Mission mermaid cake: Accomplished!


There are puddles the size of duck ponds on our drive this morning, following almost 24 hours of torrential rain – apparently it was 25 degrees and sunny in Kinloss! I know I’m obsessed with the weather, but to be honest the garden needed the rain in spite of my best efforts to keep it watered. I think the British countryside did too after seeing beautiful views last week, as pictured above; read more to find out where I was!

How are you? Thanks so much for all your lovely comments on the last blog, and for telling me all about your birthday cakes – either ones you had made, or had been created for you. What an interesting mix of themes too! Susan Huskisson tweeted me a photograph of the Derby County cake she made for her husband’s birthday – a masterpiece!

And staying with cakes I, of course, had been set the task of creating one based on a marine/mermaid theme for Honey’s first birthday, which took me a couple of days. The final product looked like this…!

Honey's mermaid cake


Lucy had given me the Little Mermaid to park on top of it and I wrote ‘For Honey’ and ‘1’ in icing on the top – the rest was left to my imagination – with a little help from Google images and Twinkle, who kindly tweeted a couple of pictures to me.

In my kitchen, along with an incredibly untidy ‘man drawer’, I have a drawer that I specifically use for baking ingredients and icing. Considering how little baking I do, it’s a relatively large drawer but crammed to the gills, so I decided to sort it out.

In it, to my shame, I found baking powder that was years out of date, gloopy glace cherries, marzipan that I could have used as a door stop, along with some sultanas that had a life of their own! Suffice to say, I have more space now and nothing with a shelf life under 12 months!

I loved making the coral, seaweed, fish and starfish for the cake, and chose to use light muscavado sugar as sand. I have to say, my KitchenAid does make the whole baking process a doddle when it comes to making sponges and buttercream icing.

I waited until it was cooler on Friday evening before I wrote on the cake, and was glad my hand was steady, as I had a fair bit to write! Colin stowed the cake in the boot for our journey to Lucy’s the following morning, and sadly the icing cracked across the top, but everyone kindly said it just looked like a wave!

The party took place at Honey’s baby sensory class, and the little ones had a marvellous time while we grown-ups busied ourselves eating and chatting!

Honey was an absolute star, but having been up at 6am, she fell asleep in her dad’s arms just as we were about to light the candle on the cake! She slept through the singing, the photographs and the rest of the party, but was in great form when we got home and it was time to open her presents.

Honey asleep on her daddy

I so enjoyed being with the family and spending time with the little ones. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I am finding that time just runs away from me. If I’ve thought it once, I thought it many times during that day, how hard it was to believe that a whole year had passed since my little treasure was born.

I know how incredibly lucky we are to have Honey in our lives, and am so glad that those of you who comment here and don’t have children or grandchildren can enjoy sharing my memories and photographs.

Here are just a few pictures of the day:

Honey at her party Happy birthday Honey!

Honey With Jack and Honey
It’s been a bit of a social whirlwind these last few weeks, and I managed to squeeze in an impromptu visit to my friend Jo on a day that saw snow showers and then bright sunshine! We went for a walk on the North Downs near Guildford. What a view eh?!

Amazing view on our walk

I didn’t realise but this National Trail, which was opened in 1978, runs from Farnham to Dover and is 141 miles long! We did a six mile circuit which took in this incredible bluebell wood too, and were more than ready for a cup of tea and a bun when we got back to the car!

Bluebells in North Downs

Although Sam wasn’t able to make Honey’s party, as his car broke down the night before, he had been to stay with us the previous weekend and very kindly mended the lawnmower.

When I say mended, he actually brought his entire welding kit and replaced the housing for the blades, which had rusted over the years. It’s working perfectly now, bless him.

While he was working on that, I was blasting the patio with my new Karcher Pressure Washer. What a fabulous piece of kit! It made short work of all the weeds in between the slabs and changed the colour of the stones from grey to beige – result! Colin then filled in all the gaps in the cement and now it looks perfect.

In fact, I was so impressed with the Karcher that I started on the garden furniture too – look at the difference on these oak chairs!

Karcher jet wash before and after

It’s been busy at work too and, unfortunately, I got in a muddle and missed my six month appointment at the hospital. It’s just a regular check, but we will need to discuss my ongoing treatment as I’ve been on tamoxifen for nearly five years now so we have to make a decision moving forwards. Luckily I can see my oncologist next Wednesday, so not long to wait.

In fact, it’s next week that I’ll be bringing you a fabulous Today’s Special Value from Philosophy! Taking into account your recent requests for an eau de toilette option in their fragrances, we have all three of your favourites boxed and each with a body scrub, a shower gel and this delicious body butter. Whether you choose Amazing or Pure Grace, they are both eminently feminine yet light and subtle. Falling in Love is slightly warmer and sensual – as one might expect! But all three of these collections will be available on Friday 20th May at an unmissable price.

Pure Grace Amazing Grace Falling in Love

That’s a week away, but I have two Diamonique shows before that and am thrilled to see the return of the 90cm bezel set necklace! I bought it for myself last August as it was the perfect length and I had wanted to buy it for Kathy Tayler for her birthday, but it was out of stock! I bought her something else instead, but having just given her the item number she’s on QCut now placing her order. We also have these beautiful earrings in a choice of Pink Mother of Pearl, White Mother of Pearl, or Abalone – perfect for summer weddings I feel!

Diamonique necklace - 651592 Diamonique earrings - 306531

With the Eurovision Song Contest to look forward to this weekend I will be beyond myself with excitement… but nowhere near as excited as I was when Colin told me that his song ‘I Know She’s Mine’ had reached No 1 in the UK Country Music Chart, and No 9 in the International Chart! So proud of my man and so happy that he wrote the song for me. Here it is, as promised, I very much hope you enjoy it – do let me know.

Take care, have a great weekend, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you when you have a moment.

Love Ali xx


  1. Pearl Emery May 12, 2016 at 1:12 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, what a fantastic and beautiful song,written for a fantastic and beautiful Lady.
    Ali in a tweet that i send i made the mistake of calling Honey Holly i am so sorry for the mistake. Can you buy Colins song in the shops or can you only download it.
    love Pearl xx

    • Alison Keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:30 pm -  Reply

      My dear Pearl please don’t worry about the typo! You’d be amazed by what I write originally and then have to alter 🙂 Colin is working on releasing a whole album which will be available to download so I’ll keep you in the loop, love Ali xxx Thank you so much for your kind words – they meant a lot to Colin xx

      • Marie May 23, 2016 at 10:13 pm -  Reply

        Fabulous song Alison you must be so proud made me emotional ,all wat you have been through together , wishing you the best off health and happiness for yrs to come ,xx

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:33 pm -  Reply

      My dear Pearl, thank you so much for your lovely comment. I have passed it on to colin and please don’t worry about your typo… I make them all the time! Colin’s album isn’t available as yet but will be! I will keep in touch, love Ali xx

  2. Bridget May 12, 2016 at 3:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison

    I have just listened to Colin’s song and it brought me out in goose lumps. It is beautiful. I think that he must be quite a wonderful man. I have followed your story via QVC for some time now and am so happy for you all.

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:35 pm -  Reply

      Bridget! I think he is! so glad that you have been folllowing the blog for so long, and thank you for keeping in touch. xxx Love Ali x

  3. Sarah Ward May 12, 2016 at 3:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, your cake looked fantastic, you are a clever lady! I listened to your husbands song and it was lovely, it brought tears to my eyes, he is a brilliant singer.

    Love & best wishes Sarah

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:37 pm -  Reply

      I agree completely! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on the blog!He is a brilliant singer and I hope one day he will receive the recogniton he deserves. Ali xx

  4. Sandra May 12, 2016 at 5:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali I haven’t really commented that often on your blog but I just had to say that the song is beautiful and brought a tear to my eye. It’s just so lovely. Well done Colin.
    Honey’s cake is fabulous !! and Honey is just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing these special memories with us .
    Love Sandra xxx

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:38 pm -  Reply

      My greatest pleasure to share it all with you, and I agree completely.. It is a beautiful song, and thank you so much for your kind words re Honey and her cake…Love Ali x

  5. Norah Anderson May 12, 2016 at 5:50 pm -  Reply

    Oh Alison, that is absolutely beautiful. It brought me to tears. Colin loves you so much and it is no less than you truly deserve. I am so pleased for you. God bless you both and long live love.

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:38 pm -  Reply

      Norah! Thank you so much! You’ve brought tears to my eyes! With Love, Ali xx

  6. Cath Purple May 12, 2016 at 6:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, that video is so beautiful and I loved the song too. You have a good man there. Thank you for sharing with us.

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:39 pm -  Reply

      I so do… and thank my lucky stars! Thank you for taking the time out to comment, it means a lot, love Ali xx

  7. Christine May 12, 2016 at 6:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi well done Colin your song is very good. How nice he has written lovely song just for you. Lucky girl. The vinyl records bring back memory’s I think it is the best sound.
    Take care x

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:42 pm -  Reply

      Christine I so agree! I remember when I sellotaped a penny to the stylus to give it a distinct bass sound. I so agree that the vinyl is the original and possibly truest sound. Thank you so much for your comment xxx

  8. Lynn May 12, 2016 at 9:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali. What a beautiful song. Your lovely husband wrote for you. Colin adore you.and you him.congratulation to you both.love to youboth and your family’s.xxxxx.lyn

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:42 pm -  Reply

      Lyn, love to you from both of us… thank you for taking the time out to comment, love Ali xx

  9. Isabel Lindsay May 12, 2016 at 9:49 pm -  Reply

    A great blog Ali. Honey is a beautiful lucky little girl. Just watching you on your usual 9pm Diamonique show. Colin’s song is quite brilliant you must be so proud of your man. Thank you for sharing your most precious moments with all of us. You really made me laugh telling us that you used to pray as a kid for boobies. Hee hee. Best wishes x

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:44 pm -  Reply

      It’s true! Which makes it even more of a travesty for me to lose them in my 50’s! But seriously, it is a great pleasure for me to share my memories with you… and yes I am so proud of my man. Love to you, from me xxx

  10. Sue f May 12, 2016 at 11:37 pm -  Reply

    What a beautiful song the perfect tribute to a beautiful lady.

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:44 pm -  Reply

      Well bless you Sue xxxxx

  11. lorraine t May 13, 2016 at 12:42 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali I was in tears listening to this song-how talented is your hubby??? amazing-hope he goes all the way in the international chart too
    you are very blessed to have a wonderful husband and family,life is very short and I am so glad you take every second of life and fill it with love and laughter.god bless x

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:46 pm -  Reply

      Lorraine I so do make sure I fill every second of my life with love and happiness. Colin is incredibly talented… it just takes the right time and the right person out there to recognise this song for all it is – infact for all of them! Thank you, and all that you wish for me, I wish for you, love Alixxx

  12. Merche May 13, 2016 at 10:11 am -  Reply

    Ali, what a wonderful song for a wonderful lady! Congratulations to Colin for writing it. Loved Honey’s birthday cake, looks very professional.

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:47 pm -  Reply

      Merche! Loving your name! Thank you so much for your kind words… I will pass them on to Colin. Glad you liked the cake! love Ali xx

  13. Irene May 13, 2016 at 10:23 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Wow the cake you made for Honey looked very good well done it’s such an achievement when it’s home made and turns out well . Loved the song that Colin has done he is a very talented man. Shame you missed your appointment for your check up because of your busy schedule and as a retired Registered nurse of 45 years I always think you always look so well,radiant and attractive even when you are on the late night shows which must be tiring when you return home late and I am delighted you are doing so well. I see it will soon be your 1st wedding anniversary you seem so happy and I feel you are such a suited couple and that you enjoy your family life . Take care. Love Irene X

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:50 pm -  Reply

      Irene bless you, I definitely do find the late nights tiring, but easier than early morning! Yes, first wedding anniversary soon, and hot on the heels of Honey’s first birthday. Life is good. Six month check up on Wednesday.. discussing ongoing treatment – wish me luck! Love to you, Ali xx

  14. Lucy May 13, 2016 at 10:39 am -  Reply

    Ali,What a beautiful song,and sang from the heart with so much love for you.Every happiness to you both.

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:51 pm -  Reply

      Thank you… I love it. xxx

  15. Susan walker May 13, 2016 at 10:42 am -  Reply

    Wow Ali, the song is fab what lovely words. You hav a lovely man there. Loved the cake for Honey, I have two girls grand children one 2 and 4 months. Like you I don’t know where time goes, it’s SCarey as we get older. I have just retired to be able to spend more time with them, I am very lucky but it’s hard work. You have a lovely life I am so very happy for you. Stay well and keep telling us your stories on Q. With love Sue. X

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:52 pm -  Reply

      Oooh how wonderful for you! Two at such a tiny age – magic! You’re right though about the way time shifts… its is scarey.. Thank you for your kind words – I hope that you have a happy life too. Thank you for keeping in touch with me, love Ali xx

  16. Valerie Wilding May 13, 2016 at 10:51 am -  Reply

    What a song Ali. So many memories for me. I lost my dear husband 8 Years ago and it hurts. Sorry tears are falling. Where can we get a copy . Also any CDs they have done.

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:54 pm -  Reply

      You have brought tears to my own eyes… I am so sorry for your loss… Colin is working on album which will include this song.. who knows.. I may get it onto QVC!! You take good care of yourself Valerie, and please do keep in touch… Love Ali xx

  17. Kim May 13, 2016 at 3:42 pm -  Reply

    What a beautiful song, Alison, and very much deserved by someone so lovely x

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:55 pm -  Reply

      Bless you! Thank you Kim.. Very kind of you to keep in touch, love Ali xxx

  18. martin forbes May 13, 2016 at 5:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi alison hope you and the family are well i am not bad how old is your granddaughter no wiam now on a2week holiday from work at mcdonalds having anice lazy time it is getting refurbished

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:57 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Martin, glad you have a holiday, and I am glad you are able to relax while it is getting refurbished. Honey is over a year old, and growing up so quickly! She is just delightful. She can say Hiya! already. Love the very bones of her xxx

  19. Sue Huskisson May 13, 2016 at 6:54 pm -  Reply

    Oh Ali I’m welling up here! What a beautiful song and how special to know it was written just for you. You are obviously very loved and quite right too.
    You did little Honey proud with that gorgeous mermaid cake, I’m sure it tasted good as well!
    Thankyou so much for mentioning my husband’s Derby County cake in your blog, so pleased you liked the photo I tweeted.
    What lovely photos of Honey’s birthday party, I’m sure a good time was had by all!
    You’re so right about the time going much quicker as we get older. I can’t believe we are almost half way through the year! Where is it going? When we were children the time between Christmases seemed an eternity but now seems like a few weeks!!
    Anyway bye for now Ali and I wish you all the best for your appointment with your oncologist next week! xx

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm -  Reply

      Sue, thank you so much for responding.. And thanks for your compliments about the cake. You are more than welcome to have had a mention of your Derby Cake – it was immense! Yes, time moves on apace, without us even realising… I try and live each moment. Thank you for your kind words – I’ll let you know how I get on at the hospital. Much love, ali xx

  20. Marie May 13, 2016 at 8:32 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali. Love Colins song obviouly writen for you. Your Honey Bee is beautiful. I just wanted to thank you for remembering not all of us have children and the joy of grandchildren. Thank you for sharing. I wish you well with your doctors appointment.
    Marie x

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 10:00 pm -  Reply

      ….Marie, I always try and think of those who may not be lucky enough to have all that I have… It’s lovely to share… I will let you know how I get on with the oncologist. Love Ali XX

  21. Margaret Archer May 14, 2016 at 10:10 am -  Reply

    Beautiful song for a beautiful lady.

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 10:01 pm -  Reply

      Thank you – I’ve passed this on to Colin… Much appreciated love Ali xx

  22. Breda Breen May 14, 2016 at 10:56 am -  Reply

    Lovely song made me feel very emotinal x

    • alison keenan May 16, 2016 at 10:01 pm -  Reply

      Breda… thank you … Colin read your comment, and it made him smile. xxx

  23. Joanna Downey May 14, 2016 at 11:21 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali, What a glorious cake and lovely photos of a very happy little girl. The shot of Jack with his arm around you as you’re holding Honey sums up family and the joy you feel about your little treasure is evident in every word you write about her. The North Downs looked spectacular, this is a lovely time of the year and the combination of the copious amount of rain we’ve had followed by the warm sunshine has certainly made for a lush May and I love all the new leaves being so fresh and green. I have a baking shelf in our pantry that had a fast turnover of ingredients when the girls were at home, especially when they did Food Tech at school, but since they’re gone I’ve reduced the amount of baking because I’d eat too much and look like Bessie Bunter so my shelf looks a little mean. However, my Kitchenaid is put to good use on a regular basis and I love her, mashed potatoes have never been so fluffy and when I do have a baking session I know the results will be delicious. I read your blog at 4am this morning; I’m trying to work out how to coordinate life with work and animals when Rebecca has her baby and we’ll be called on to Tallulah sit. This situation has been made even more tricky because we’re looking after Ellie’s kitten until they move house, he’s currently in residence in our conservatory and Sox is aware something’s up but not quite sure what it is. Our huge sort out is over and all the things we’re keeping are neatly stored in labelled boxes in the garage. There were two reasons behind the mammoth task; seeing how much there was above our heads when the boiler was changed last month and my desire to find Snoopy the Peanuts dog who’d been missing for ages, he was actually in a toy box in the understairs cupboard but hey ho. However, I did find three Ariel dolls and they’ve been spruced up, including washing their hair with weak solution of fabric conditioner to get out the tangles, and one’s had a new outfit from Ebay. Colin, Bex and Ellie think I’m mad but as I wrote in a previous reply I’m with Honey and love Ariel. Gosh what a witter, must be being awake for so long. Listening to your Colin’s song as i write – nice one Mr E. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan May 21, 2016 at 9:00 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Jo, and thanks for your lovely newsy comment. It sounds as though you have been kept very busy with re-organising your life and helping your girls too! There is something very pleasing about making lots of room, and finding things you thought you’d lost! I’m sure Honey would love all three of your Ariel dolls – I bought her an Ariel swimming costume today! 🙂 I don’t envy you waking up at 4am, and then staying up! I wake up many times in the night with my hot flushes, but do manage to get back to sleep … I’m sure everything will work out fine when Rebecca has the baby, but I understand you worrying about it! Bake more and stress less! That would be my advice 🙂 You take care, and thank you for sharing your news with me, love Ali xx

    • Alison Keenan May 21, 2016 at 9:01 pm -  Reply

      I’m glad you liked Colin’s song – he’s had over 2,500 views I believe! xx

  24. Christine Auchterlonie May 14, 2016 at 8:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali …lovely birthday for Honey,loved the cake and most of all Colin’s song for you ….beautiful. Thanks for sharing the events in your life with us ….. I’m pleased to hear you have your wedding ring back you would be lost without it… So precious. I see you missed your appointment for your check up … These things happen in a busy life… like forgetting where your car is parked!!!! I hope all goes well for you on Wednesday.
    I see you have enjoyed some nice weather where you are… It is still pretty cold here in the North East …. But the garden is still a job in progress… Loved the photo that you posted of the bluebell wood. We are going over to the West Coast for a few days with Fiona so hopefully the weather may be a little better there,hopefully we may get over to the lakes whilst we are there we love Grasmere and Windermere the scenery is beautiful and I have a cousin who lives in Morecambe … The bay there is just lovely overlooks Grange over Sands …. Fab… Well Ali hope you and yours are well and look forward to your news in your next blog with love Chris x

    • Alison Keenan May 21, 2016 at 9:04 pm -  Reply

      Hi Chris, lovely to hear from you, and I very much hope your trip to the West Coast went well? Did you manage to get to The Lakes? We visited Morecombe many years ago with Aunty Edna and Uncle Ian, and I seem to remember the tied coming in very swiftly! I managed to see my oncologist this last week, and things are on course for my 5 year check in September. So glad you like Colin’s song – I have shown him all the lovely comments and he is very flattered 🙂 Yes, I’m delighted to have my wedding ring back.. really missed it, and am hoping this time, the diamonds will stay put! Take care, and thanks as always for keeping in touch on here and Twitter! Love Ali xx

  25. Carol s May 14, 2016 at 10:44 pm -  Reply

    Hiya Alison, loved the song. I bet there ‘s not a lot of people can say they have had a song written for them. Colin has got a lovely voice. How lovely for you both. Love Carol.x ps. The cake you made was really good. How did it taste?

    • Alison Keenan May 21, 2016 at 9:06 pm -  Reply

      Carol, that is really sweet of you to say.. and yes I feel very lucky that he wrote this song for me – It’s actually the second song he’s written, and I love them both. He does have a great voice, and I will tell him you said that.. much appreciated. The cake went down very well – the KitchenAid is brilliant with sponges! Love Ali x

  26. Jane Franklin May 15, 2016 at 8:34 am -  Reply

    Aww what a lovely song! Colin has a beautiful rich voice. You must feel wonderfully loved and extremely proud!

    • Alison Keenan May 21, 2016 at 9:07 pm -  Reply

      Jane, definitely! All those things and more… very lucky and very proud. Love Ali xx

  27. Sally May 15, 2016 at 12:43 pm -  Reply


    The cake looked lovely , well done.
    Little honey such a cutie she does look so like you.
    You did make me laugh with all the out of date things in the draw especially the glace cherries I can relate to and the raisins ha ha
    I listened to the song, my stomach would go over if that were me and my hubby wrote a song too.
    I do agree with the time going too quickly, my aunt once said to me (she was 92) when you past 40 it fly’s by how right she is.
    Our youngest grand child is now 5 months he already has a character bless him.
    How you getting on with the book.
    Kind regards Sally

    • Alison Keenan May 21, 2016 at 9:09 pm -  Reply

      Dear Sally, thank you for your kind words and I’m glad you enjoyed the song. I have to say the first time I heard it, it made me cry… He has always written beautiful lyrics. How wonderful for you to have a grandchild of just five months… Although as you say, the time flies so quickly you need to make the very best of every time you spend with him. I have written over 60,000 words of my book now, and I’m hoping to publish towards the end of the year. Thank you for asking. Take care, love Ali xx

  28. Claire May 15, 2016 at 5:37 pm -  Reply

    Alison your husband is a lovely man to have written and sung such a beautiful, heartfelt song. You are both so very lucky to have found each other and im so pleased for you.
    What a romantic, charming man , i hope he gets in the charts with it. Take care special lady. xx

    • Alison Keenan May 21, 2016 at 9:11 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Claire, and thank you for your sweet words. I’m so glad you enjoyed the song and that the lyrics touched you.. he has always been very gifted when it comes to telling stories through song, and I am very touched that he has put into a song how he feels.. We both feel lucky to have met each other all those years ago, and although we’ve been through a lot together, the times are sweeter for it. I hope all is well with you, love Ali xx

  29. Teresa L May 16, 2016 at 4:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali what a lovely blog as always glad to hear that you have had a good couple of weeks.
    Honey’s cake looks great what a clever person you are. Looks like you all had a great deal of fun.
    Sorry you missed your appointment, fingers crossed that all goes well this week we will be thinking of you.
    I have to agree that the bluebells have been fabulous this year it must be a mixture of the rainy mild winter. They seem to be a deeper blue this year as well.
    The good news from me is, we have found a beautiful little bungalow in Highcliffe. Further from the beach than we wanted but still in walking distance, we both fell in love as soon as we walked in. Fingers crossed all will go without to many hiccups along the way.
    Finally what a beautiful song Colin wrote for you. He has a great voice and we loved the video, hope it stays top for a while.
    Take care Ali speak to you soon
    Love Teresa xx

    • Alison Keenan May 21, 2016 at 9:15 pm -  Reply

      Dear Teresa, thanks so much for your comment. My appointment went well, and was pre-empting my five years on Tamoxifen and the choice where possible of further endocrine treatment… Tests and more talking to be done when I reach that point in September.. Fingers crossed as you say. I am so pleased to hear that you have found a bungalow in Highclifffe – I googled it and loved the beach, the castle, the views and of course the sea. How fabulous for you! I can imagine you are both going to be incredibly happy there. Do keep in touch, and let me know how the move goes, love Ali xx

  30. Loraine Plumb May 17, 2016 at 12:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison what a lovely song and kind man you have just back from sorrento we visited pompei and positano also managed a trip to capri although les wasnt feeling good on the boat hes not great on water but was still glad we went to see it we may go in late august to another part of Italy so pretty isn’t it I was thoroughly spoilt Les bought me a watch bracelet and kipling handbag I’m lucky like you he’s very thoughtful never thinks of himself enough I don’t think baby Willa is doing well I love the photos of honey with you anyway back to the washing take care love Loraine xx


    • Alison Keenan May 23, 2016 at 2:24 pm -  Reply

      OOh Loraine, I remember all those fabulous places, but envy you your trip to Capri! That’s definitely one for another time. We are still trying to decide where to go later this year… may well be Italy again or Northern Cyprus. So glad Les spoiled you, and I’m pleased that baby Willa is doing well. Glad you enjoyed the song – Colin has been bowled over with the feedback 🙂 Love Ali xx

  31. Linda Finch May 17, 2016 at 9:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali ,haven’t written to you for a while as I said last time have had a bad virus but all is well now, my hubby had good news from his last hospital visit ,everything is going well with his ankle he is managing to get about the house with just one stick at the moment and did manage to drive to the hospital so I think we are finally heading in the right direction. What a clever thing you are Honeys cake looked good enough to eat HAHA as I have said many, many times they grow so fast so take every opportunity you can to take loads of pictures, because as I have found with my grandchildren once they get to school they become so grown up you wonder where the time has gone.I have just watched Colin’s video and re wound it and re wound it ,you are one very lucky lady but you already now that ,it just made me cry the words are so beautiful how many times have we ladies heard a love song and wished it was just for us ,well my friend you have got both the man and the song ,can’t wait for the download or cd ,well done that man , much love to both of you Linda F xxx

    • Alison Keenan May 23, 2016 at 2:26 pm -  Reply

      Dear Linda, so glad that you are feeling better and that also your husband’s ankle is mending well! So glad you liked the photos and Colin’s song… I played it to Mally yesterday, and it made her cry too! “In her forever I believe” is the line that always gets me… I’ll keep you in touch with the progress of the album, but thank you for your support. Love Ali xx

  32. Sandra Goff May 17, 2016 at 11:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,,,,, I have been following you for ages now,,, never had the nerve to write except when you got married to say what a beautiful bride you made,,,and sooo happy for you,,after the last few years you truly deserve lots of it,,,Honey is a little beauty,,,and her birthday cake was amazing,,, how clever of you,,,I have listened to Colin singing his song half a dozen times in the last hour,,,what a beautiful song and sang so beautifully too,,,,, the love between you both is so wonderful to see,,, an amazing man with an amazing wife,,,,, you both look so happy and may it always be that way,,,Good luck with your oncologist,,, and pray you have only good news,,,,much love sweatheart,,,,Sandra xxx

    • Alison Keenan May 23, 2016 at 2:30 pm -  Reply

      Dear Sandra, thank you so very much for taking the time out to write here. It was very thoughtful of you to have written last year for the wedding, and I’m glad that you continue to follow the blog. Colin will be thrilled to know that you enjoyed the song so much, and I pray as you say, that happiness we share today will be for always. Final decision re ongoing treatment will come in the autumn, but thank you for your kind wishes, love Ali xx

  33. Loraine Plumb May 18, 2016 at 4:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali love your photos and the song was lovely what a kind caring person Colin seems .Just back from Sorrento managed a trip to Pompeii positano and Capri really lovely may go back to italy end of august hopefully I was thoroughly spoilt Les bought me a watch bracelet and kipling handbag he is very thoughtful doesn’t think of himself enough I don’t think ,Willa is doing well she is putting on weight and smiling hope your keeping well best wishes to you love Loraine xx oh by the way this is my second attempt at sending you this message I wrote the first one nearly 2days ago so apologies if you get a repeat message xx

    • Alison Keenan May 23, 2016 at 2:31 pm -  Reply

      Double the pleasure to hear from you twice!!! Glad that little Willa is putting on weight, and smiling at you too… Honey has such a lovely grin now she has all these teeth!! xx

  34. Judith Lennon May 18, 2016 at 11:16 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    What a beautiful song! Colin is so talented and has such a lovely voice. The pictures of Honey’s birthday are lovely. She is a lucky girl to have so many people in her life that love and protect her. Your cake was beautiful too. You are such a talented lady. Hope your appointment went well for you. I am currently on holiday and enjoying the rest. I become a new woman in the sunshine!!
    It is so lovely to feel the Suns rays on you. I am catching up with my reading too. I have just finished Jackie Kablers book and was engrossed from the start. A great read. Can’t wait for yours to be released. Well I’m off to bed now so will close until next time. Take care and as usual love and hugs from me. Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan May 23, 2016 at 2:34 pm -  Reply

      Hello there Judith, glad to know you are enjoying the sunshine and getting a chance to rest! I agree wholeheartedly with you that Jackie Kabler’s book was excellent! I read it twice, and can’t wait for the sequel which she tells me will be published in October. I’ve just been put in touch with an editor, and pretty well there with my writing it’s just a case of getting it all in the right order! I’ll let you know how it’s progressing. Colin thanks you for your kind words about the song… bless you 🙂 Love Ali xxxxx

  35. Jilly May 19, 2016 at 8:07 pm -  Reply

    Good evening Ali and everyone – I am trying again to send a blog. The last was written when I was with Annie and family in Cumbria but it went into space – never to be seen again!! I too cannot believe Honey is one and just love looking at the family pictures. What a super day you have all had and more special memories of the past year with your little darling. The cake looks perfect but I recall all your cakes have looked so very good. I love my red kitchen aid it looks great just sitting on the bench when not in use. I laughed when reading about the pressure washer also as we have the same make and are very impressed with it. It did a Brilly job on the flags in our courtyard.
    Annie is on top form and loves her new life in Cumbria. The new Drs and hospital have also been super and very supportive. You must have had your appointment yesterday Ali so hope you are happy with the outcome. How quickly now these five years have gone. Hope the book is progressing well as there will be so many of us waiting to read it and also knowing how much comfort it will give so many women who face the horrors you have done – and come out the other end still smiling.
    I have been walking in the hills a lot and found plenty of bluebells ( we even seem to have more in our garden than ever) but the ones in your photo are just the best. My elderly aunt had a picture on the wall which was just like your photograph so it brought back lovely memories of her.
    How proud of Colin you must be. Just lovely to hear his music is going so well.
    Well I will see what happens when I press send on this – do you know it was not until two weeks ago my hubby asked if I turned the iPad off – I didn’t know one did that – he asked how I managed on the plane each time I went to Cumbria and I looked blank – I have never turned it off!!!! I always put my phone in flight mode but never took the iPad out of my bag so thought because I was not using it it was not on!!!! How silly can one be? Now I know but am still learning how to use it. Take care and love Jilly xxx

    • Alison Keenan May 23, 2016 at 2:40 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Jilly, how lovely to hear from you and to know that Annie and her family are now well settled in their new home and that she has a supportive GP and hospital. That must be a weight off your mind! Glad you were able to visit and I hope it’s not too long before you can join them there permanently… if that’s what I understood the long term plan to be?? I think Mary who also writes here has a red Kitchen Aid and loves hers too! I will have to use it again at the end of this week as it’s Colin’s birthday on Bank Holiday Monday! We have ALL the family coming including my niece Emily and baby James, so I am frantically planning food. BBQ or indoors there will be a fair bit of food needed! I was really pleased with the bluebell picture, and I think they are definitely the bluest I’ve ever seen too! Glad it brought back happy memories for you. I am inordinately proud of Colin and all that he has achieved, and am hoping for big things when the album is released. Thank you for your kind words and support. Re your iPad I rarely if ever turn mine off except when in a plane, and it’s completely safe if in flight mode so don’t worry. Might be good to give it a rest once in a while, but I just tend to constantly recharge mine and use it every day. Take care, and as always, thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  36. Jilly May 19, 2016 at 8:08 pm -  Reply

    Oh my I think I have actually sent my blog Tonight !!!! Love Jilly xxx

  37. Jilly May 19, 2016 at 8:15 pm -  Reply

    Oh boy that song is a tear jerker . How does one beat that!!!! Love ( again) Jilly xx

    • Alison Keenan May 23, 2016 at 2:41 pm -  Reply

      I played it to Mally yesterday and her lovely PA Teeny, and they were both in tears too! Apparently Phil Mally’s husband is a big country fan, so we’re hoping to get together all of us when she’s next over here. xxxxx

  38. twinkle May 19, 2016 at 9:14 pm -  Reply

    hi Ali and Colin

    Colin I have said it many times already but your song for Ali has had me in tears each time I have listened to it, it is beautiful and just shows what a gorgeous relationship that u have xx U areboth amazing xx

    Ali I love that cake u made for Honey and I am glad I was able to give u a little inspiration 🙂 Honey looked so adorable he outfit is gorgeous and so pleased she liked her card – still cant believe that she is one she is an amazing little girl xx

    Hope hospital visit went well xx
    sending so much love as always xxx

    • Alison Keenan May 23, 2016 at 2:43 pm -  Reply

      Dear Twinkle you totally inspired me with the photos you sent of the cake, and everybody loved it, most importantly Honey! I’ve literally just found a Little Mermaid bathing costume which is so sweet – can’t wait to give it to her. Thank you for your sweet words re Colin’s song.. he was very touched with what you wrote. Hope things are going well for you, love Ali xx

  39. Mrs liz price May 19, 2016 at 10:48 pm -  Reply

    Alison I have just listened too Colin for the very first what a beautiful song what a voice and every word written is so perfect for you coming from Belfast as I do was brought up on country music and Irish music and have a great love off both is Colin music and where can it be perched please come and play birmingham Colin I would happily come see you play in London lovely photos of baby honeys party lots of love God bless liz xxxx

    • Alison Keenan May 23, 2016 at 2:44 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Liz, could to hear from you on the blog! Bless you for your kind words about Colin and the song. It would be great if we could put a gig on and invite you all – Birmingham or London – wherever you could come.. 🙂 Who knows.. maybe one day. I’m glad you liked the photos of Honey.. she has such a cheeky grin now with all those teeth! Love Ali xx

  40. Debz May 20, 2016 at 9:32 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali

    What a truly lovely song your Colin has written for you. You can tell how much he loves you both from the words and also the way he sings it. You are so lucky to have such love in your life.

    Honey’s cake was a masterpiece. Am sure that it tasted as good as it looked.

    I have adopted two rescue cats. They are brother ans sister and were one on 1st of May. I have called them Harry and Lily. Harry is huge and is black and white and Lily is very petite and a tortoiseshell. No one wanted them as they were so timid. They began life in a scrapyard before being rescued and so their first 11 months has been a bit rough to say the least.

    We’ve had them for 6 weeks now and, although they are more confident, we still have a long way to go before they become lap cats if indeed they ever do. I can stroke them now and most times they will come to me if I call them (Dreamies are probably the main reason they do this I think) They do play a lot and are slowly getting used to all the space they have.

    I hadn’t intended to have cats so soon but a friend of mine sent me their information from the rescue site via Facebook and I couldn’t get them out of my mind. So, after a lot of tears and soul searching, I kept thinking that I couldn’t have loved Ainzley very much if I was already contemplating other cats, we decided that they needed us and deserved a chance.

    I was really struggling with losing Ainzley and I don’t miss him any less but sometimes in order to let go of something, you need something else to hold onto. They have given me something to focus on and I love seeing them getting more confidence and becoming more settled in their new home. They’re starting to develop their own personalities too which is fantastic to see. I can’t imagine being without them now. Not sure Ainzley would approve of them as he hated everyone but, I think he would want me to get over him and be happy and if cats are what it takes then that’s ok with him!

    Love to you and all in Ali’s Army, especially those we don’t hear from so much. I hope you are ok.

    Debz. XXX

    • Alison Keenan May 23, 2016 at 2:50 pm -  Reply

      My dear Debz, so very good to hear from you, and more importantly to hear your news!!! Two new members of the family, who have the same names as Colin’s daughter and her boyfriend!!! They are also the same colours as my dear cats I had six years ago… Willows (tortoiseshell) and Dodge (black with a white bib and huge!). It is so the right thing for you to have rescued these little cats, and I’m certain that Ainzley will be pleased that more felines will benefit from your kindness! I completely understand it when you say you will never forget Ainzley, but you are also so right when you say, when you lose something it helps to have something else to hold onto. The life these cats will now have been part of your family will make all the difference and they are very lucky that you’ve taken them on.
      Please do keep in touch, and let us know how they are getting on.. I’m sure they will gain confidence as time passes and will become the affectionate companions you want them to be. I too wonder about Alpa, Una, Sue and the other original members of Ali’s Army, and send them my love.. as I do to you. Take care, love Ali xx

  41. ADELE TAYLOR May 20, 2016 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    Such a Beautiful song Ali and cake is just amazing!!! XOXO

    • Alison Keenan May 23, 2016 at 2:50 pm -  Reply

      Adele, thank you very much. I love the words, and everyone ate the cake! Win Win situation 🙂 Love Ali xx

  42. Margaret Upton May 20, 2016 at 7:33 pm -  Reply

    I’ve just listened to the song, how wonderful to have a song written for you, you have joined the Pattie Boyd club!!!
    I’m a big fan of country and western music, the words always mean something or tell a story.
    Loved the cake, I wouldn’t have had a clue where to start.
    What is a baby sensory class? My daughter is now 40 so I’m a bit out of date with such things.
    I watched the Diamonique show last night, did you purchase the eternity ring?
    Just being curious but who are SW and BG from the end of the video!?
    Or perhaps it is no one in particular just a nice sentiment to end with.


    • Alison Keenan May 23, 2016 at 2:54 pm -  Reply

      Hello there Margaret, and thanks for taking the time out to write. So glad you also like country music – I agree it’s the stories that make the songs so special, and Colin is a very clever lyricist. Baby Sensory is much the same as Tumble Tots.. soft play with music and mums joining in. I’ve taken Honey just once, but felt so decrepit with my aching back and sore knee that I’m happier to just watch! I didn’t a mange to get the eternity ring, but have asked our buyers if it’s coming back in stock as it was such a popular choice! I’d love one 🙂 Interestingly you’re the only one who has asked about the SW and BG…. It’s for Sonny Walters – the name of Colin’s Band, and Babygirl is his nickname for me 🙂 Have a great week, Love Ali xx

  43. Loraine Plumb May 21, 2016 at 10:29 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison this is the third time I have tried to email you doesn’t seem to be working didn’t we had a great time in Italy we went to Capri while we were in Sorrento and did a few other excursions too illa is doing well love your photos and Colin’s song what a kind man I was thoroughly spoilt on holiday Les bought me a kipling bag a watch and bracelet I also think I’m very lucky hope you are well and sorry if you get this message 3times didn’t want you to think I wasn’t bothering to contact you anymore love Loraine xx

    • Alison Keenan May 23, 2016 at 2:55 pm -  Reply

      Loraine, thank you! the comments are posted up by my editor, and anything that is put there over the weekend will need to wait until Monday – you keep her very busy! Thank you though 🙂 xx

  44. Hazel May 21, 2016 at 3:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison you’re a very talented lady honeys birthday cake was fab bet she loved it .and my she a sweet and beautiful little girl and can see shes the apple of youre eye as are my 4 grandchildren ages 9 _14_21and23 …iv just been listening to Colin and must say what a truly beautiful song the lyrics brought tears to my eyes as I’m sure it did to youres you must be so proud of him you are a lovely courageous lady and deserve every happiness….. I look forward to yourd next blog as you always make the very interesting and share some lovely pics of youre adventure and lovely family thank you …take care.

  45. Wilma Noble May 21, 2016 at 7:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali your husbands song written for you so beautiful broought a tear to my eye love to you both xx

  46. Beverley May 21, 2016 at 7:21 pm -  Reply

    What a beautiful song Ali, I hope Colin gets the recognition he deserves! X

  47. Margaret Rigg May 22, 2016 at 12:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, What a lovely Blog, enjoyed reading it, the Bluebells have been lovely this year, I moved to Portsmouth from Barrow in Furness 2 Years ago and brought my bluebells with me, I couldnt
    bear to leave them all, so brought a container full they are doing well.
    Honeys Cake is Fabulous – you clever thing, Kitchen Aids are Brill I love mine. I think going through C (I have too) makes you
    appreciate every minute of your life, & your being apart of
    Grandchildrens Lives, I have been Blessed to be with Two of
    Mine when they came into the world & after my Op the Specialist knew I NEEDED to go to my grandchildrens christening, he gave me instructions of what I had to do & I stuck to them. It meant the world to me & still does. That was
    Seven Years ago this July. How time flys!

    I Love your Husbands Song, that he wrote for you, hope it says for weeks, its video is very good too.
    Lots of Love, Margaret xx

  48. Loraine Plumb May 22, 2016 at 6:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison been trying to contact several times not having any luck at all I’m posting the comments but it’s not showing up when I look a day later you will probably end up with lots of messages all at once love Loraine x

  49. Linda dobson May 22, 2016 at 10:19 pm -  Reply

    A beautiful song for a beautiful lady xxx

    • Alison Keenan May 24, 2016 at 11:06 pm -  Reply

      That’s very kind of you to say – a very lucky lady too! X

  50. Loraine Plumb May 23, 2016 at 12:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali so sorry about the messages they have all appeared at once xx

  51. Lynn May 24, 2016 at 2:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    What a beautiful song for a beautiful lady you must be so proud of Colin. Enjoyed listening to it.
    Take care love Lynn x

  52. jill rycroft May 24, 2016 at 2:52 pm -  Reply

    Wow! Ali if that isn’t love I don’t know what is, what a man your a lucky girl, treasure him

  53. kathryn kent May 24, 2016 at 9:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,never liked country music but gave Colin’s song a listen,might just have been converted !!!.It’s a winner.:-)

  54. Mary Morphy May 25, 2016 at 5:56 am -  Reply

    Good early Wednesday morning Ali..birds singing very loudly and i am wide awake at 5.30am. Still gives me the time to catch up. Firstly just listened to Colin singing..i will be honest, Country music isn’t my thing BUT that said i had tears in my eyes listening to the song..beautifully written and extremely touching plus my mum and dad had a record player like that one in the video and we wore it out as kids. Loved the whole video so congratulations Colin and your chart placement is very well deserved. Great acting by you of course too.
    The photos of Honey are delightful..the cake was a resounding success and i am intensley jealous of your baking draw..ah only in my dreams!! I am relieved to hear you have a man drawer though..we have three in our house which i endeavour to clear out in school holidays then they all become man.drawers again very soon!!
    Half term is approaching..fully booked already however now my green recycling bin has arrived..a treat for myself now the front garden is now off road parking for our cars and we have room to keep one as well as the obligatory black and blue bins…and i can now potter in my garden knowing i do not have to take a trip to the tip after.
    Also..thanks to the very unexpected bonus of being able to take my Barclays pension at 50..yes a perk to getting older…i decided to take a tax free lump sum and reduced pension. I am now the owner of a new renault captur in cream with a black roof and for the first time ever my husband and i have some savings..happy days..only taken us 20 plus years!! (Its our 20th weddung anniversary in August). Ale house going well but i hardly see jon but getting the business going is important as we still have bills and mortgafe to pay..he is happy though and i have now mastered the book work!
    Exam season is upon us and my daughter Chloe is nearing the second week of herGCSE exams..she has 19 in total but by Friday will have completed 9. Cricket season started too so Sundays are now taken up although this week was a stop start match because of the rain but they won. She is having 10 inches of her beautiful hair cut on 4th July for the Little Princess Charity and has so far raised over £500 on her just giving page and with other donations she has raised over £700.. thats enough to make two wigs..each costs £350 to weave..her hair will also be split between three wigs. Her red hair is her pride and joy..it us stunning and there will be tears when it is cut..thankfully i am at work but her dad will go with her and there will be tears..but i am so proud of her.
    Have a great week. Lots of love. Mary x

  55. angela white May 25, 2016 at 5:16 pm -  Reply

    hi ali,you alright? I hope you are well and hospital apt went well. I love the song colin wrote it sent me all goose pimply!!!!!!!!!!!! hope family are well and honey is alittle poppet! what a wonderful cake, you are very talented. lovely to hear from debz and I’m sure cats will help lessen pain of losing ainzley,totally different personalitys I think! I have my checkup nextmonth 8yearsbut luckily no mamagram this year its every 2years after 5 years I feel well so hopefullyget all clear for another year but its always a worry isn’t it? we will hopefullyget more use out of holiday home this year we have had a week so far and a few weekends its so lovely and peacefulthere its good to get away! well take care ali sending love to you and the army! x

  56. angela white May 26, 2016 at 12:56 pm -  Reply

    sorry I meant goose bumps! what am I like! x

  57. Isabel moule May 29, 2016 at 4:25 pm -  Reply

    Beautiful song, good wishes to you x

  58. Val October 2, 2016 at 9:50 pm -  Reply

    What a lovely song you must feel so proud to have had a song dedicated to you, by your husband it was very touching ,so happy for you, looking at your family you all seem very close thats what family life should be about love watching your diamonique show im getting quite a collection now alison xx

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