love to read the blogs and read the girls news look forward to hearing all your news as always love lynn xx

  34. Alison Keenan January 8, 2015 at 6:51 pm -  Reply

    Dear Elaine, How lovely to hear from you and know of your great news! Fourth grandchild, how exciting! Also knowing that Geoff is retiring means that hopefully you’ll both have more time with the new baby! 30 years in the Fire and Rescue Service – that is a magnificent achievement! Please pass on my congratulations to him and I hope that you will both enjoy his retirement. 🙂 Do let me know how you all get on and whether you have a granddaughter or grandson! With love, Ali xx

  35. Alison Keenan January 8, 2015 at 6:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Martin, I’m glad that you enjoyed your Christmas and New Year albeit a little quiet. Having spoken to all my colleagues here there was as many who had a quiet time, as those who like myself hardly had time to draw breath!! My new blog complete with photos will be posted tomorrow (Friday) 🙂 I hope you enjoy it and a very Happy New Year to you Martin, love Ali xx

  36. Alison Keenan January 8, 2015 at 6:54 pm -  Reply

    Hello Lynn I’m really glad you found your reply amongst all the competition entries! I was so pleased to know that you’d enjoyed your time with baby Holly Lynn, she sounds gorgeous. Check out my new blog as I have more news from Lucy! So glad you enjoy being a part of the Army and keeping in touch with us all. It means a lot, love Ali xx

  37. Carol s January 8, 2015 at 8:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi ya alison, thank you for taking the time to reply to my last blog. So many people writing to you and also being busy with christmas. Have you thought, with eight children between you and Colin you could end up having your own nursery. What a thought eh!

  38. Carol s January 8, 2015 at 9:01 pm -  Reply

    Happy new year to you all. Love Carol. Xx

  39. Carole Davison January 16, 2015 at 3:40 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison, First time I have written on anyone’s blog and a bit late in reading your news about becoming a grandma. Congratulations. It, s wondreful when you have your own child but the feelings for a grandchild are magical. I think it must be seeing your own child, who you have loved and nurtured, continuing to do the same. Enjoy every minute.

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