Kathy Tayler and Alison

Our Greek holiday with the Taylers!


It’s hard to believe that this time last week I was sitting with Jack, Colin, Kathy Tayler and her family looking out across a beautiful bay and enjoying a fabulous Greek meal. “Not another holiday?!” I hear you cry and, bashfully, I have to admit, yes, another holiday! But to be fair, this is one that Kathy and I have been talking about for many many years.

As you know, we met in 2000 when we first started working at QVC, and have shared a dressing room ever since then. Because we work opposite ends of the day, we rarely see each other and so this was too good an opportunity to miss.

JackKathy’s family were driving over, and so we booked our flights and, as theΒ apartment we were staying in had two bedrooms, I asked my son, Jack, to come and join us, which he was delighted to do.




Sea shore Blue waterCorfu is the second largest Ionian Island, being 62km from north to south with a coastline that covers 217km in all. The north side, which is where we were staying, is, in my opinion, one of the prettiest. Beautiful little bays like Kassiopi, Nisaki, Agni and Kalami are all accessible by car, but we were lucky enough to hire a boat so were able to explore all the uninhabited beaches and swim in the clear, clean sea.

Alison and JackIt wasΒ idyllic and the weather couldn’t have been better. As Kathy and Olly regularly visit Corfu they knew all the best places to eat and so most days saw us mooring at one or other of these tavernas where we’d all sit in the sun eating, talking and relaxing, before piling back onto the boats and heading for home. Jack got on famously with Billy and Bex, and it was so good for me to have some special time with my boy as I rarely see him these days now he’s working…

Lovely too to have some relaxed time with Kathy, rather than it always being under pressure or in a rush at work. On Sunday Colin treated us to a cruise to visit the islands of Paxos, Antipaxos and the Blue Caves. We set off early from the port in Corfu town and had the most fabulous three-hour boat ride across the sea to this immense cave where the water is the most amazing shade of blue!


Paxsos Inside the caveThe boat we were on was huge but, with skillful navigation, we sailed inside the cave, which is where I took this photo.Β We always like to bring back a souvenir or two from our trips away, but this time we found something very unusual!Β One of the coves we came across had an incredible collection of driftwood and, having checked with the Airport authorities, Colin decided to find a piece for us to bring home …

DriftwoodThis is it!!! I’ve left my Birkenstocks in the photo to give you an idea of scale … trying to get it onto our little boat was hysterical, and nearly had us all in the briny, but it’s home with us now, and a permanent memento of a very happy holiday.

It’s been pretty busy at work since I came back, but what is most exciting is that we are getting closer to this year’s Be Aware Show You Care, Breast Cancer Care fundraiser. It will be on Monday 13th October and I am thrilled to be hosting it with the delightful Craig Rowe πŸ™‚Β  For me, the highlight from last year’s event was being asked to design the ‘I Hope’ pendant, which so many of you very kindly bought and wrote to me about.

Well, this year I was again invited to create another piece of jewellery that would epitomise that same all-important message and, as before, it was Colin I spoke with about some ideas. I am delighted to say that, with expert help fromΒ Lynne Law (who is currently on maternity leave) and our jewellery department, we have designed for you a beautiful ring in the same sleek yet weighty silver which has just the most perfect flow, fit and feel.Β It also bears the same message, which is as true today as it was this time last year…

I know the last 12 months have been very tough for many of you, and your faith and belief in hope has been stretched … mine too. Sometimes we all need a little reminder of those beautiful words from Emily Dickinson to give us strength, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all…” I hope that this ring will be just such a reminder.

Well, as this is the second time I’ve written this blog – spent over two hours on it yesterday only to somehow manage to delete the entire thing – I must crack on with the rest of the day and my preparation for tonight’s (Tuesday 2nd September)Β Diamonique Day finale with my dear friend, Charlie Brook. It would be lovely if you could join us from 9pm tonight.

TomatoI will leave you with a photograph of possibly the largest tomato I have ever seen, grown by my friend Ros with, yes you’ve guessed it, Richard Jackson’s Flower Power! I put a pound coin in the photo to give you an idea of its enormity!! Any amazing veg stories will be gratefully received πŸ™‚

Looking forward, as always, to hearing how you are, how your summer has been, and if you still have a fabulous holiday planned but yet to be taken. Keep in touch, and you know I will always write back to you – makes my week πŸ™‚

With my love, Ali


  1. Julie September 2, 2014 at 6:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    A lovely blog as usual. So glad you enjoyed Corfu. I’m afraid I don’t do boats!! I don’t have very good sea legs-actually I get giddy in the bath!! Also glad you had time to spend with Jack.
    Just keeping you informed what’s happening here. Lily started school yesterday and looked a big girl-can you imagine her bossing everyone around!!
    On a more sombre note. I told you about our beautiful dog who hasn’t been well at all. To cut a very long story short. She has developed 3 lymph nodes and they are fighting something very nasty but the Vets at the hospital can’t find out what’s wrong. She’s had a CT scan, blood tests but the Vets have never seen this before. She is going back to Bristol tomorrow for more tests but Ali she’s so poorly. She has developed a limp in the last few days and can hardly walk or get up. As you can imagine many tears have been shed as we’ve no idea what the outcome will be. Unfortunately unlike humans she cannot tell us what’s wrong. She seems to be in pain despite very strong pain killers-it could only happen to us couldn’t it!!!!
    Hope all’s well with you and will keep you informed of what’s going on.
    Take care
    Julie x The Girls xxxx

  2. Sue Radford September 2, 2014 at 6:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Glad you had a wonderful holiday in Greece! The photos are beautiful!!!
    I’ve just returned from a great cruise. One of the places we visited was Mykonos – it was absolutely breathtaking, and definitely my favourite out of all the places we visited – Greece is really beautiful isn’t it? Istanbul was fantastic too. The bazaar was incredible – can you believe it had over 4,000 shops – my idea of heaven lol! Venice was our first port of call, but was so so crowded and very hot, but well worth the visit. Another enjoyable one was Naples. Rome and Athens were fantastic too. I’ hooked on cruise holidays as you get to see so much, but it is very tiring and hard work. Next year we are planning on visiting Greece again. It was many years ago when the children were small we visited Corfu, but seeing your photographs has made me want to visit again. Like you, I plan on going on holiday as much as I can. I intend getting as much out of life as I can, and while I’m feeling fit and well, so don’t ever feel guilty about having lots of holidays – if anyone deserves them, you do!
    Best wishes to all in Ali’s Army!
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  3. loraine plumb September 2, 2014 at 6:49 pm -  Reply

    Hello alison how nice for you to finally get together with Kathy at last corfu is lovely went there many years ago we have just returned from fuengerola as I mentioned to you before very hot and relaxing . Back to reality now though hope you don’t mind me asking which shampoo do you use your hair always looks nice I currently use liz earle but thought a change might be due .looking forward to your next blog love Loraine xxx

  4. Elaine sallis September 2, 2014 at 8:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi ali,
    Loved the photo of you and jack. Spending time with our adult children is always very special isn’t it. Well poppy starts school tomorrow I am really going to miss her. I thought it was hard when my two started school but my grandchildren starting school has affected me even more. Geoff and I go on holiday next week. We are going to Oslo and then taking the train along the Norwegian Coast to Bergen, spending a few days there and then returning to Oslo for a few days. I remember Kathy wrote about Bergen and what a lovely time she had there. I loved your piece of driftwood what a lovely reminder of your trip and something that is exclusive to you. Looking forward to seeing your piece of jewellery . I loved the hope pendant.
    Love Elaine

  5. Mrs Janet Jones September 2, 2014 at 8:32 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, it must be catching I have just deleted my reply to you and am starting again!!! So glad you had a lovely holiday with Kathy and especially with Jack as I know you don’t see him as much as you’d like, same as me, I probably see my son and Alfie twice a month as we don’t live that close to each other. We did see them this weekend and Alfie recognised me immediately it made my heart soar. Corfu sounds lovely your picture of the sea reminds me of Cephalonia. We are hoping to go to Florence in the next few weeks for a city break, so looking forward to that and shortly after that we are going to see The Jersey Boys, I know you have been to see it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Couldn’t think of anyone better to host Be Aware Show You Care and I will be watching and ordering the ring as I did your necklace . I recently had my annual mammogram and all seems fine but it is such a nerve racking time waiting for the results as it brings it all back(not that you ever forget)as you know. Let me know how you get on with the acupuncture for the hot flushes as even now mine are still bad and there’s nothing they can give you. Must write off now and look at the brochures for Florence, and I am at Cancer Research tomorrow then work so busy times, speak soon Ali love Janet xx
    p.s. meant to say the picture of you and Jack is lovely he looks so like you.

  6. Alpa September 2, 2014 at 9:23 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,
    So pleased that you’ve had a chance to have a break. After all, why not if you can πŸ™‚ Corfu looks beautiful and relaxing and it’s so good that you were able to spend time with Jack and of course with Kathy. I love the driftwood you brought back home as a souvenir.
    Thanks for the suggestion of looking for another Surgery/GP. I did that last year and moved from one that was close by to one that was further away. However ‘ok’ doctors may appear, as soon as it comes to dealing with the ME they are openly hostile and dismissive. I’ve found that because of my diagnosis, I can not even get medical treatment for the things that can be treated. I have to accept I’ll get sicker as there is nothing that can be done here. Things that can be treated are not being treated because of my diagnosis. It’s an impossible situation.
    How fantastic to hear you are presenting the Breast Cancer Care fundraiser with Craig. Looking forward to seeing the ring you have designed. Thanks for writing your bog again. It was definitely worth it! The tomato Ros has grown is most impressive πŸ™‚
    Jilly, have been thinking of you. Please let us know how you are doing when you can x
    Love to all in Ali’s Army x
    Take care, Ali,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  7. dorothy hollingsworth September 2, 2014 at 10:19 pm -  Reply

    Omg Ali what a whopper that is,the tomato I mean,it looks great,the piece of drift wood looks OK to.xx

  8. Jilly September 2, 2014 at 10:39 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali – how wonderful to read your blog of the holly in Corfu – what a super time it sounds as if you all had and more so that you could spend some time with Jack and then Kathy’s family. It all sounded so idilic and the sunshine and blue seas you sent in the blog have done me so much good so thank you for sending the warmth and sun this way – It felt like a very warm hug this end! The driftwood is something else – what a hoot bringing it home – we once had a large old tree stump which we moved around with us!!
    Also thank you and Janet and Alpa for your kind thoughts with the family. Yes, it is a nightmare we seem to be living in but we have to find something good each day and hang onto that – the good news is that the tumours in Annie’s husband’s brain have shrunk. He was told that it does not mean something could be brewing but for the moment they have shrunk and that is the best news to have. He will go back for another scan in November but if he gets any pressure headaches he has to be in touch with the hospital. He is still not over the last set back he had but each day is better than the last so we go from here with my “onwards and upwards”. He is taking supplements which have been recommended and we feel these have helped so much and work alongside the normal treatment he has had. I just think my darling Annie has had so much to contend with these last two years and yet still has a huge smile on her face. I can well imagine how you felt when reading our news as when we have told everyone they just cannot believe this is happening. We have to also try and live a normal life as it is so important for all the family. I very much feel we have the same philosophy Ali and a positive thought is so much better than a negative one.
    Alpa I am so sorry that you are having such a terrible time and wonder like Ali is there not another surgery you could go to where you will be heard and understood in how you feel. What you have is very real as my mum knows. I also feel that at times like this you really find out who your true friends are and the ones who are not there for you are just not worth giving your time or energy thinking about them. Sadly Annie has found this but has grown from the knowlege and moved on from the friend she thought she could count on but sadly could not and now we have a giggle about it.
    On a better note I tuned in last week and saw the wonderful Topaz show Ali – recorded it and have not deleted it yet as I just loved it. I think I may have told you some time ago that I have a wonderful large topaz ring which my lovely hubby bought for me by mistake and I wear it for best but wear my Lola Rose ring daily.
    Loved the giant tomato – we have grown a sunflower for the first time and it is over 7 feet tall – and used RJ FP. The sunflowers in the garden bed are not as big and have not had RJFP on them – so I rest my case for the wonderful RJFP!!
    Looking forward to more updates from you Ali and any news on your wedding plans and thank you all for being there for us here Love Jilly XX

  9. TINA S. September 2, 2014 at 11:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I’m so glad you found the story of my late mother’s mishap involving the loss of her dentures so funny. The memory of those happy childhood holidays will stay with forever.After losing her when I was so young it’s hard to believe you will ever smile again. But time is indeed a great healer. As much as we wish things could have been different we will always have our memories and our loved ones will always be with us, if not in body, in our hearts and minds.
    The photo’s of your latest holiday looked stunning. The water, so crystal clear. I want to dive into the water right now. It looks so inviting especially when you get those glowing moments.
    It’s interesting to know that you are having acupuncture for this. I have had acupuncture quite often for my back complaint but had not thought about having it for hot flushes. I will definately be looking into it as I have been having the flushes on and off for neally 10 years now!
    The weather has been lovely today. We went to Porthcawl which is our favourite place as it is only a short drive from our home. It was lovely sitting outside with our coffee (and the kids were back in school, even better!)We’re hoping to go somewhere for a few days in early October as its my birthday. We were thinking of going to Aberystwyth to see the starlings roosting under the Pier.They showed them on Autumn Watch one year. Apparently thousands of them roost there , its a spectacular site if you are into bird watching as we are.
    Anyway I’ve rambled on long enough. I’m off to look for some diamonique and treat myself.
    Hope you are keeping well.
    Best wishes Tina (S.Wales)x

  10. Una September 3, 2014 at 12:08 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali and my lovely army friends
    Apologies AGAIN for being AWOL for so long!
    Time seems to keep overtaking me, and before I know it, I’m collapsed in a heap and realising its bedtime!
    Meli and I have glad a very busy summer. Moving House, going on a month long unexpected holiday and Meli starting school. This all meant that doing all the important stuff, like getting phones and broadband organised, fell by the wayside. So, I’ve had no connection to the big wide world!
    Trying to get some normality going here, and think we are FINALLY getting ourselves settled.
    Meli LOVES school, and has ,made some lovely wee friends already. Its been a bit of a culture shock for me. Being the mummy/granny is a bit odd for some of the younger mums to cope with apparently!!
    After the horrors of the last few years, I can honestly say I’ve felt really happy these last few weeks. For the first time in a long time, I’ve actually laughed and smiled and really meant it, which feels lovely. I just worry that all the negativity may have rubbed off on Meli, she seems to be a happy, VERY lively and confident wee soul, but you never know. I just want her to have a happy lovely life and hope we can move forward now.
    I do have the odd moment when I feel overwhelmed with grief at what we’ve lost, but these are only moments now, not the endless hours and days as before.
    Meli and I make a promise to her Mummy every night, that we will play and laugh and be silly at some point the next day. Meli sings twinkle twinkle to her mummy every night, and its so sweet.
    As we only got back at the end if last week, I’ve not had any time to read your blog Ali. Just had a quick glance, and your holiday looks amazing.
    I hope Alpa that you are well, and Debz and all my other lovelies.
    I have Saturday morning to myself, I KNOW!!! Yay! So will try to catch up with everyone then. Just wanted to check in and say “hello”
    Lots of love as always to everyone from Meli and I xxxxxx

  11. Una September 3, 2014 at 6:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi again Ali
    You can’t get rid of me now my broadbands up and runninf!
    Managed to grab a few minutes to myself, as Meli is away to one if her little schoolfriend’s for tea tonight! So cute.
    Your holiday blogs are brilliant as always. So glad you have had such a lovely time after all the trauma you had during the previous few years. Corfu is so beautiful, many years since I’ve been to the Greek islands, but would love to go back some day.
    Alpa, I just don’t know what to say to you. UNBELIEVABLE that you have been treated so incredibly badly. Absolutely shocking. I just hope that sometimes soon, you will find a GP who s willing to listen to you. In the meantime, please remember that we are here, ready and able to hear you. Rant and rave away sweetie, we are all listening, and will help in any way we can.
    Debz, I had the same issues with my little girl cat, Isabel. She was only 4. The vet told us her heart had already started to fail, and we would probably have her a matter of weeks. We were very lucky and had her for 11 months after that. Only because she was a wee bit spoiled like your boy. Its heartbreaking when they’re Illl and I’m so sorry you’re going through this.
    I have to go get my little monster now. Ahhhhh, its been too quiet for at least, oh, 2 hours!!
    My love to all as always.
    P.s. Ali. Watched your diamonique show with Charlie. What a hoot! I have a few pieces of diamonique. I LOVE it. My little stud earrings are worn every day and are still perfect. I got the, from the 2nd ever diamonique show!! XXX

  12. alison keenan September 4, 2014 at 8:12 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julie, good to hear from you, but I’m sorry that your beautiful dog is far from well. I am hoping that by the time your read this there will have been a marked improvement. So glad you liked the blog, and the photos. I have to admit to being scared of boats for many years but I seem to have overcome that now – must have something to do with the sun and sea πŸ™‚ It was lovely to have the time with Jack, and I did talk to him today when he told me that he really had enjoyed the break. Bless you Lily for being grown up enough now to go to school! Gosh those years have flown by. You take care, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  13. alison keenan September 4, 2014 at 8:15 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, I loved hearing about your cruise – it sounds truly incredible! To get to see all those places on the one holiday is amazing, and I am so envious that you got to see Naples.. I have enjoyed Rome Athens and Venice, but never headed much further south.. it’s on my list! I’m sure you’ve got some lovely memories of Corfu with your children – I would highly recommend you return now, and as you’ve seen from the photos, very little I’m sure, has changed. Love to you and thanks as always for taking the time to write. Ali xx

  14. alison keenan September 4, 2014 at 8:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Lorraine, so glad you enjoyed the blog as I enjoyed recounting my holiday to you, and yes, it was lovely to spend some time with dear Kathy. Regarding which shampoo I use, I mainly stick with Philip Kingsley’s Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner, but occasionally I use Percy and Reed, and have also enjoyed Wen in the past. I think a change is always good, and there’s certainly plenty to choose from here at QVC! Love to you, Ali x

  15. alison keenan September 4, 2014 at 8:24 pm -  Reply

    Gosh Elaine I can’t believe Poppy started school yesterday and I can completely empathise with you your feeling of loss.. I know how much time you have spent with her since birth, and how different your days will now be… I remember how lost I felt when Jack went to school full time.. it was the end of an era. ON a happier note I’m pleased to read that you’re off to Oslo and Bergen – I’ve never been there, but am sure you will enjoy it. Not quite sure where we will find a permanent home for the driftwood, but it looks pretty good in the sitting room for now πŸ™‚ As soon as I have the sample of the ring I will let you see it. Sending me love, Ali xx

  16. alison keenan September 4, 2014 at 8:32 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Janet, and sorry to hear that you like me had hassles with what you’d written! Thanks though for rewriting it, as I have loved hearing about little Alfie. I know you’d love to see more of him and your son, but at least when they do come to visit they stay for a while πŸ™‚ I didn’t really see a great deal more of Jack even when I lived closer, but so many of my friends with grown up children say the same, so I just cherish the times we do have together. Glad you liked the photographs, and yes the coastline was very reminiscent of Cephalonia and Zakynthos too! I very much hope you will get to Florence as I know you will love it. I thought nothing could top Rome until I visited Florence… it is stunning. Make sure you visit the Uffitzi Gallery if you do go cos you’ll love it, as you will The Jersey Boys πŸ™‚ Thank you for your kind words about the Breast Cancer Evening.. It’s quite a daunting task which makes us all feel very responsible, but it will be fun and a privilege – I hope you like the ring too! Take care, and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  17. alison keenan September 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alpa, good to hear from you although as always, I am saddened by your situation and wish there was something I could do to help. However, I do believe you are very stoic, and will continue to fight which is admirable πŸ™‚ Yes, it was good to spend special time with Jack – he was brilliant with the boat, and although doesn’t like swimming in the sea, he ferried us around whereever we wanted to go πŸ™‚ Yes, the driftwood is impressive isn’t it – almost as impressive as Ros’s tomato πŸ™‚ I’ll pass on your compliment when I see her this weekend. Take care and do keep in touch – we’re all here for you, love Ali xx

  18. alison keenan September 4, 2014 at 8:37 pm -  Reply

    Dorothy, my words exactly!! πŸ™‚ And yes the driftwood is pretty cool too. Glad you liked the blog, love Ali x

  19. alison keenan September 4, 2014 at 8:46 pm -  Reply

    My dear Jilly so good to hear from you, and so relieved to hear the news of your son in law. Although at times like this we would give anything to be told “all clear” the fact that the treatment has worked is wonderful, and just what he needs to hear, as does dear Annie…What an incredibly troubling time for you all. So glad that you are the kind of family who lean on each other, and take strength from one another too. Your philosophy IS the same as mine Jilly, a positive thought is worth so much more than a negative one… hold onto them, all will be well I truly belive it. Interesting to read about Annie’s ‘friend’ – similar to Alpa’s experience – and mine too sadly. Just the one person whom I’d know since I was five, and accused me of ‘playing the cancer card…’.Hurtful at the time, but I am moving on from it… I am mightily impressed with your 7 foot sunflower! Fab – here’s to Richard Jackson eh? love that man πŸ™‚ Must dash as Diamonique beckons, but my love to you all, and stay strong, Ali xx

  20. Mary September 4, 2014 at 10:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali.great blog and what a gorgeous place Corfu looks and sounds and great to share it with Kathy and her family. Sounds like the perfect holiday to end the summer on although since I went back to school on Wednesday the temperature has risen ten degrees and the sun is once again shining! Only been back at school two days but it feels like I’ve never been away..only 7.5 weeks to half term!!
    The holidays went by much to quickly with very little me time managed although when I did have an afternoon free I decided to paint the outside of the house at the back around the dining room and kitchen. I’m delighted to say that I remained injury free..my daughter held the ladder with a minor whinge as she was missing “Say yes to the dress” on TLC and I only sustained a coating of cream weathershield paint in my hair that needed six hair washes to remove itself..I suppose at least it does what it says on the tin! On Sunday I cut back all the shrubs and weeded the front garden etc..nine bags of garden rubbish later the garden looks very smart but went totally un-noticed by my husband.
    A lot of time has been spent caring for mum who is still suffering the effects from viral hepatitis although we are convinced she’s suffered another mini stroke as her coordination is much worse than before: doctor visit tomorrow.
    Its Thursday evening and tomorrow Friday 5th is my son Jack’s 17th birthday. My baby boy who took a very painful 34 hours to come out and who was so poorly with streptococcus B when he was born is a fine young man who, for a non academic left me crying with pride with his recent GVSE results. I can vividly remember every detail and he was born on the Friday before Princess Dianas funeral. On Saturday morning i remember sobbing as Jack was in special care and all the radio played was Candle In The Wind by Elton John. I remem er being in isolation with him at hospital for two weeks..i loved it as i just cuddled him all day..it was a bit of a shock coming home and having to make my own cup of tea and do the housework! He had to work so hard to get those all important C grades in his exams as school isn’t easy for him and given the choice he would rather not go but he did himself proud. Unfortunately he has his first day back at school tomorrow for 6th form but he is only in until midday. We have given him driving lessons for his birthday..first one tomorrow!! I made him a cake with a ‘learner driver’ theme done very quickly yesterday evening while he was in combat with his friend on the x Box!
    Only two more cricket weekends to go then some free weekends until November 30th when it all starts again for Chloe with county trials and the indoor season although the bonus is indoor matches are shorter and nearer to home. We were in Hastings last Sunday for a ladies match, our match Sunday is at home and me and another mum are making the cricket tea…I’m baking on Saturday!!
    Enjoy the good weather this week. Lots a love Mary xx

  21. Linda Marshall September 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Sorry for not blogging for such a long time but i Have been so busy recently. I lost my father a few months ago at the age of 90.
    I have been sorting out his affairs with my brother, also we had to empty his bungalow and put it up for sale.It has been a nightmare of paperwork and solicitors but finally we are almost done. Then two weeks ago i had a fall in the garden which left me very bruised and shaken.Hopefully i will have better luck in the months to come.
    lots of love Linda xx
    member of Ali’s army.

  22. Alpa September 5, 2014 at 2:06 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,
    Thanks for writing back. I have been catching up with everyone’s news news and admiring your photos of Corfu again. I love anything related to the sea. I was so hoping to go away over the summer but it would have been impossible at present. At least we will never run out of places to visit as Ali’s Army is so well travelled πŸ™‚
    I’m sorry for the hurtful comments you had to put up with from someone you have known for so long. You have coped with your illness with such dignity and grace and through it all been a constant support to us all. You are so right about a positive thought being worth so much more than a negative one. Thank you so much to you and my lovely friends here for your kindness and support. It does make all the difference.
    Jilly, bless you for you kind words when you are going through so much yourself. Thinking of you and sending my love x
    Una, it made my day to hear from you. So pleased you and Meli had an unexpected holiday and are settling into your new home. I think hope, stubbornness and refusing to be defeated keep me going! Love to you and your adorable munchkin x
    Love to Debz, Janet, Sue, Liz, Elaine and all in Ali’s Army x
    Have a good weekend Ali,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  23. Mrs Janet Jones September 5, 2014 at 6:49 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, I too had a ‘friend’ I had known for a long time and after I was diagnosed with breast cancer she never came to see me and eventually we lost touch ,as you say you have to move on and you certainly find out who your friends are when the chips are down!! Jilly so glad that your son in laws tumours have shrunk, it’s all going in the right direction and as Ali says you have a family who can take strength and comfort from each other and that is precious.
    Thinking of you and your family love Janet xx

  24. Susan September 5, 2014 at 8:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I totally agree with Sue about holidays as much as you can..if you can afford it. I dream and to quote you hope for the day that I can! It’s a tough old financial world out there. Unfair in fact I’d say! I’m glad you enjoyed Corfu. Nice Jack got to join you. Kathy and her family are so lovely. I really think she is such a lovely lady. So normal! I look forward to you and Craig on BCC. Hopefully Amica and Beulah’s husbands are coping ok. Love Susan x

  25. linda richards September 6, 2014 at 7:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Great blog, glad to hear that you had a good holiday. I’m off to America the first week of October, touring around. We have been going for the last fourteen years only missing once when I had to have three operation in that one year. in all we have seen 39 states.
    My life has been a mess lately my one sister has been in hospital for seventeen weeks and no sign of her going home and now my other sister has been told she has cancer in her lung, she is having cemo at the moment. My health is poor as I’m in a wheel chair but I do what I can for them. Life seems to be so cruel on times as you now through your own experience. I hope to see you soon on Qv
    Lots love
    Lyn xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  26. Debz September 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali

    Looks like you had a fab holiday. I for one, don’t begrudge you another holiday at all! You of all people know that life can throw all kinds of horrors at you, so enjoy the good times while you can!

    Lovely photos again, loved the one of you and your boy especially. You both looked happy together. That piece of driftwood was spectacular!!

    Am looking forward to watching you and lovely Craig host the Breast Cancer event on QVC and also to see the ring you have designed. I bought the pendant last year so hopefully I can get the ring too!

    Ainzley is still with us and, apart from not having much of an appetite, he is as bright eyed as ever. Hard to believe he’s so poorly. Like I’ve always said, he’s a fighter and isn’t going to go quietly!! Vet now needs to see him on a monthly basis as his kidney readings are creeping up now too. Not sure how we’ll find the money for all these visits but we’ll manage somehow. Can’t imagine being without him so, the longer the vet can keep him comfortable, then monthly visits it has to be!

    Love to all in Ali’s army. Hope you’re all enjoying this warm weather we’ve been having and that it’s lifted your spirits.

    Lots of love and licks


  27. Debz September 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm -  Reply

    My dear Alpa

    I am so sorry that things are no better for you. It makes me so angry that you are clearly suffering but no one seems willing to listen or do anything to help you. I can only imagine how upset and frustrated you must feel and the fact that you carry on, day to day, is testament to you strength of character and resilience.

    You are always in my thoughts and I just hope and pray that one day you will encounter someone in the medical profession who will be willing to fight your corner.

    Am sending you my love and support and a special Ainzley lick for his favourite Auntie Alpa.

    Stay strong my lovely friend.

    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  28. Debz September 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm -  Reply

    Hello Una

    I am so glad that you are starting to turn a corner and are feeling happier. You have been through such a terrible time and I am happy that you are finally seeing a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

    Meli sounds like an absolute sweetheart. Sounds like she keeps you on your toes and no mistake!! I was bought up my grandparents and I loved them with all of my heart. My granddad had a few strange looks when he used to take me to school but I loved the fact that he was different from the other Dads, made me feel rather special!

    Ainzley is still going strong. We knew the time would come when the vets could do no more for him but we’ve had him for 6 years longer than we should have (vets gave him 18 months to live when he was diagnosed when he was 10), so we can’t complain really. I’m just grateful for the time I’ve had with him and for however long I have left with him.

    You take care of yourself Una my friend and I hope things continue to improve for you.

    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=) XXXXXXXXXXXXX

  29. Una September 10, 2014 at 9:38 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I’m making the most of all this free time I’ve got, now Meli is at school. She’s still there mornings only, but from next week, she will be there all day. I even had time to met a friend for coffee this morning!! It was bliss lol. No chatterbox sitting beside me, felt almost alien! I always thought her mummy was a chatterbox, but she would be no match for Meli!!! My ears sometimes feel like they’re falling off!! What a girl.
    She’s loving school, and has invited 2 of her wee friends for dinner and a sleepover at the weekend! She’s told me they will all need manicures, so can I make sure I’ve got plenty nail polish!! Heaven help me!!
    Was sorry to read about your “friend” I can only imagine how hurt you must’ve felt. Considering everything you’ve had to deal with, that was a real slap in the face.
    My divorce should be finalised in the next few weeks, so that’s another step to making this new start more final, and complete. Its all been straightforward, no arguing r time wasting, it is what is, and really, he couldn’t do anything other than make it simple for me.
    Unfortunately, things haven’t turned out well for him, and my “friend” she has just been diagnosed with colon cancer, and sadly it seems to be quite advance, and the prognosis is not good.
    I did go to visit her when I found out. I felt very sad, initially I was grieving the loss of our friendship after all these years, and it was a shock to hear that news. It wasn’t an easy decision to go to see her, but I went when she was on her own, and it was OK to be honest.
    I just didn’t want to leave things as they were, and had been told by a mutual friend how guilty she felt about what had happened. I couldn’t bear the thought of anything happening to her and carrying that burden. When all is said and done, I’m here, Meli is fine, and we’re getting there, slowly but surely.
    I’ve been catching up with what you’ve all been up to. We’re a hardy lot, this wee army of ours.
    So many going through difficult times, but we’ve all get each other, and trying to make a wee bit of difference to each other when our lives are unimaginably bad. That makes me feel very proud to be part of this wee group.
    I’m going to go rescue my neighbour now. She’s got Meli, her twin boys and the wee kid next door who thinks he’s spiderman, and keeps trying to climb her 6 foot fence! Poor woman lol!!
    Well, she did invite them in to play on the new trampoline!! She won’t do that again in a hurry! Lol. It sounds like there’s about 25 kids over there!! I’m just jealous she didn’t invite me to try the trampoline!!
    My love to all as always.
    Alpa my lovely, I’m so glad you’re stubborn. Well done you. I hope you get to Corfu someday, its beautiful. I hope I can go back someday too, although I’m sure its changed a lot since I was there 20 odd years ago. Take care lovely lady.
    Una XXX

  30. Patricia Coulson- wood September 10, 2014 at 9:39 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali, lovely to see your recent photos. The rural side of corfu I would love to visit.(my friends and other animals) Gerald ?. I can’t remember his full name. Thanks for your good wishes to me. I did pick up a very nasty chest (pneumonia back in feb post op and it went on for months, very nasty. I had a ct chest scan and it appears I have developed bronchiectasis. I am devastated about it.. Talking with my daughter Jan who has gone through such a lot as so many of you have i owe it to her to get on with it but I’m not happy.
    I felt so upset jilly to hear about Annie’s husband, it really does not seem fair for her husband,Annie, and all the family to go through so much..
    I wish each and everyone love and healing messages. Tricia.

  31. alison keenan September 10, 2014 at 9:39 am -  Reply

    Una, how good to hear from you! It sounds as though you and Meli have been up to your armpits in it – moving house, holiday and new school – incredible, but all so positive when it comes to moving forwards. Reading your message I feel so proud to know such a strong and brave woman, and I do feel as though I know you having corresponded with you for such a long time. You have been to hell and back and still manage to see the good things in life.. it is a gift, and I thank you for sharing it with us πŸ™‚ I am sure if you were to look back even six months you would never have believed you would have turned your life around so successfully, but you have, and you should be sooooo proud πŸ™‚ Both Meli and you are lucky to have one another, and your daughter, whom I am sure is completely across all that happens in your lives, would be so glad that you laugh, have fun, promise to be silly at least once a day, and best of all, love each other… there’s nothing more any of us could ask for. Give Meli a hug for me, and do keep in touch, love Alixx

  32. alison keenan September 10, 2014 at 9:40 am -  Reply

    Dear Una just scrolled down and found your second posting! Bless you πŸ™‚ So glad that you enjoyed the Diamonique Show. I have to admit to having had a ball with Charlie… neither of us had laughed so much for ages, and the fact that most of it was completely by accident made it all the funnier! Great to read your advice for not just Alpa but Debz as well.. Your generosity of spirit never ceases to amaze me, you’re a marvel! My love to you as always, Ali x

  33. alison keenan September 10, 2014 at 10:08 am -  Reply

    Hello there Mary, and thanks so much for writing. As always, I love reading about your life and marvel at your never ending energy! I am amazed that your husband fails to notice all that you do – most men would KILL for a wife like you!! πŸ™‚ Your recollection of when your Jack was born reminded me of my own Jack… you never forget do you.. and it’s only when they have babies of their own that they realise what it’s all about, and just how important it is to us… i am sure he appreciated the Good Luck with Driving Cake, and I am wishing him the best of luck. If he has even a fraction of his mother’s tenacity he will do really well. I hope the Ladies Match went well in Hastings – last time I was there, we were with Ros and Chris and had such a good time πŸ™‚ You take it easy and tick of each of those days before half term – I’m rooting for you! Love Alixx

  34. alison keenan September 10, 2014 at 10:08 am -  Reply

    My dear Linda, I am so sorry to hear of your father’s passing, and the subsequent organisational skills that you and your brother are having to find to sort things out… It’s so hard when all you want to do is just try and cope with your loss…. I very much hope that in spite of your fall you are now on the mend, and will that life generally will improve for you. Please take it a little easier and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  35. alison keenan September 10, 2014 at 10:16 am -  Reply

    Alpa, so kind of you to take the time to comment on my last message. Yes, it was terribly hurtful at the time, especially as I’d known her for so long and had been there for her through some major upsets in her life, but as you say, it’s often the kindness of strangers that makes all the difference πŸ™‚ You take it easy, and do keep in touch. You realise now, having read the comments, that we are all here for you, love Ali xx

  36. alison keenan September 10, 2014 at 11:05 am -  Reply

    Dear Janet, thank you for your kind words… I think what made it so much worse was that I had shared with and comforted her through a relationship break up and some major upsets in her life,so to be faced with this was hard, but as you say, we move on… and recognise those who are true and reliable friends – like our Army! You take care, and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  37. alison keenan September 10, 2014 at 11:05 am -  Reply

    Dear Susan, I so wish I could just spirit you away to somewhere fabulous for a holiday. I am certain, you as much as any of us, deserve a break, and i will keep everything crossed that you will be able to treat yourselves very soon. And yes you’re right, Kathy and her family are great company, and we felt very blessed to be in their company. Very glad to hear that you will be joining Craig and I for our 15th BCC night as its going to be a corker! Sending you my love Ali xx

  38. angela white September 10, 2014 at 11:14 am -  Reply

    hi ali, you alright!? I did reply on your last blog but it seems to have disappeared so I will try again! well I am castles at last! it came off 2wekks ago it was navicular bone u broke the doc said they don’t see it very often trust me to be different!!!!!!!!!! ive still got the crutches cos foot is still swollen and bit sore I did my shopping for the first time yesterday and my foot was very swollen after so it looks like its back to online shop again! do c did say it be 4-6weeks before back to normal though. glad you enjoyed your hols in wales and corfu many many years ago when I was young free and single I went to kavos with my friend it was lovely then just 1 disco and a few bars etc not like it is now!!!!!!!!!!! it was just mainly a long road and a beach. I hope your wedding plans are going well and you and your family are ok im sorry to see some of the army are going through the mill at the moment and things improve soon. take care ali and love to you and the army xxxx

  39. Alison Keenan September 11, 2014 at 10:23 pm -  Reply

    Dear Mary so glad to hear that you’ve managed to have the cast removed, and although it sounds as tho you need to keep your foot rested, at least you’re more mobile! Hooray! πŸ™‚ I loved hearing about your trip to Kavos, but couldn’t believe that it used to boast just one disco and a bar! Judging by the recent documentary about it, it’s grown beyond all recognition an d seems to be one of the more lively (shall we say) places to visit! Wedding plans are moving forwards, but we’re still trying to decide on venue – not just for celebration but wedding itself – no rush though – June or July next year is when πŸ™‚ Lovely to hear from you, and do keep in touch. Take it easy too – you need to let your navicular heal πŸ™‚ Love Ali xx

  40. Alison Keenan September 11, 2014 at 10:27 pm -  Reply

    Dear Tricia so sorry to hear that you’ve been poorly. Bronchitis is not pleasant, and I remember it completely saps you of energy. Not surprised you’ve been fed up especially having had pneumonia earlier in the year! Sounds like you could do with a trip to Corfu and let the sunshine and warmth work its magic πŸ™‚ It was Gerald Durrell who wrote My family And Other Animals, which I remember reading on my way home from work once. I was helpless with laughter, and sat on the train for ages after it had reached its final destination doubled up πŸ™‚ There are photos of Gerald and his family in the restaurant at The White House, and I can’t imagine the scenery has changed much since he wrote the book. Do hope your Jan is doing well, and that you will very soon feel much improved. Sending you a hug and my love, Ali xx

  41. Alison Keenan September 11, 2014 at 10:28 pm -  Reply

    Dear Angela I have written my reply to you but addressed you as Mary!!! Forgive me foolishness, and please do read the post as I had written it to you πŸ™‚ Take care, love ALi xx

  42. Alison Keenan September 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm -  Reply

    Debz how lovely to hear from you!! And great to know that inspite of his grand age, Ainzley is still going strong πŸ™‚ Amazing what a lot of love, and many visits to the vet can do! Thank you for your kind words about the blog and the holiday – it all seems a while ago now, but we have some fab photos πŸ™‚ Great too, to have the time with Jack. We’ve been trying to sort out a day next week when we could get together, but his days and my hours don’t work well together, so we’ll have to put it off for another week which is sad. I too am looking forward to our BCC evening. I am lucky enough to be going to the Fashion Show on the afternoon of the 1st October. I think it’s going to be pretty emotional being there again, and meeting up with some of the girls I walked the catwalk with. I very much hope you like the ring, and am hoping to have my own sample shortly so I can wear it on air, and get your feedback. You take care, give Ainzley a hug for me, and do keep in touch, we have missed you πŸ™‚ Love Ali xx

  43. Jilly September 13, 2014 at 4:34 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali and your wonderful Army – what can I say but a huge thank you so much for all your kind thoughts for us here. It honestly does mean so much to Annie and to me to know that so many of you understand what we have/are going through and I pass your comments to her and she always says “how lovely and kind and they don’t even know me!”. We have to be strong and go forward and also try and be normal. At the moment Annie’s husband is back in hospital with an infection but the good news (yes we grab any good news) is his chest is clear and another scan on the head showed no change from the last one – so out of the worry we have this good news and must hold onto that.
    Annie went yesterday for her check up from the last op (lippo and reduction) and all is very good. It was a breast Dr she has not seen before (new to the clinic) and he came out with all the medical words to tell her what she had had done – she said to him “I have no idea what you are talking about but shall I tell you what I think I have had???” he said “yes please” and from that they got on very well. He will now confirm with her surgeon that she is ready for the final reconstruction. Needless to say she bounced out of the room.
    How awful that you also had a good friend who did not want to be there when the chips were down Ali – we often laugh about Annie’s friend and say it is now her loss and not Annies. We try and live by “always try and treat other people how we would want to be treated”.
    I loved your Diamonique show Ali – it was just fabaroo. I recorded it- and then ordered a wonderful single stone ring – huge!!! it is top dog and looks perfect (and real) next to my white gold wedding ring – same setting as my special topaz – I just love looking at it!!!! so will be looking out for your other shows!!!!
    Today it is lovely weather and I hope the same with you Alpa. I would hope that even if you don’t feel like walking you could spend ten minutes in the garden sitting with the sun on your face to make you feel good. Sometimes that hill that we have to climb is a hard one but little by little we will get to the top. Janet and Tricia thank you also for your kind words and support to us. Hope that Jan is doing well Tricia – do let us know how she is keeping and give her our love and more a huge hug to little Alfie Janet – you have to share him with us all.
    Looking forward to your next update Ali and to see you looking as stunning as ever when you come into our homes! Love and thanks again for being there JillyXX

  44. Frances Whitehead September 16, 2014 at 11:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali I haven’t posted on your blog before. I just had to write and say how much I enjoyed your Buckley Poppy show. It was lovely to hear the contributions from the viewers and also your story of your grandpa. What an emotional and thoughtful presentation. I have ordered my Buckley Scottish Poppy direct from Poppy Scotland. I have asked customer services if there would be the possibility of QVC having them in the future. Once again well done on a lovely show. Fran x

  45. Alison Keenan September 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jilly so good to hear from you and to know that although Annie’s husband is still unwell, your main fears have been allayed… A huge relief! Annie is such a great example – I should try being more like that as have been blinded by science on many occasions! I too have the final part of my reconstruction in October after the fundraiser and am hoping it will be the last lot of surgery. So glad for Annie it has gone smoothly – wonderful when she hs been having to cope with all else that life has thrown at her. Your ethos yet again is mine Jilly, and another very good piece of advice I was once given, was never to say anything about anyone that you wouldn’t be happy to have repeated to them… So glad you are enjoying the regular Diamoniqe shows – I’m looking forward to timoro night at 9pm so long as my back stops playing up! The ring you bought was stunning – it will look gorgeous next to your wedding band I’m sure. Think I’ve found my dress, and we’ve just chosen the venue for our wedding…will give more info in next blog – exciting times! Enjoy the rest of the week and love to you and yours Jilly. Thanks as always doe the update, Ali xxx

  46. Alison Keenan September 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm -  Reply

    Dear Frances how very kind of you to have taken the time to write for the first time too! I am so glad you enjoyed the. Poppy hour – it is just the first of several we will be presenting prior to November. I have to admit to being nervous beforehand as Adrian the designer wasn’t able to make it, but the support and lovely comments on Twitter really made it for me. My grandfather was a very brave man, quiet and reserved, and altho he came home the War changed him forever… I felt very proud to share his story. Thank you again Frances and I hope this won’t be the last time you write here – love Ali x

  47. Teresa Karasavvas September 19, 2014 at 11:04 pm -  Reply

    Hello Alison I love the Greek Islands and have just returned this week from a two week stay on the beautiful Greek island of Kefalonia. Stayed in Poros which is extremely quiet and a lovely spot. I love the piece of driftwood you brought home. I took like to bring something from my holiday as a permanent reminder and this time bought an authentic Greek pot for the garden – my husband asked when we bought it “how are we going to manage that on the plane on the way home” but I said to him that I would deal with that when the time arose. I managed it and it is now sitting in my garden as a lovely reminder of a great holiday. Hoping to go back to Santorini next year. A truly amazing Greek island. Have been three times before but will never tire of it. Have you ever considered going there?

    All the best


  48. martin forbes September 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm -  Reply

    hi alison hope you enjoyed your holiday with kathy hope you are well
    i am not bad

  49. Jilly September 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali – I have just seen your tweetie thing on the side of this blog to say that you had travelled all those miles for an appointment with the Onch when it is tomorrow!!!! well the good point in all this is that you will know they way tomorrow!!!! How the time comes round so quickly though. Do let us know when you have your next date for the final (hopefully) reconstruction and wish all goes well tomorrow. We will be thinking of you so much and have a warm blanket surrounding you.
    I wanted to let you all know that his week has been good for Annie’s husband in that last night he went out to his Pool club – first time since I cannot remember and although he only played for fun he enjoyed being normal – I am sure there are so many of the army who understand what I mean by “being normal”. I was thrilled when Annie told me he was going out and just wanted to share it with you all.
    Ali I cannot wait to hear (as we will all be the same) about the wedding plans – how very exciting it all is. To find “the dress” is wonderful and you will look your usual ultra stunning. On Saturday we are having a little party in a local hall for friends who have been married 50 years so that will be fun. Although I will leave earlier as I am going on a midnight walk for the local hospice. It is only a short walk but it will be “we all stand together”.
    Must dash now as I am due back at work but thank you and this wonderful army for being here for Annie and me and each other – onwards and upwards is the moto in our household and yes Ali you are so right in don’t say anthing about anyone that you could not say to them – that way it saves so much hurt – how alike we are! Love Jilly XX

  50. Alpa September 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali,

    Like Jilly, I have just checked your blog to catch up on the Army’s news and seen your update on twitter. I’m sorry you drove that distance only to find out you have to do it again. I hope tomorrow goes as well as possible and of course we will be with you during hopefully your final reconstruction.

    I look forward to hearing about the wedding plans and am thrilled you have found ‘the dress’ You look more fabulous each time I see you.

    Jilly, thank you for sharing that Annie’s husband had a good week and was able to play pool for fun and enjoyed ‘being normal’ I do understand very well how much that means to him and to all of you. ‘Being normal’ despite how difficult it may be is something to be shouted from the rooftops πŸ™‚ I love the sound of your midnight walk for the local hospice and being united in standing together.

    How I wish people would learn not to say anything to anyone that they could not say to them. The people around me have no such restraint in doing both and there is no need to hurt anyone like that. Onwards and upwards though πŸ™‚

    Debz, how lovely to hear from you. You have been very much missed. Sending you a big hug and a special stroke to Ainzley from his Auntie Alpa x

    Love to Una and Meli, Sue, Elaine, Janet and all In Ali’s Army x

    Take care Ali,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxx

  51. jilly September 24, 2014 at 10:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali – just checking that all went well today and you are very pleased with everything that has been said – another milestone has passed and hopefully you will have dates for the final “making good” and all before your “big day”. Hope you were not late for the appointment after doing your dummy run yesterday!!! It has made me smile thinking of your face when you arrived and thought “hang on a minute…. it’s the wrong day….”
    Alpa how lovely you understand my joy and the families about Annie’s husband doing something normal – I am afraid his hand was shaking too much to play for real (result of the radio) but to just want to go out on an evening after a week ago coming out of hospital is wonderful. I feel quite sad that you don’t have such lovely people around you but never forget we are here and understand and send big hugs.
    I am busy making the table decorations for Saturday night’s party and am covered in gold glitter!!! I was also covered in gold spray paint until I found a shoe box to do some spraying in!!! If nothing else there will be a lot of gold about and a lovely evening will be had for the gathering.
    Looking forward to the update Ali and big hugs to you and everyone here. Love JillyXX

  52. alison keenan September 25, 2014 at 9:23 am -  Reply

    Dear Teresa, it seems as though we are both true fans of the Greek Islands, and indeed Colin and I visited Kefalonia in 2010 and had the most wonderful time there. Well done for managing to lug that huge pot home with you – it’s so worth it tho, as every time you look at it, you will indeed be reminded. I met someone just the other day who’d also brought something special back from her Greek Island holiday – he’s now her husband! πŸ™‚ You’re not the first person to suggest Santorini to me, and I think it may well be our next Greek trip. I did indeed visit there in 1980 but have very little recollection of what it was like. I hope you have a cracking time there. Must fly – into work today for our Christmas Event! Feels pretty parky outside too πŸ™‚ Have a lovely weekend, and thanks for writing to me, Love Ali xx

  53. alison keenan September 25, 2014 at 9:25 am -  Reply

    Hello there Martin – good to hear from you! Yes i did indeed have a wonderful time, with Kathy, and today will be only the second time I’ve seen her since with returned from Corfu! I hope you maybe have something nice planned for the weekend? They’ve promised warmer and sunnier weather which is good πŸ™‚ Take care, love Ali xx

  54. martin forbes September 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm -  Reply

    thanks for replyin alson i am having anice lazy weekend and on holiday 7 weeks on friday for 1week in november being lazy last holiday of year.

  55. alison keenan September 25, 2014 at 8:59 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Jilly, and so sorry not to have replied to you until now! I had an incredibly busy day packed full of meetings in preparation for the 13th October, and also three hours of Christmas shows! Great fun, and even bought some lights myself, but I really did want to get back to you and thank you for letting us know about Annie’s husband! Such marvellous news, and a real milestone for him. Yes, I completely understand what what you mean when you talk about ‘being normal’. Some would ask what’s normal ‘cos I guess it means different things to different people. For me it’s what I was used to, and after all that happened I had to get accept a ‘new kind of normal’ as no doubt Annie has and her husband too. Well done you for taking part in the midnight walk this weekend – doesn’t matter how far you are walking, it’s the taking part! πŸ™‚ I hope the party prior to that is fun too – don’t think I’ll ever make a 50th anniversary, but it’s a marvellous achievement and well worth celebrating. I promise to let you know a little nearer the time, all about the venue, but I may have to keep the dress a secret until the day as I want it to be a complete surprise for Colin πŸ™‚ Suffice to say, we are both very excited about it all – 2015 is going to be a very special year! I have posted a new blog, and had hoped to include my Seasonal Sound competition, but there’s a bit of red tape to get through which has taken longer than we thought, and so I will write again next week after the Breast Cancer Care Show, and include it then. You take care Jilly, love to Annie and all the family, and I look forward very much to hearing from you next week, love Ali xx

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