Happy New Year everyone!!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! And I completely understand you thinking hello… a little late maybe?! So sorry but am hoping that you will have had a grand time over the festive period, and that already things are looking up for you for 2012.

Here's a very short video I took of the Christmas lights just off Covent Garden as I thought they were really pretty… 🙂


 My Christmas
Ali, Debbie G and Claire at the QVC Christmas partyChristmas was great fun, and my only faux pas was buying far too much food! Lunch was with Lucy, Richard, Sam, Jack, Colin and I, but Colin's children were due to join us that evening and stay over.

There's me thinking turkey and gammon sandwiches for 14, but the lure of pizza slices and duck rolls beat my more traditional offerings into a tin hat! That and the 'fat frog' drink which was discovered on our family holiday to Ibiza two years ago. A rather lurid mix of several brightly coloured liquids which brings about deep joy and happiness in all those who drink it! 🙂

In the morning my sitting room resembled one of the London underground stations during the Blitz but as the day wore on, and much coffee and paracetamol was consumed, the numbers thinned out… Still no takers for my turkey though, which was fine, as I took the carcass to my mum and she managed to get 3lbs of meat from it, and made six pints of soup! Bless her 🙂

It's been many years since I've seen my mum at Christmas, but we all got together at my sister's house, and had a lovely lunch with crackers and champagne – but no turkey! She's a vegetarian so made a gorgeous chilli lasagne which hit the spot, and with Michael Buble entertaining us (through her hi-fi not in person you understand) it was perfect.

There was a moment though where my credibility and intelligence were questioned, and that was following the pulling of the crackers… I spent several minutes trying get a sound out of my orange plastic whistle before realising it was infact a small sellotape dispenser… Ho hum…

New Year's Eve

New Year was spent with Ros and Chris and some friends and although I had to be poked awake at 11.40pm (Trivial pursuit and mulled wine not a good combination), it was lovely to see in the New Year and wave goodbye to the old one… and I even managed to keep my wig on, on this occasion 🙂

Talking of wigs, my hair is growing back and not only is it very dark (OK, so I wasn't a true blonde!) but it's curly!!! Eeeeeek! I say that but am immediately consumed with guilt because I should be grateful to have any hair at all having spent the last six months or more completely bald!
One of my friends who will remain nameless said "What have you done to your hair?!" followed by… "It doesn't really suit you…" I know that! But not a lot I can do, but I still love changing from blonde to red to dark hair – variety is the spice of life eh? 🙂

As promised I found the few photographs of the QVC Christmas party that were taken on my camera, and so I hope you enjoy them. It was a cracking night, and Miceal and Craig were awesome! Love to you, and I look forward to hearing how your Christmas went. Ali xx

Craig at the QVC Christmas party Ali with Julia At the QVC Christmas party


  1. mary morphy January 9, 2012 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Ali, what fabulous Christmas photos and the lights in Covent Garden are lovely…we thought the Oxford Street lights were amazing when me, Sherry and Tour Guide Sarah (remember her!) came up to London. Sherry was like a real tourist as she doesn’t get up to the Capital often and had her camera out for every different combination of glittering blue and yellow light nearly getting run over by a bus at one point as she was in the middle of the road snapping away! I am so thrilled that you enjoyed a family filled Christmas with no disasters. I spent the day with my parents and sisters as well as my own family and had a wonderful feast courtesy of Marks and Spencer who kindly prepared all the wonderful veg (much less aggro than peeling veggies early in the morning). A good day was had by all except that whilst out walking off Tommy Turkey my mum had a fall..my husband managed to grab her so she didn’t hit her head (metal plate re brain tunour op) but she did badly sprain her ankle. She is still hobbling about but on the mend but I was then in charge of doggy walking her tibetan terrier and I must say, walking along Westgate beach in the early morning with the wind (and sand) blasting your face is very refreshing and uplifting, definately blows away the cobwebs.
    We played Rapido over Christmas ( a modelling game with play-doh, if you lose you get deducted a lump of play-doh..its hilarious. My twin and I are not allowed to play together as my husband thinks we have psychic powers and can guess what we each are modelling before we have even started!) and the traditional scrabble which comes out after every family meal gathering..I have the luxury turntable version but as I didn’t take it Christmas day to my sisters, we improvised by putting hers on the revolving wooden cheese board(minus the cheese!)and we were thoroughly beaten by my twin sister who manages to beat our combined scores with hers. Mind you, she plays scrabble on her DSI so has lots more practice than we do!
    Looking forward to a much healthier year for you and your family…I am back on the Cambridge Diet now, I had lost 3 1/2 stone but put a little on over Christmas and enjoyed every pound!!! Love Mary xxx

  2. Elaine Sallis January 9, 2012 at 6:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Happy New Year to you. I hope its a good one. Only 3 weeks to Adams wedding. I have my outfit and am looking forward to it. It is at Clearwell Castle in the Forest of Dean which is a beautiful venue. Cali and Poppy are both bridesmaids and I am sure there will be many a lump in the throat when they appear. I loved the film of the lights I saw those when I went to the ballet at the Royal Opera House and thought how beautiful they were. So your film brought back happy memories of the weekend we had in London just before Christmas.
    Lots of love

  3. martin forbes January 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm -  Reply

    happy new year alison i had anice xmas day with my aunt in blackburn aberdeen hogmannay my aunt came down for supper .
    hope your family is well still enjoyingt he blogs

  4. Liz, Morecambe, Lancs January 9, 2012 at 8:40 pm -  Reply

    You’ve got chemo curl Ali !!! As I think I may have said before, I had loads of curls pre-chemo and they all came back but have calmed down recently and I’m not so pleased about that as my hair is now curly underneath but a wild frizzy bush on the top! Apparently, the curl does go after a few months if you had straighter hair before. I was more delighted to find my hair came back without any grey…..I’m coming down to London on Weds for a few days with my parents to stay at my sister’s and one of my treats is to go to Aveda in Covent Garden where the most wonderful guy cuts my hair and has done for a few years, pre-cancer etc. He’s an absolute wonder with scissors and it’s always great to catch up with him. Also going to the Leonardo exhibition and do family things and then back on Sunday before seeing surgeon for my pre-op, sign consent papers appointment on Monday, regular treatment on Tuesday and check-up with oncologist on Thurs. May as well move in to the hospital next week!!! Ah well, needs must and at least it’s all in the same week.
    Lovely to see the photos as always. Happy and healthy 2012 to you, Ali, and the rest of your ‘army’.
    Love from Liz xx

  5. Magda Chetty January 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Happy new year, I hope and pray that 2012 is much better for us and all the army ladies. Hope Alpa is getting better. My husband and I had Christmas in London and enjoyed it a lot. And spent new year eve in a small hotel in Devon and loved it. Sorry I missed seeing you and Debbie, but I had something for you two from Mallorca, which I put in the post on my last day in London hope you enjoy it.
    It is 10th of January and I can tell you that this year I did not feel ill so far, hope 2012 carry on this way.
    Do not worry about your hair, you will always look great to us, and like you said you can change the wigs whenever you want.
    Much love, and thank you again for being there for me last year with your blog, you will always be in my heart, and hope to come to London again this year and meet you.

  6. Margaret Mcvea January 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm -  Reply

    I ali how lovely to see you back on qvc I have just been watching you on gale hayman show and would like to say you look beautiful and hope you continue getting better
    best regards Margaret x

  7. Margaret Upton January 9, 2012 at 11:06 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year, lovely to see you back laughing and presenting. I know what you mean about the curly hair, nightmare,I have always longed for glossy straight hair rather than my wild ball of wool, never mind plenty of products to choose from on QVC to keep it in tip top shape. Just wanted to wish you a much better year and lots of joy.

  8. Mrs Janet Jones January 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year to you Ali,sounds like you had a lovely Christmas and New Year.Christmas Eve we went to see ‘White Christmas’ with Aled Jones which was fantastic and around 8.00pm my son came home to stay with us for a few days. We played games watched telly and ate too much!! and did a bit of shopping, I was sooo happy to have him home I can’t tell you. Then on New Years Day he was home again with his girlfriend to stay for a couple of days(she was 21 on new years eve).So I really have been spoilt. I will be seeing him again in 2/3 weeks as it our birthdays on 4th & 10th of February so we always have a joint celebration.
    Thank-you for your card and letter I really did appreciate it as you have so much going on in your own life but you always make time for others. Hope things are improving for Sam and the rest of your family are well.
    I went to see my surgeon on 3rd January he seems quite pleased with me, but still wants to see me at least twice a year as well as seeing my oncologist, but as we say Ali this is all part of our new ‘normality’. As to your hair growing back curly and no grey(I am still very jealous of that lol) my came back wavy and virtually white, but as you say at least it came back, so we must be grateful for that. Whichever wig you wear you look fantastic and before you know it you won’t need to wear it, but whatever style you hair is you always look good.
    Here’s to A Healthy New Year and do let us know your plans for Australia, so much to look forward to, which you so deserve Ali.Keep well and speak soon love Janet xxx

  9. Gill Odam January 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,I too would like to wish you a very Happy and healthy New Year. It’s lovely to see you back in my living room again,(well on the screen anyway!) Onward and upward…. and I’m sure that your hair will look gorgeous as ever when you show it who’s boss in the coming months!
    Best wishes to all of Ali’s Army too…. you have a wonderful crowd of friends and supporters and some need thoughts and prayers too. Love, Gill x

  10. Gail January 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, it seems like ages since I last spoke to you but I’ve been watching you on QVC and you look great xx
    The photo of your tree looked great; I always love a real tree. Well, you’ve said goodbye to the old year now and it’s full speed ahead into the new. I truly hope 2012 brings all you wish, and more x
    One day at a time Ali. Lots of love to you and all the ladies. Take care,
    Gail xxxx

  11. Julie January 10, 2012 at 6:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Hope you have a happy and better 2012.
    Know what you mean about buying too much food-I always buy things “just in case” as you know haven’t been well so alot went in the bin.
    Took your advice & had more blood tests today and now waiting for a scan.On a brighter note did see my gorgeous Daughter today and my beautiful Granddaughter-first times in weeks and crikey has Lily grown. Getting ready now for Rebecca & my Birthday’s (last one in my 40’s!) which is something to look forward to for a change.
    Hope everything’s well with you & your family,will be in touch soon.
    Take care
    Julie xx Lily xxxxxxx

  12. Tricia January 10, 2012 at 11:10 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Ali, lovely to read about all that’s gone on with christmas & the New Year, and I loved the photo of the Christmas lights – super.
    I am delighted to see how well you look back on TV, and it’s lovely to see you enjoying being back.
    I always think you have super dress taste – and I loved the pale grey dress or maybe it was a skirt & top, so feminine-lovely.
    We had a great Christmas with our son and his wife – expecting their first baby in June, so we are all very excited. New Year was brill, we did a dinner party for two other sets of our neighbours,and we had great fun, and all ate too much ect!
    Three members of the family have birthdays this month – oh heck! so I’m running around so soon after christmas again,hey ho!
    Take good care Ali,
    Love x Tricia

  13. Rhona Fenton January 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm -  Reply

    Happy new year Alison to you, colin and all your lovely family heres too a much better one for you all:) love the lights thanks for letting us see that, having said that it may not been London up here but the trees at the castle gates looked lovely:) as you know your self it’s a much grander way into the castle now with the new gates:) so glad you had a fantastic time with everyone over the Holiday’s and looks like the christmas party was enjoyed by all:) I caught up with our Holiday news as you know on your email so will spare you that again:) great to see you back looking so well Alison:) love to you and yours from me and mine up here, lot’s of love as always Rhona xx

  14. alison keenan January 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year to you Mary and thanks so much for your lovely account of your Christmas and New Year…. not sure that a walk along Westgate beach in the howling wind would have been that refreshing – more like instant exfoliation of your face!! 🙂 You’re right about the lights in Oxford Street – the same as last year and just as pretty. Sloane Square also had balls of white light like mistletoe in the trees and they look fab too. I can just imagine you playing Rapido with your twin…. it is one of THE funniest games along with Pictionary, and guaranteed to cause hysteria in our family. I lost mine somewhere in the move, but think having read your account, it’s time to invest in a new one! Well done you for losing the weight but still managing to enjoy Christmas – it’s easier to lose it again I imagine now that you know you can do it! Take care and Happy New Year to you and yours Mary – looking forward to hearing from you again, love Ali x

  15. alison keenan January 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm -  Reply

    Elaine how exciting!!! Only three weeks – I bet you can’t wait. The venue sounds beautiful, and I am certain it will be the most magical day. Calli and Poppy will look stunning I’m sure and as you say, not a dry eye in the house! I think the wedding must be about the same time that Colin and I head out to Australia! Glad the lights reminded you of a lovely night out – we had a great night too, and it’s a lovely memento. Enjoy the next few weeks, and I’ll look forward to hearing all about the big day itself 🙂 Love Ali xx

  16. alison keenan January 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm -  Reply

    Martin I’m glad you celebrated Christmas and New Year with your Aunt – hogmannay always sounds so much more like a fun time! Did you eat Haggis? Love Ali x

  17. alison keenan January 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm -  Reply

    Well Liz you’ll be with your parents when you get this and I very much hope enjoying your time together 🙂 gosh your surgery has come around quickly and I hope that all the pre-op bits and pieces go smoothly… you’re right about moving in – I remember one week being at my hospital every day bar the weekend! Chemo Curl!! It’s either that or Jack Russel fur I’ve got on my head! More of a shock as my hair was dead straight before, but keeping on with the wigs for a while until I can decide what to do with it 🙂 I hope that your man at Aveda will work his magic for you and all the VERY best for your op. Take care, love Ali xx

  18. alison keenan January 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    My dear Magda I was so sorry to have missed you too, but glad that you and your husband had a wonderful stay not just in London, but Devon too… rather different to Mallorca I imagine! it’s wonderful to hear that you’re feeling well and that the medication has settled down – I pray for you too that this year will be happier and healthier and please do keep in touch so that we can meet up the next time you’re in London 🙂 I’m so glad that the blog has helped you and wish you the very best of times, love Ali xx

  19. alison keenan January 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm -  Reply

    Margaret thank you so much, that’s a lovely thing to say. I really enjoyed working with Sam – I haven’t seen her for well over a year so we had a lot to catch up on prior to the show 🙂 Here’s hoping that 2012 is healthier and happier for us all, love Ali xx

  20. Susan January 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What a fabulous photo of you, Debs and Claire! You all got into the themed spirit!! You look fabulous. Clearly a lot of fun was had!? I loved the lights as well. It’s phenomenal to think back to the horrific year you had and that you don’t look as if you’ve been through it at all. Even more so that your personality is as bubbly and energetic as ever…on screen at least! You’re a star. I totally agree with Tricia above – your dress taste is always so elegant and beautiful. I hope you have a happy 2012. Chat soon,
    Susan x

  21. alison keenan January 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm -  Reply

    Maggie I bet your hair is lovely 🙂 Someone said my hair looked like a younger Lesley Caron so I was mightily chuffed…. I even been likened to Dame Judi Dench, so that’s gratifying – wish I had her acting skills!! Rather fancy myself as M 🙂 Happy New year to you too, and thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  22. alison keenan January 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm -  Reply

    Dear janet it was so lovely to read about your Christmas and New Year, and I am very pleased that your son and his girlfriend chose to spend so much of it with you – it makes all the difference doesn’t it. I’m glad you got my letter and thank you for yours – I have put your photo with all the others and just need the board to pin them all to! Lovely to think of you and actually see your face 🙂 Colin and I are heading off to Australia on February 2nd – a year to the day I had my mastectomy and also Jack’s birthday – so yet again we’ll have to celebrate the day or weekend before! Very excited about it, and spoke to my brother again yesterday which was lovely. Take care and keep in touch, and I very much hope that this year is another healthy and happy one for you = particuarly with your new kitchen!!! Love Ali xx

  23. kay salisbury January 11, 2012 at 11:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali-very happy new year to you-glad you had a good Christmas-I laughed when I read the bit about the cracker—I knew exactly what you meant as soon as I read “cellotape”(to be honest—that little ‘thing’ was very handy once when I had used all the human- sized variety-probably when returning something!!!!!:-)I must compliment QVC-they did get everything to me before Christmas—and some were very late orders.We returned from Swansea on the Friday and my daughter said,”Been buying a few things from QVC have we?????” —There were 8–yes 8 items—bliss. I am glad the hair is thriving-but-I do really like you with the red hair.Keep well and have a wonderful year ahead.
    Love K.XXX

  24. angela white January 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm -  Reply

    hi ali you alright!? glad to hear you had a fab christmas and new year. not long til oz then!? im sure you will have a great time! i hope you got my xmas card and mug shot!!!we had a lovely christmas loads to eat and drink! (of course!) and soome lovely presents loads of liz earle! perfume(hmm peeps trying to tell me something!) ive finished the thorntons chocs just got the lind chocs now yumyum! i got my letter for 4year check up in may to see bcc nurse at hospital its gone so fast since that awful day march 5th forever printed in my brain! i see some ladies have said on your blog they have been diagnosed so ladies can i say dont be scared,cry when you want to do as doctors and nurses tell you and NEVER give up hope- you got to much to do and aint going anywhere yet!!!take care ali, love to you and family and all of ali”s army xxx

  25. Linda Marshall January 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali I am so glad that you had a lovely Christmas and new year.
    We had a very quiet one at my daughters on Christmas day due to my husbands condition as he soon gets tired. My grandson is starting to feel a little better after his spell in hospital with meningitis but it is a slow recovery and we are very grateful as it could have been so much worse.Here’s to a happy 2012 for everyone in Ali’s army. love Linda.xxx

  26. martin forbes January 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm -  Reply

    hi alison i did not have haggis for hogmany supper i had beef and potatoes they were beautiful

  27. alison keenan January 12, 2012 at 9:41 pm -  Reply

    Gill I’m delighted to be in your living room!! Delighted to be back at work too – it’s my new ‘normal’ and it’s far better than being at home waiting for treatment each week 🙂 so glad that you’ve been in touch, and you’re right this blog has become a good place for us all to lean on each other… thank you for taking the time out to write. Have a very happy New Year, love Ali xx

  28. alison keenan January 12, 2012 at 9:45 pm -  Reply

    Gail thank you 🙂 Mum wasn’t too keen on my wig today – thought it looked like a throw back to the 60s, but I needed to wash the red one, and had forgotten the night before! Can’t believe this time last year I was having all my tests and still hadn’t had the diagnosis… so much in just 12 months, but wonderful to leave the year behind me…..as you say one day at a time, and here’s to 2012 for all of us – a hopefully better year. Lovely to hear from you and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  29. alison keenan January 12, 2012 at 9:48 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julie, glad that you’ve had the blood tests done, and hope that the results will be all good… best to get these things checked. Nice to have a birthday to look forward to as well as your daughter’s – I hope you are spoiled and feel well enough to enjoy the festivities! Glad Lily is doing well – they grow so quickly don’t they?! Love to you, Ali xxx

  30. alison keenan January 12, 2012 at 9:53 pm -  Reply

    Tricia, lovely to hear from you – glad you liked the photo, and if you press on the arrow in the middle of it, you’ll see it’s a little film of some really pretty lights I found in a back street in Covent Garden! 🙂 How exciting for you to have a new baby to look forward to in the Spring! And how nice for you to have enjoyed New Year with your friends, best place to be 🙂 Good luck with buying the birthday presents for all those birthdays! Hope QVC can help… Take care, love Ali xx

  31. alison keenan January 12, 2012 at 9:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Rhona, thanks so much for bringing me up to date with your Christmas and New year – lovely to get all your news. Will write in full when I can find my glasses – staring at the screen like a bat at the moment 🙂 I’m sure the Castle Gates did look lovely, and I hope very much that Colin and I get the chance to visit again soon – maybe this year! With love to you and yours,
    Ali xx

  32. alison keenan January 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Susan, Yes Deb, Me, Claire, Julia and a number of others really enjoyed our Christmas treat in Covent Garden, and although the wig didn’t stay on that long, it was so good to dance the night away and forget everything! Thank you to you and Tricia for your compliments – it was a Phase Eight Dress I was wearing and a nice fit too… probably would prefer the sleeves longer now I have my fat arm but otherwise lovely 🙂 Coming into work always energises me, and I love being with my friends too – the rest of my life may have changed but QVC is the same as it always has been thank Heavens 🙂 I hope you too have a very happy 2012, love Ali xx

  33. alison keenan January 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Kay – so glad that all your pre Christmas orders arrived in time, and that you had a good time! Wonderful to have your presents delivered to the door as opposed to having to set out to find them, and then lug them home!! My mum’s in your camp with the red hair, and so it will be on Sunday when I’m working in the afternoon. Have a great weekend, love Ali xx

  34. alison keenan January 12, 2012 at 10:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Angela – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! y’AM AWRIGHT! 🙂 Yes thanks I did get your photo, and so good to have a face to put to the name – as I said to Janet, Jo, Sue and all the other girlies who’ve sent me their pictures, it is seriously good to KNOW who I’m writing to – thank you!!
    It sounds like you had a great Christmas and New Year doing everything you should be doing, and I’m so pleased for you that the last four years have passed so quickly… I find it hard to believe it’s almost a year to the day since I was diagnosed…. thank heavens time moves on eh? I love your message of hope, and know that those who read this blog, and may have been recently diagnosed, will take comfort from your words, as I did when I was going through it. Thank you Angela, Love Ali xx

  35. Julie C January 12, 2012 at 11:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Your Christmas/New Year sounds fab, lovely to hear of you having fun and celebrating an end to what has been a most unsatisfactory year (putting it very politely!) for some of us. You must be really looking forward to your Australian adventure now. I finished my radiotherapy today – it’s been a long 5 weeks and I cant quite believe that it’s finally over. The staff at my local hospital were absolutely fabulous and I found a lovely handmade card which said “count your rainbows, not your thunder-storms” inside I thanked them for helping me through my thunderstorm! We all agreed it was a perfect sentiment. Here’s to many rainbows for us all in the future – love Julie xx
    PS I’ve heard of lots of post Chemo patients whose hair has grown back curly. My partners sister-in-law looked fab with her’s she dyed it bright blonde and it reminded me of the singer Yazz – I’m sure you could carry the look off beautifully x

  36. Tracy King January 13, 2012 at 11:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali and Army – happy new year to one and all!
    We had a quiet xmas – it was the first time in 24 years of marriage that i had dinner in my own home!! very strange and nerve-racking (I’ve never cooked a turkey!!) but nice too, my 21 yr old son had never done it so it was all new for him, the death of my father in law in 2010 changed the usual ‘rota’. The 2nd of jan was my hubby’s 50th birthday and guess what he got – grumpy old man syndrome – nobody warned me about that!! he had me warned since his 49th that he didnt want any fuss – he’s a quiet sole, so had to make do with a cake at his mums on new years day!! i made him wear the big 50th bagde tho’ told him it was the law!! haha.
    I’m just getting ready to enter ‘Fronk’ zone again – I’ve got 2 weddings to make invites etc for, my nephew in June and another friend’s son in July, they want them now to get them out! heyho! Diet was off for 2 wk break over xmas – I was on one most of last year lost 2 stone thanks to zumba addiction, but had a break and ate my bodyweight in jellytots haha! Zumba started back this week and boy am i hurting!! luv it tho’
    Anyway take care and look forward to hearing about your building excitement for holibobs
    Write soon, luv n hugz n stuff
    Tracy (Fronk) and Cath by proxy xxx

  37. alison keenan January 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julie, So glad you made it through your five weeks of radiotherapy! That is a very long haul, and over Christmas too, but I’m glad the staff at the hospital were kind, and no doubt appreciated your lovely card – a great sentiment indeed 🙂 I wish only rainbows for you and the rest of us too! Rather liking the idea of blonde curls and Yazz – “The Only Way is Up” – would seem quite fitting 🙂 Thanks for writing, and have a good weekend, Love Ali xx

  38. alison keenan January 13, 2012 at 1:17 pm -  Reply

    Dear Linda, I think I must have missed your message, but am glad to hear that although your Christmas was quiet, it was one spent with your family. I’m so glad that your grandson is on the mend, and although it will take time it must be a mighty relief to know that he’s out of danger. It was a difficult year for you I know, and so I am sending you my love and hope very much that this year is easier, Ali xx

  39. alison keenan January 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm -  Reply

    Is it me, or does it seem some time since we heard from Una? I do hope all is well with you and I hope that this Year will be a better and healthier one for you, love Ali x

  40. Debz January 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Ali
    What a contrast, as you said, from this time last year. Just goes to show what a difference a year can make to your life. Bet you never thought you’d be this well and this happy ever again eh?
    I thought you looked stunning (as always)yesterday but I have to say that red wig is more you. I don’t know why but it really suits you. Who’d have thought that you’d be a redhead!!
    Bet you’re looking forward to Australia and seeing your brother. Any idea when you will be off down under?
    It’s my birthday next Saturday. Not looking forward to it. Ever since I got past 35 I haven’t really wanted another birthday. I know you are as old as you feel but, at the moment, I feel about 107!! Hopefully, now the nights are getting a bit lighter, I’ll start to feel a bit brighter too. One can only hope eh?
    Ainzley is being quite well behaved at the moment, other than stealing my slanket that is. He makes a kind of nest out of it and pretends to be fast asleep when I want to use it. He puts on his cutest face, which I am convinced he practises in the mirror, knowing that I won’t have the heart to move him. I sit and shiver whilst he is lovely and warm!! Bless him.
    Alpa, I hope you are well and I hope your Doctor has pulled is finger out and has stopped fobbing you off. I am so sorry that you spent Christmas by yourself, that must have been so lonely for you. I, like Ali, wish that I could reach into the computer and pull you into my lounge for a chat and a hug. You take care and let us know how you are when you can.
    Helen S, I hope that you too are doing OK at the moment and that the lighter nights are giving you a little boost knowing that Spring is on its way.
    Una, sending you a hug and hope that you will be back with us soon. Stay strong my lovely, we are all here for you when you need us. You are always in our thoughts.
    To all you other lovely soldiers in Ali’s Army, here’s to a better 2012 for us all.
    Lots of love and licks

  41. Susan January 13, 2012 at 7:37 pm -  Reply

    Linda, I just wanted to add my thoughts to you as you sound like you’ve had an awful time – meningitis – how scary but I ma glad he is making a recovery. Love Susan x

  42. Susan January 13, 2012 at 7:44 pm -  Reply

    Oh and ps Ali. I bet you’d look gorgeous with blonde curls!!

  43. Alpa January 13, 2012 at 11:49 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Happy New Year :)!! And just the perfect time to remind us of it! Thank you so much for your lovely message and I did giggle at the ‘mouldy Christmas.’ Thank you for wishing you could magic me through the computer, that cheered me up no end, bless you 🙂 So pleased that you enjoyed your festive period, just as it’s meant to be. I thought I had missed the Christmas lights, thank you for bringing them to us.
    How exciting that you and Colin will be on the way to Australia in a few weeks and you get to see your brother! I haven’t seen my sister for almost twice the length of time you haven’t seen your brother, as I’ve not been home for a very long time 🙁 I did see my parents a few years ago and hope very much when things are more settled, I can make a plan and go home.
    Just watching ‘The Holiday’ as I write to you, haven’t seen the full film before. I am in love with the cottage and how fab that you have such a lovely home. I confess I am also partial to the other house, especially being in a warmer climate to ours and the swimming pool, bliss.
    Debz, thank you for always thinking of me. I’m afraid my doctor has not pulled his finger out (and reading that did make me laugh!) He said he’s not able to understand how the M.E. makes me so ill although he knows exactly how things have been for me. Just as well, he’s not a specialist!! To be honest I have not been managing and am trying to sort out things that may make life a little easier until the dreadful weakness takes a hike!
    Tell me, if Ainzley has pinched your slanket has he at least given you your dressing gown back to keep you warm?! I am hoping!! I confess that I don’t like the ‘age’ thing either when it comes to birthdays now but I do hope you do something nice for yourself, after all it is your special day 🙂 As for feeling 107 at present, I am keeping you company on that front! Thank you for the kind thought of pulling me through your computer for a chat, sounds lovely. I did find Christmas difficult and I am glad it’s over. Just to ask, you don’t have MS do you? if I have missed that I am sorry.
    Helen, how are you feeling? I hope that the last doctor’s appointment was helpful. I will write to you over the weekend. Take care x
    Magda, so pleased that you enjoyed both Christmas and the New Year and hope that you are feeling ok at present x
    Una, thinking of you and sending you lots of love x
    Susan, thank you for thinking of me, it’s very much appreciated. I do hope you were able to be with your loved ones over Christmas and New Year x
    Love to all in Ali’s Army and to anyone going through troubled times, may the New Year bring some respite and brighter days xx
    Ali, take care
    Lots of love, Alpa xxxx

  44. Alpa January 14, 2012 at 12:33 am -  Reply

    Hi Helen,
    How are you doing? I’m so pleased that Olivia made Christmas magical for you and I hope you were able to to do something nice for the New Year, as well 🙂
    How did your doctor’s appointment go last week, I hope it was helpful, I really do. I have learnt the hard way not to underestimate the effect that M.E. can and does have, especially when you are going through a relapse.
    I had my blood test results just before the New Year and I’m low/severly low on some vitamins which was not a surprise! Although it had been difficult to manage for a long time, I noticed an increase in pain and tiredness just over two and a half years ago and it hasn’t really got any better since then. Perhaps that’s when the relapse started? I had bronchitis the december before last and after a few viruses and a blackout (in between) last year, I cannot seem to get rid of this horrible feeling of weakness.
    I do sympathise with you. It would be such a relief to just have some relief from it all and I wish there was something I could do to help.
    When do you think your M.E. statred to get worse? I hope you don’t mind the doctor like question!
    Take care and please let me know how you are when you can.
    Lots of love, Alpa xxxx

  45. sue bayley January 15, 2012 at 11:07 am -  Reply

    You look amazing Ali. Hope all is well with you. Please can you tell us how the lovely Amica is? So many people are praying for her.
    Love and hugs Sue x

  46. Kim January 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year, Ali!
    Looking forward to spending time with you again throughout 2012 – you make EVERY year an Olympic year, with your courage, cheerfulness and positive attitude.
    Love and online hugs!

  47. Joanna Downey January 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm -  Reply

    Hello Alison, A lovely, newsy blog as always. The lights were very pretty, if I was only alllowed one Christmas decoration it would be lights, I love them so much I have a set wrapped around a basket on top of the dresser in our kitchen – all year round. Your festivities sounded very merry, I can identify with buying too much food (siege mentality?) and the “Mulled Wine Effect”. We played Rapido and I will forever blame my transformation into competitive gorgon on the Prosecco. I adore Christmas and had a relaxed two weeks away from school; on the first day Ellie and I went to see ‘Arthur Christmas’ then I had a mammogram (what a combination) unfortunately the radiographer was of the brute force school of healthcare so it was two fractured ribs for the holiday, result was clear so that’s all ok. Christmas Eve’s my favourite day and we have a dressed to the nines meal which was originally for Col and me but has included the girls for the last 15 years – where do all the years go? This year Bex and Ant were with us and he’s a carnivore so I cooked turkey for him, something my veggie oven has never dealt with before! I normally find the days after Christmas and January really grim, not helped by my annual two months without alcohol, but the weather so far has good and it’s already lighter for longer at the end of the day so not so bad this year. What weather will you have in Australia and are you taking a whole new wardrobe? What a super thing to do and a super man for getting it for the two of you. We’ll all be waiting for news and photos. Love from Jo x

  48. helen s January 16, 2012 at 11:44 am -  Reply

    My dear Alpa, more blood tests done at the dr’s and a water infection to add to the list!!! Not much sense again i’m afraid, as I said the last dr said it was perimenopause, the one before said m.e. and this one said she didn’t really know but thought I was too young for hormone problems, I’m nearly 45!!!! Oh, its sooooo frustrating, oh and then she told me that I might be stressed and this is causing me to feel rought all the time and would I like a little something to ‘lift my mood’? I think not. I explained that all I want is to get up in the morning and feel well for a change!!!!!!
    I had m.e. first when i was 30, had promotion, new house etc and generally overdone it. Then had mega bout of the flu and that was it. It took 3 years to get over that and all was going well until about 3 years ago when the tiredness started creeping back in and all the other horrid things. My syptoms are a lot like the perimenopause ones but as my blood test is within the normal range the dr’s wont have any of it.
    Hope we’ll find an answer one day my lovely. Take care now and ask as many questions as you like, I’m always here.
    Love and hugs
    Helen s xxxx

  49. Susan January 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Just wanted to very quickly leave you a message to say I thought you looked absolutely gorgeous on your Emu show yesterday! I LOVED the hair, the dress, the boots…everything. Very gorgeous outfit. And I wanted to say how much I love Lola Rose and the gorgeous clothes that lovely Nicki wears too.
    Chat soon, got to dash,
    Susan x

  50. Lindalou January 16, 2012 at 9:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Great to hear from you on your blogg again,glad to hear that you had a lovely new year with your family. Another great year to come on qvc. I had a lovely Christmas as my niece’s twins had their first christmas and as they live near I see alot of them,some times a bit too much when they are in to and up to everything.(not realy) the house looks like a bomb has gone off by the time they go home.Never mind I love them all to bits,they are so very good to me as i’m disabled. Another nice time to come very soon as the twins are one on the 3rd of feb so we will be having a party for friends,children and family. love Linda.ps God bless and a better 2012 for you xxxxxxxxxxxx

  51. helen s January 17, 2012 at 11:17 am -  Reply

    Hia Ali,
    I did write at the end of the last blog. How are you doing, I bet Feb can’t come quick enough. I hope that you are not over doing things though. Your poor little body has been through a lot and you deserve some time out. Watched you and Charlie last nite, I did text in but it wasn’t shown. I do like your hair short, it really suits you.
    Just done a food shop, blimy the price of everything has gone up over the last couple of weeks! The government and health people harp on about healthy eating etc, but what i’ve just paid for lots of fruit and veg they should start thinking about lowering the prices. There, moan over.
    Going to have a cuppa now to warm up. Its freezing cold but lovely and sunny.
    Take care now
    Love and hugs
    Helen s xxxxx

  52. Alison Keenan January 17, 2012 at 11:48 am -  Reply

    Martin, years ago when I visited my cousin in Arbroath we had shin of beef and potatoes and it was delicious! That said, I enjoy Haggis too! Love Ali x

  53. Alison Keenan January 17, 2012 at 11:56 am -  Reply

    Tracy lovely to hear about your Christmas – sounds like you made a great success of your lunch, and how nice that your son helped too! At least your hubby accepted cake 🙂 My ex told me he didn’t want a fuss for his 40th, and so I didn’t arrange anything, and he sulked for ages!! I wore a cardboard medal on my 50th but kept trying to convince people I was 49! Good luck with all the wedding invites – we’ll have to invite you to our Crafting shows – sounds like you’ve got a wonderful cottage industry going there! Good luck with the dieting – 2 stone is incredibly impressive, and much more fun to lose weight with Zumba! Take care, and do keep in touch – love to you and Cath (by proxy) xx

  54. Alison Keenan January 17, 2012 at 11:59 am -  Reply

    Debz you paint such a lovely picture of Ainzley 🙂 I too would feel mouldy to remove him from the Slanket!! Perhaps you should ask for another one for your birthday, talking of which I hope that you have something planned for your birthday, and that you feel well enough to enjoy it – just start counting backwards – that’s what I’ve done – it’ll be my 50th again this year 🙂 Lovely to hear from you and I hope the sun is shining in your part of the world, love Ali xx

  55. Alison Keenan January 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm -  Reply

    Susan, bless you…planning to make the call to Richard Ward so he can ‘transform’ me once I’m home from Australia 🙂 xx

  56. Alison Keenan January 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm -  Reply

    Alpa a joy to hear from you, although I’m sorry to read between the lines and guess that things are still a little difficult…. Just try and take a day at a time, it’s the only way. I stopped projecting so far forwards this time last year.. no one can predict what’s around the corner, but I’m a firm believer that if you think things will improve, then they will 🙂 You very much deserve it, and so I know we all wish it for you. Yes my little cottage is still as pretty and I lit the log burner the other night so it was even more like the film – although Jude Law was missing!! Take care, stay well, and keep in touch my friend, love Ali xx

  57. Alison Keenan January 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Sue, thank you for the compliment 🙂 The wonders of make up and a good wig!! As far as I know Amica is doing well and her new medication isn’t causing her any side effects which is good. I will of course pass on your very best to her, love Ali xx

  58. Alison Keenan January 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm -  Reply

    Kim, what a lovely thing to say! Bless you – and thank you for keeping in touch with me. I hope this year will be your best yet, love Ali xx

  59. Alison Keenan January 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm -  Reply

    OMG Jo that’s awful!! Bad enough being squashed into the mammogram scanner without them damaging your ribs! So glad that inspite of that you had such a good Christmas, and that the results were clear too 🙂 I had to use my neighbour’s oven for my turkey as I only have a single oven in the cottage and we had gammon too! Take my hat off to you for the two months without alcohol – I think I’d miss the occasional glass of red rather a lot! It will still be the summer in Australia when we arrive, although my brother has told me it’s the wettest one they’ve had in years, so I’m hoping the rain will have moved on by the time we arrive. Yes, very much looking forward to it, and will let you know where I’m up to with the planning in my next blog 🙂 Love to you and yours, Ali xx

  60. Alison Keenan January 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm -  Reply

    Thank you Susan – I loved the boots too!! The most comfortable hours I’ve spent at work without balancing on my usual pin heels (which I also love of course) 🙂 Have a good day, love Ali x

  61. alison keenan January 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Linda, sounds like you too had a wonderful Christmas. One year old twins!! I can imagine they are into everything! Lovely though to have the house full of chatter and laughter and I’m certain you’ll have just as much fun on the 3rd February when it’s their birthdays! The day after my Jack 🙂 God bless and love to you too, Ali xx

  62. Debz & Ainzley January 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alpa
    It was so good to hear from you again.
    Ainzley and I are currently sharing my slanket. I have one half wrapped around me and the other half spread out on the sofa so he can lie on it. Heaven only knows what I will do if I need the loo as its like wearing a straight jacket once Ainzley gets on it, I can barely move!!
    I don’t have MS. I think our lovely Ali got mixed up, bless her, when she replied to one of my blogs!!
    I am off to visit an friend of mine on my birthday. I don’t get to see her nearly as often as I’d like as she lives quite a way away but she seemed to sense that I wasn’t looking forward to my birthday so she has insisted I spend it with her. I do so wish she lived nearer as she is probably the only true non blog friend I’ve got.
    You take care Alpa my love, we are all very fond of you on here and I know that, if we could, we would all be there with you looking after you and generally making a fuss of you which is no less than you deserve.
    Try to have a good week.
    Lots of love and licks
    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  63. Susan January 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What a treat to visit Richard Ward when you come home! That’ll be fun! I hope you enjoy your experience there and let us know what it’s like? I have to say I agree with you on you do not know what is round the corner…or what is going on in other people’s lives. I’m going to read your next blog now.
    Take care,
    Susan x

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