Only another 356 days until we do it all again!

48

Happy New Year to you, let’s hope 2019 will be the best yet! It was great to catch up on all your Christmas news, and thank you so much for your kind words and wishes. I very much hope that all your plans came to fruition and you got to see those that you love; and to those of you who were struggling with difficult news or bad health, may this year be the one to change all that for the better.

Having read back over all that Colin and I had written in the diary to do before we even got to Christmas Day, I’m delighted to say we managed most of it and with a great deal of fun along the way. Our night out with Vicky and Lewis at the O2 to see Chic was fantastic! Nile Rodgers and the band had such amazing stage presence, and we were up and out of our seats and dancing in the aisles, within the first few minutes.

Live music for me is one of the best stress busters, and it took me back to another amazing occasion in 1975 when I see Queen perform live at what was then the Hammersmith Odeon. I had never experienced anything like it in my life before, and from that point forward I was hooked. Of course it helps being married to a musician 🙂

By the time we’d travelled home after a few celebratory drinks it was pretty late, but I was back in Chiswick at lunchtime for the presenter’s lunch which I have to say was an absolute hoot. I laughed so much I cried, and we all agreed to try and make more time in 2019 to see each other. Our meal was delicious, and the perfect amount too, so I was genuinely peckish by the time Colin and I met Clare, Cale, James and Emelia at the Peruvian Restaurant that evening. A very different kind of menu, but equally enjoyable, and it was wonderful to have such a special evening so close to Christmas.


It was all go again on Saturday evening when all of Colin’s children joined Sam, Colin and I for our annual Christmas party. Sadly Jack couldn’t be there as he’d succumbed to a bad cold, and Lucy and Honey were at the theatre, but we raised our glasses to them, and had a great night. It’s wonderful having all the family together, and they’re great to cater for, as they literally hoover everything up! 🙂

Christmas Day was just perfect. We drove to Lucy’s in the morning with Sam and Diesel, and met Jack there. We had our presents, and I’m delighted to say not only were those I gave very well received, but I was spoilt rotten by Colin and the children. He bought me this beautiful gold necklace, and my three bought us tickets to see Strictly Come Dancing The Professionals at the Apollo in May! Beyond excited for that night. 🙂


Lucy also had this banner made for me out of the pages of my book “A New Kind of Normal”… So thoughtful it made me teary. She then presented us with the most fabulous lunch, on a beautifully decorated table, and we spent the rest of the day just enjoying each other’s company. I could remember being a child when my grandparents came and had Christmas lunch with us, and for just a moment it was hard to believe that Honey is now that child, and I am the grandmother. The circle of life…

On the 27th Colin brought his 97-year old mum Kathleen to us for lunch, and I was very chuffed to see that the Joules coat I had got her was a perfect fit.

The 28th December saw my mum and Joe, my sister, Linda, their children and partners, and their grandchildren, plus Lucy and Jack, with us for a buffet lunch and more presents!

My sister Jenny had gone to the trouble of having this amazing memento of the book produced for me – I have made a space for it on the wall above my computer. I had far too many treats to list them all here, but suffice to say they were all very thoughtful and special. All the gifts I gave of Molton Brown, Elemis, Ruth Langsford, Liz Earle, Richard Jackson to name but a few, were very well received. My only regret of the day was that we didn’t have a photograph taken of us all together… the memories though I will keep safe forever.

Colin and I had our first New Year’s Eve together for four years as I’d been working over Christmas, and it was a truly relaxing and peaceful end to what has been a mixed year. We started 2019 in traditional style, with my friend Jo whose birthday is on January 1st. Having known her for almost fifty years, her family are like my own, and we had another wonderful evening.

And so here we are already three days into the New Year, and I’m back to the Q tomorrow. I think last year more than most I benefited hugely from buying most of my gifts online, and have just ordered a new bedcover to match our new bedroom décor. Sometimes we focus more on the linen than the bed itself, and may well have the same mattress we bought eons ago! Of course the cost of a new bed can make it prohibitive for a lot of us, so if that’s the case, then maybe 2019 is the year you change all that.

This Friday night I’m really pleased to be bringing you a TSV from one of the world’s largest bed companies – Sealy. It’s the Sealy premium gel 1800 pocket sprung mattress and divan bed and has been designed exclusively for QVC and is the first TSV ever to be fully constructed of pocket springs. It’s not just for the support but also for the pressure relief and breathability, and it even has smart fibres called Tencel that keep the mattress bug free and hygienic throughout its life.

Sealy
BUT… the most important thing to mention is that if you were to buy the mattress and divan bed directly from Sealy you’d pay for the Single £1,529, Double £1,849, King £2,099 and Super King £2,299. With our Today’s Special Value price of Single £760, Double £972, King £1,068 and Super King £1,176, you’re SAVING £769 on the Single, £877 on the Double, the King is a saving of £1,031 and Super King, a whopping great £1,123!

On top of that Sealy will take away and recycle your old bed! The item number is 518240 and this bed is already available for you to order ahead of the launch. You’ll find all the other information on our website like dimensions and delivery dates. You can spread the cost in four Easy Pay instalments, there’s zero delivery charge, and the chance to try it for 30 days with Sealy happy to take it away if it’s not right for you. Let me know how you get on if you decide to go for it?

January is always busy, and I’ll see you for regular Diamonique shows at 8pm every Tuesday, plus another two-hour show with the lovely Ruth Langsford on the 16th January. Before that we have Skechers on the 7th, and Laura Geller on the 8th January. I hope you can join me for some of those hours, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you soon.

Love Ali x

48 Comments

  1. Loraine Plumb January 3, 2019 at 6:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison sounds like you had a wonderful time and lovely gifts we all had a lovely time and thoughtful presents too. Looks like Les will be back to work next week thank goodness he’s been really bored not having enough to do . As I told you Clare’s having another baby due late July hopefully she will soon feel better she’s been a bit queazy from time to time, her scan is this month waiting for the date. I must say it’s nice to get back to normal in some ways I like things tidy and after a while the Xmas things annoy me silly I know. We are waiting to see what happens to Les sister I’m not sure if I said before but she had mouth cancer on her tongue a few years ago the operation was horrible but she was very brave and all was ok, but a few months ago a sore appeared again so she had another operation but not as bad as last time but at the checkup they said there are still abnormal cells so not what we wanted to hear fingers crossed it rights itself when she goes back for the next appointment Anyway you take care and once again best wishes to you all for 2019 love Loraine xx 😊

    • Alison keenan January 8, 2019 at 5:50 pm -  Reply

      Happy New Year Loraine! So glad that you too had a good Christmas and I totally understand the ‘tidying up’ issue! Fingers crossed that Clare gets over her queazy feelings and starts to enjoy the pregnancy. So sorry to know that Les’s sister is struggling a little. Fingers crossed that they will come up with some form of treatment and soon. I am glad that Les is able to go back to work now and I’m sure that will make life easier for you both. Wishing you all the very best for 2019, and thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  2. Julie January 3, 2019 at 7:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    A lovely informative blog as usual. I particularly liked your framed present. I have had a lot of “sayings” sent to me by friends relating to “our” illness, I’ve printed them out and framed them. My Husband has also written something for me and that too is framed. They are hanging in my kitchen and I try to read them every day reminding me of how far I’ve come. Having finished work (yay!) I am trying to get out more and appreciate things. Exactly how Kathy describes things in her blog. It’s not like it used to be though as our dog is still very poorly. She is on so much medication ( know the feeling!) and has yet another Vet’s appointment soon when we may have to make a decision. So sad.
    I also liked Lucy’s present it was very thoughtful and apt. I have read and re-read your book.

    Happy and Healthy New Year to us all. I have my Oncologists appointment mid month so will let you know.

    Nothing else has changed in my life but will keep you informed.
    Speak Soon and keep in touch.

    Julie xx The Girls xxx

    • Alison Keenan January 8, 2019 at 5:54 pm -  Reply

      Dear Julie, I think I must have missed some of your news somewhere along the line! I didn’t realise you’d actually been able to finish work, but I am certain that will make things far easier for you. I too read Kathy’s lovely blog and commented, and I am certain her outlook will be a help to a great many. I know that you can’t always fill your free time with what you’d most like to, but never give up hoping… Sorry to know that your dog is still poorly.. I will keep my fingers crossed for you all. Do let me know how you get on with your oncologist won’t you? Happy New Year to you Julie, and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  3. Joanna Downey January 3, 2019 at 9:56 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali & welcome 2019, My life you’ve been busy & obviously had a wonderful Christmas with all your important people. I love the banner & photo you were given celebrating your book. Like you we had Christmas over several days, including last weekend spent in the beautiful Ribble Valley & a trip to the panto in Blackpool, it was a glorious week. Unfortunately the downside is that I find January & February decidedly beige after all the fairy lights & colour of December so today I bought a new set of Christmas bedding from QVC & got a number of projects to start. I will also have to get used to Colin being at home because he decided to ‘almost retire’ exactly a year after I did, & will only go into the office two days every month… We start the day very differently & I got used to him going to work quite early which meant that I could do all the minutiae of everyday domestic life & then have all the day for everything else. However, he enjoys a later, more relaxed, start & likes to watch tv while he eats his breakfast, strangely I find The Sweeney quite irritating at 9am but I’m sure we’ll shake down & accommodate each other. My calculations are somewhat different from yours because I start Christmas on 1st September so for me that’s 240 days & I love it. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan January 8, 2019 at 5:58 pm -  Reply

      Dear Jo, Happy New Year to you too! It sounds as though you too were busy, although I think you probably travelled a little further than we did? I’ve never visited the Ribble Valley, but it sounds beautiful- so glad you enjoyed it. I last visited Blackpool before Jack was born! He’s 26 on the 2nd February 🙂 Was Colin’s retirement something he’d talked about, or more ‘out of the blue’? There was a very insightful phone-in on Woman’s Hour the other day talking about the differences between men and women and how life changes when routine and lifestyle does. I wish you luck, but do firmly believe that in time, it will all become far easier. I wish you luck with all your new projects, and hope you are happy with your Christmas bedding! Colin and I are awaiting the delivery of a new bed-cover which will finish the room of nicely. Looking forward to keeping in touch with you this year too. Love Ali xx

  4. Susan January 4, 2019 at 10:41 am -  Reply

    Happy new year ali! Hope you have a good year and stay healthy. You’ve done so well ali. You deserve all the book gifts after your wonderful achievement. As you say draw a line and enjoy your time now. Hope jack is feeling better. It’s dreadful isn’t it. Hope honey enjoyed the theatre too! Hope colin’s Mum and your folks all keep well this year. Love susan x

    • Alison Keenan January 8, 2019 at 6:00 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Susan, and thanks for your lovely comments. Yes, the gifts really were most thoughtful, and it’s so nice to have that kind of affirmation from those you love. My Jack is feeling a lot better thank you and I’m hoping to see him later this week. Honey and Lucy loved the theatre, and I’m hoping to get to the cinema with them both soon. We’ve seen Mary Poppins Returns but Lucy hasn’t. Sending you and yours all the very best for 2019, love Ali xx

  5. Elaine Sallis January 4, 2019 at 10:50 am -  Reply

    Ali I have just finished your book. I could not put it down. You have been through so much and you are so strong. This book is going to help so many people. Happy New Year to you and your family Elaine

    • Alison Keenan January 8, 2019 at 6:02 pm -  Reply

      Dear Elaine, that is so kind of you to say, and I am really pleased that you enjoyed the book, and feel it would help others. Is there any chance you may be able to write a review along those lines on Amazon? So many other customers seem to find them helpful. May 2019 be a great year for you and your family too, love Ali xx

  6. Kathy January 4, 2019 at 11:39 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    Just a Quickie, what a coindidence … we actually live in Ferndown. ! A small private road, near the Forestry , who knows we might even bump into each other. Enjoy your visit. x

    • Alison Keenan January 8, 2019 at 6:05 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Kathy, fancy you living in Ferndown too! Such a pretty part of the country, and Colette’s not far from the Forestry too. I’ll keep my eyes peeled if we go out and about for a walk. Happy New Year to you and yours. Love Ali xx

  7. Linda Finch January 4, 2019 at 6:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali , a Happy New year to you and your lovely family, so glad you had a good Christmas and the chain that you got from Colin is gorgeous, like you I received some lovely and thoughtfull gifts lots of smellies and the usual slippers and pj’s ,and a gorgeous pair of heart shaped silver stud earrings from Simon. We had a relaxing day with SiMon and crew for our Christmas dinner, it’s a good job were in walking distance to our house from Simons because after a few little tipples we left the car at there’s and had a leasurely walk home (had to take the car in the morning too many things to carry ) ,Harry had a good day too he managed to enjoy his dinner and the buffet later he just a justed his insulin, we have a what we call a new year dinner at our house in a couple of weeks time ,so looking forward to that, will keep you posted , much love Linda F xx

    • Alison Keenan January 8, 2019 at 6:07 pm -  Reply

      Dear Linda it sounds as though you too had a lovely relaxing Christmas, and I am glad that you were pleased with your gifts and got time to spend with the people who mean the most to you. Well done to Harry for managing his insulin so well. Small steps… I hope that your New Year dinner at yours in a week’s time goes well, and will look forward to hearing all about it. Love Ali xx

  8. Barbara Corbett January 4, 2019 at 7:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison I have just read your book and it is great I too have been on the same journey as you a year before you but had very similar experiences.I was luck I only had one breast off and had a very good reconstruction it’s not the same but better then not having one I just wish my other breast was as pert so I could wear my bra without having to keep adjusting the straps still not much to compline about when you think what as gone before .I hope you keep well and would like to read any books you may write in the future . Regards Barbara

    • Alison Keenan January 8, 2019 at 6:09 pm -  Reply

      Happy New Year Barbara, and thanks so much for having read my book. I’m sorry that you too have had to contend with breast cancer, but am relieved to know that your reconstruction surgery worked well. As you say, although not perfect, so much better than what might have been. If you felt able to write a review for the book on Amazon I would really appreciate it. It’s lovely that folk can get an idea about it from those who’ve actually read it rather than just the blurb. Very many thanks, love Ali xx

  9. Merche Gardiner January 4, 2019 at 7:32 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Ali to you and Colin! it’s so lovely to catch up with family and friends. It was great to see our grandson Nyle who was home from university in Leeds, we had not seen him since March. Merchexx

    • Alison Keenan January 10, 2019 at 8:07 pm -  Reply

      And a very happy New Year to you too Merche! So glad that you enjoyed Christmas and had the chance to see your grandson Nyle while he was home from Uni. Nine months is a long time not to have seen him. Take care, love Ali xx

  10. Christine Auchterlonie January 4, 2019 at 7:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali well here we go I’ll try again…thanks for your Christmas and new year news….sounds like a great family time together….I’m liking the gold necklace …very nice lucky girl…I’m pleased the holidays are over really although it was great to be with Simon Fiona and the girls I miss Derek and things don’t quite seem the same ….so back to normal whatever normal is 😂look forward the shows on Tuesday evenings …..Best Wishes love Chris x

    • Alison Keenan January 10, 2019 at 8:11 pm -  Reply

      My dear Christine, I am glad you had the chance to be with Simon Fiona and the girls, but i completely understand how that time was touched with sadness. I don’t think things can ever be the same again without your Derek, butI think you have been incredible the way you’ve dealt with this last year without him. Time keeps moving forwards when sometimes we want it to stand still so we can hold tighter to those we love, and the memories too … I hope that with time it will hurt less. Take care and thank you for keeping in touch. With love Ali xx

  11. Karen January 4, 2019 at 8:40 pm -  Reply

    Hello Alison, my hubby bought me your book for Xmas as he knows I love your blogs. I loved your book and couldn’t put it down. It was so touching and you are so brave. Brave for telling your story too as it must have been painful going through all those memories. Myself and my hubby also have a New kind of normal but for a completely different reason,we lost our youngest daughter and life without her is terribly painful. We muddle through each day and hope it will get a bit easier. I don’t think I am brave enough to write a story about it tho. Thank you for an enjoyable read, love Karen x

    • Alison Keenan January 10, 2019 at 8:18 pm -  Reply

      My dear Karen, I am so sorry to know of your terrible loss… I can’t begin to imagine the pain of losing a child… It is and always has been my greatest fear, and I can only send you all my love, and pray that with time, that pain will ease a little. I am so glad that you and your husband have each other, and hopefully the love of your family and those around you to support you. I’m sure that talking about your daughter, and reliving her life keeps her with you… I do hope so. Sending you my love, Ali xxx

  12. Barbara Corbett January 5, 2019 at 1:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi sent one message but it as not come though so hear we go again . I read your book and many things you went through I did to but a year before you . I had a better experience then you with having to have just one breast removed and my reconstruction was very good just does not feel the same still not a lot to complain about after what had gone before . Hope you keep well and best wishes for the new year to you and your family regards Barbara

    • Alison Keenan January 10, 2019 at 8:21 pm -  Reply

      Bless you Barbara for persevering! Your comment did come through and I hope you found my reply. Love Ali x

  13. Una January 5, 2019 at 6:55 pm -  Reply

    Happy New year everyone. Hope Ali’s army have a fab 2019.
    Ali. Absolutely delighted to see that you had such good news from your scans. It’s so scary after suffering from cancer. Every single little twinge and niggle is a concern.
    Looks like you had a fantastic holiday season and I’m sure Honey had a lovely time too.
    We had planned to have a quiet day on Xmas day. It’s been a busy time with the house renovation going on, and having Graeme’s sister staying with us. Best laid plans and all that! Our neighbours’ had been away visiting family for a few days before the “big day” coming home on Xmas Eve. They arrived home about 6.30 and they were all moving things into ours by 6.45! The shower in the ensuite bathroom had been leaking, and must’ve been doing so for a while without them realising. The ceiling in the lounge was on the floor and every carpet in the house is ruined and was soaking.
    They basically turned the power off and the water and couldn’t do a thing until the 27th. As usual I had gone a bit crazy buying up food, (thankfully)and in the end there were 10 of us for Xmas dinner, not just 3!
    We had a bit of a rush getting extra beds ready. Their 8 year old boys thought it was great sleeping on the office floor in sleeping bags. It’s still a bit rustic. It’s painted, but no proper flooring yet, but the boys loved it.
    Luckily all the Xmas presents were in the garage or there may have been a few disappointed little faces on Xmas morning. We had such a lovely time all things considered and it wasn’t such a disaster after all.
    Thank goodness for house insurance!
    New year was very different as we all had horrible colds, so it was coughs, sneezes and Vicks vapor rub for us.
    Meli is doing well. She is so excited to go back to school next week.
    I have to go pick her up now. She’s at her little friend house for dinner. She has a really busy social life these days!
    Thank you to everyone who left us lovely messages last year.
    Ali, I did write a big reply to your message but it must’ve gone astray. Thank you so much for such kind words.
    Lots of love as always.
    Una, Graeme and Meli. X

    • Alison Keenan January 10, 2019 at 8:26 pm -  Reply

      Una, that sounds like quite a Christmas! How incredibly kind of you and Graeme and I bet Meli loved having the boys there too! Sometimes the unexpected can bring great joy rather than disappointment, and I’m certain your neighbours felt that way. Sorry that you then succumbed to this lousy cold that’s been doing the rounds, but hope you’re over it now. Lovely that Meli like Honey enjoys school so much and is part of such a social whirl. It must be great for you to see her being so independent after all she’s been through in her little life. Huge credit to you for that too…I’ll check on the previous blog for your reply. Once I press ‘Post Comment’ I don’t see what I’ve typed until my lovely editor posts it! You take care of each, and thanks for keeping in touch with us all, love Ali xx

  14. Vivien Gore January 7, 2019 at 8:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali happy new year to you and your family. Looks like you had a lovely time over the festive weeks. We are going away in March for our 50th wedding anniversary seems only yesterday when we got married we have weathered a lot of storms over the years. Probably much the same as yourself with our illnesses but we have come through it all. Hope you have some holidays planned l know you like getting away a lot as we do. It’s also my big birthday in August we are going to the Caribbean in November to celebrate in style so looking forward to that. We will be cruising on the Britannia for two weeks can’t wait. Well l’ve dronned on enough for this blogg. Here’s hoping all’s well this year and you have a healthy new year. Lots of love Viv xxx

    • Alison Keenan January 10, 2019 at 8:29 pm -  Reply

      Wow Viv, I can’t wait to hear about all these fabulous plans! 50 years married. That’s fabulous! And I know life hasn’t always been easy for you, but I am delighted you are now healthy and happy and about to celebrate not just this fab anniversary but also a special birthday. Cruising the Caribbean – that’s exactly what Maxine Becker from Bibi Bijou had returned from when I worked with her on Tuesday! Sounded amazing. Lovely to keep in touch, and I very much hope to hear from you again soon, love Ali xx

  15. Judith Lennon January 7, 2019 at 9:24 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali and Happy New Year. Well as you say it’s over for another year! We had a quiet Christmas but did see both our grown up children and the grandchildren. We had such a rotten 2018 that we decided to do a lot more “chilling” and have more time not running around like lunatics. I’ve spent today gutting my craft room which was a mamoth job and have given unwanted items to others who can enjoy it and use it. Now it’s almost to my liking and I can’t find a thing! It goes to show if you haven’t used it in twelve months you don’t need it. I intend to do a room at a time and hope I don’t run out of steam or enthusiasm too soon. It’s amazing how much clutter we gather over the years. The weather has been miserable and I’m looking forward to brighter days and getting out more in the fresh air. It was lovely hearing all your news and what super presents you got. Hope this year continues to be good for you so take care. Love and hugs as always Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan January 10, 2019 at 8:33 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Judith, and a very happy new year to you too! I’m glad you managed to see the children and grandchildren over Christmas, and that you’ve felt galvanised enough to start sorting things! We had to do a fair of bit of that here too when Colin started decorating our bedroom. I’m guilty of shoving things under beds and into cupboards without remembering what I have there. Like you, plenty to give away to charity and to throw out too. I’m hoping to have a go at the spare rooms too over the next few months – wish me luck! I hope 2019 will give you far more opportunity just to ‘be’ and to do the things you enjoy rather than chasing your tails. Sending you my love and thanks for keeping in touch, Ali xxx

  16. May January 8, 2019 at 8:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali

    Watching your show you are such an inspiration we have a black cat named Storm we got him between Christmas and new year 2015 as a family we had a bad 2015 with cancer redundancy and other things. He had been badly treated and gave us someone else to think about he hid under a bed for 3 days before we really saw him. Today you would be hard pressed to find a more chilled out cat and a much loved member of the family. All our pets have been rescue as they need love the most. By the way loved your book. May

    • Alison Keenan January 10, 2019 at 8:37 pm -  Reply

      Hi there May, and thanks for telling me all about Storm. I’m guessing you were watching the Diamonique show when you wrote. Some lovely photos of cats and dogs too, but I’m loving the fact you rescued him and have given him a wonderful life. Glad to know that he’s chilled out and happy now. All our cats were from the cat rescue centres and were very much loved too. So glad you enjoyed my book – it’s great to get the feedback, and if you didn’t mind, it would be wonderful if perhaps you could pen a few words as a review on Amazon. They seem to be most helpful to other folk. many thanks, Love Ali xx

  17. Christine January 8, 2019 at 8:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Happy New Year. This Christmas has been a disaster, Hubble and I had the dreaded lurky. But got lovely presents. We are still looking for a house near our family, so I think we will end up in a tent. HA! HA!
    Glad 2018 passed bad year , onward and upwards.
    Hubble goes for his check up fingers crossed.

    Take a Care x

    • Alison Keenan January 18, 2019 at 5:11 am -  Reply

      Dear Christine, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you – I don’t know where the last few weeks have gone, but I’m hoping that by now you and your husband are feeling much better and may even have found some promising properties to view! I don’t think a tent would be particularly comfortable in these freezing temperatures! I also hope that 2019 will be a happier and more fulfilling one for both you and your family. Do let me know how your husband got on with his check up too. Take care, and thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  18. Susan Huskisson January 8, 2019 at 8:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, a very Happy New Year to you and your family.
    It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas with all your get togethers!
    We had a quiet one, just the two of us most days but we had two lovely days with our niece Lisa, her husband Matt and our gorgeous little Charlie! Needless to say he had been very spoilt by Father Christmas who very thoughtfully left some gifts for him at our house!! He does that every year so we get to see him open a few things. I can’t believe he’s going to be 3 on the 29th January. Seems like yesterday when I wrote to you telling you he’d been born!
    I finished your book over Christmas and what can I say? It was unputdownable ( think I’ve made that up). I laughed and cried with you, you are such an inspiring lady and I’m sure by writing your experience down you have helped a lot of people going through this awful disease. I laughed out loud when you recalled the blue plasticine boobs, hubby thought I’d had a funny turn!
    What a wonderful gesture by the lovely Lulu to invite you to see Kylie. I bet that was a super night!
    I’m writing this while watching your diamonique show. I figure if I’m writing I can’t order!! I’ve bought so much lately so have to control myself (just for a little while, don’t want to skimp myself) haha.
    I’ll say bye for now Ali, all the best. Love Sue xx

    • Alison Keenan January 18, 2019 at 5:26 am -  Reply

      Hi there Sue, and a very happy New Year to you and your entire family. I do apologise for having left it so long without replying – I honestly couldn’t tell you where the last few weeks have gone, but here we are, more than half way through January. It sounds as though you, Charlie, Matt and Lisa had a wonderful Christmas, and how lovely that you got to spend so much time together. Thank you for taking time out to read my book, and also for your lovely comments. I’m glad it made you laugh (poor hubby!) and yes, it was incredibly kind of Lulu to have taken me to see Kylie.. it’s an evening I’ll never forget 🙂 I’m loving your word ‘unputdownable’ – if it’s not a real word it should be – and I’m very flattered. I’m hoping you might be happy to write a little review for me on Amazon? They make such a difference to other people who I know prefer to read those as opposed to the ‘blurb’. So glad you’re enjoying the Diamonique shows this year. I like you find I’m ordering on a regular basis, and have had to try and curb it just a little this month… although I’m usually buying in advance of birthdays etc! I hope you’ve got the heating on… jolly parky here this morning! Take care, love Ali xx

  19. Mandy January 8, 2019 at 9:11 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Ali! A great blog to cheer us all up in the New Year. I don’t know about you but we spend ages planning for Christmas & then some people can’t wait to take decorations down & “clear the decs” (pardon the pun) So pleased you enjoyed Chic & very jealous you are going to see Strictly Come Dancing the Professionals- a lovely night to look forward to. Love the photo of your little unicorn Honey! Funnily enough I have returned home this evening to find a lovely thank you card from my godson & his little brother for their Christmas presents (how lovely is that?) They have included photos including the youngest wearing his Cozee Cuddly Buddies dragon which I bought last year. I am very lucky to have such thoughtful little ones, I remember asking for stationery sets for Christmas to use for my thank you letters in the New Year so very nice to receive them now I am older! How beautiful is your necklace from Colin- really unusual & very you. I have just watched your Diamonique show & heard you mention one of my all time favourite films- Brief Encounter!! I adore this & first saw it with my late Nan. My Andrew bought it for me when I had just started chemo & I remember watching it on Valentines Day so it is now a tradition every February. I find the old black and white films extremely classy & love the intensity of it all! The adverts for holidays at the moment are frustrating me so I am hoping to go away again to the Lakes in March for my birthday. I find being outdoors with the wind in my hair & the sun on my face is one of the best ways to relax & feel carefree- roll on spring I say! Hope that Jack is feeling better- so annoying when you miss out, especially your get togethers lol.
    Have a lovely week
    Love & Hugs
    From Mandy xxx

    • Alison Keenan January 18, 2019 at 5:33 am -  Reply

      Happy New Year to you Mandy – lovely to catch up and to know that you too had a great Christmas. So glad that you had some thank you letters. I remember making copious lists of presents my children had received, and then making them all sit at the dining room table to write thank you letters, exactly as my mum had done with us! We had a lovely long letter from Lucy and Honey that had photos in it too, and like you I really appreciate it. It sounds as though we enjoy much the same films, and I am very much liking your Valentines Day tradition. Perhaps I’ll blow the dust off my copy of Brief Encounter and watch it this year too. I can’t remember what date in March your birthday falls on, and if it’s near mine, but I hope you manage to get away to the Lakes for it. I think Colin and I might treat ourselves to a week somewhere sunny! Jack is much better now thank you and we had a lovely day together just last week. I hope you’re well, and thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  20. Susan Huskisson January 9, 2019 at 7:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, my mistake. Our Charlie will be 4 on 29th Jan not 3 as I said previously!! Senior moment haha! Love Sue xx

    • Alison Keenan January 18, 2019 at 5:13 am -  Reply

      Ah! I had a feeling you had told me about Charlie before Honey was born! I hope you all thoroughly enjoy celebrating together on the 29th January. As for the senior moments… I completely sympathise! 🙂 Love Ali x

  21. Barbara Corbett January 10, 2019 at 6:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi I just read your book and I have been on a similar journey but a year before you . I have not had as bad a time as you I only had to have one breast replacement and it was very good no really problems and I keep my fingers crossed every day Regards Barbara

    • Alison Keenan January 18, 2019 at 5:18 am -  Reply

      Dear Barbara, I am sorry to know that you too had a diagnosis of breast cancer, but am relieved to hear that you managed to get through it all with few problems. That is wonderful. Like you, I keep my fingers crossed every day too (can make typing a little difficult sometimes 🙂 Take care and thank you for reading the book, and keeping in touch here. If you were able to write a review for Amazon that would be truly appreciated. Many thanks, Love Ali x

  22. Mary Morphy January 12, 2019 at 5:57 am -  Reply

    A very belated Happy New Year to you Alison, it seems so far away in the distance now and it also seems ages since I last wrote!!
    Your Christmas sounded perfect, family, friends and festive food!!
    Ours was busy and I don’t know how it happened but Christmas Eve was manic for me, but squeezed in Mary Poppins Returns at the cinema with Chloe and my sister’s for welcome sitdown!! What a film, I thoroughly enjoyed it and admit to shedding a tear or two ( the song Where the lost things go did it!). I am going to try and be more organised this year and chill Christmas Eve!!! John was exhausted by boxing day..Christmas eve being a Monday, his day off, meant a ten day stint without a break. He was busy which is always good, but walking very gingerly after boxing day..many hours on his feet. He did though have the Thursday off to recuperate ready for The Weekend and New Year.
    Mum had a great first Christmas at her residential home. We had a Xmas party on the Saturday before the big day with an am dram pantomime, buffet and wine..mum knocked back the Zinfandel like a pro. They ate and drank approximately every two hours from Xmas eve through to boxing day and were kept entertained.
    We had 8 of us at mine for Christmas day including a customer from the pub who was on his own..a lovely guy who was reluctant to accept our invitation to join us but eventually he accepted, he had no choice, and he had a great day with us and joined in all the games too!!
    Good news yesterday, we finally exchanged contracts on mum’s bungalow and completion is Friday 18th so everything is crossed. It will be nice for mum to have her own money and we can pay off the loan we have with Social Services, plus the interest they are charging and £500 for the privilege!!
    So did you make any resolutions this year?? I did..to say NO and occasionally put myself first so I have already said no to two cakes AND started at wrinkly Gym on a Wednesday..aerobic class for over 50’s..great work out but able to cater for my two poorly knees and I got to table tennis club after work on a Thursday..oh and I’ve bought myself a beautiful Lucille Lulu Guinness Bag in their sale, 70%off in burnt orange!!
    Have a fabulous weekend. Much love Mary xx

    • Alison Keenan January 18, 2019 at 5:44 am -  Reply

      Hi there Mary, and a very Happy New Year to you too! It does seem a long while since we last corresponded, but like you, I don’t seem to have had a minute since the beginning of January! So glad to know that today will see you complete on your mum’s bungalow. I fully appreciate it’s been a long haul, and very stressful, so it’s great to be able to start 2019 with that all behind you. Very gratifying to know though that your choice of residential home has been such a success. Fabulous the way they kept everyone entertained and fed – that must have been a great comfort to you. I’m so glad that you also managed to see Mary Poppins returns… what a beautiful film, and yes “Where the Lost Things Go” reduced me to wreck status… Well done for sorting out all the catering for Christmas Day… and very kind of you to have had the chap from the pub over too. I’m sure he did have a great time – your family know how to do a ‘party’ properly! 🙂 I am SO glad to know that you’ve made one of your resolutions this year to say NO more often… see if you can carry it over to the gardening and decorating too! You’re 100% more dedicated than me by actually joining the gym and table tennis too. I’ve talked about Nordic Walking and even Zumba… but talking is all I’ve done. That said, I am walking again every other day which I’m thoroughly enjoying. Your choice of colour with your Lulu Guinness bag would have been mine too! Enjoy the weekend, and thanks as always for keeping in touch. Love Ali xx

  23. lynn tervit January 13, 2019 at 10:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, Happy New Year, i know it’s late but iam all over the place. I lost my dad the Friday after Christmas Day, i have been left totally devastated. Dad was my hero and my rock also my best friend . He protected me from pain and hard times, but now as an only child, i am having to arrange everything. Because of the 2 holiday weeks, dad’s funeral is taking place this Tuesday 15th, it’s been so long, iam dreading it. Iam so glad you had a lovely festive time with all of your family. i particularly like the photo frame of you and your wonderful book. Very touching. Oh Alison. i don’t know what to do, i can’t carry on without my precious dad.
    p.s Colins lovely mum doesn’t look her age and he certainly looks like her . Sending you all my love .xxxx

    • Alison Keenan January 18, 2019 at 5:51 am -  Reply

      My dear Lynn… I am so terribly sorry to know that you lost your dad and that you are feeling so desperately unhappy… I am sorry too that I haven’t answered you until now, and consequently couldn’t be of any support before the funeral… but for what it’s worth, I do completely understand how you are feeling as I felt exactly the same way when I lost my dad. We also had over a fortnight to wait until the funeral, and it makes the whole grieving and acceptance process so much harder. For you as an only child I understand your isolation, and I too had to arrange my father’s funeral – my sister was heavily pregnant, my brother was in Australia, and my father’s widow was inconsolable… It’s so very hard to find words that will bring you any kind of comfort, but I hope that this may give you a small window of hope on those very dark days…

      I heard your voice in the wind today
      And I turned to see your face;
      The warmth of the wind caressed me as I stood
      Silently in place

      I felt your touch in the sun today
      As its warmth filled the sky;
      I closed my eyes for your embrace
      And my spirit soared high

      I saw your eyes in the window pane
      As I watched the falling rain;
      It seemed as each raindrop fell
      It quietly said your name

      I held you close in my heart today
      It made me feel complete;
      You may have died… but you are not gone
      You will always be a part of me.

      As long as the sun shines…
      The wind blows…
      The rain falls…
      You will live on inside me forever
      For that is all my heart knows.

      With my love, Ali xxx

  24. Elizabeth Keenan January 17, 2019 at 8:06 pm -  Reply

    Hiya Alison
    Wishing you and Colin a very Happy New Year and all the best to you. Congratulations on your book, still to read it.
    Lovely photos of all your family, really lovely.
    Much love
    Elizabeth ❤️

    • Alison Keenan January 18, 2019 at 4:22 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Elizabeth, and a very Happy New Year to you too. Thanks so much for your interest in the book. I very much hope you enjoy it. I much appreciate that you keep up with the blog too, and thank you for your comments. With love, Ali xx

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