Home, away and Diamonique Day!

58

Hard to believe it’s been over a month since I was last with you at the Q, but I’m happy to say that I’m feeling far better and much less sore, as well as looking forward very much to seeing you on Thursday night at 9pm. That’s the great thing about this kind of surgery, there’s no visible evidence and as long as I don’t have to lift anything heavy, I’ll be fine! Mind you, I won’t be alone as Charlie Brook will be with me for the three-hour finale of Diamonique Day! It’s funny, as Charlie was with me when I came back to work after my initial diagnosis when I had my first show. I know I’ll be in safe hands as he’s always so supportive, and I may have a few surprises for him too – of a nutritional nature! 🙂

You’ve been really supportive too with your lovely messages and comments here on the blog and social media, and I’ve had plenty of spare time to appreciate them and respond, which is nice. It feels as though I’ve been off for ages, but when I look back and think of the number of people who’ve popped in, or who’ve stayed for a few days to help out, that time shortens. Roz – my lovely friend who lives in Dorset – drove all the way over to pick me up and take me back to her home just outside of Shaftesbury. We enjoyed two days together, just pottering about in her garden or sitting nattering! This was the only traffic jam we experienced, and the peace and quiet that is indicative of her part of the world was very therapeutic, as was her company.

If you could bottle it, I’m sure it would be a cure-all! Her husband Chris works close by and creates the majority of the London stage show curtains, backdrops, and other fabric scenery. He’s worked on Les Miserable, Miss Saigon, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins and of course Phantom, to name but a few! He also made curtains for their local village hall, and we got to see them when we were all invited to see the cinematic version of the London Theatre Production of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. Roz and Chris had seen the London show, and I remember Roz telling me about it. Hard to believe it was over a decade ago that Matthew Bourne set the dance world alight when he replaced all the female swans with male dancers. He certainly shook a few feathers in the little village hall that night, and with Chris’s curtains as a backdrop, we all agreed that it was absolutely brilliant.

Being at home has meant more time for me in the garden, and I have to admit to being rather chuffed with my hanging baskets this year.

I had a wonderful show of Cala lilies, some beautiful roses too, and mum gave me a packet of seeds earlier in the year that she’d found in a drawer.

They grew into these stunning Love in the Mist.

My hydrangeas this year have been marvelous too, but not quite as impressive as the ones I saw last week in Cornwall where they grow along the hedgerows.

You may remember that my friend Jo and I went to Cornwall two years ago, and stayed in Polruan, where she used to visit as a child. We’d planned our return trip for this August way before I knew I was going to have to go back into hospital, and so it was good to know that it was all booked in for my final week before coming back to work. It’s a fair distance by car, but we had so much to catch up on that it passed really quickly, and it still makes us both laugh to hear my voice on her sat nav system 🙂

We really made the most of our time there this visit, and in addition to Polruan and Fowey, we visited St. Austell to see my cousin Marianne and her husband Len, and then headed to Charlestown where they filmed some of the Poldark series. Sadly no sign of Ross, but these mighty tallships were pretty impressive!

We also made the relatively short journey to Tintagel Castle, where the views were outstanding, although poor Jo struggled a little with vertigo. It’s strange how things affect us differently when we’re older isn’t it? She’d been there as a child, and run up and down the ruins, and over the little bridge. This time we were clinging to each other like limpets as we gingerly crossed the suspended walkway, and didn’t venture further than the first set of ramparts. Still, I managed to get these rather dramatic photos. We drove to Polzeath beach and paddled in the surprisingly warm water, crossed the estuary many times on the Bodinnick ferry and had a cracking last day at Polkerris beach. I can quite honestly say that our picnic of a hot pasty and a pint of cider was one of the best I’ve ever had. In addition to all her wonderful family memories, we’ve now made more memories of our own and I have a feeling we’ll be back there again one day.

I had hoped to have happier family news for you this time, but things haven’t gone too well for Mum. I know the last time I wrote to you she was still at the nursing home and we were awaiting her scan results. Initially, they didn’t appear to have anything significant to report, and so, working alongside social services, we managed to have everything set up for care at home. Sadly, she was only there for two days before becoming massively disorientated and delirious and was taken back in hospital. We’ve since been told that she has atrophy in the frontal lobes of her brain, and as she struggled with the cognitive tests, we realise that this probably means dementia, and makes sense of her inability to walk, talk, and also her lack of appetite. The hospital staff are all incredibly kind and as always, I feel hugely indebted to those who work so hard to care for people with similar needs to Mum. Everything is very much up in the air, but we are now searching for care homes and trying to keep tabs on Joe, who is finding it harder to be on his own. We spent yesterday at the hospital and I was able to wash Mum’s hair for her and feed her some egg custard I’d made. Years ago she taught me how to cook it, and I still have the piece of paper with the recipe on it… it was good to see her manage a few spoonfuls. I’ll keep you updated, but thanks again for your kind words and supportive advice.

I’ve got a long day ahead of me catching up with all my emails, and getting back into the swing of our Today’s Special Values and Big Deals, but I’m glad to be returning on Diamonique Day when the TSV is a radiant and round cut bracelet that comes with a travel box and is at an incredible price. Do have a look at our website as every single piece of jewellery that will be featured on the day is detailed there. Our Diamonique Design of the Month is bound to make an appearance too – this stunning 1ct Baguette Heart Pendant and chain is under £40 and comes in two options – mixed plate or rhodium plated. It’s such a simple yet significantly sparkly design and would make the perfect gift.

And talking of gifts, please don’t miss the Philosophy four-piece Layering collection that comes with this fabulous felt bag that I’ll be launching at 9pm on Saturday. It features two new fragrances – the long awaited Amazing Grace Ballet Rose that is delicate yet memorable, and a travelsize of the Fresh Cream Soft Suede – a sweet and sensuous scent. Corinne Koolman will be joining me so you can get it early and hide them away for Christmas!

I think that’s pretty much all my news for now, but I’ll be back on Instagram and Twitter now to give you a heads up on any special deals, and am starting a new Facebook page so keep your eyes peeled for that. Again, I really appreciate your support and all the messages I’ve had over the last month or so, and please do keep in touch.

With my love,

Ali xxx

 

58 Comments

  1. valerie rollings September 5, 2019 at 11:02 am -  Reply

    iam very sorry to hear about your mum my mum had it also it is not a very nice illness. thinking of you all love val

    • Alison Keenan September 6, 2019 at 1:37 pm -  Reply

      Val, so sorry to know that your mum was poorly, and thank you for your kind words, love Ali xx

  2. Angela September 5, 2019 at 11:06 am -  Reply

    May the angels remain with you Alison and lift you in their wings.

    • Alison Keenan September 6, 2019 at 1:38 pm -  Reply

      Angela, thank you so much, love Ali x

  3. Karen B September 5, 2019 at 12:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi lovely Ali am so glad to hear that you are feeling much better. Well done on your hanging baskets – they look fab. Sorry to hear such sad news about your dear mum. Looking forward to seeing you and cheeky Charlie tonight on the show. This week i received your pendant and it really is lovely. The size of the actual pendant is just right and i will be taking it to get Nan engraved on the back. Am over the moon with it. Lots of love and hugs to you and your mum and dont misbehave with Charlie too much! You both always give me such a laugh xx

    • Alison Keenan September 6, 2019 at 1:39 pm -  Reply

      Hi Karen, good to hear from you, and I’m sorry if you were disappointed not to see Charlie last night! I have to say I missed him also, but Hannah was a fabulous guest, and I know that next time we have a Diamonique Day hopefully Charlie and I will get to work together then. SOOO pleased you like your pendant, and I’m really touched that you will be getting it engraved. Thanks for your sweet words about mum, I will pass on your best love and best wishes, love Ali x

  4. Loraine Plumb September 5, 2019 at 1:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison so pleased you had a nice rest and got to spend time with your friends Cornwall is lovely when the weather is nice makes such a difference having said that I do like the seasons . Since writing to you last I have decided to take her something I didn’t think I would ever have but I was listening to a doctor on this morning she was saying it’s never too late so Les said why don’t you talk to the doctor about it it’s only been three weeks but the hot flushes went really quickly I’ve had a few odd pains which are side affects but they seemed to have settled I’m hoping it helps my joint pain as I’ve said before my ankles are not great and I’ve been feeling very anxious for no reason worrying about everything so it can help the doctor said, only problem can’t get anymore patches ATM cause there’s such a shortage of hrt which I’m sure you have heard . Anyway we’re of to Italy on Sunday we are planning a trip into Switzerland and Milan etc we are looking forward to it . Lovely picture of Honey in her uniform Willa went back today (Thursday) the baby is doing well also. Clare overdone it a bit and was having some discomfort with her scar the doctor said she had to be careful, she has just booked tickets for Disney on Ice at the O2 at Xmas herand Geoff are going to take Willa and we will look after Ottilie .So sorry Alison that your mum’s not too good it’s hard to watch isn’t it doesn’t seem fair . Well must get on and do a few jobs look forward to seeing you on QVC again take care Loraine xxxx

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 5:35 am -  Reply

      Dear Loraine, I’m so glad to know that the HRT has made such a difference to you, particularly with the joint pain and hot flushes. I didn’t know that there had been a shortage of patches, but hope that they will have more in stock when you return from Italy. Milan! How lovely – not a place I have ever visited, but it’s definitely on my list 🙂 So glad that your granddaughter is thriving and that Willa is happily back to school. I’m sorry thought that Clare is so tired. It’s hard work with two children, when you’ve been used to just one, but it will get easier as we both know. Honey is loving school, and has already made new friends. Thank you for your kind words about mum… it’s not an easy time and very sad to see her so frail. Take care, love Ali xx

  5. Susan Huskisson September 5, 2019 at 1:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali. So pleased to hear that you are well on the mend and look forward to seeing you on air tonight. It’s always a good show when you and Charlie are together. It really shows that you are such good friends. I remember when reading your book that he was amazingly supportive to you, he seems such a lovely man!
    Talking of Charlies, our little Charlie has started primary school now and according to his mum he absolutely loves it! We had a lovely time with him during the 6 week holidays, having him 2 days every week. We took him to all the parks in our area, Matlock, Bakewell and Buxton were just a few. He had a great time on all the playgrounds and riding his bike on the pathways.
    I’m sorry to hear that your mum is struggling at the moment. It’s such an awful condition to have and must be very frightening for her. I’m sure her lovely family will do all they can to help her although I’m sure it’s difficult for you too!
    Your time away with your friends sounds idyllic and must have been just the ticket for recuperating after your surgery. Cornwall is beautiful isn’t it? Your photos are amazing.
    Anyway Ali enough from me but I’ll definitely be tuning in to you and Charlie at 9 pm tonight! Take care Ali, love Sue xx

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 5:39 am -  Reply

      Hi Sue, so sorry you missed Charlie – I did too, although our new guest was great to work with. He and I have already spoken to the buying team and we should be together next Diamonique Day health willing. Yes, he has always been a great friend, and is incredibly kind. So pleased that you Charlie is doing so well, and enjoying primary school. I bet you miss him, having had the chance to spend so much time together in the summer holidays? Thank you for your kind words about mum… luckily she is quite content now and not in any pain. The hospital are doing everything they can and the whole family have been visiting whenever they are able too… it’s just happened so very quickly which is difficult. I do hope all is well with you and that you’re getting the chance to enjoy the Indian summer we’re having. Love Ali x

  6. Catherine Stewart September 5, 2019 at 6:01 pm -  Reply

    Sorry to hear about your mum. Dementia is a horrible illness. My dad had it and he died last year from it.

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 5:41 am -  Reply

      Dear Catherine, I am so sorry to hear that you lost your dad. You’re right. Dementia is a very cruel illness, and the only blessing for mum is that she’s not in pain, and the hospital are looking after her incredibly well. Love Ali x

  7. Cherry September 5, 2019 at 7:11 pm -  Reply

    Oh Alison, I feel so sad for you and your mum. My dad has very similar problems – I worry about him day and night, as I’m sure you do. Like you, I have a job and busy family life – and he lives 100 miles away – so I can’t be there nearly as often as I want to and feel I should. We just have to have faith in the medical and caring professions and do as much as we can. Lots of love x

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 5:44 am -  Reply

      Dear Cherry, I am sorry to know that your Dad is poorly too and a long way from you. It’s the same for us – 70 miles away – but we’re all spending as much time with her as possible. The hospital staff have been incredibly kind and are looking after her very well, which is making this difficult time a little easier. Thank you for your kind words and wishes, love Ali x

  8. Cherry September 5, 2019 at 7:12 pm -  Reply

    Such a difficult time for you, Alison. Sending love to you and your family x

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 5:44 am -  Reply

      Thank you so much, love Ali x

  9. Merche Gardiner September 5, 2019 at 7:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, so pleased to hear you are feeling much better, love the photo’s I’m sure the sea air done you good. The hanging baskets look lovely you done a great job with them. Sorry to hear about your mums diagnosis. Love Merchex

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 5:46 am -  Reply

      Hi there Merche, always good to hear from you, and I’m glad you enjoyed the blog. Yes, the Cornwall trip was a real pick-me-up and we were so lucky with the weather. It gave me a boost which has really helped now that things are so difficult with mum. Thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  10. pam stephens September 5, 2019 at 7:57 pm -  Reply

    Love to your Mum Ali but please take care of yourself looking forward to seeing you later tonight and make sure that Charlie takes care of you Im sure he will /// love all your pictures I should have had some of my own but sadly when we were in Ostend hopefully remembering years ago it was just pouring with rain and we got drenched so no photos but one good thing I thought we were going today and I would have missed you and now I can watch so there is always a silver lining /// my husband has been hoping I might find something he can buy me for my birthday and I keep telling him Im looking Im looking I have to find something really special as its for my 8oth I didn’t know my family were planning a surprise party next Weds the 11th D Day and we were going up to Fulham Rd to see Butler and Wilson shop so they had to tell me about the party so I spoiled the surprise but oh well we will go another day /// anyway enough about me look after yourself dear Ali soo happy to have you back Love Pam xx

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 5:52 am -  Reply

      My dear Pam, for some reason my reply to you is at the bottom of the page! Apologies 🙂 xx

  11. Joanna Downey September 5, 2019 at 8:20 pm -  Reply

    Welcome back, This blog really sums up life with all its high & lows. Your trips to Dorset & Cornwall sound glorious & were obviously what you needed. Your photos are stunning & it would have been something else to have seen the lush Mr Poldark. I’ve had a dark week with bad news about my brother in law’s health & the sudden death of a friend. Add to that being on my own while Colin’s been in the Dolomites & looking after Etty for seven days on the bounce, due to end of season parties, school training days & then Ellie’s return to school ‘proper’. She’s absolutely gorgeous but the responsibility is quite exhausting as is the repetitive game of putting a stacking cup on my head & letting it fall to the floor while she laughs the dirtiest laugh & says “gain”. Oh Ali, I’m so sorry about your mum’s health & had hoped for better news. Does Joe have a family? If he does I hope they are supporting him & I trust that you will be able to find suitable accommodation for your mum. I’ve just looked outside & it’s dark… I love the autumn & even if we have a glorious September I always feel that summer is packed away when the new school year begins so my task this weekend is swapping my clothes & footwear. I’ve already changed my perfume & lippy to warmer ones & started compling my Christmas gift list – for others, not me. I’ll see you in 40 minutes. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 6:01 am -  Reply

      Hello Jo, thanks so much for bringing me up to speed with your news, although I am so sorry to know about your brother in law and also the death of your friend. Difficult times, made harder without your Colin’s support, and while trying to ‘do jolly’ and look after Etty, gorgeous as she is. I hope that your brother in law will get all the help he needs and I know that your love and support will make all the difference to the family. We are trying to see as much of mum as possible, and the care she is receiving is making such a difference. Joe does have family, but they live a long way off, and haven’t been able to visit very often. We’re doing all we can from this end, and he’s coping very well. Maybe it’s the situation with mum or maybe just my love of the sunshine, but I am loathe to bid it farewell… My winter wardrobe is still packed away in my space saving bags! I am glad you still enjoy the blog and thank you as always for keeping in touch. Love Ali xx

  12. Sarah September 5, 2019 at 11:02 pm -  Reply

    You’re such a beautiful lady, inside and out, with an incredibly positive and uplifting spirit; a true inspiration. I’m so pleased your surgery went well and it’s wonderful to see you back on our screens – you never fail to make me smile and feel better about life in general. With very best wishes, and to your lovely mum, too. Sarah xx

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 6:04 am -  Reply

      Dear Sarah, your words are so kind and mean a great deal. It’s been a relief to put it all behind me, and I know how lucky I’ve been … I hope that, reading between the lines, things aren’t too difficult for you, and that you have love and support around you. Take care, and do keep in touch, love Ali xxx

  13. Penny Roberts September 5, 2019 at 11:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison. I did reply to your last blog for the first time but I do understand with all you have on at the moment you didn’t find time to reply. I saw you on diamonique as usual you looked stunning. So sorry to hear your mum is not well, my mum had the same illness. I used to live in Shaftesbury about 20 years ago and was thinking of all the surrounding villages and wondering where your friend lives. Your hanging basket looks beautiful, how apt that the seeds you grew of your mums was love in the mist, brought a lump to my throat. Good to see you back Ali and so sorry we missed Charlie tonight, hope he is well soon. I don’t think you realise how much you lift our spirits so just keep what you are doing. love to you and your family. Penny xxx

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 6:08 am -  Reply

      Dear Penny, as soon as I read this, I went back to my last blog and posted a relevant reply. So sorry I missed it, but once I’ve posted a new one I don’t get to see additional comments! How strange that our lives have so many coincidences… although I am sorry that you too have known the sadness of dementia… Mum is being very well looked after in the Portsmouth hospital, and we are hoping between visits to get to Dorset again for our friend’s 60th birthday… They live near Stour Provost and Woodville and you’re right, it is an absolutely beautiful part of country. Stay well, and thank you so much for your kind words – they mean a great deal. Love Ali xx

  14. Mandy Wilson September 5, 2019 at 11:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, so nice to see you back on QVC, you’re a fabby presenter and your enthusiasm is catching. Sorry Charlie didn’t make it tonight, you make a great duet. So glad you are on the mend and staying positive as usual. Sorry to hear about your Mum, I’m sure her family will ensure she’s well looked after.
    Your holiday to Cornwall looked brilliant, it’s a beautiful part of the world. Welcome back to our screens, take care, Mandy xx

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 6:11 am -  Reply

      Hi Mandy, and thank you so much for the warm welcome back. It was a shame not to be with Charlie, but I’m sure we’ll be working together again soon. Yes, we’re all getting to see as much of mum as possible, and she is being very well looked after in the hospital too. It’s all happening so quickly though…
      Cornwall was just stunning and I think another return visit is on the cards. I hope that you enjoyed the summer, and that this last bit of sunshine will warm you. Love Ali xx

  15. Fiona Vaughan September 5, 2019 at 11:43 pm -  Reply

    Very best wishes to you and all your family. Fiona xx

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 6:11 am -  Reply

      Fiona, that is very kind of you and much appreciated. Love Ali xx

  16. Suzi from Ayr September 6, 2019 at 1:03 am -  Reply

    Lovely to see you back .Sorry to hear about your mum.I
    do hope you find the perfect place soon thinking of both of you.

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 6:12 am -  Reply

      Dear Suzi, it’s good to be back and I’m lucky that my schedule is allowing me to visit mum as often as possible. Thank you for your sweet words, love Ali x

  17. Antoinette Browne September 6, 2019 at 7:29 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison, thank you for your lovely blog. I am so sorry to hear your mum is not well. I am so happy that you are also much better. Wishing you and your lovely family all the best. All my love. Antoinette

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 6:25 am -  Reply

      Hi Antoinette, I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog, I always enjoy compiling them, and going through the photos again 🙂 Thank you for your kind words about mum… none of us expected things to move quite so quickly, but she is now being very well cared for and we are getting to see her as often as we possibly can. Take care, love Ali xx

  18. Tina S September 7, 2019 at 12:05 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    So glad that you are feeling well enough to start back to work. It looked so peaceful where you stayed at your friends house with just the cows walking passed. I always love visiting our favourite seaside place. We try and go twice a week. It is so calming sitting and listening to the sea. I am into “mindfulness” , when you just try and concentrate on being in that moment, breathing in the smells of the sea and listening to the crashing waves. It really has helped me when things have been stressing me.
    It was lovely to see your photo’s of Cornwall. That was our first holiday after we were married nearly 35 years ago. We stayed in Fowey and visited Charlestown. Looking across the water at Fowey we saw where Daphne du Mauriere lived. We also visited a castle on the Duchy of Cornwall’s Estate where I fell down some very steep , slippery steps! My shouts of “oh ***** ” breaking the silence in the castle grounds!!
    So sorry about your mum. It must be such a worrying time for you all. Hope you get everything sorted that you need to do.
    Well , take care . Wishing you all the very best in everything.
    Love, Tina S. ( S.Wales ) xx

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 6:30 am -  Reply

      Dear Tina, I am so glad that you are now living somewhere that brings you such peace and calm. I find the sea has the same effect on me too, although the quiet of the Dorset countryside with nothing but birdsong and cows lowing is magical too. I think that mindfullness is maybe something I should look into – that and yoga. Perhaps this autumn…. 🙂 Glad you liked the photos of Cornwall and that they brought back some happy memories for you. Every time we took the ferry across to Fowey we saw Daphne du Maurier’s house – stunning blue and white frontage. I think it’s a miracle Jo and I didn’t slip at Tintagel Castle – you made me laugh with your Duchy of Cornwall story 🙂
      Thanks for your kind wishes to mum. It is a very sad and stressful time, but we are trying to visit as often as we can, and she is being very well cared for. You take care and keep in touch, love Ali x

  19. Kim September 7, 2019 at 10:16 am -  Reply

    Good to have you back, Ali. So sorry to read the news about your mum. However, with a daughter with such a positive outlook on life, no doubt she will cope very well. Sending you lots of love and big hugs xx

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 6:35 am -  Reply

      Thanks Tina for your kind words and for taking time to write to me. Mum is being very well cared for in hospital, and there are moments when she seems to be with us, and luckily she recognises us all which is lovely. I do hope all is well with you. Love and hugs back to you, Ali xx

  20. Susan September 8, 2019 at 9:29 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Welcome back. You look amazing and while I’m sure you’re putting on a bit of a face I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better.
    I’m so sorry about your mum. You really don’t need more difficulty and sadness and it’s terrible that some people are dealt so many blows. You’ve had far too many. I’m so sorry. Please let us know how your mum and joe are from time to time but you’ll need your space too. I’m glad you have a large family around you to share things with. Take care x

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 6:38 am -  Reply

      Dear Susan, thank you for kind words and insight. You’re right, it’s never easy when someone you love is poorly, and the sharp decline in mum’s health has come as a shock to us all. I’m visiting as often as possible, as are all the family, and I was able to take Joe yesterday too which was good. Mum is being very well looked after which is a huge relief, and the hospital have been wonderful. I do hope all is well with you, and thank you for keeping in touch – I will try to do the same. Love Ali xx

  21. Christine September 8, 2019 at 6:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali sorry to hear your mum is not better. Last week my brother is in hospital with his heart, he has to have stents put in so he is waiting for that, he is in the right place.
    Good to see you back.

    Take Care x

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 6:40 am -  Reply

      Dear Christine, I am so sorry that your brother is in hospital, but you’re right, he will be well cared for there. My sister-in-law Sarah had stents put in some years ago, and is doing really well now. I am certain they will do the same for your brother. Try not to worry, and thank you for taking the time out to write to me. Thinking of you, love Ali xx

  22. Mary September 10, 2019 at 11:05 pm -  Reply

    Good evening Ali, I think I am writing this while you are at a party wearing the most gorgeous green sparkly dress..I hope you are having the most amazing time. The photo of you was stunning. Talking of stunning, Cornwall is pretty amazing and I enjoyed reading about your travels and delighted to hear that you are feeling so much better. It was great to see you on our screens again, I indulged myself and bought a pair of earrings on DMQ day and they are beautiful..drop earrings with 7 stones in each, looking a flower. They match my engagement ring beautifully.
    I was sorry to hear about your mum, I hope Joe is managing and you have found somewhere wonderful for your mum.
    So, I am glad to hear I have inspired you to paint your cupboards…I seem to have inspired a few of my friends too. My cupboard doors were solid oak so needed a light sanding BUT the primer I used was Zinzar, 123 primer..blooming marvellous and you can use it on most surfaces as a primer/ undercoat. I bought mine on Amazon as we have prime…I am sure yours will come up a treat. I did 2 coats of primer and the three coats of colour, I used Farrow and ball estate eggshell as it’s quite tough. My next project is our bedroom..we haven’t properly done it since we moved in 24 years ago and my wardrobe door fell off last week!!!
    Hope you dont have too much of a sore head after the party. Love Mary.xx

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 6:49 am -  Reply

      Morning Mary, I’ve been up for ages – can’t sleep – although I don’t think I’ve really caught up with my sleep yet after the party! I have to say it was the most incredible evening and I couldn’t have been happier with my dress – not a scar in sight! It was also a welcome respite from the worry about mum, and we’re now back to visiting as often as possible. I’m glad you enjoyed the blog and the photos of Cornwall. It was beautiful and we’ll definitely be going back. So glad you got your earrings from the finale – there were some stunning designs weren’t there? Thanks so much for the advice re the paint primer. I too have Amazon Prime, so will order it there. Not quite sure WHEN I’ll get round to it, but it would be nice to have a think about colours etc. Your kitchen looked amazing, and I’m sure the bedroom will too! You should start your own interior design company – I hope your hubby appreciates it! Lovely to catch up with your news and I hope the sciatica has eased for you. Love Ali xx

  23. Judith Lennon September 11, 2019 at 1:49 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    Glad to see you smiling and looking better. I am sure your trip to
    Cornwall will have made you feeling so much better. Love the photos of your flowers. It seems to have been a really good year for the garden but now things are turning autumnal everything is dieing back. I have just spent a few hours in my garden planting up some pots of spring flowers and bulbs. Can’t do what I used to but a little each day keeps me happy. John had had the all clear from the hospital for his bowel complaint and we are now awaiting results of a mole taken from his arm last week. Again the consultant wasn’t too bothered but wanted it checked to make sure with his history. Just three weeks to my holidays and I can’t wait to get away. Today we are having a party for Katie who turns 13 today. She’s turning into a lovely young lady before my eyes! Hope you will find somewhere just right for your mum. I know it must be very hard for you. Take care and sending big hugs and lots of love Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 6:53 am -  Reply

      Dear Judith, I am so relieved that John received the all clear from the hospital and will keep everything crossed that he will do again following this latest investigation. Once you’ve had any form of cancer they tend to be really careful which is great. I bet you can’t wait to get away – glad we’re having a good autumn, although I like you feel the garden is definitely on the turn. My pots still have some colour in them, but I will need to pull out the petunias pretty soon and put my tulip bulbs in. How was Katie’s party? A teenager now – where do the years go? Thank you for your kind words about mum… It is very hard but I find taking each day as it comes is easier than looking too far ahead. Take care and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  24. Tricia September 13, 2019 at 12:31 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, l was so sorry to hear of the outcome about your Mum, l did think when l read her symptoms that a type of dementure may well be the problem – we hear so so much about this illness these days.
    However it was lovely to know that you are doing so very well now, and lovely to see you looking so good so,soon – amazing.
    I’m sure your little break to Dorset and to Cornwall helped you, we live in Dorset, and a five minute walk to the cliff top, where l find wonderful peace, after walking a while l sit and shut my eyes and listen to the sea, it’s very therapeutic.
    Take care, don’t try to do too much, its early days.
    With love, X Tricia D

  25. Alison Keenan September 13, 2019 at 5:51 am -  Reply

    Dear Pam, I do hope you enjoyed the finale, although dear Charlie wasn’t able to be with me. We’ve got it in the diary for next time though! Did you find anything you liked? It’s difficult trying to think of something really special for such a special birthday, but I am SURE the party was a great success! How funny that Butler and Wilson had their own 50th celebrations just the day before – I hope your night was as much fun as theirs. Thank you for your sweet words about mum… it’s all happened so quickly, but we’re trying to make the very best of the time we have together… Love to you, Ali xx

    • Gail September 13, 2019 at 8:04 pm -  Reply

      Absolutely thrilled to hear that everything went okay with the op and nothing untoward going on. I had everything crossed for you, I really did. I’m always relieved when yourself and Julia (Mrs Maxwell😉)post good news re your health and long may it continue I say. Saw the clip of Simon’s party and you looked stunning, as per usual. It definitely looked like a great night. Long may your good health continue lovely lady, but sorry to hear about your mum. Hope you are able to see her often as your time is probably the best thing you can give her at this time. Very sad.

      I read your blog religiously Ali and I too wonder where Una is. Also, Karen Jenkins. I remember Karen struggling a bit some time ago; hope these ladies are well.

      Well, sending you lots of love and look forward to your next blog. Take care 😘😘

      Gail xxx

      • Alison Keenan September 18, 2019 at 7:03 am -  Reply

        Hello there Gail, and thank you for your sweet words. It’s lovely to have such support, and this is such a great place to keep in touch. I too think of Una often, and Alpa and Karen. I found a comment from Karen on Facebook when I published my book last year – but that was 11 months ago.. let’s hope she is well, and that they all are.
        Simon’s party was truly spectacular, and both Colin and I felt very honoured to have been invited. I was very chuffed also have the chance to bring my sequins out of mothballs too!
        Mum is sadly still in hospital, but I’m visiting as often as I can, and as you suggest, making the very best of the time we have. I hope all is well with you and yours, and thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  26. Susan September 13, 2019 at 6:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    It’s good you feel happy with the care your mum is getting. That really helps.
    I am just seeing you I’m a stunning burnt orange jumper and white jeans and you look incredible! You really deserve to change your Twitter photo to your elegant bob and how about your book as your picture along the top?x

    • Alison Keenan September 18, 2019 at 6:49 am -  Reply

      Dear Susan, thanks so much for the compliment! I so enjoy wearing the longer line tunics from Marla, and the white Joules jeans were a find too! I’m currently hunting out a recent pic so that I can change my Twitter photo – it really is way overdue, and yes, I’ll add in the book too. As we get closer to October – Breast Cancer Awareness month – I’m hoping to get it ‘out there’ again. Hope all is good with you. Love Ali xx

  27. Tricia coulsonwood September 13, 2019 at 7:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, its been a few months since I left a comment..Its been hard since my 95yr old mum passed away…It really affected me hard.
    Last month I fell ill with my heart condition and spent a few days in hospital. Following upping my medications I am pleased to say I am feeling more “normal” once more.
    I was sorry that you have had to endure exacerbation of your previous condition and such alot of pain once more since your radical surgery..But so happy to read you once more got the all clear.You are so brave and an inspiration to all.
    After my recent health scare I had a check up to see if I could go on my ” mini cruise”. Its the first time away in over two and a half years…Luckily my consultant said I could get away..So at last we went away and had a lovely 3 day trip down the river Seine..We booked a luxury suite with a balcony, it was such a treat. It doubled up for our wedding anniversary and my birthday…It felt fantastic to get away at long last.
    I truly wish your mum lots of strength and a improvement in her health..Love to you and your lovely family.Love to all followers..Tricia.x

    • Alison Keenan September 18, 2019 at 6:54 am -  Reply

      My dear Tricia, I was so sorry to hear about your mum… an incredibly difficult time for you I am certain, and such a loss after all those years. I am glad though that your own health scare was sorted and you were able to go away on your long awaited ‘mini cruise’ especially as it’s been such a long time since you’d had an opportunity to have a break. It sounds just perfect.
      Thank you for your kind words following my surgery. I must admit it came as a bit of shock, but I am mightily relieved that all was well, and although still a little sore things are far better than they were. I wish things were improving for mum, but there is little change… but I thank you for thinking of her. Love to you too, and thank you for getting in touch. I hope to hear from you again, love Ali xx

  28. Angela Bennett September 15, 2019 at 5:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I just wanted to message to say I have just read your book (in one sitting!) it moved me tremendously. I have been so fortunate in life so far not to have had breast cancer, but know friends who are going through it and your book has helped me to have a much better understanding of their journeys. Thankyou for your honesty and openness, you are a very special soul. Much love, Angela x

    • Alison Keenan September 18, 2019 at 6:59 am -  Reply

      Dear Angela, that is so good to hear, and I am truly grateful to you for contacting me to tell me that you’ve read the book – and in one sitting! 🙂 All that you have said makes my reason behind writing it even more worthwhile, and I very much hope that your friends who are currently going through their treatment will heal and enjoy life in the future. Your kindness and understanding mean a great deal, and I wonder if I might ask you if you felt able to review the book for me on Amazon? It would be wonderful if you could as I feel the reviews are a powerful testament. Very many thanks, and my love to you, Ali xx

  29. Sally September 17, 2019 at 8:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali . I’ve bought your book
    A new kind of normal .
    Very nicely written I’m enjoying very much

  30. Carol s September 18, 2019 at 11:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi ,Alison, sorry you haven’t had the result you hoped for for your mum, thinking of you , and sending love. Look after yourself, from carol. Xx

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