Reading, writing and everything in between!


Mid-way through October, and I had to discard my vest and swap my over the knee boots for peep toe sandals! Thanks so much for your lovely comments about ‘A New Kind of Normal’ – I was genuinely moved by what you had to say, and am all the more determined to get it out there for you to read. Thanks too for the response to my request for a few readers for the book. I’ve made the draw and will let you know who you are at the end of the blog – exciting!

My obsession with the skyline, sunrises and sunsets, led me to insist that my poor daughter screech to a halt in Asda’s car park so I could commit this rather beautiful memory to camera! I knew you’d approve though, and hope that Lucy has by now forgiven me! ☺

Of course she should really have featured in my last blog as it was her birthday on the 12th, but I thought it may be nicer for you if I was able to include some photos and let you know what we got up to. Very hard for me to believe that it’s been 33 years since Lucy was born, but like most of us mums, it’s something I’ll always remember. Lucy was actually born 10 days early, and caught me slightly off guard as I’d been planning to nip into Colchester and buy some baby clothes! It’s lovely showing Honey photographs of her mum when she was little, because she ALWAYS recognises her which I think is amazing. Mind you looking at these photographs there is more than just a passing resemblance!

I made Lucy a cake, but took the buttercream and decorations with me, so that while Lucy was out at parent’s evening, Honey and I could put it all together! We had a whole mix of sugar sparkles, baubles, confectionary rabbits, and of course candles. I realised I’d brought a couple of Christmas ones too, so we added those in – would have been rude not to! She was understandably very proud of the finished article, and I have to say that mummy was equally thrilled.

We had dinner at Nando’s the night before, and then breakfast out on Lucy’s birthday itself. How posh is this? Eggs Benedict with haggis – all courtesy of the Cricklade village cafe! Absolutely delicious. My birthday gift to Lucy is a weekend away at the end of the month to Bluestone National Park Resort with Honey and Colin. It’s a bit like Center Parcs – not that I’ve been there – but Lucy loved it when she visited before and so did Honey. I feel a few photo opportunities coming on!

Of course in recognition of Lucy’s age I realise that I’m getting ever closer to the big 60! I have definitely noticed a difference in my skin over the last six months, and so I’ve made a few changes to my beauty routine. After listening to Jackie Kabler’s endorsement of Judith William’s Retinol Science Concentrate, I added that in, but have also seen an improvement since applying Elemis’s Overnight Matrix and the Ultra Rich Pro Collagen Marine Cream. I saw the lovely Keeley Aydin yesterday and she said she could see my skin was more hydrated so I’m definitely going to stick with these changes for the next few months.

Of course I’m very lucky to be treated to a full make-over before I ever go on air, and over time I’ve learned quite a lot from our lovely make-up artists. That said, decent products really make a difference and I’m really glad to know that the fabulous Mally Roncal will be back with us on the 24th October with her 12-piece “It’s Your Time To Shine” make-up collection. It will include all three of her amazing mascaras, three gel waterproof eyeliners, three evercolour shadow sticks, and three gorgeous Kiss Me lipglosses. There is a massive saving on the price, and Mally has also included three gift boxes in case you wanted to gift the products separately. Make a note so you don’t miss it!

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve picked two names out of the proverbial hat, and am happy to say that Jo Downey and Jill Turner will be receiving a copy of the book to read through. Ladies, I’ll be emailing you a PDF version of the manuscript. It means a huge amount to me that you are prepared to take the time out to let me know your thoughts, and I’m keeping everything crossed that you enjoy what you read.

You will of course have realised by the time you get this, that although I welcomed the return to my regular 8pm Tuesday show last week, it was shunted up the schedule to midnight last night so that I could introduce you to our Diamonique TSV – the dramatic 6ct earrings in the giftable bauble. I hope you liked them. But, I will be back next Tuesday at 8pm with what then promises to be a regular show!

Talking of TSVs, we have a really rare treat from Shay and Blue – the British fragrance brand – who have not only the intoxicating Black Tulip, but also the Atropa and Belladonna favourites in a four piece collection! Fancy trying it out? Don’t forget you have an extended money back guarantee until the 25th January, so if you’re buying this as a gift for someone it takes away any uncertainty and in my humble opinion, is the ONLY way to buy fragrance.

Well, the next time I write I should have publication details (visit my site for more details) or  follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates on the book. I have interviews lined up with BBC Berkshire, BBC Shropshire and BBC Radio London, so am feeling incredibly lucky that already the book is raising awareness. Thank you for all your support and kind words… you are my inspiration.

Have a great week, and I look forward to hearing from you,
Love Ali xxx


  1. Christine October 17, 2018 at 2:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali you are a very busy lady, you just look after everyone, hope you have time for yourself. Just hope you get your book on print. Love Shay & Blue Blood a Orange got it last year for Christmas.
    Had offer on the house but they have to sell there’s first,
    Take Care x

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 10:42 pm -  Reply

      I too love the Blood Orange, and I hope you got it in the TSV! Fingers crossed for the house sale. Love Ali xx

  2. Elaine sallis October 17, 2018 at 2:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali my daughter is 34 and my son 37. Where did that time go. We went to bluestones two years ago with Jodie and Tom and the children. We loved it, so much so that we are going again next summer. I hope you are all ok. Elaine x

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 10:45 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Elaine, just back from a lovely three day break at Bluestones, and we really enjoyed ourselves. The swimming pool is fab and the scenery and walks just perfect. I hope you manage to go next summer. Love Ali xx

  3. Debbie October 17, 2018 at 2:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, a lovely blog as usual. Can’t believe how much Lucy and Honey look alike, can’t mistake them as mother and daughter!! Glad you all enjoyed the birthday celebrations. I am waiting with baited breath for your book. I think it’s you that are the inspiration. Thanks for sneak peek of the Shay and Blue Tsv, I will be setting my alarm for just before midnight to get mine as i’m sure it will be popular. Take care until the next blog. Debbie X

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 10:47 pm -  Reply

      Hi Debbie, you are right about Lucy and Honey do look very alike, and it’s lovely for me to see that – like reliving those years again! I am so excited to see the book out there… it would be wonderful if it gave hope to just one person! I hope you got your Shay and Blue TSV Love Ali x

  4. Joanna Downey October 17, 2018 at 9:17 pm -  Reply

    Hello Lovely, Super photos, as always, & I too have to hold on to beautiful skies. We’ve had a busy couple of weeks including seeing Tony Hadley TWICE, last Monday at Symphony Hall & last night we stayed in town & saw him at the Palladium. Colin & I love his new album & the following quote is written in the CD cover (we love CDs as well) “Haven’t we all, at some point in our lives, gazed up into the night sky, stared at the moon and the stars, and wondered what it was all about? Maybe talked to the moon and asked for a little help, maybe looked for answers, or just been amazed at its beauty?”. They were super concerts & sandwiched my night with JOANNA LUMLEY. She was absolutely fabulous, I was wearing a red jacket & sitting in an aisle seat & it was clear to see that she ‘spotted’ people to talk to, I was one of them! Now I’ve done all that gushing I have to congratulate Honey on her fabulous decorating skills – Junior GBBO methinks & yes, she’s Lucy’s double. Oh Ali, you mentioned the big 60, mine’s happening this Saturday & it heralds the arrival of a decade I have dreaded for a long time, seeing the glorious JL has mitigated it a tad & I just keep thinking that in my head I’m still 9, my favourite age, so will deal with it & stop moaning, I wonder if a Shay & Blue gift to myself would ease the ouch. Finally, it was with a huge amount of emotion & pleasure that I saw my name as one of your book reviewers. I am honoured & humbled &, of course, I will give you full & honest feedback. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 10:52 pm -  Reply

      Oh Jo I am so envious of you having seen Joanna Lumley – and it takes a lot for me to admit to being envious as I was brought up to believe it wasn’t polite..! Thrilled for you that she chose to talk to you, and I’m sure it made a wonderful evening even more perfect. So glad that we share a love of the moon and the skies generally. I found a fabulous article in a magazine about the clouds and it was fascinating to see how they are formed. How did you get on the with the Shay and Blue TSV? And how are you getting on with the book? I have been incredibly flattered with the reviews received on Amazon for the Kindle, and am fingers crossed that the paperback will be just as well received… a miracle! Love to you, from me xx

  5. Karen B October 17, 2018 at 9:22 pm -  Reply

    Lovely blog as ever. Gorgeous cake and lovely pic of Lucy and Honey, they look so alike. Ive ordered the Black Tulip as its such a lovely, rich fragrance. Fantastic value set and cant wait to try the White Peach. Take care x x

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 10:56 pm -  Reply

      Black Tulip is my favourite too!!!! So hope you enjoy it Love Ali xx

  6. Loraine Plumb October 17, 2018 at 9:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison how honey and Lucy look alike I will post a picture of Clare and Willa together if I can on twitter they were almost identical when Clare was little and I think there’s a true likeness now. Hope your book is coming along ok will look forward to it. We are looking forward to Gary’s 30th birthday meal in a couple of weeks and then he will be off to Germany for his surprise break.The weather has certainly changed hasn’t it but we have had a good summer and mild autumn so far.I might give Judith Williams products a try at some point I envy you being able to try such alot of lovely products.Best wishes to you’ll be Loraine xx😊

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:00 pm -  Reply

      I’d love to see the photo of Clare and Willa… it’s not until we see them together that we appreciate how alike they look. I find the fact that their hair is a different colour makes it difficult for me to see the likeness, but as they get older it is more obvious. I’m thinking you have probably had Gary’s 30th birthday by now? I do hope you all had a good time? fingers crossed you saw the sunshine? It really has been the most incredible year for sunshine – one of the best since 1976. And yes, you’re right, I’m very lucky to get the chance to try all these lovely products… mind you 30 day money back makes it a good deal too! Speak soon, love Ali x

  7. Beverley Klymkiw October 18, 2018 at 10:38 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, always enjoy your blogs, photos etc. You have a lovely family. Little Honey is a real sweetie. Don’t worry about hitting 60, you’ll sail through it. Looking forward to your book.

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:02 pm -  Reply

      Beverley, I so hope you’re right! I think the secret is keeping busy, which I intend to try to maintain 🙂 Honey keeps me young. Fingers crossed you’ve found the website and ordered the book? I’ll have a link on the next blog. Take care, love Ali x

  8. Judith Lennon October 18, 2018 at 5:35 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    I’ve just come in from the garden having twisted John’s arm to plant some bulbs for me! I’m still banned from any strenuous exercise. It is a beautiful day and spending time in the fresh air was lovely. Like you I shed some extra layers of clothing the other day unlike adding them when we returned from Cyprus. I was so cold I went to bed in my jumper and trousers. It was 3.30 am and I was both cold and tired!! We had a lovely lazy holiday and the warmth was so good. The shoulder is rebelling big time and reacts badly to the new physio exercises. I will see what the consultant says in two weeks. Honey is the double of Lucy and I loved her cake. Happy times. Your picture was lovely of the sky. I love this time of year when everything is changing colour out doors. The only problem we have is we are surrounded by trees. It’s a never ending if not an impossible job to clear them. I also loved the response to,your book post in your last blog. I will definitely get a copy when it’s published. I think it will help so many people. Well done you 👏. I will close now and send love and hugs as always. Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:08 pm -  Reply

      Ooh you’re lucky getting John to do planting for you. Colin is up to his armpits in building work – not ours – so anything to do with home is on the back burner at the moment. Cyrpus is so lovely isn’t it, and wonderful to think that at this time of the year it’s still so warm! I think my Cozee Home sheets will be coming out of the airing cupboard this week…. I can’t bear getting into cold sheets when I’m on a late shift! So sorry your shoulder is rebelling. do try and keep up with the exercises… my shoulder froze as I didn’t exercise it enough and now the left one is playing up…! Please do get a copy of the book if you can… you and the rest of the army were the reason behind it. I would love it if you could review it and let me know what you think. Take care love Ali x

  9. Susan October 18, 2018 at 6:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What a beautiful photo of Lucy and honey. They are two peas in a pod. So sweet. Enjoy her weekend away. I think you look lovely and not at all nearly 60! Your hair is gorgeous and you deserve a new updated twitter photo!
    Can’t wait for your book. So lovely for you to say we are your inspiration. You are an inspiration but I do agree we all are inspirations in our own way. That can ge t lost in our minds sometimes!xx

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 10:55 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Susan, we had a lovely weekend away with Lucy and Honey in Wales. The weather was far kinder than we had anticipated, and we had some unexpectedly good times on the beaches around Wales. Bless you for your compliments about my hair… I find it hard to think I’m close to 60, but then again, when I was 50 I didn’t think I’d last this long so I’m DEFINITELY not complaining! Love to you xxx

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:11 pm -  Reply

      Honestly, she is so like her mummy, and seeing the two of the together really takes me back 🙂 Bless you for your compliments.. some days I feel nearer 60 than you’d believe! My joints are so stiff, but then again, I know there are those who have to contend with arthritis so I won’t complain. Please let me know what you think of the book if you get the chance to read it.. A review will mean so much to those who might not be sure it’s for them. Thank you in advance, love Ali x

  10. Julie October 18, 2018 at 7:28 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    A lovely blog as usual. Honey is a cutie ( but I know you know that already)
    Just to let you know I’ve pre-ordered your book this evening- and just had confirmation that it will be arriving!!. Can’t wait to receive it on my kindle. I have quite a few on BC as you can imagine but can’t wait to read yours. You’ve been so supportive of me it’s the least I could do to purchase it. I will give you an honest review ( as you know-lol!!)
    Hope everyone has a lovely time at Bluestones.
    Speak soon and take care.
    Julie xx The Girls xx

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:14 pm -  Reply

      Dear Julie, lovely to hear from you, and thank you so much for pre-ordering the book… the minutes are counting down as I write this to you.. I would love to hear your review. I think you have had far more to contend with in the lead up to your diagnosis than most do, and because of that you have shown unbelievable strength. I wish you that same strength to crack on with your life as I know you will. Take care, love Ali xx

  11. Jill turner October 18, 2018 at 8:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali just read your blog and noticed you have pick me to receive a copy of your book. Im very much looking forward to reading it and gaining the positivity you show on tv regarding your treatment . So thank you Ali for choosing me as I know it will help me in the months to come jillx

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:16 pm -  Reply

      Congratulations again Jill, and I will look forward very much to receiving your feedback. I have tried to make it a positive read and one that is full of hope. Fingers crossed you feel that when you read it, love Ali xx

  12. Merche Gardiner October 18, 2018 at 8:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, always enjoy your blog, what a beautiful sunset. You are so right about our balmy weather, my husband and I were in Felixstowe today and the weather was absolutely lovely, In fact we sat outside to have our lunch as it was so warm. Honey looks really pleased with herself standing beside the birthday cake, she is so like her mum to look at. Hope the book launch goes well, enjoy the break with your family at the end of the month. Love Merchex

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:18 pm -  Reply

      Merche, hasn’t it been glorious? I can’t remember the last time we had such beautiful weather in the autumn! Not since 1976 at least! Honey was an absolute star decorating her mum’s birthday cake and kept it a secret for at least 30 mins! I hope you’ll feel able to read the book one day, and thank you for writing to me, love Ali xx

  13. Debbie October 19, 2018 at 8:17 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali what a great start to my day, I have just pre-ordered a kindle version of your book!! Can’t wait. Got my Shay and Blue Tsv yesterday as well,glad I made the effort to watch at midnight as the one I wanted sold out early. Debbie X

    • Alison Keenan November 5, 2018 at 6:44 pm -  Reply

      Oh I’m so glad you managed to get hold of your Shay and Blue! It sold through really quickly. Well done for staying up late to get yours! I hope your Kindle version of the book came through OK, and that you’ve had a chance to start it? Do let me know what you think. Love Ali xx

  14. Jill turner October 19, 2018 at 9:00 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali thought I had replied to you yesterday anyway thank you for picking me to read your book. I know it will help as I continue my treatment in the next few months. You always seem so positive about your experience on tv and I’m hoping reading your book will help me to feel the same Jill t x

  15. Merche Gardiner October 19, 2018 at 7:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, love your blog as usual, beautiful sunset, even if it was taken at the supermarket car park. Honey looks so much like her mum and stands there looking so proud of the birthday cake. Hope the book launch goes well. Merchex

  16. Jill turner October 20, 2018 at 8:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali thank you for choosing me to read your book. I know it will help me during my treatment over the next few months. I’m hoping I can become as positive as you always seem on tv. Thanks Ali Jillx

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:19 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Jill, it looks as though our posting system has delayed your response again, but thank you for writing a second time! And I very much hope you enjoy the book, love Ali xx

  17. Joanna Downey October 21, 2018 at 2:31 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, I was going to wait for your next blog to post my thoughts about your book, however, seeing that it’s now available to pre-order I’ll write it on here.
    ‘A New Kind of Normal’ is brave, honest, moving &, above all, hopeful – just like Ali. Starting the book at the BCC event immediately after she finished treatment hooks in the reader & although many of her experiences are difficult to read she has such an instinctive way of writing I could hear her speak the words to me. I really liked the ‘layered’ style with her stories & memories appearing between the chapters that were about illness, treatment & beyond. This obviously gives an insight into her life but is an approach that I feel would be helpful for those on a similar journey; reminding them of who they are & where they have come from when they are experiencing the darkest of times. I shed many tears reading her story & Chapter 24 was heartbreaking. However, this is a book filled with hope & ending it with her wedding, to a man who is so supportive, stoic & humorous, & in the company of all who love her is the most hopeful aspect of all.
    Well done, my lovely. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:31 pm -  Reply

      Jo, thanks so much for getting in there with your review. I hadn’t expected things to move quite as quickly as they did regarding the publication, but I truly appreciate what you have written. The fact that you could hear my voice means a so much, and I’m glad you liked the layered style of writing. I wanted to create light and shade and hope I have. I had to go back over Chapter 24, and I found after reading it , that I was there again in the bathroom at the cottage… despairing and desperate. But you’re right, reading on, as I would urge anyone to do, there is happiness, humour, and a very positive outcome. Thank you so much for taking the time out to review it for me and for bringing HOPE to the fore. I am truly honoured, love Ali xx

  18. Theresa Hanlon October 21, 2018 at 9:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, it’s nice that grandchildren enjoy help make cakes with grandma and decorate to their hearts content and later on enjoy cooking with us, as my 14yold granddaughter does, it learns them how to eat well instead of microwave food. How much does Honey look like Lucy, as you say you wonder where the years go. I dont know if you remember a text I sent you last month about the loss of my sister and husband with in days of each other, well to bring a little hope into our lives my youngest sister became a grandma to a beautiful granddaugher who has captured all our hearts. Good look with your book, and thank you for the kind words you sent me x

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:38 pm -  Reply

      Dear Theresa, you are so right about Honey and Lucy, and sometimes it’s been the difference in the colour of their hair that has made it difficult for me to see the likeness. Weirdly I was also naturally brunette and so Lucy’s likeness with my younger self is very obvious. I do indeed remember the text you sent to me about your sister and your husband, and your news stayed with me…. I was so sorry, and struggled with the unkindness of it all.. That said, knowing of your youngest sister’s grandchild I felt that hope had been brought back into your family. Hold onto that newness and love in your hearts, as I believe it is for a lifetime. Take care, and I do hope you enjoy the book if ever you get chance to read it, love Ali xxx

  19. Mandy October 22, 2018 at 7:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali! What lovely photos of Lucy & Honey- they look soo much like you & even their expressions are familiar- brilliant! We certainly have had some amazing sunsets lately & I’m guessing you have also been appreciating the night sky too. The moon has looked incredible & it does remind me of my Dad & I looking up to the starry night when I was a little tot singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Honey must have been in cake heaven decorating the cake for her Mummy- her face was a picture & she looked very pleased with herself bless her. I am looking forward to your show tomorrow- I ordered the Unicorn necklace for a special little girl last night as saw Lee presenting it at an amazing price!! I am liking the sound of Mally’s TSV so maybe will be treating myself or sharing it with nieces for Christmas. We will be going up to Scotland this weekend to visit our adopted reindeers so am hoping for long walks/treks, fresh air & good food. I will let you know how I get on. Have a fabulous week & I will tune in tomorrow night for your Diamonique show. I am going to order your long awaited book & read it when I get back- very pleased for you Ali, I am sure it will be a fascinating read!
    Love & Hugs
    From Mandy xxx

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:45 pm -  Reply

      Oh Mandy, your lovely comment had me reminiscing about my dad, and also my son Jack. It’s not so much the moon but also the sunshine that strikes a chord with me… “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…” always makes me cry. I do hope you enjoyed your weekend in Scotland with your adopted reindeers, and that the weather was good to you so that you enjoyed your long walk/treks and fresh air. We had a great time in Wales with Lucy and Honey although we didn’t walk as far as we might have because Honey is too little. I very much hope that when you receive the book you will enjoy reading it and will feel able to review it for me? I always feel it’s better to hear what others feel about something rather than reading the book blurb? Thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  20. Christine October 22, 2018 at 7:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali where can I pre order your book. I am not on Twitter or anything like that.
    Take Care x

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:49 pm -  Reply

      Hello there Christine, thanks so much for your interest in the book. My book is available on Amazon, so if you just tap in Books in the search bar, then Alison Keenan A New Kind of Normal, it should bring up both the Kindle and the paperback option. Please let me know what you think of it. Many thanks, Ali x

  21. Merche Gardiner October 23, 2018 at 2:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali lovely to read your blog, great picture of the sunset. Your right I think it’s time for sandals to be stored away until 2019, although last Friday my husband and I went to Felixstowe and walked the promenade it was gorgeous, it didn’t seem at all like October. Honey looks so proud of the cake I hope Lucy enjoyed it. Have a great time away with your family. Merchex

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:52 pm -  Reply

      HI there Merche, I think you may have had your first post hidden, but lovely to hear from you again, and I’m glad you enjoyed Felixstowe. It’s been literally years since I was there…. a different life, but a lovely memory. We too had lovely weather. Lucy’s birthday was a great success, and we had a lovely time in Wales. Thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  22. Lynn Hind October 24, 2018 at 12:07 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali sorry ive been away awhile. It been a tough few months lost 3 lovely friends of long standing all sadly young 48.53and 54 the youngest left 3 children 30.28 and 10 her 28yrcold daughter whose the same age as my twin sons found her. But on a brighter note the boys passed there driving tests last week on the same day and identical 6ft 6 boys the examiners took a double check lol and both are ready to buy their 1st homes solo no girlfriends lol they have saved and been sensible going to be quiet as it was when at university but at 28 they are ready lol
    Looking forward to reading your book you write with such ease and clarity it will bring so much support to those touched by cancer and give hope and light to those in a dark place ive bought the BCC kipling pouch and goodies to support the cause. Your blog always makes me smile and uplifts in your easy way and hope you all enjoy your trip away for lucys birthday.
    Take care hugs and love to you ALi
    Lynn xx

    • Alison Keenan October 29, 2018 at 11:58 pm -  Reply

      My dear Lynn, I was so sorry to know of our loss, and particularly because all your friends had children…. So hard for children to cope when they lose a parent, and especially when they were so young. Your words make sense of my reasoning for writing the book, and I very much hope it will make sense of some of it for those who find themselves struggling. It sounds as though you are doing a great job of supporting those who need you, and it makes me happy to know that the blog uplifts and supports you when you have already had so much to contend with. We had a lovely time away for Lucy’s birthday, and I will be posting pics in the next blog. Love Ali x

  23. Linda Warricker October 24, 2018 at 3:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali I am half way through A New Kind Of Normal have to say started it yesterday and it will defiantly be finished today an inspiration to ladies on the similar journey to you.
    I lost my husband over twenty years ago to a cancerous brain tumour he was only forty it was a long road but even then and now you really don’t know your own strengths till you have to and as you’ve said friends and family are an essential for the road that lies ahead life really is a lesson that continues every day of our lives.
    I wish you well I can say without even finishing the book you and your family should be very

    • Alison Keenan October 30, 2018 at 12:02 am -  Reply

      Dear Linda, Thank you so much for taking time out to write to me. I was so sorry to hear about your loss, especially as you were so young at the time. I am sure it has been a very long road, and a difficult one to, but as you say, it’s not until we face these kind of challenges, that we know what we can deal with. You have clearly dealt with a great deal and I am just so glad that you have had your friends and family to help you. Please do keep in touch, and if you felt able to review the book on Amazon that would be wonderful. So much nicer for people to see what others think, rather than just reading a publisher’s blurb. Take care, love Ali xx

  24. Debz October 25, 2018 at 2:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali

    So you finally get to see your book in print. I’m so proud of you for writing it. I bet it was quite a cathartic process for you and I know from what the other ladies have said, that this is book is going to provide hope and inspiration to many other people going through a similar journey.

    I’m hoping to get my copy in the next few days.

    We’ve recently had to take Harry to the vet as he kept vomiting (sorry if you’re eating!) The vet gave us a sedative tablet to give to Harry 3 hours before his appointment so we could get him into his carrier. Being a very nervous cat, we can’t pick him up at all so the thought of trying to man handle him into a box was quite distressing. Managed to smuggle the tablet into him via his favourite snack and sat back and waited. Two hours passed and nothing! He seemed fine other than being a little unsteady on his feet ( like me at Christmas after a few Baileys! ) Then he went shakily upstairs (again, the resemblance to me at Christmas was uncanny!) and got into his bed and went into kind of a daze. When the time came to put him in his carrier, he made a very feeble protest but not too much.

    We got him to the vets who gave him a thorough examination and the upshot was he has a heart murmur the same as Ainzley did. Also, he has a very sensitive tummy which carries the gastroenteritis bacteria which can flair up if Harry eats something that triggers it. He’s now on special gastric sensitive food. No medication for his heart murmur yet as it’s not affecting his health. He also has to go back to have 3 teeth out. Very expensive vets trip but luckily he’s insured!

    Lily didn’t really miss her brother whilst he was away but gave him a good old sniffing when he got back, then she hissed at him, then washed his ears! So funny to watch!!

    Hope you’ve had a good week. You looked stunning on the Vionic TSV launch! I got the navy and the greige.

    Lots of love
    Debz, Harry & Lily

    • Alison Keenan November 5, 2018 at 6:39 pm -  Reply

      Debz, how lovely to hear from you as one of the originals in Ali’s Army, and thank you for ordering the book. I have been overwhelmed by the positive response to it, and the incredibly kind and moving words folk have written about it. I do hope you enjoy it – if enjoy is the right word?? What a wonderful account of Harry’s visit to the vet – took me back a little to Ainzley – and as you say, strange that Harry also has a heart murmur bless him. I am glad that now it’s been diagnosed you’ll be able to keep him safe, and I’m sure Lily will keep her eye on him too. The difficulties with getting cats into cat boxes is legion – but your description and comparisons are very funny 🙂 I hope that Neil is well, and that life is a little easier for you than it was when you last wrote. Speak soon, love Ali xx

  25. tricia coulsonwood October 25, 2018 at 10:55 pm -  Reply

    hi Ali,
    Wow, I cant believe you ate such a substantial breakfast. Its amazing that a local café has eggs benedict on a breakfast menu. I once dreamt that one day I would fly to New York and have eggs benedict for breakfast .Not much hope of that happening now as I am still unable to get around without crutches ..Looking forward to being able to read your book.I am a decade older than you so don’t worry about being 60 as these days I am sure most women look a decade younger than they are. .I believe that using moisturisers have helped ..I like using Lulus products and she is my age group.
    .love to all. Tricia.

    • Alison Keenan November 5, 2018 at 6:43 pm -  Reply

      I’ll be honest Tricia, I didn’t manage all the bread, but the haggis and eggs were delicious! I’m so sorry to know that you’re still having to use crutches to get around – are you working with a physio? I very much hope for an improvement for you, and don’t give up on that trip to New York – we all need our dreams 🙂 Thank you for ordering the book, and I hope that it will be a book you enjoy… not sure if that’s quite the right word though. I’m sure your skin looks fabulous if you’re using Lulu’s Time Bomb range – it has some marvellous reviews. Always good to feed the skin! Thanks for writing to me, and take care of yourself, love Ali x

  26. Mary Morphy October 27, 2018 at 10:31 pm -  Reply

    Good evening Ali, it’s Saturday and hammering down with rain outside and blowing up nicely..gonna be a wild night!! I have just returned from half term break spent I Walton on the Naze in Essex…close to Southend, Clacton, Frinton on Sea, Dovercourt and Harwich, all places we visited In glorious sunshine and averaging 22000 steps a day..about 10 miles. The dogs wrte9so good and very quiet in the evening after all that walking! The caravan was terrible so we have decided to go with a lodge or cottage next year. Your scenic skyline photos ate gorgeous and we have some great sunsets here, truly mezmerising. Mum’s bungalow sale has fallen through for the third time after 7 weeks; however it’s sold again but I am afraid we are full of sceptacism..let’s wait and see. Saw another vet about Olly, she said his knee was very stable and surgery wasn’t necessary at the moment..that’s a relief!
    I have ordered your book from Amazon and can’t wait to read it..
    I am going to end now..I need to alter the clocks!!
    Much love Mary x

    • Alison Keenan November 5, 2018 at 6:49 pm -  Reply

      Dear Mary, lovely to hear from you, and although the weather sounds pretty rough, I hope that by the Sunday it had cleared. I know exactly where Walton on the Naze – we were there two years ago with Honey as a tiny one, and I used to live in Wivenhoe, and before that Colchester! All those lovely places you visited were day trips for me and my then husband, and I’ve got some great memories of my first home away from home if that makes sense! I am sorry that your Mum’s bungalow sale has fallen through… property does seem to be a little shaky at the moment, but I know how stressful this can make things. I am glad that Olly won’t need any surgery – a huge relief! Do let me know when you get the book, and I very much hope you like it. Sorry I am so late in responding to this, but better late than never they say! Love Ali xx

  27. Sally October 31, 2018 at 2:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Just read your book purchased it from amazon onto my kindle. Finished in a day, wow you certainly did stoically endure and survive what life threw at you all I can say is you are one amazing person who can imagine (only if you are going through it) how you coped but like you said “there is nothing else is there” You write so well and have made me realise as we all do so much moan about little unnecessary things life really is a gift and we should live every second. Well done, you will truly inspire others if they read your book. thank you I will always take away with me a sort of can;t explain humbleness.
    Kind regards Sally

    • Alison Keenan November 5, 2018 at 6:52 pm -  Reply

      Dear Sally, Gosh that’s quite an achievement to finish the whole book in just one day! Thank you so much for your dogged determination and how good of you to write such kind and supportive comments about my writing. You’re right, every day is a gift, and that’s why I try and cram as much as possible into every day. I would love to think it will help or inspire others – that’s the reason I wrote it. Thank you Sally, love Ali xx

  28. Pauline Soden November 20, 2018 at 6:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison.
    Can you tell me is your beautiful black dress your wearing on Lulu Guinness from QVC. You always look so amazing.

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