A Quiet Week for a change!


Well, it’s been a quiet week for me for no reason other than laryngitis and a head cold! I was really sorry not to have been able to make my Diamonique show on Tuesday, but so many thanks to Dale for covering for me – I’ll be back next Tuesday when I’ll have some really beautiful new designs from this fabulous range of jewellery.

I couldn’t quite believe that I had fallen foul of yet another bug – I think I need my holiday! Thanks so much to you for giving me such a lovely long list of places to visit on Gozo and in Malta. Colin and I always prefer to choose places on recommendation, and I will of course take loads of pictures and let you know how we get on. We’ve a fair few weeks to wait though as it’s not booked until the end of June, but as always, there’s plenty to look forward to between now and then – at the Q and at home too!

More gratitude coming your way for the many birthday wishes you sent for little Honey Bea who turned two last weekend. Lucy and I had plenty of time to talk about what kind of cake we should make, in between the rides and water show at Legoland! The weather was unfortunately foul as predicted, but with our winter coats on and plenty of walking, we didn’t get too cold.

The little train was definitely a highlight – this is Honey just before it started with a look of sheer joy – and I caught her attempting to eat this giant ice cream cone on our way to the aquarium! We had a lovely day and have vowed to go back once the weather’s warmer. I can remember going to that very same site in the late 60’s on a school trip when it was still Windsor Safari Park, and sitting in the sunshine with a picnic, looking out across the incredible views of London in the distance. All those years … where do they go?

I only had a few days to wait before I was back on the M4 heading to Lucy’s to make the cake and help her prepare for Honey’s birthday. I took my Kitchenaid with me, as she doesn’t have a mixer, and not only does it do a great job with cakes, but makes the most fabulous buttercream icing! Chocolate sponge was the order of the day, and the design was decided on, based around Honey’s favourite TV show.

She’s moved on from Peppa Pig (I’m rather sad about that ‘cos I loved the series) and she now loves Paw Patrol – a funny little cartoon series featuring rescue dogs. Sky, Rubble and Marshall are the key characters and rather than us struggle to make them out of ready to roll icing, Lucy had bought them – phew! The cake was basically a chocolate building site, crammed full confectionary, shored up with a large number of kit-kats! The butter cream was so light that we were worried it would slide off the cake, but it set perfectly and Honey was delighted with it which was all that mattered.

It was quite tasty too though and very much enjoyed by adults and children alike at the party which was held at a fabulous soft play place called Jungle Mania. Very different to the places I used to take my three to, this one was really clean and well spaced out, and the children had a ball! They even provided the food so there wasn’t really too much for us to do, except join in 🙂 More wonderful memories made, and another reason to thank our lucky stars for this little person in our lives.

Slightly taller and older person is my son Jack whom I had a really enjoyable Spa day with. He’s doing well in spite of having to cope with a lot, so it was nice to have time together to just relax. Time together is something that seems to be eluding Colin and I, as he is desperately trying to get his second Country Music album finished and produced. I remember how many months the first one took, but this has been very on and off, and it’s wonderful that finally it’s pretty much complete – and it sounds excellent!

I’ll see if I can get a link to it on the blog. The final track is the one he’s been working on, and he decided that it needed a little lift! He asked for help from a delightful bunch of folk called The Tuneless Choir who meet each Wednesday night in Maidenhead. Set up in June 2016 by Tabitha Beaven, it’s an opportunity to join a group of like minded people and “sing like no one is listening” for an hour or more! Colin needed the choir to sing a few lines to make up the chorus for the final track, and they certainly did him proud and were, I felt, in very good tune! In case you live nearby or would just like to pop along and find out more, then here’s the link – maidenhead@tunelesschior.com – I thought it was great fun 🙂

The weather certainly seems to be improving now, and my garden has gone wild with the bit of warm sunshine we had. I spent most of Saturday last week cleaning my patio with the Karcher Pressure Washer, and it looks SO much better now. The lawn though desperately needs mowing, and I have to say I was more than a tad tempted when I saw our TSV for the 20th May. It’s a Greenworks Dual Blade Cordless Battery Mower! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before, but what a joy if you’ve not got an extension cable or plug socket nearby! It’s 510027, with three EZ pays and I’m hoping Richard will let me have a go with it at 8pm on the Saturday.

I reckon it’ll be a busy weekend as Liz Earle’s Five Piece Superskin Collection is also on three EZ pays and will be revealed by Caroline Archer as our TSV on Sunday the 21st. If there’s any remaining I’ll be talking you through it at 11pm that night.

I think that’s pretty much all my news for now, but as always I’d love to catch up with yours, so do drop me a comment below and I will always reply. Actually just one more thing to mention as I’ve had a few enquiries just recently… my ‘I Hope’ range of jewellery is to soon be promoted for what could possibly be the last time, and the remaining three designs we have left are not very high in stock. I will give you item numbers and availability on the next blog but I know we have earrings, the ring and the longer length chain with the larger pendant left. Maybe I’ll be asked to create some new designs this year? Fingers crossed 🙂

Take care and have a great weekend, and all things being even, I will be back with you next Tuesday at 8pm with the lovely Tova Borgnine for Diamonique!

With my love,

Ali xx


  1. Susan May 12, 2017 at 5:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, sorry you’ve had another bug but they really are catching us all out. Definitely think it’s all the pressure we’re all under too making us susceptible. Honey’s cake is lovely as usual. You’re so creative. did you ever get to see pip’s fab cakes!? Hope jack and Sam are ok. They’ve both had a lot to cope with. You and jack look so alike! Not long to wait til your holiday lucky duck so enjoy when it comes! Take care x

    • Alison Keenan May 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Susan, good to hear from you and thanks for your kind words. Glad you liked the cake – going to check out Pip’s blog now! Sam is doing well thank you, and is being a support to Jack too which helps. Hope you enjoy the Diamonique show, and I’ll give you a wave! I hope you’re feeling well and had some of the sunshine over the weekend. Love Ali xx

  2. marie mugford May 12, 2017 at 6:56 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali I love reading your blog and sharing your news. Little Honey is so cute you are all very lucky to have her in your lives. The cake looks great by the way?
    look forward to seeing you back on air

    • Alison Keenan May 15, 2017 at 8:57 pm -  Reply

      Hi Marie, you’re right she is such a cutie, and yes we are very lucky! She sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to me, and didn’t miss a word, bless her 🙂 Glad you liked the cake! it tasted pretty good too. I will see you Tuesday night at 8pm – looking forward to it already, love Ali xx

  3. Elaine sallis May 12, 2017 at 7:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali sorry to hear you have been unwell. It seems if you pick up a bug at the beginning of the winter you get one after the other. I can’t believe Molly starts school in September. Josselin was two in February. Cali will be in her last year at junior school and poppy will move from infants to juniors. Where does s the time go. Geoff and I are going to Dorset for a few days. It’s a year since his heart attack but life still feels far from normal. Little Honey is gorgeous. Like you say we are so lucky to have our grandchildren in our lives.

    • Alison Keenan May 15, 2017 at 9:00 pm -  Reply

      Gosh Elaine, I can’t believe Molly starts school in September either! I remember you sending me the photocopied photograph of Poppy’s little face to me all those years ago 🙂 How time flies when it’s full of dear little souls like these. I’m sorry to hear that Geoff is still struggling following his heart attack. He must be kind to himself, although I am sure it must be frustrating for him and difficult for you too… It just takes time and I hope that your break in Dorset will be good for both of you. Take care of each other, and let me know how you get on. With love, Ali xxx

  4. Mandy May 13, 2017 at 11:59 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, thanks for your lovely reply- it brightened my day. Did you receive my card I sent? I do hope so, thought it would make you smile. Sorry you’ve been suffering with laryngitis. I’ve had it a few times, usually when I’m run down so yes, I think your body is crying out for a rest & some sunshine! Its so frustrating not to be able to shout hubby when he’s outside or upstairs although I think my husband was glad to have a break from my non stop chatter lol. The photos of Honey Bea are so cute- I just see you when I look at her face, she has the same sparkle in her eye. The cake looks fab & I imagine everyone loved it. We’ve been in the garden too, it was neglected last year due to my illness & not being able to touch plants etc in case I got an infection (groan) I managed to mow the grass last week whilst my neighbours looked on with smiles on their faces & the usual banter which is lovely. They have been a great support & kept me company having chats over the fence whilst I was off work. It’s nice to brush against my lavender again & my herbs are growing well hooray. Talking of LEGOLAND, we are going to the Art of the Brick exhibition in London next week with my husband’s cousin & his family which should be fun. They have two boys aged 5 & almost 7 so are Lego mad, like my hubby lol. I need to check out your Hope jewellery before it goes as I would like a piece as a keepsake & to wear with pride. Hope you feel better soon Ali & look forward to seeing you on our screens. Have a lovely week

    Love & Hugs
    Mandy xx

    • Alison Keenan May 15, 2017 at 9:07 pm -  Reply

      My dear Mandy I did indeed receive your beautiful card and your photographs and I had every intention of writing back to you before the lurgy hit! There is a response in the post though, and I can’t tell you how happy it made me to read your words and to know how brilliantly you’ve done. You’ve been through so much, and yet remain positive, happy and hopeful. It’s all any of us could ask to be. Your neighbours sound delightful and I am certain they are equally pleased to see your strength return and life return to your garden. Do let me know how you get on at the Art of the Brick exhibition in London? It does sound fun – even my older lads would enjoy it I’m sure! I would be delighted if you managed to get a piece of the I Hope jewellery before it sells out. I promise to put all the information on the blog next time. I think it should be online though on QVCUK though. I’ll have some more photos of Honey too as I’m staying over again at the end of this week – we may even go swimming! I’ll give you a wave during my 8pm Diamonique show and thank you so much for taking the time to write to me here as well as with your beautiful card. It means a great deal. Enjoy your week, love Ali xx

  5. Tricia coulsonwood May 13, 2017 at 4:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, hope your feeling better, I think a good holiday will be very beneficial.My daughter who like you has been left with a really bad back and neuropathy takes a “blocker” drug, side effects extreem drowsiness but it helps with those awful symptoms..
    I was hoping to go away on a cruise to the Fjords for my big birthday in August but three months back I tripped UP a stone step in the garden and ruptured and dislocated ligaments in my knee, I now wear a knee brace and for some obscure reason my knee has totally locked in straight position.I cannot bend it no matter how I try.I see a consultant on the 18th May so see what he suggests..Getting around on crutches but its more difficult as I get older..
    I have to say Honey Bee is so gorgeous and scrumptious , you must be so happy with her..belated happy birthday x.
    My own daughter Liz who is a foster carer has applied and been granted special guardianship of her two siblings..That means they can now call her mum and my son in law Dad..also use their surname, they are 6 & 4 yrs old and it really helps them to feel they belong to a real family and not thought of as foster children. So once again I am a new nana , we love them as our own..So after months of hasstle for my daughter she has a happy ending..love to all and the group. Tricia x

    • Alison Keenan May 15, 2017 at 9:11 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Tricia, yes thank you I’m feeling a lot better and my voice has come back which is a relief! I’m sorry your daughter is also going through the same kind of thing with her back and the neuropathy. Mine is only in my toes now, but the “blocker” drug sounds interesting. Only problem is I’d be stuck with the drowsy element of this because of my shifts, and driving home late. I do hope though that you will get some relief from your knee issues when you visit your consultant on the 18th? How dreadfully frustrating and painful for you! I don’t think I’d cope at all well with crutches – I remember how hard it was for my poor Sam all those years back. On a brighter note how wonderful for your Liz to be able to adopt her little foster family! That’s is great news! Wonderful for Liz and her husband, but so good to know that these little souls will have a real family that they will belong to permanently. Makes me feel incredibly happy for them all. And you are a new nanna! It’s all good. Take care and thanks for keeping me in touch with your life. Always love to hear from you, love Ali xx

  6. Chris Page May 13, 2017 at 11:08 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, It’s my 49th on Wednesday – did my little friend Honey save me some of that yummy cake? I’ve treated myself to a Bose Soundlink Color II bluetooth speaker. It has incredible bass for such a small unit. Hope Colin’s album comes together OK. Did you both see the recent BBC documentary on The Shires? They’re one of my favourite British country acts.

    All the best,

    Chris x

    • Alison Keenan May 15, 2017 at 9:14 pm -  Reply

      Dear Chris HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR WEDNESDAY! Same day as my niece Verity! So sorry I didn’t save you any cake, although there was definitely plenty left over! Great choice of present for yourself – the Bose speakers are superb. I have the Soundlink that came out before the Colour, and you’re right the bass is remarkable on something so small. I didn’t see the documentary on The Shires, but I will ask Colin and we could always get it on Catch up. I hope maybe you’ll enjoy Colin’s new album from The Sonny Walters Band. Take care and thanks for writing, love Ali x

  7. Judith Lennon May 14, 2017 at 4:13 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    Well yet again you’ve been a busy bee. Looks like lots of fun was had at the birthday girls party, and what a cake.! I bet it was tasty. Lots of future parties to enjoy I’m sure and I bet Honey was spoiled rotten. I sometimes wonder who enjoys them the most, the grown ups or the little people. Nice photo of you and Jack. He has your smile. Well I’ve been busy myself getting ready for our holiday cruise up to the Baltic. John and I are celebrating a big birthday each this year so we are treating ourselves to a cruise from North Shields, 10 minutes from our home in Whitley Bay. We go next Sunday and I am so excited I feel like a child on Christmas Eve. Two whole weeks exploring around and a special night at the ballet in St Petersburg to see Swan Lake. The best bit is having no luggage stipulation on weight so I am having the time of my life making decisions of what to take and then changing my mind. I think I now have a good choice of light and heavier clothes. The weather can be very uncertain so I am taking no chances. Our family will be on the headland waving us off as we leave the Tyne. This is such a different type of holiday for us as we both love the sunshine. However, it’s good to do something different. We will probably need a holiday to recover from this one… Hope you are feeling better this week. You seem to be picking up loads of bugs but am sure your impending holiday will do the trick. Take care of yourself and as always love and hugs. Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan May 15, 2017 at 9:19 pm -  Reply

      Wow Judith! What an incredibly exciting trip ahead of you. And such a great choice to make a change from the usual hot holiday. I have never been to the Baltic, and so will look forward very much to hearing how you got on. The ballet will no doubt be superb! Equally exciting to be able to pack what you want, and take accessories, shoes, jewellery and a choice of outfits! I have never managed to travel light however hard I try! I hope that both you and John have a fabulous time. I am very much looking forward to my break, although I seem to have been away from work for rather a long while this month already! I think as you say, when you’re tired you’re more inclined to pick up bugs! Take care of each other, and thanks for your kind words on the blog. It was lovely to have time with Jack – we are able to see a little more of each other these days which is always a bonus. Love Ali xx

  8. Christine May 14, 2017 at 5:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali sorry to hear you have cold think weather is weird one minute cold and the warm. Your grand daughter is beautiful I can’t believe she is two. The cake looks good you are clever lady. Love Liz Earle products.

    Take Care X

    • Alison Keenan May 15, 2017 at 9:20 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Christine, I think you may well be right about the weather, and the effect it can have as it’s so changeable! Glad you liked the cake, and yes Honey is such a beautiful little soul. full of beans and very chatty too – understands a great deal more than you’d imagine for just two years old! I too use Liz Earle’s products – don’t miss Sunday’s TSV! Love Ali xx

  9. Christine Auchterlonie May 15, 2017 at 12:40 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali … glad you’re feeling a bit better and will be back on screen soon ….Some lovely pictures of Honey and the birthday cake looked “yummee ” I think your right a holiday would be the answer …I bet you’re looking forward to it… I’m going over to the west coast with Fiona for a few days to visit my cousin and her husband and hopefully have a couple of days out and a couple of nice meals with them …it is always a tad warmer on the west coast but looking at the weather forecast we could be in for some rainy days …. Boo ….Fiona is taking her wet suit she knows of a couple of places where she can get some practice in for the Lake swim next month she is taking my older granddaughter Jessica this year to Windermere as she is doing her first open water swim… They are doing the swim for the Sepsis Trust ..so I hope that they do well. How’s the album going for Colin look forward to an update….I’m hoping to tune in for your Diamonique show with Tova ….. So until next time take care with love … Chris x

    • Alison Keenan May 15, 2017 at 9:24 pm -  Reply

      Hello there Chris, always good to hear from you, and to know that you are being looked after and have plenty planned to look forward to. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you get some warm days and that the rain holds off. Crikey your Fiona is made of strong stuff – I really don’t like swimming in cold water very much. Sounds as though Jessica is from the same mould tho – well done to the pair of them – and wonderful that it is for such a great cause. Colin’s getting through the album, but it’s always the last finishing touches that take so long. Hopefully not much longer now. I do hope you can make it for the Diamonique show with Tova and that you’ll be able to Tweet?! I ‘ll look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for writing to me, and keeping us in touch with your life. Take good care of yourself, love Ali xx

  10. Joanna Downey May 16, 2017 at 5:58 am -  Reply

    Morning Ali, What a lush cake & such a dear little girl who obviously had a wonderful birthday. You asked the question I often do about time passing so quickly, my sister always quotes John Lennon back to me & Colin just says that I’ve been having a lovely life with him, which is true! You definitely do need a holiday & to lose your voice when it is such a huge part of your job is a pest. I’ve spent many a day squeaking away in front of students & ending up with no voice by the time I’ve got home. I’m also not surprised that there are so many infections zooming around as the weather doesn’t seem to know what it’s doing, I was looking forward to the promised heatwave this week but looking at the sky I think it’ll be layers & a large brolly today. I’m also hobbling at present after doing something odd to my foot; I was kneeling on a tiled floor while painting a table & didn’t realise that my foot had gone to sleep, I moved & it didn’t. While I was in this awkward situation Sox, our beautiful cat, walked up to the table & I had visions of him getting paint on his paws & then taking it through the house. I tried reverse psychology on him by doing that ‘cat call’ we do & rubbing my fingers together, he gave me the look that said “I give affection on my terms” & went into the garden – success but a sore foot & a table that doesn’t look how I thought it would. As long as I can walk around Chelsea next week I’ll be happy. Love to you & to your Jack from Jo xx

    • Alison Keenan May 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Jo, lovely to hear from you, although I’m sorry you’ve got a bad foot! Maybe you trapped a nerve or two – I hope it will be better for you in time for the Chelsea Flower Show. You made me laugh with your reverse psychology for Sox! They are so good at appearing to be aloof and disinterested I know, but I am relieved that he avoided the newly painted table and went outside instead. I was planning a walk today before work, but in between the sunny spells it’s lashing down with rain! I just put my towels out on the washing line and am regretting it. You’re right – my holiday and the sunshine will be very welcome. Take care and thanks for your kind words – I’ll pass them on to Jack. Love Ali xx

  11. Susan Huskisson May 16, 2017 at 8:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali. Good to see you back on air tonight and glad you’re feeling better!
    Honey’s birthday looked great fun and what a cake! You and Lucy certainly did her proud. I loved the photo of Honey licking the giant ice cream, it was bigger than her! May I ask about your book? Is it going to be on sale at QVC? I’ve been looking out for it and I don’t think I’ve missed it!
    We’ve not seen our Charlie for a couple of weeks but hope to see him before they go on holiday on June 17 th. They change so quickly at that age don’t they. Glad you liked the photo of him with his Chuggington toy. He looked quite cheeky didn’t he?
    I’ve just bought the Yankee candle tsv and am looking forward to the Margaret Dabbs one at midnight. There’s quite a lot of temptation at the moment with the mini series of L’occitane. What are you doing to me QVC??
    I’ll say bye for now Ali and look forward to your next blog. Love Sue xx

    • Alison Keenan May 24, 2017 at 8:04 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Sue, and thanks for the lovely comment and also for keeping up with the Tweets for the Diamonique Shows! Always very welcome. Your dear little Charlie is very sweet – and yes, little boys have a way of looking charming but cheeky! I do hope you get to see him before his holiday on the 17th June. Bless you for asking about the book. No, you haven’t missed it, I finished writing it at the end of last year, but it may be a wee while before it’s actually published. I can’t say much, as nothing is confirmed, but suffice to say, QVC will be selling it as and when it’s in print! So glad you’ve been finding so much to treat yourself with, although I know what’s it like when everything is EXACTLY what you wanted! At least these TSV’s have all been really well priced, and definitely spoilies. Take care and thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  12. Karen Jenkins May 17, 2017 at 8:00 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, sorry to hear you haven’t been too well but glad to hear you are feeling better now. what stunning photos of Honey, she must make your heart sing and 2 already !! where does the time go ? I have a photo of Hallie with glasses on too, just like yours of Honey, so funny. Looks like you all enjoyed the party and the cake looked delicious, you will have to start thinking of a new theme ready for next year, it will be here before you know it !!
    I am so excited to say that I will be going on Hols to Florida in 2 weeks time along with Hallie who I can’t wait to see in Disneyland. My oncologist has agreed that it is a good time to go now so we jumped at the chance. I have had to put chemo on hold from today as I need an iron infusion first and unfortunately I have had pain in my groin and down my leg for a week or so because of the cancer in my hip socket and will now have to have radiotherapy before I go too. As long as I can go I will do whatever is necessary as I have promised to go with Hallie for a good while now and to be fair I don’t know who is more excited, Hallie or me haha.
    It is so lovely to read your blog as usual Ali and I am so pleased that all is well in your life, look forward to the next one, love to you & yours. Karen xx

    • Alison Keenan May 24, 2017 at 8:39 pm -  Reply

      Hello there Karen, so good to hear from you, and as always your positive attitude and determination are uplifting. I’m so glad that you oncologist has agreed to let you travel, and I’m certain with the targeted results from the radiotherapy your hip will ease. I remember being allowed to go to Spain for a five day break while on chemo, and it was bliss to be away from it all for a wee while. I am certain Hallie will be beside herself when she gets to Disneyland, and I’m certain it will do you the world of good to just escape into that magical world too 🙂 So glad you enjoy the blog as I know it’s not just me who enjoys hearing from you. Take care, and love to you and yours. Ali xx

  13. Linda Finch,, May 19, 2017 at 10:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali ,so glad your feeling much better, I too think you are ready for your holiday, we haven’t been to Malta ourselves but my Mum and Dad went a few times and loved it,sadly I can’t ask them for any recommendations, but iam sure you will love it . We have just had a good time in and around York ,we did well with the weather, had a good few days of sun ,especially loved the Shambles, stood and watched them making fudge ,then John had to go in and buy himself some ,it’s far too sweet for me ,we had a trip to Knaresborough and just our luck it was market day, I just love markets and it was really warm ,then we just had to have fish and chips in a lovely place called Drakes Fish Restaurant, if you are ever up that way I can recommend it,tea and bread and butter too .Our last trip before we came home was to Whitby, it’s a place we can get to easily from home but we love it so it just finished the holiday of nicely. John received his letter today about his knee replacement he has to be in hospital for 7am on Friday 9june so fingers crossed everything goes well, I will keep you posted. Honey looked as though she really enjoyed her birthday, time really does fly when that age ,as you say times have really changed for places to hold party’s from when ours were young ,,Ellie has been to swimming partys ,spar afternoons but one she really liked was at a place called jump near us and it’s all small trampolines, the ones built into the ground so you can jump from one to the other which I think is much safer than the big ones , wish Colin luck with his new Album and will we be able to buy it .lots of love Linda F xx

    • Alison Keenan May 24, 2017 at 10:31 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Linda, Lovely to hear about your visit to York, Knaresborough and then Whitby. I’ve always wanted to go there, and it’s definitely on my list of places to visit in this country! So much of it I’ve never seen and I don’t remember the last time I had fish and chips! Great news that John now has a date for his knee replacement, and I will keep everything crossed for you both. I’m sure it will go well and that he will feel the improvement. Roz’s Chris had his knee sorted a couple of months back and he’s now feeling far better. It sounds as though Ellie’s had her share of exciting parties over the years, but I do like the sound of the trampolining venue. I like you mainly had parties at home, but for my 9th birthday my mum and dad took me and my little friends to The Burford Bridge Hotel in Dorking – I’ve never forgotten it; wonderful memories. I’ll pass on your best wishes to Colin and of course let you know when the album is available. Enjoy the sunshine, love Ali xx

  14. Mary Morphy May 21, 2017 at 7:52 am -  Reply

    Happy Sunny Sunday morning Alison. It 7am and the sun is bursting through the window with a big smile on it’s face..And Olly is curled up asleep beside me having had the last piece of my digestive biscuits which accompanied my morning coffee..I am so delighted you recovered well after your illness and have enjoyed time with the family. Cannot believe Lucy is two..Time flies and her cake was fabulous although Paw Patrol came just after my kids grew past that TV stage but I love Pepper Pig.. Apparently there have been new episodes commissioned?. Cricket season is upon on and usually on a Sunday we are heading off to cricket but our match today was conceded so we have won without travelling and I can finish painting the cabin. What a job it’s been; it was a red cedar colour but now is resplendent in a lovely sage green….Three coats to cover and it’s a big cabin but my sister has a paint sprayer…A very lovely thing!! We did the green last Saturday and yesterday , by hand started the apex, window and door frames and some of the door. I chose a pale cream and we needed 5 coats but it’s looking amazing. I have ordered some lovely cafe nets for the windows and will send before and after photos when fully finished. My task for half term is to turn the inside into a cosy retreat rather than a dumping ground! I need a good sort out and as I no longer have time to craft will take most of my craft stuff to school as we do lots of craft with the children in the Alternative Curriculum unit I work in and I will keep a few bits just in case. I have already bought a few nic nacks for the inside to keep me motivated and get it finished!
    I am so pleased you and Jack had some mum/ son time..It’s so important. I don’t see Jack much at the mo..Only when he’s hungry!! He has a part time job in a little grocers in Westgate and is still caddying and plays golf when he isn’t working. He has had no luck getting a full time job despite hundreds of applications so he has decided to apply to the Government International Citizenship Overseas scheme where, if chosen, he goes to the a third world country on a volunteer scheme for three months to help with building, education etc. He has passed his three phone interviews and is waiting for his assessment date.Just deciding to apply makes me very proud. He feels a bit worthless at the mo and wants to do something that he can feel makes a difference and to boost his self esteem and confidence. I am keeping my fingers crossed as this I am sure, could be life changing for him.
    Chloe is happily playing cricket and planning her ‘proper’ D of E Gold expedition having completed her practice one at Easter. She is also doing her AS exams at the mo but is pretty calm about them. They get their DOf E awards at the Palace from Prince Andrew and I am going too..We wanted Harry!!!
    Anyway, it’s almost walk time on the beach..I had my first paddle yesterday but it was very cold..The dogs went straight in although Olly only has short legs and got submerged by a small wave yesterday..He still went back for more!
    Have a great weekend and hope you and Colin manage to spend some of it together.
    We celebrated out first year of have the Bake and Alehouse on BH Monday..How quick was that! Me and John are like passing ships in the night…I am in bed when he gets home and out at work before he gets up!!! Then I am working and when I get home he’s gone to work!!
    Much love Mary xx

    • Alison Keenan May 24, 2017 at 10:57 pm -  Reply

      Oh Mary I could so do with your enthusiasm and work ethic when it comes to sorting out our summer house (snazzy title for a messy shed!) So glad you had the paint sprayer! Colin made short work of creosoting our new flower bed and wooden wall with one that he bought for the purpose, but not easy to wash it out and use it for anything else 🙂 I’m sorry you’re not seeing your Jack very often and that life is tough for him. I was so pleased though to hear about the Citizenship Overseas scheme and you’re right to be proud. I have heard some wonderful feedback and my friend’s daughter is currently in Africa and has been for the last three months. She is thoroughly enjoying her time. Lucy suggested something similar to my Jack, but I think it’s rather early days for him. He works in a store at weekends but is taking on more hours from next week. It’s so difficult trying to find something that will boost their confidence and self-esteem… we mums are always telling our children how proud we are of them and how well we know they’re doing, but when things get tough, they need to hear it from other folk too. I hope it all comes together for your Jack – do keep me in touch won’t you. I’m glad though that Chloe is sorting her life and her exams out – I hope the cricket goes as well for her too. It’s Colin’s birthday next week and so I’ve managed to get most of the children together this Saturday for a BBQ. It’s meant to be warm and sunny so should be fun. It’ll be lovely to have some time together as a family, and maybe you and your John should put a day aside in the not too distant future to spend together on the beach or in your newly painted cosy retreat…. it would be something to look forward to 🙂 I hope you and Olly enjoyed your walk on the beach – oh how I wish I lived nearer the seaside on days like today. It was beautiful, and I spent most of it sorting my pots and mowing the lawn. It makes all the difference to me when the sun shines. I will look forward to seeing your photos and thanks as always for keeping in touch. So glad you’re still enjoying the blog and my photos of Honey – bound to be more in the next blog – would be rude not to! Take care, love Ali xx

  15. Jilly May 23, 2017 at 8:48 pm -  Reply

    Good evening Ali and how lovely it feels to be back…..I have spent the last three months moving my 86 year old mum from her home to the Lakes in order that she can be near Annie and the family. Our house is now on the market and we will make the move once it is sold we are there most weekends which is great. . My mum has at least one thousand books which she wanted to take with her ( most still in boxes!!!). We moved her first then did the house empty when she was out of the way. It is wonderful that she has settled so well and is loving it in the Lakes. I have hardly seen any tv because each evening has been spent packing or chucking out !!!!!! All done now and delighted when I could turn the tv on and see the funny picture of Honey in your glasses. So funny. Can hardly believe she is now two. Where have the years gone???
    I shall now go and catch up on all everyone’s news but look forward to what has been happening etc. Annie and her family are good. She loves loving living in the Lakes and for grandson to have his great grandma living in the garden (not literally) is a delight for him as well as her. Catch up soon love Jilly xx

    • Alison Keenan May 24, 2017 at 11:02 pm -  Reply

      Dear Jilly it’s lovely to have you back! I have been wondering how your Lake District family were getting on and hadn’t realised you’d been involved in relocating your mum there! Gosh that’s a major upheaval at any age but at 86 it’s admirable. Well done you for making it happen and I’m really glad to know that she is happy and settled. So important that she spends time with Annie and the family, and I hope very much that it won’t take long for you to sell your house and get over there permanently with them. My friend Julie and her family have been in the Lakes since last Thursday and have been having a wonderful time. The photos she has been posting are sublime. I’ve not been there for far too long, and would like to visit again with Colin one day… all these plans – I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever have the time to fulfil any of them! So glad you liked the photos and the blog – yes, that picture of Honey is one of my favourites and makes me laugh every time I see it. Keep smiling, and I hope you are able to spend this Bank Holiday weekend with your mum, Annie and the rest of the family. With my love to you all, Ali xxx

  16. Denise May 23, 2017 at 9:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, sorry to hear you’ve not been too well it does seem like you are ready for a holiday and June will be here soon enough. We leave for our break in Italy next week and it can’t come soon enough although I’m suffering the usual dilemma of what and what not to take.
    I’m so pleased that Honey enjoyed her Birthday and that cake looks so scrummy!
    I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time last week with my grandson which was just a delight he’s such a contented little fellow and I love the gummy smiles I get from him! My son sent me a video he’d recorded on his phone of the 2 of them playing peek a boo and he (baby) is chuckling away – it’s so cute. It always brings a smile to my face when I watch it.
    I spent a lovely day in London yesterday catching with my friend who lives on the south coast. We decided to visit St Pauls which was wonderful and then spent some time in Covent Garden. As you know I like my travels and I adore the Stanfords book shop so we spent some time in there. I bought a couple of books one is an Italian phrase book and the other a book that’s set in Umbria. I started reading the book on my train journey home and enjoying it so far.
    Take care
    Love Denise xx

    • Alison Keenan May 24, 2017 at 11:10 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Denise, good to hear from you, and thank you for your kind words and concern. I’ve a had a few days in the sunshine and am feeling much better thank you – I hope your holiday packing is going well and am sure that your Italian adventure will be sunny 🙂 I’m so glad to know that you were able to spend time with your grandson last week, and ain’t technology grand! All these little films and photographs and visual conversations means we never really feel out of touch, and I love that. What a glorious day to have been in London. The sun shone constantly here and I hope it was the same for you. I know the bookshop you are talking of, and I really enjoy exploring that part of London. I remember there used to be a fabulous antique bookshop just off Soho Square… it’s probably gone now but I found some beautiful Tennyson poetry books signed “To Nell, 1918” – they are very precious to me. I hope you manage to pick up a few Italian phrases – it really is such a fabulous language – and I’m glad you’re enjoying the book about Umbria. Ciao for now! Enjoy your holiday and I’ll look forward to hearing from you once you’re back. Love Ali xxxx

  17. Lorraine gray May 24, 2017 at 8:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, always enjoy reading your blog and sharing your lovely photos.
    So glad you have recovered from your laryngitis and back on our screens again. I must say how stylish you looked on Tuesdays Diamonique show, that lime green colour really suited you.
    Honey Bea looks so much like you and is such a sweet, happy little girl. I cannot believe she is two already! How soon they grow up!
    I have a friend who lives in Malta. It looks an idyllic location,especially Gozo. I am sure you will both have a wonderful holiday there. Looking forward to seeing the photos on your blog.
    Take care, love Lorraine.xx

  18. Tabitha Beaven June 12, 2017 at 1:08 pm -  Reply

    Ahh Ali, we loved having Colin come and record with the Tuneless Choir and of course, we got the pleasure of you singing with us too! So lovely to see it covered in your blog here. Long live the concept of ‘singing like no one is listening’ – it really is so good for us! xx

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