My latest news on the ducks, newborns and more…


Borage where Dilys made her nestHaving been relieved of my drain last Monday and then the last of my rather large plasters this Wednesday, I'm feeling a little more human thankfully πŸ™‚

Thanks to all of you for writing to me – such lovely things you say – I feel truly blessed. Even more so, when I know that for some of you trying to post your comments has been a nightmare!!

Mercifully my eagle-eyed editor has sorted the problem out and removed the data recognition thingy that you had to fill in before sending. I have to admit to being more than a little confused the first time I saw it, but completely poleaxed when I tried to read the unreadable combination of letters, numbers and punctuation marks. It was like trying to crack the enigma code, so bless you for persevering!

Sadly, not such a happy outcome for my friendly duck Dilys and her nest of a dozen eggs… I only discovered she was there because I found a broken egg on the lawn and each day more eggshells were scattered about. She'd made her nest in the patch of borage that I have growing by the front door, but it was up against the wall and is a favourite rat run for the furry friends who live in the next door barn.

Each day I checked on her, but she gave up sitting in the end and all the eggs were eaten. She and her husband Dex still spend time in the front garden, and this morning I witnessed them carrying out a strange ritual which involved stretching their legs out in front of them and then tucking one underneath themselves – a bit like Thai Chi and almost as graceful!

CowslipsMy mum came to stay for a couple of days last week, and it was really good to see her. We made liver and bacon casserole and rice pudding, and she helped me with a knitting project that a friend of mine had started me on! She'd not been here since my birthday last year, and had never seen the garden properly or the apple trees and rhubarb!

We had a couple of slow and short walks and she was delighted when we found a few cowslips growing in the meadow. They're not easily found nowadays, apparently because of the use of pesticides, but in the open land that surrounds me here, there are quite a few.

The name is actually from the Old English cu- sloppe meaning cow pat, because they grew in fields where cattle grazed – lovely!! Mum knew this, and is a mine of information when it comes to wild flowers.  

Ali with baby RyanI remember when I was a child and we used to go for walks, she'd tell me what each of the flowers were called and bought me a little book called The Flower Fairies which I loved. She is also incredibly clever at arranging flowers and can make the smallest bunch of innoquous blooms look beautiful πŸ™‚

I also had a visit from one of Lucy's friends who brought her beautiful baby son for me to cuddle. His name is Owen, and he is gorgeous isn't he? I couldn't hold him too tight, but he was as good as gold πŸ™‚

I'll be seeing mum again the weekend after this as my niece Emily is getting married to Paul – affectionately known as Paulie πŸ™‚ Emily is my sister Jenny's eldest daughter, and my god daughter.

I remember seeing her for the first time in Portsmouth Hospital, such a dear little soul with hair that stood up like a paintbrush. Although pleased to see me, my sister accused me of having lied to her… "You said having a baby didn't hurt!!" This was true, but I had felt it necessary to err on the side of caution – after all, no two births are the same!  :)  

Sam in South AfricaEmily is a sweetheart and very bright, having gone on to obtain a first class honours degree in English. Paul is also a first class graduate, and they will both be heading off to Bangladesh after the wedding – not for the honeymoon, but for a year's business venture!

Luckily, Jenny's other daughter Verity is staying put, as I know Jenny will find it hard having Em so far away, in the same way I find I miss Sam so very much. We do speak at least once a week though and he recently sent me this photograph, and it's good to see how well he looks and how much happier too….

Luckily my rather unusual 'new' shape fits into the dress I had for Lucy's wedding and so I will wear that again. Jenny, though, was in a bit of a quandry as to what to wear as Mother of the Bride, but we chanced upon her outfit when we met up for lunch some months back. It's a duck egg blue colour, crepe de chine, dress and jacket, and we've also got her a gorgeous hat. She looks stunning and I'll make sure I get a couple of photos to show you πŸ™‚

I'm going to be doing her make-up on the day, and have also been asked by Em to do hers too!!! No pressure then! Colin and I will drive down the day before and stay over so we don't have to face the M25 on a Saturday morning! All exciting stuff and I'm looking forward to it very much. 

In the meantime I am taking it slowly and spending a fair bit of time under my snuggle top, cosy toes, Northern Nights duvet πŸ™‚ There's sometimes a feeling of deja vu as I watch the seasons change, remembering how it was this time last year… of course no chemo to contend with, just a strange numbness and a sensation of weight similar to having two small children sitting on my chest πŸ™‚ They tell me it will settle in the next few months, and I have no reason to disbelive them, so I will do as you suggest, and take each day as it comes :) 

I hope all is well in your world, and I look forward to catching up with you again soon,

Love Ali xxx


  1. LindaRichards May 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm -  Reply

    Ali, great to hear from you again. Not been very well myself latley, the injections they have put me on seem to have a not very nice effect on me, I have spots that I have’nt had since I was thirteen and a upset tummy and other things, the injections lower my imune system. Never mind not so much as you have had to put up with. Have a lovely time at your family wedding. Keep well God Bless Love Linda xxxxxxxxxxxx PS Hope the weather keeps fine and warm for you all.

  2. Susan May 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What a lovely blog! I so look forward to your new blogs. Even just conversing with you on your old blogs is wonderful too though. Your photos are all lovely and you and baby Ryan look so content and well. Great to see. I am so sorry about Dilys and Dex – lovely names! Oh as is Verity, your niece. Love it. I cannot wait to see you all at the wedding!! Will your sis kill you for saying what she’s wearing though lol?! You’ll all be knockouts and how nice that you’re taking part and doing the makeup!
    Good luck to Emily and hubbie and of course hope you and your sis can lean on each other when you miss your offspring! I’m so glad you’re feeling better and believing the dr that the weight will ease…I’m sure it will. My friend said the same thing.
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Susan x

  3. Alpa May 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    If a jumble of letters is posted from me, please ignore! Tried to post earlier on your new blog but could not and only remembered your editor had removed the enigma code after that! x

  4. Julie May 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    So pleased you’re feeling better. I can understand how you feel about the last year but that’s all behind you now thank goodness so it’s onwards and upwards.Your positivety and humour’s kept you going-and friends and family.
    I forgot to mention Rebecca’s running in The Race For Life in memory of her Wonderful Grandmother-hopefully! She’s actually injured her leg and under Dr’s order’s can’t run in the near future!!
    I’ve resent the photo’s so hope you’ve received them.
    Hope you have a lovely time at the Wedding next week-no doubt it will bring back memories of Lucy’s-and doing the make up too!!
    Take care
    Julie xx Lily xxxx

  5. Babs lincsxxx May 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali Hope i have more luck sending this blog than i did the last time. It’s lovely hearing from you and seeing the pics of you.I admire you so much,all what you have gone through,the way you have coped.To have your mum stay and spend time together is lovely.You have the wedding to look forward to,a lovely family day.I shattered my wrist 4yrs ago and had to have wires in to keep it in place whilst it healed,i was left 8 days in pain before the hospital did the operation then i came round whilst they were operating.Then they gave me too much anesthetic and i had to be resusitated. The operation should have taken 25 mins but i was 5 and half hours in intensive care. They put stitches in to keep the wires in, also my wrist and arm was in plaster.In total i had 4 plasters on as they kept taking them off to exray my wrist. They took the plaster off to take the stitches out then put a fresh plaster on but left 3 stitches in so when it came to take the wires out the stitches left in had stopped the wires coming out and were bedded in my flesh, did i scream, the whole hospital must have heard me.I still have pain but all what happened to me is nothing to what you have gone through. I look forward to your next blog and pics.Hope Colin and all your family are well. Love to you allxxxxxxxx

  6. cyl May 18, 2012 at 11:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali enjoyed your blog as always,thats a lovely photo of you with the baby he’s a smasher,glad your feeling a bit better your doing really well it’s true time is a healer.hope the wedding goes well and that the weather improves.lots of love cyl x

  7. Annie Turner May 19, 2012 at 7:53 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,you wont remember me so dont try, the feeling of heavy weight goes eventually and is quite normal so dont worry. When I had my hysterectomy donkeys years ago I asked the doc why she’d taken ny uterus out and put a brick in! Not having had the procedure done to ‘her’ she was a bit surprised.
    I had pied wagtails nesting in my hanging basket last year, right outside the back door – astonishing!The mother raised two clutches – yes 2! she came back and did a second lot, its just a normal hanging basket (yes okay I wasnt too good at watering !!-but still)… partner says its because I live in a very peaceful home Awww! He also instructed me “do not look in the basket or the mum will take fright and abandon the eggs! Very difficult advice to keep, but I did, also of course I had to completely abandon watering so it was a very sad looking basket from below. I am higher in the house because of my back step so I would walk out humming nonchalantly and swivel my eyes to the right for about 1 second to have a glimpse and then proceed out. That mother bird must have been very used to my slamming my stiff door I guess before she took up residence. I live in deep country, only 2 houses for 2 miles. I managed to sneak some pics tho holding camera high when mum out foraging for dinner and have a cute pic of 4 little orange beaks wide open.
    Well enough of country matters with Annie, take good care Ali and enjoy all your plans.Luv Annie x

  8. Margaret Woolston May 19, 2012 at 11:00 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I just have to tell you what an inspiration you are – always so positive and you looked so well when you returned to presenting on QVC. I was so disappointed to learn that you were having to have more treatment but I sincerely hope that this time all goes well and you get back to your normal life. My husband had various chemo, radiotherapy and finally a bone marrow transplant so I do understand a little of what you are enduring.
    With very best wishes for a complete recovery and I look forward to seeing your cheery smile back on QVC in the not too distant future.
    Love from Mags xx

  9. helen s May 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, good new that your getting back on track but do remember to take it slowly. Your snuggle days sound lovely and a couple of days last week I felt so weary that after the school run in the morning, I too snuggled back in my duvet with a cup of coffee and my lap top, quite a guilty pleasure that I have denied my self of. Feeling a bit down of late I’m sure that a few duvet hours (not days I’m afraid)will help???? Just so tired all the time. Will be seeing the gynie for a follow up on the 28th but not holding my breath on a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ outcome. There just doesn’t seem anyone interested to help or find out what could be wrong! Hey ho, life goes on eh?
    You be sure to take it easy, promise?? You look as though you’ve lost a bit of weight, mmm time for some treats I think.
    Take care now lovely, I’m always in contact with dear Alpa, bless.
    Keep in touch and all my love and gentle hugs are coming your way, your an inspiration to us all, such a lovely lady!
    Helen s xxxx

  10. Linda Duffy May 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Hope you continue to keep well, can’t wait to see you back on QVC. Sending you lots of love and best wishes.
    Love Linda

  11. izzie May 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Wonderful to see you looking well and up and about with your Mum. I lost both my parents within a month of each other just over two years ago – I miss them so much and often wish I could have just another day to ask things I didn’t get round to …. So glad you did some cooking together – and Knitting – my Mum was always my go to with my knitting or sewing projects – My poor daughters don’t stand a chance with my skills!!
    Have a wonderful time at your family wedding, fingers crossed for the weather. You are an inspiration – Look forward to seeing you back on air very soon.
    Love Izzie xxx

  12. Eileen P. May 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, great blog as usual, I feel really sad for the ducks losing all their eggs but I suppose thats “country life”. Lovely photo of you and Ryan, he looks so contented in you arms. Hope you have a lovely time at your nieces wedding, it will be good to catch up with the family again. Carry on enjoying your snuggle tops days as and when required, the rest will hopefully build you back up to full strenght. Look forward to seeing you back on screen in the not too distant future. Take care. Love & hugs. Eileen P. xxx

  13. Kathleen Kape May 19, 2012 at 11:19 pm -  Reply

    To all Ali’s Army. I am Alison’s Mum and I need your help!! She is ‘contemplating’ taking part again this year in the Race for Life. All of us, Colin, Lucy, Jenny and I feel it is too soon and she should not attempt it this year as she has a lot of healing to do. So I have told her that ‘Mum says No’ but that wih your help we will all join to do it for her.
    My efforts will have to be for half a mile a time as I have arthritus aggravated by the cancer drug letrozole which makes my joints sore. It could perhaps also be because I will be 77 in July but I prefer to blame the drug!!
    So please can you help, I did think that if Ainzley can be persuaded to do his ‘cat under the laundry basket’ run again it might count as double?
    It was great to see Alison at home again, I had last seen her at Christmas and her hair is now longer than mine. It will be great to have a family get together at Emilys wedding.
    Thank you all for your support for Alison over this last 16months. It has meant a great deal to all of us to know that none of us are ever really alone in this tiresome battle, but we will get there, so thanks again.

  14. Marg May 20, 2012 at 3:48 am -  Reply

    Well Ali, I am sad for your little duck family, but nature has a way of evening things out, theres always next time.
    I love the way you talk of your mum, we are so ready to forget that experiance counts for so much, and that comes with age. I loved to hear my mum talk of how my parents managed to bring up five of us on a shoestring, she made clothes for us and rugs for every room,we were in no way poor and we all had a very good education but every penny had a name on it. I feel very sorry for the young people today, education is not for everyone today, its a large weight to carry,some will never be free of the debt.
    I am so glad you have all your drains and such finnished with, it must be a great feeling of freedom to own your body again.
    I hope your family wedding goes well,I’m sure you experiance of makeup will be put to good use, but no fears you can handle it.
    I apologise for this rather bitsy blog but I have come down with the mother of all colds,my day is turned upside down, never mind I’ve never known a cold to last forever.
    I hope you enjoy the wedding but take it easy,superwoman, and look forward to seeing the pictures,
    Take care and be good to yourself,
    Hand as usual always there for you.

  15. Marg May 20, 2012 at 4:03 am -  Reply

    A little add on to all the lovely ladies of Alis army, thankyou for remembering me, it meant a lot believe me.
    I hope and pray you are going to get through this bad phase in your life Alpha,my heart goes out to you.
    Debs and Ainsley thankyou for being there, take care.
    Dear Gail hope you get a little relief from your relentless condition, and UNA,I think of you often, bless you,
    All the ladies I have not mentioned I apologise but never forget you,Alis Army is still going strong. God Bless and take care.

  16. Norma Smithson May 20, 2012 at 5:47 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali Good to know things are progressing well, you look great on the photo. Hope you have a wonderful time at Emily’s wedding, let’s hope the weather is good, can’t wait to see the family pic’s. Snuggle down and just get well, hope it won’t be too long before we see you on our screens, miss you lots. Norma x

  17. Gwen Tugwell May 20, 2012 at 11:37 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Lovely to hear from you again and to know that you are
    progressing nicely. Have tried to get in touch with you
    loads of times, but as you say gremlins in the system!
    Keep up with the good work and come back to QVC soon you are missed.
    Best Wishes,
    Gwen in Brighton.

  18. chantel May 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, i love the pictures that you have posted and i hope you are feeling better as each day goes along, hope to see you back at qvc when you feel much stronger, take it easy as Iam, just getting over a heavy cold and my little yorkshire terrier jess has had a massive operation for an absess and teeth removal, shes only got three teeth left but shes getting better as each day passes, sending you love and best wishes.
    Chantel and Jess the yorkie xxxx

  19. Louise Hannam May 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    It was lovely to read your update. I must say you are looking so well and hope that you feel stronger each day. You are an inspiration to us all, you show such strength and courage. I can not wait to see you grace our screens again on QVC but realise that your health has to come first.
    Enjoy the wedding and can not wait to see the photos on your next blog and keep smiling.
    Love Louise xxxx

  20. Joanna Downey May 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, Your blogs are like a box of delicious chocolates; full of different flavours, all of them interesting and ZERO calories. Poor Dilys and Dex, life can be very cruel and I wonder if they understand what has happened but I’m glad to hear that they are keeping up with their exercises! I’m also delighted to hear that you’re feeling better and taking it easy. You now need the sun to shine to give you some vitamin D. I’m going to Chelsea, the Flower Show, not the football, on Saturday so I’d appreciate it being warmer than it is at present. It’s wishful thinking that it might be warm enough for Summer clothes but I’d settle for lightweight layers and NO rain. Another wedding, how lovely and your dress from Lucy’s wedding was perfect for you so you’ll look senstional even with your two small children… Take care. Love from Jo x

  21. Lesley Minns May 20, 2012 at 10:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Great to hear you sounding so positive and enjoying life to the full again. Have a great family wedding. Sending you a hug, Lesley.

  22. helen s May 21, 2012 at 10:55 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali, now you listen to your Mum Kathleen!!!!! Didn’t you know that Mums are always right!!
    It is a little too soon to be contemplating anything so take Mums advice and take it easy.
    HeeHee well done Kathleen, what a lovely caring Mum you sound. All the army will try our hardest to keep Miss Ali on track, love and hugs to you too.
    Now Ali, lecture almost over, take care and listen to your Mum.
    Love and lots and lots of hugs
    Helen s xxxx

  23. Joanna Downey May 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison (naughty girl, full name) and Kathleen, Please DON’T take part in Race for Life it’s too soon and heaven knows what you might do to those two children… Make cakes with pink icing, cheer someone on from the edge of a road, plan to do it next year and just think about being a model in October. Your mum asked for our support so this is mine to her and I’m older than you so I’m being bossy. Even if I can’t spell sensational – see my last post. Mums are always right!
    Love from Jo x

  24. Susan May 21, 2012 at 7:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali and Kathleen,
    What a wonderful woman you are Kathleen!! I can absolutely see where Ali gets her wonderfulness from (made up word perhaps?!). I agree with your Mum Ali…maybe hold off to next year? Admirable but perhaps a tad too soon?! And Kathleen same goes to you too! Maybe leave the walking/running to the rest of the family!?
    Bye for now ladies!
    Susan x

  25. Babs lincsxxx May 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathleen You like me are a very protective of our families but we must let them do what they feel they must do. If Ali feels well enough and has the strength then let her do the Race, i’m sure if she finds it too much she’ll stop or on the day if she does’nt feel up to it she won’t run.My sister had cancer and some of the things she did took my breath away. I wish Ali well and you and hope you both get to the finish line. Enjoy the day. I’ll be thinking of you both. Take care.Love Babs xxxx

  26. Alpa May 21, 2012 at 8:27 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Thank you again for your advice and sorry for not replying on your blog.
    I’m so pleased that you are trying to take things slowly and have been having cosy duvet days. How lovely to have your mum stay with you for a few days and thank you for sharing the cowslips with us. I am sorry for poor Dilys and Dex, and what characters they are to continue with their Tai Chi. The photo of you and baby Ryan is beautiful and the one of Sam and an elephant reminds me of home. I hope he is continuing to feel better and that Lucy and Jack are both well.
    Looking forward to seeing photos of Emily’s wedding and what pretty names your nieces have. I hope the wedding goes well and I’m sure you will be fine as make-up artist extraordinaire and you will all look fantastic on the day πŸ™‚
    I have been feeling disheartened. Being on my own is one thing and how I wish there was someone willing to help. The hospital refused to do a brain scan, although I have been having convulsions and then I found out they could have done it. It’s been going on for three months now and still nothing! Just waiting to see if my appointment with the neurologist will be brought forward. Sorry to be a grumplestiltskin!!
    Helen has been a great support and thank you so much for putting us in touch.
    Take care and look after yourself
    Lots of Love, Alpa xx

  27. Alpa May 21, 2012 at 8:46 pm -  Reply

    Dear Marg,
    Thank you so much for your kind words. I have not been able to see a way through and there are times when I do feel scared and don’t recognise myself, if that makes sense. I hope you are recovering from your cold and feeling a little better. Lots of love to you x
    Debz, how are you feeling lovely? Thank you for thinking of me. Sending you a big hug and a special stroke and tickle for Ainzley from his Auntie Alpa x
    Sue, my sympathy on the loss of your beloved Dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Sorry it took me a little while to write to you x
    Una, sending you lots of love. We miss you and you are always in our thoughts x
    Love to Susan, Gail, Magda, Elaine, Liz and all in Ali’s Army x
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xx

  28. Marg May 22, 2012 at 3:46 am -  Reply

    Dear Kathleen, I was not blessed with a daughter so I can only imagine what has been on your mind, you have had your own battles to fight so perhaps its given you a greater understanding of how brave your daughter is, in saying that there is no way she is ready to run. and I promise if Ali does attempt this, I for one will not write to her again. What is she thinking of,there is a difference between bravery and foolishness, and this nonsence is no doubt the latter of the two.
    Please dont worry and look forward to your family wedding,
    It would be lovely if you would keep in touch, I remember when Ali took you for a trip down the Thames, it wasnt the smoothest sail but you were game, Dont worry Kathy, Take care, Marg.

  29. Marg May 22, 2012 at 3:59 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali, for the love of GOD stop this nonsence, you can run all you like next year but give your body a chance to heal,and stop worrying your Mother, as part of Ali’s army I ask you please give her your promise you wont do this run
    .I dont think you are cruel enough to add to her concerns so please please think again,
    I am sure I am only one small voice among many, please give your
    Mother peace of mind,

  30. Debz & Ainzley May 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm -  Reply

    My dear Alpa
    I am so sorry that you are still no further forward with your health and I am so sorry that you have to deal with it all alone. I did love that poem you put on Ali’s previous blog. So uplifting and full of hope. Thank you for sharing it with us. I’m glad that you and Helen keep in touch. I must be such a lifeline for you. I am sending you my love and a special lick from Ainzley. I gave him is tickle and stroke from you – they both went down very well!!
    Stay strong my lovely. We are all here for you and you are never far from my thoughts.
    Hi there Marg, good to hear from you again and am glad to see that you, like me, have rallied to Kathleen’s call to stop Ali taking part in Race For Life. XX
    Love to Helen, Gail, Susan, Magda and all of you lovlies in Ali’s Army.
    Lots of love and licks

  31. Linda Marshall May 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Just a quick blog this time to say that i am so glad that you are feeling better.
    love Linda xx

  32. Magda Chetty May 22, 2012 at 6:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali and Mum
    Great to hear that you are feeling better. And I do agree with your mum, you should take it easy, and there is lots of time to take part in a lot more events when you are 100% which Iam sure will be soon. Like you when I feel good I think I can take on the wrold, but we need to be careful, as I told in the last blog I was getting better and feeling great, but like your mum, last week I had lots of bones pain, when I went to the doctor, he said that is part of the tablet side effect, I need to rest and not use the computer much, as my neck hurts all the time.
    But Iam sure soon will both be fit and well to do what we want.
    So I will listen to the doctor, if you listen to your mum, DEAL!
    Much love.
    Alpa take care my love and hope you get well soon. Love to all the army ladies, Helen, Susan, Una, Debz, Liz,Gail, and sorry if I missed anyone. Love you all.

  33. mary morphy May 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali…the sun is shining in Westgate and I am a happy bunny watching OPI on QVC whils typing..I ordered the nail envy duo and avoplex kit today; I cannot be withou them. What a fab blog; so pleased to hear you are seriously on the mend at it was lovely to see a picture of Sam..very handsome! It was a coincidence that you mentioned your mum loving flowers and flower arranging as my mum is a trained florsit and worked in London’s West End when she was younger and trained in a florists just off Oxford street. She still has a passion for plants and loves her garden, it gives her so much joy. We joined forces for mine and my sisters wedding cakes. I made all the flowers out of sugar paste and my mum put them into beautiful sprays. My sister has three trailing sprays cascading down her cake of pink roses, white blossoms and purple fresia. I had 12 trailing sprays, one on each corner of my three tiered square cake which had cream lilies, blossoms, fresia and red poppies and we have both managed to keep a spray each!
    What a shame about the ducks; natyure can be cruel. I have been watching the animal live programme with Richard Hammond in Kenya and spent most of the time in tears as the animals struggle for survival.
    I am glad the worms in the system have been sorted and what on earth was the two word code all about…I got my daughte who is studying latin to look at one of the unrecognisable words as it looked like it didn’t belong in the English language, I hope this email finds you…
    Cricket going well but not had too many sunny day matches. Chloe had a county match in Hertfordshire Sunday…a six hour round trip and it was freezing. I was wrapped in a leaopard print slanket, big coat and had my Emu’s on!!
    Hope the wedding goes well and that you continue to make a great improvement. Much love Mary xx

  34. SUE RADFORD May 22, 2012 at 6:48 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Please promise you won’t take part in the run this year. Your family and all Ali’s army will be so worried for you. Really think long and hard about what your family has been through Ali. Even though you were the one who had to endure this terrible disease, those who love you have been affected by what you’ve been through too. There will be plenty of opportunities in the future when you will be much stronger and more able to take on such a task, and then everyone will be more than happy to back you all the way. Please take things gradually Ali because it will be very worthwhile in the end.
    Ali, thanks so much for your kind words concerning my Dad – they meant a lot. I thought I would have been more prepared, but it’s been a difficult time for me.
    Thanks Liz, Helen and lovely Alpa for your very kind words too. I really hope things will become much easier for all of you as you’ve had so much to contend with. Una, you are often in my thoughts.
    Have a great time at the wedding Ali! What a lovely little baby Ryan is. The picture of your son says it all – ‘a chip off the old block’ – no wonder you’re so proud of him!!
    Love Sue Radford xx

  35. elaine sallis May 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm -  Reply

    What a lovely mum you have. Please dont do the Race for Life you need to rest. Your lovely family needs you back as healthy as you can possibly be.
    I am trying to make cardigans for my new grand daughter due on September 6th. She will be 16 by the time I have finished them I think!! So when you have perfected you knitting skills I will send the wool and needles along.
    What a lovely picture of Sam. He looks really well.
    Lots of love and take it easy!!!!

  36. Mrs Janet Jones May 22, 2012 at 8:41 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,you must listen to your mum,your body has been through so much,and you still need plenty of rest.You are so lucky to still have your mum with you. I lost my mum when my son was 4,I still miss her. Maybe you could think about the walk/race for next year. When I did the Race for Life last week my message was “I race for myself,alison and everyone else fighting this disease.I thought about you,Liz and other ladies in ali’s army who have suffered or who are still suffering from breast cancer.As I don’t know anyone else who has/had breast cancer, your blogs have been so helpful, and I don’t feel alone.
    I am sending this blog from Cyprus, we booked it very last minute and it has been a lovely week. we are due back home tomorrow, it has gone so quickly.Hopefully you and Colin have got some ideas for your next holiday, in the mean time enjoy looking through the brochures. Glad to see Sam looking so well and happy.Take good care of yourself Ali,speak soon when I am back in blighty love and hugs Janet xx
    p.s hope you have received my card.

  37. Pam Richardson May 23, 2012 at 10:15 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison just sending you my best wishes, it is lovely to read your blog. I hope you are resting lots and letting people look after you.
    Regarding the race for life I would say that if your mum and the rest of your family think its too much they are probably right and you might be best to wait till next year.
    I know how you feel about Sam being away my son is now settled in the states and wont be home until November, I miss him a lot but am so happy for him as he is doing a job he really enjoys and is having a great time. My second eldest daughter is moving out at the end of the month as she and her fiancΓ© have just bought their first house. This will just leave me and my youngest daughter. I am getting empty nest syndrome and feel very sad. But on the other hand I am so proud of all four of my children as they make their way in the world. I just need some grandchildren now, I can’t wait to be a grandmother.
    Have a lovely time at your nieces wedding and take care.
    Pam x

  38. Annette Roberts May 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    As promised I am writing with an update of my neck X-Ray. I have a couple of little spikey bits, nothing to worry about and mainly down to wear and tear. My Dr has suggested, some physio, but like everything else that will take time.
    The head pain is still there and she has decided that because the pills aren’t really helping I have to come off them and go back to paracetamol. Having had the MRI and blood tests which show nothing, she doesn’t know what is the cause of my head pain, other than maybe my neck?! So yet again, we’re at a loss.
    To top it all, I have been having pins and needles in my left hand which is very painful and keeps me awake at night, so I’m being referred to see if it’s carpal tunnel!!
    Like yourself Ali I am a 1960’s baby, sharing my birthday with Julia and never thought for one minute that being in your 50’s would be so much trouble LOL!!!
    Although, I’ve only been on your blogg a couple of times, leaving it for your army to support you and you to support them, I totally agree with your lovely MUM…please don’t run, before you can walk, so to speak. You support, will be more than enough and when you are healed, they will look forward to your participation next year. I would give anything to have, not only my Mum, but Dad as well here and have lost count of the cries I have had lately, so please listen…we’re all going to badger you, you know!
    Take care Ali
    love Annette x

  39. Pam May 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, So glad you are feeling a lot better.You “sound” really back on track with looking forward to family events again.
    What a lovely picture of Sam.It is really hard when they go off so far away but at least with skype and e-mails they seem a little closer for a few minutes.I told you before that my eldest son had gone travelling last year, what a wreck I was but what wonderful tales they have to tell when they come back. Think back to those years when you might just get a grunt or “don’t know” to a question at least they have plenty to say after a trip like that!
    How lovely too that you’ve had your your caring mum staying.Oh Ali
    you know we in Ali’s Army admire you so much,while you may be feeling well now, rushing back to a race too soon could set you back a bit.Whilst only you know how you feel ,sometimes “mummy knows best”!I think your mum is scared as she’s seen you go through so much.Could you maybe just do a small section towards the end of the route.If you start the race, I ‘m sure you’re the kinda gal who will go to the end.Doing a bit of the race would be a good compromise.
    My mum was called Kathleen,I wish she was still here to give me advice sometimes!Anyway, love to you both, whatever you decide.
    Have you got your holiday sorted yet?Very hot here today!Finally put my winter coat away!!weyhey!
    Poor ducks,cute names.Nearly fainted when you talked about furry things in the barn,I can’t even say the word!So phobic about them.
    Well better get on,look forward to your next progress update,hope the wedding goes well.
    love and a hug!
    Pam xxx

  40. SUE RADFORD May 23, 2012 at 9:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Oops very sorry!! I expect you thought who the heck is Ryan!! LOL!!! Sorry, I meant to say “What a beautiful baby Owen is”!
    Hope you’re enjoying this lovely sunny weather, and you’re able to enjoy some nice gentle walks.
    Love Sue Radford xx

  41. Alison Keenan May 24, 2012 at 7:32 am -  Reply

    Hi there to all in Ali”s Army who have responded to my mum”s comment about the Race for Life…. I will as always write to you individually but wanted to assure you that the promise I made to mum NOT to run this unless I am given the all clear by my surgeon still stands πŸ™‚ A little bit like Lucy”s wedding last year, it was something to aim for although I realise now the fact it”s taking me so much longer to recover makes it pretty much impossible…. I really do appreciate your kindness and caring but please believe me when I say it was only ever a ‘hope’ rather than a certainty. I plan to write properly to you each of you later today. Enjoy the sunshine!!! Love Ali xxx

  42. Alpa May 24, 2012 at 9:41 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali and Ali’s Mum,
    Kathleen, what a fantastic mum you are. And here I was about to say to Ali, ‘No, please don’t even contemplate it!’ Ali, you have been through so much and I can understand having something to aim for but YOU and your well being come first.
    Isn’t it lovely to have the sunshine?! πŸ™‚
    Take it easy,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xx

  43. Alpa May 24, 2012 at 9:44 am -  Reply

    Dear Debz,
    Thank you for your lovely message and the special lick from Ainzley πŸ™‚ You are a star, beautiful girl.
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xx

  44. Rhona Fenton May 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison you look amazing so good to hear from you with all your lovely news, you must have had such an amazing time with mum and how is she keeping now Alison? please pass on my best to her:) and as for Sam WOW he looks good sorry I missed the news where is Sam and what’s he doing? but what a strapping lad he is and he looks so well, hope he’s keeping good? you must be soooo excited about the wedding? bet you can’t wait? now remember Alison you are not meant to out shine the Bride, because you will look Beautiful as ever:) glad to see your looking and feeling better now, just take your time and don’t over do things, enjoy your weekend we are enjoying this heat we are getting now thats what summer is meant to be:) luv to all stay strong love Rhona xx

  45. Debz May 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I did add my two pennies worth of backing for your lovely Mum Kathleen but my message has disappeared again.
    Anyway, I have just read your message and it doesn’t say you won’t do it and it doesn’t say that you will, very sneaky young lady!!
    Please don’t do it Ali. I know it’s important for you to have something to aim for but surely it has to be realistic and something which doesn’t cause those around you to worry for you?
    I am sure that if your Lucy wanted to embark on something and she wasn’t well then you would be the first one to tell her not to do it.
    Please, please listen to your Mum who after all does know best.
    Take good care of yourself my lovely.
    Lots of love and licks

  46. JACKIE May 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm -  Reply

    HI ALI so glad your feeling better so sad about your little ducklings .we had a lovelly robin who came to be fed all winter and spring every time we went into our garage were the food was kept then about two weeks ago he didnt come any more.Hope you have been making the best of the lovelly sunshine blink and it will be gone.Look forward to you returning to QVC i miss your sence of humour keep on getting better ALI.LOVE JACKIE X X X X

  47. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm -  Reply

    Dear Linda, So sorry that you’ve been poorly and I hope the injections aren’t forever and that you’ll improve very soon πŸ™‚ I’ll post some photos from the wedding and it looks as tho the weather’s going to be good! Hope you have a good weekend, love Ali xx

  48. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Susan, lovely to hear from you and I shall pass on your compliments to my sister Jenny and her girls πŸ™‚ I have all the makeup ready to pack in the car, and hope you’re right about the overall effect! Thanks for the kind advice re the implants – here’s hoping it improves πŸ™‚ love to you, Ali xxx

  49. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    Alpa, I don’t think you’re alone, but the code has now been removed which has made it a lot simpler – certainly for me! Do hope all good with you, love Ali xx

  50. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 8:52 pm -  Reply

    Julie thank you so much for the photos – they’re everything and more than you said πŸ™‚ Lily looks like an absolute joy. Do hope Rebecca’s leg has improved sufficiently for her to run The Race for Life and that you are all getting a chance to enjoy this beautiful weather – long may it last eh? With love, Ali xx

  51. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 8:54 pm -  Reply

    Babs, what a nightmare!!! You are so brave to have coped with all that, and I think it makes my experience look like a walk in the park!! As I always say, it’s all relative, and I’m just so sorry you had to go through such a ghastly experience. I’m hoping over the years your wrist has finally healed, and you;ve not had further problems. Take care, and thanks for writing, love Ali x

  52. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Cyl, you’re right, the baby was a smasher, and I’m so embarrased that I initially posted his name as Ryan when infact it was Owen! Doh! I’m looking forward to the wedding and we’re praying the weather holds – should be lovely. I hope you have a good weekend too, love Ali xx

  53. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 8:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Annie, and thanks for making me laugh with your pied wagtails story – well done too for getting a photo of the babies! No mean feat when they’re that high up πŸ™‚ I hope that the countryside around you is as beautiful as it is here, and that you are getting the chance to enjoy it, love Ali xxx

  54. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm -  Reply

    Mags I am sorry to hear of all that your husband has had to endure, and consequently all the worry and concern his treatment has brought you. I very much hope that he is feeling stronger these days. Your words are very kind and much appreciated, and I do feel that I’ve turned a corner and am now heading in the right direction! Do take care, and thank you for taking the time to write to me, love Ali xx

  55. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm -  Reply

    Oh Helen, I am hoping that since you wrote on the 19th that you will now be feeling a little more positive. It’s not surprising when you are having to wait such a long while for your specialists appointment, but I’m glad you’re in touch with Alpa, and you can lean on each other. No need for a duvet today – incredibly warm, and I even managed to sit outside in the sunshine for a while today which was lovely…. fell asleep within 10 minutes! πŸ™‚ Gentle hugs to you too, and I’m very much hoping you will have a great weekend, love Ali x

  56. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:07 pm -  Reply

    Linda, I think the vitamin D is helping aid my recovery, although the hot flushes seem worse when it’s warm!! Not that I’m complaining at all about this glorious sunshine. Thank you for writing to me, love Ali xx

  57. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:12 pm -  Reply

    Izzie, how incredibly sad for you to lose both your parents, and within such a short time frame. Such a tragedy for you and your daughters too.. I remember that feeling of wanting so much to just have one last moment with my Dad to talk about all the things we didn’t get the chance to… I am certain though that all the love and precious time you spent as a family will be passed on through your memories to your daughters. I hope that you have a good weekend – it looks as though the weather will hold after all, which will be lovely for our wedding. Take care, and thank you for writing, love Ali xx

  58. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm -  Reply

    Eileen , lovely as always to hear from you, and yes I too felt very sad about the eggs… There are however four new ducklings on next door’s pond, and three baby moorhens – so all is not lost! I have to admit to still having my brushed cotton sheets on my bed, as they are so cosy, and when I’m not having a hot flush at night, I tend to feel the cold a tad! I will be back with you as soon as I can fight off this fatigue and feel a little more comfortable. Take care, love Ali xx

  59. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:20 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Marg, how’s the cold? I do hope that it’s improved sufficiently for you to enjoy the summer weather we finally have!
    I very much agree with you that it’s sad how times have changed and the value of things has changed. That said, I am hearing a lot about a definite move towards more home baking, crafting and sewing which is all good! These are skills we learned, but seem to be missing in the curriculum these days. Colin is driving me down to Hampshire and I will definitely be taking it easy on the day – that said, I plan to be first in the queue for the hog roast!! I may have to let go of your hand for that bit, but thank you for always being there, love Ali xxx

  60. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:21 pm -  Reply

    Norma, that’s very kind of you to say. Shame I couldn’t remember the baby’s name!!! Still, my lovely editor corrected it for me, and Owen it is – and he is delightful and a credit to his mum. Am taking the tabs and trying to rest as much as I can, and hopefully will be back with you in the not too distant. With love, Ali xx

  61. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:22 pm -  Reply

    Gwen, thank you for persevering! I think the gremlins have all been removed now, but it has been very frustrating for many of you, so again, it’s lovely to hear from you, with love Ali xx

  62. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:23 pm -  Reply

    Oh and Gwen, sit on Brighton beach and throw a few stones into the sea for me will you ? πŸ™‚ xx

  63. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:24 pm -  Reply

    Chantel, how is Jess?? I know that she’s only a wee thing, and that’s quite a big operation so I hope she’s improving. I hope too that you are now over your heavy cold – so many people seem to suffering with this at present – here’s hoping that the warmer weather will help your health generally πŸ™‚ Sending my love to you and Jess, and thank you for writing, love Ali xx

  64. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:37 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Louise, and thank you for taking the time out to write to me, and for your kind words. I very much hope that life is going well for you and that you continue to keep in touch. I will indeed post my photos of the wedding on the blog next time, with love, Ali xx

  65. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:39 pm -  Reply

    Joanna, I love the way that you write, and thank you so much for my beautiful card – I have it standing on the mantlepiece πŸ™‚ I hope you have a fabulous time at the Chelsea Flower Show and I think you should be fine with lighter layers πŸ™‚ I have been making the most of the vitamin D – fell asleep in the sunshine today after 9 hot flushes last night – a record! I’ll look forward to hearing all about your weekend, love me xx

  66. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:43 pm -  Reply

    …and a hug coming back to you Lesley, and I will be posting again next week with all the news of the wedding. I hope you have a great weekend, love Ali x

  67. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:45 pm -  Reply

    Helen, I have always done as I’m told! πŸ™‚ It truly was only a contemplation rather than a definite – I couldn’t be running anywhere with these dead weights unfortunately, and I just want to feel better, so thank you for your love and hugs, Ali xx

  68. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:50 pm -  Reply

    My dear Jo, I don’t think I’ll be able to take part, and I really did promise my mum that I wouldn’t unless all was completely well, and I doubt that’s going to be the case. Prior to surgery I was running over two miles three times a week – not able to walk more than half a mile at present without feeling shattered, so not very likely. I like the idea of the cakes with pink icing though πŸ™‚ Love to you, Ali xx

  69. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Susan, – liking your new word ‘wonderfulness’! Perhaps i could walk it this year? We had such a lovely day last year, and I’m sure Ms. Greenwood would be up for it again πŸ™‚ Thank you for taking the time to write though, and have a great weekend, love Ali xx

  70. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:54 pm -  Reply

    Babs, thank you ….. I think your sister is a woman after my own heart… I have to set myself challenges or goals, because having something to aim for is what keeps me going… the rest is so uncertain. Love to you and your sister, Ali xxx

  71. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 9:58 pm -  Reply

    Alpa, I really feel as though you need to get yourself to A and E and sit there until someone will help you! I can’t believe that you have been denied a brain scan, especially since it’s been three months now, and if no joy there, go to your local surgery and make them listen!! I know it’s easy for me to say, and far harder to do when you’re on your own, but please don’t accept this… I’m glad that Helen is there for you, as we all are in the Army πŸ™‚ Sam is definitely a lot better and in his letter to me this week he said he is more content than he has been for a long time…. Lucy and Jack too are doing well thank you. Please take care of yourself Alpa and keep in touch, thinking of you, love Ali xx

  72. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm -  Reply

    Dear Marg, thank you for compounding what I think I’ve realised, and if I do anything in July, it will be only walking as I promised my mum. It’s great that you remember the blog about mum’s and my trip down the Thames – it was a great day out πŸ™‚ I do hope all is well with you and yours, and thank you for writing… I feel well and truly chastised! love Ali x

  73. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 10:02 pm -  Reply

    Linda, you are lovely πŸ™‚ And I have copied down your lovely verse as it’s one of those great sayings that is so relevant so often πŸ™‚ You take care and have a great weekend, love Ali xx

  74. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 10:05 pm -  Reply

    Oh Magda, I am sorry that you too have been having bone pain – it is yet another one of these blooming side effects, and I hope for you as with mum, that it will lessen in time. I may walk the Race for Life, but doubt I would be up for running it this year πŸ™‚ Please do listen to your doctor, and I will listen to my mum…. I already had, honest!! Love to you and I hope the gorgeous weather we have here is also with you, Ali xx

  75. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm -  Reply

    Dear Mary, always good to hear from you, and I loved reading about your mum’s work as a florist and then your incredible sugar paste work on yours and your sister’s wedding cakes! They sound beautiful. The closest to that was the cake Colin and I made for Ros and Chris two years ago… and we were so pleased with that πŸ™‚ You did make me laugh with your daughter using Latin to trying to decipher our security codes! I hope that the next round of cricket matches will see you basking in the sunshine minus your slanket and Emus πŸ™‚ with love, ali xx

  76. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 10:15 pm -  Reply

    Sue, bless you for your kind words and thoughfulness. I am sorry that mum got in such a tizzy about this as I had promised her I wouldn’t do it unless I was completely well and had the go ahead from my surgeon. It’s taking me far longer to gain my strength and I know I am nowhere near the fitness level I was before the operations, so may just have to walk it this year. I am glad that I was able to bring you a small amount of comfort and think about you often…. I hope each day is a little easier. I will let Sam know what you thought of his photo – I am very proud of all that he is achieving πŸ™‚ With love, Ali xx

  77. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 10:18 pm -  Reply

    Dear Elaine, your knitting skills sound on a par with mine!!! You did make me laugh – I am certain you will have at least one bootie knitted by the 6th September πŸ˜€ It may be some time before I have ‘perfected’ my knitting skills!! I don’t think I will be running the Race for Life this year – it was only ever a possibility, and a hope…. Definitely not up to it in the fitness stakes, so will do as I’m asked πŸ™‚ Glad you liked the picture of Sam – he looks great doesn’t he…. Such a big lad now, yet I remember him when he was oh so small πŸ™‚ Love to you too, Ali xx

  78. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm -  Reply

    My dear Janet, firstly thank you so much for your beautiful card with the poppies and also my lovely key ring. I have it attached to my front door key and it makes me smile each time I read the words… Thank you again for taking part in the Race for Life, and as I have said to so many of ‘The Army’ I won’t be running this year, but may well walk the course to raise a few bob πŸ™‚ I’m glad that you were well enough to do it this year, and am delighted that you managed to get away afterwards and have enjoyed Cyprus… Colin and I hoping to grab a last minute deal before I come back to work. Take care and enjoy the sunshine!!, love Ali xxx

  79. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 10:24 pm -  Reply

    Dear Pam, lovely to hear from you, and as you will have gathered if you’ve read the previous comments I won’t be attempting to run this year, as my recovery is taking far too long. I did promise my mum I would only do it if my surgeon said it was OK… that’s doubtful! I do feel for you having your son in The States… November must feel a long way off… do you keep in touch through Skype? It’s such a great way of seeing and talking to someone for nothing! Harder still for you then to have to wave goodbye to your daughter at the end of the month, but pat yourself on the back for having brought them up to have the confidence and courage to make their own lives…. I do remember so well that empty nest syndrome – it still hits me now sometimes… Stay strong, and I hope it won’t be too long before you have your longed for grandchildren, love Ali xx

  80. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 10:28 pm -  Reply

    Dear Annette, firstly I am very glad to hear that nothing sinister showed up on your x ray, and I hope that the physio will help you in that respect. So sorry to hear that you’ve lost both your parents, and I can completely understand why you get upset sometimes… When you lose a mum or dad or both, it leaves a terrible hole in your life that in time you learn to walk around rather than fall into …. the feeling of loss though never really leaves you. I am glad that you have a caring family around you though, and keep in touch won’t you. Oh, and I promise I won’t be running this year! Love Ali x

  81. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm -  Reply

    Pam! Result! Can’t believe you’ve put the winter coat away πŸ˜€ Certainly no need for it over the last few days eh? I saw Deb Greenwood yesterday, and caught the sun just sitting in her garden chatting! Thank you for your kind and gentle words re the Race for Life… and you’re right, if I started it, I would finish it! Not planning to run – too uncomfortable – and just want to get well and back to work. Hoping that Colin and I may manage a short break by the sea before that though. I’ll let you know how the wedding went, lots of love, Ali xx

  82. alison keenan May 24, 2012 at 10:32 pm -  Reply

    Sue it was my fault entirely! I wrote Ryan, and then spoke to Lucy who corrected me!! The shame :/ You have a great weekend, and I’ll be in touch very soon, love Ali xx

  83. Rhona Fenton May 25, 2012 at 10:03 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathleen ( Ali’S mum ) yes I agree also that she should do as her told and listen to mum about the race, but you know something tell’s me that in this case she will:) and with all off us on mum’s side she knows better than to chance it ha ha!! it is great to see Alison looking so well now, poor thing has been through the mill, but looking forward we will have her back up and having us all splitting oursides again with her wit and jokes:) and I hope you are keeping well also Kathleen I often ask Alison how you are getting on, and I am sure you will all have a lovely time at the wedding it’s just what the Doctor ordered a good knees up with the family:) please take care and I wish you well, love Rhona x

  84. SUE RADFORD May 26, 2012 at 9:17 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Today is such a beautiful day – I hope you’ll really enjoy the wedding!
    I thought I’d read that the baby was named Ryan – thought I was going mad lol!!
    What a relief to your Mum, Partner and Family that you wont be exerting yourself by taking part in the Race For Life this year . Your family are the most important people in your life Ali – I can well imagine how they’ve felt as they’ve had to watch you go through this traumatic time. They/we all want you to be fit and well before you take on such a task.
    I won’t be writing for approx. 3 weeks as we’ve booked a last minute holiday to Florida with my daughter, her partner and Joe and Jasmine my grandchildren – just had to get away for a while. Losing my brother, mother and father has really taken its toll on me – I can’t get used to the thought that all my family members are no longer here – its very difficult to comprehend. To spend time with my grandchildren is precious to me and it will be such a hectic holiday that I won’t have too much time to dwell on things.
    I’m enjoying this lovely sunny weather, and like you, I often look up to the sky and reflect on all the good things that’s happened in my life, and there’s been many – I’ve been very lucky.
    I hope your recovery to good health will be a very speedy one. Take care and I hope you’ll be able to book a holiday soon.
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  85. Jenna Smith May 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm -  Reply

    Hello Alison
    I have just read your blog and discovered why I haven’t seen you in my living room lately πŸ™‚ What a mixture of emotions you must all have gone thro – but ultimately what relief to now be getting thro it. Your mum is right of course, you must take the advise and think about next year instead re the Race. It can wait for you while your energies are mending you.
    Love the photos. The gardens have gone so green with the rain followed by the sunshine. I have cleaned out the hedgehog house which I got last year and which housed it’s first occupant over the winter. He kept going back to sleep in it after s/he woke after hibernation, so it was ready for a clean and new straw, all ready for the next one which might involve a mum and babies if we are lucky. We had a fox and hedgehog walking around the garden the other week and they both just got on with it, the fox playing with the dogs toys and the hog nipping around. Goodness only knows what the 2 resident cats think to their garden being invaded every night!
    My mum got thro chemo many years ago, several rounds and treatments. She got thro it and i saw her today, fit and well and in her 80’s. Keep the faith and feel the good wishes supporting you thro the process of recovery. Best wishes to you and your family. xx

  86. Alpa May 28, 2012 at 2:02 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    I can’t sleep so thought I would write to you instead! Hope you had a fab time at the wedding and are taking it easy now, please πŸ™‚
    Well, the first doctor at the hospital wanted me to have tests done. The second doctor at A&E knew it was the second time I had come in for the same thing and that it had been going on for three months. Despite that, she said they couldn’t contact my neurologist directly or do a brain scan as ‘it’s a small hospital’ As I have had a CT scan there before, that didn’t sound right! Came home to find out that they indeed do have a neurology department there and they could have done the scan. I did email you about it, not sure if you received it? It was to thank you and your mum for the NHS Direct number.
    Anyway, my neurologist has seen the report and I have to wait until the 22nd June to see him. He will not bring my appointment forward. His secretary did say that if the hospital thought it was serious they would have contacted him directly and done a brain scan, and if my neurologist thought it was urgent, he would have brought my appointment forward. That was of no comfort to me and the fact that the doctor at the hospital did not think twice about not telling me the truth didn’t help. Have an appointment to see my doctor on Wednesday but he is of no help and has no interest in patient care at all. As soon as I am able to, I have to find another doctor! I will make him listen though and as you said, I can’t accept this! It’s also had a knock on effect on the ME, so feeling the effects of that! I just can not find anyone who is interested in helping me.
    I am happy that you and Colin are planning on going away and although we miss you on the Q, I hope you will not hurry back to work. I’m so glad that Sam is feeling more content and Lucy and Jack are well.
    Take care, lovely
    Lots of Love Alpa xxxx

  87. Eileen P. May 29, 2012 at 11:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I can understand you wanting to do the Race for Life and having it for a goal to aim for but I also feel you really need to give it a miss this year. You have had two major operations within a year and your body will take longer to heal. I hope your strenght returns to its full level in the very near future but until then take it easy and do a little bit each day. Lecture over!! I am going into hospital on the 12th of June (if theres a bed available) to have a bone graft and pin & plate on my wrist, this is from my fall last year. Your Mum sounds a lovely caring lady, I really wish my mum was here now just for a chat and a hug. Take care of yourself.
    Love Eileen P. xx

  88. alison keenan June 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Rhona, and thanks for writing…. I do appreciate your concern bless you, and as I’ve said, I promise I won’t run this unless I’m given the consultant’s blessing!! Have just started walking again though – in between showers – and that’s helping me to feel fitter. The wedding was beautiful, and you can read all about it in my new blog!! Roll Up Roll Up πŸ™‚ Have a great week, love me xx

  89. alison keenan June 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm -  Reply

    My dear Sue, you’ve been through such a lot, but I am so glad that you are taking the time out to be with your daughter and her family – I am sure you will have a wonderful time…. It is the completion of the circle of life, and I am sure that you will see glimpses of your Mum, Dad and brother whilst you are all together… I will look forward very much to hearing all about it once you are back, but hope in the meantime that you maintain your wonderfully positive outlook. Some things we can’t change however much we would like to, but making the very best of what you have is in itself a blessing. You take care, love Ali xx

  90. alison keenan June 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jenna lovely to hear from you, and it sounds as though you have a wonderful garden, and plenty of wildlife! I’ve never seen a hedgehog house before, and the only thing I remember about hibernation was the Blue Peter Tortoise – and he just went into a cardboard box! I’m so pleased for you that your mum got through her treatment is still doing well at 80! Here’s to my mum following suit! I will certainly keep the faith, and keep on getting better, then I can get back to work, and get on with my life πŸ™‚ Love Ali xx

  91. alison keenan June 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm -  Reply

    My dear Alpa as I’m writing this I am thinking that you may have seen your Doctor by now, and I’m hoping against hope that you will have been taken seriously and he will have some clout when it comes to moving things on…. Of course I completely understand that this will have been making things worse for your ME and can only begin to imagine your frustration… Maybe if you haven’t had any joy today, you could just make an appointment to see another doctor in the practice, rather than having to shift everything to a different place? I know from having spent some time on my own that often there isn’t anybody to fight your corner for you, but do stay strong and determined, and I am certain that things will be resolved before the 22nd June. Sending you love and a hug, Ali xx

  92. alison keenan June 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm -  Reply

    Hello Eileen, and thank you for taking the time out to write, and I know I won’t be doing the Race for Life in July now – don’t think I’d have the energy, and will be concentrating my efforts on returning to work by then πŸ™‚ I am so sorry to hear that you’re back in hospital on the 12th and hope that the bone graft goes smoothly and that the pin and plate aren’t uncomfortable. My mum is very kind and I’m sure she’d send you a hug as do I… Take care, love Ali xx

  93. Chris Page June 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    Glad you’re on the mend, Hon. Your Sam’s a sturdy unit, isn’t he – was he trying to wrestle the elephant?
    Chris xx

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