Skyfall, Halloween and Bonfire night traditions


Sparklers on bonfire nightBy crikey it's parky this morning! Really thick frost which has made the field opposite look as though it's covered in snow, but the sheep don't care – they're chewing away on the frozen grass!

I hope that wherever you are it's thawing out a little, and that the snowfall we had didn't cause too much distress!

Not that we can really grumble considering the appalling weather conditions that the Northeastern States of America had to cope with…

My nephew lives in New York and was luckily unhurt but unable to work for a couple of days because of the flooding in the subways there.

Aside from snowfall and rainfall, what about Skyfall?!! Have you seen the new Bond movie yet? What did you think? Personally, I loved it! I do think Daniel Craig is completely convincing, and it was good to see more of M in this one!

The new Q was well cast too, and Colin and I recognised him from a brilliant BBC Drama – the third series of which begins again this week! Adele's rendition of the theme song (which incidentally she wrote as well) is particularly catchy and reminds me of Shirley Bassey and Diamonds are Forever, and the special effects in this film are exceptional!

Ali on halloweenI'm wondering though if you can help me place Javier Bardem – who plays the baddie – naturally dark haired, I can't think of anything else he might have appeared in? Do let me know if you can!

Oh, just one tiny flaw – M has a scene where she is discussing her future, and carefully places her handbag by the side of her chair and her coat over the back before sitting down. When leaving, she only takes her coat!! Clearly my continiuity skills are wasted! šŸ™‚

Infact, looking back over the last week or more, we've done a fair bit of partying and socialising with our family and friends. The weekend before last was Colin's daughter Vicky's birthday, so we went out for supper and then on to his son, Dan's Halloween party.

We all had to dress up, and Sam joined us for the evening, so we had a great time, although felt a little dusty the next day!!

I lost my beautiful headband with the cobweb on it, but have kept the black wig for another day šŸ™‚ I did though, find this lovely photo of the children when they were tiny – we always used to have our own little party with pumpkins – good times šŸ™‚

HalloweenOn Tuesday, directly after my Percy and Reed show I met Colin and we headed off to the Albert Hall to see Diana Krall perform. Such a talent, and an incredible voice – most of the songs were from her new album Rag Doll, which I don't have, but will now buy. I really enjoy her music, but particularly when she sings the classics, but with her own twist.

Talking of music, Colin would like me to thank you so very much for watching his video and listening to the songs from his album – he's had over 3,000 plays! I have been given a list with e mail addresses of all those of you who wish to buy the album, and will be mailing you asap – Bless You!!

This Saturday saw Colin and I travelling to Surrey to spend the evening with old school friends of mine – including Ros and Chris – for a very enjoyable catch up.

The food, wine and company were exemplary, and Ros and Chris saved the night by bringing their aero bed for us, as I'd remembered the quilt – complete with Northern Nights flannel covers – but forgotten the bed to sleep on!

Of course, November 5th rolled round again, and as it's tradition with our family, I got the children together, bought the hot dogs, and set up the fireworks. The weather was perfect – cold but dry – and Sam and Jack took up the igniting duties šŸ™‚ We always have Catherine Wheels in memory of my dad, because he insisted on them, and inspite of his best efforts they NEVER worked!

Fireworks nightWe'd all gone indoors, eaten the soup and sausages, and he was still outside by the coal bunker, trying to work out what had gone wrong! The funny thing is, the legacy lives on, and it makes me smile, as I'm sure he has something to do with it…

This year, the first one fell off the tree after a rather pathetic attempt to sparkle, and although the second one started well, a section of it came adrift, and it was more like a flame thrower than a Catherine Wheel!

Still, a good time was had by all, and the sparklers never disappoint šŸ™‚ It will be my last Fireworks night in the cottage, as hopefully we should exchange on the new house soon, and be moving by the end of the month… It was 1st December 2010 when I actually moved in here – I can't believe it's been almost two years!

Let's hope the weather is kinder this time when we come to load the lorry – a foot of snow and frozen conditions didn't help at all last time!

I'm off on Thursday with my girlfriends from the village for our annual hideaway in a cosy cottage, so I should have few stories and photos to back them up! šŸ™‚

Keep in touch, and as always, I'll look forward to hearing how your week has been.

Stay warm, and well, love Ali xxx


  1. Liz Yuille November 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    What a busy and exciting time you are having at the moment. It is great to see you moving forward, such an inspiration.
    I had a birthday last week, but postponed the celebrations as it coincided with feeling very tired a week post Chemo. But we celebrated yesterday instead, just a quite meal with my OH, but it was a great evening out.
    Next week I have the last of my EC Chemo, which will be good to get through, then I start on Taxol and can look forward to this coming to an end. I can then start looking forward to reconstruction and moving into a more normal life again. Happily the cold cap is still managing to keep most of my hair attached to my head, I am just hoping that will continue when I change drugs.
    I saw my Consultant earlier in the week and he is very pleased with how the ‘football’ is looking. I had been quite concerned as I have quite a lot of arm pain, but he confirmed that this is the nerves coming back to life, so whilst uncomfortable, it was good to know that it was nothing to worry about; it comes and goes anyway and there are more days when there is only pins and needles, and only a few when it is on the pain scale. At least I now know that it is just part of the healing process.
    I have started to do some work from home this week, which is great, getting some degree of normality and using my brain again is so good.
    Our three cats, Mustard, Salt and Pepper, known collectively as The Condiments, are keeping me amused and as the weather is getting colder they are spending more and more time with me, although I think the fire may be the main attraction, but I like to think that it is me really!
    Thank you for being such an inspiration to us and the best possible luck with the upcoming move.
    Love Liz xx

  2. Sue Brown November 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm -  Reply

    Javier B was in No Country for Old Man – a brilliant film and he was AMAZING!

  3. mary morphy November 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, yet another event packed week for you and I hope the girlie break is thoroughly enjoyable. Unfortunately, I am unable to assist you in yout Skyfall question as I have not yet seen it. I will be totally honest, James Bond or Daniel Craig doesn’t float my boat (give me Gethin Jones or John Barrowman any day) but my son and husband are going to see it at the weekend. I do love the song though but my daughter points out that I have ‘pitching issues’ when I sing it in the very rude!!
    I did not get snowed in in Cumbria over the half term and returned to school on kids just a staff training day to ease us in but even so, I can’t believe this time last week we were ‘Up North’.
    As you may remember, we stayed in a mobile home in a park in Silloth, my twin, me and my two children in one and my sister and her two in another. As far as caraveans go they were lovely but I was naive enough to think that the single beds would be singles and not the width of a sun lounger! Chloe slept like a baby each night but I could hear Jack banging his nead, legs, arms and indeed hear every bodily movement from his bedroom which was next to mine and the partitioning wall resembled a paprered piece of cardboard. He didnt cope well so on the second night |I joined my sister and dog Phoebe on the L shaped sofa and Jack had my room which had a small double bed. His room became the laundry room as it was like a steaming hot house and as it rained most days all day and night (plus conker sized hail stones and winds like I have never experienced)we needed a place to dry our clothes. That said, my sister and I coped well on the sofas but had a little dog trouble on a couple of nights..phoebe insisted on sharing my pillow on many occasions and decided to then lodge herself in the foot flap of my sister’s luxury animal print slanket! Hilarious!! I am amazed that at times we didnt take off at night as the wind was so strong, the whole caravan literally rocking and rolling, and had the tv on full volume to mask the noise of the rain however, luckily, we had QVC on our freeview tele so we watched QVC into the early hours; my sister ordered the Ninja TSV and it got delivered before we got home. Amazing service!
    We went to Scotland on one day and did a 10km walk up and down hills, went to Lake Windermere – a little dissapointing purely because we were given the wrong instructions from a local. We were advised to walk along the white water stream to get to the main lake only to find that after an hour, the woodland path we were following dissappeared as the water levels were so high. We found ourselves climbing over a double thickness dry stone wall onto a dual carriageway which was very bazaar and a little scary. Phoebe the dog was chucked over the wall and clearly not impressed! We visited Keswick on a particularly rainy day to visit a ‘Stars and their Cars’ Museum as we thought the kids would like it. It was lashing down and we walked through the town to the museum only to find that it had been shut for over a year! We were soggy and very fed up but found a beautiful chocolate shop which cheered us all up. We also climbed a 1612ft hill ( I think it was a mountain really) which needed the skills and fitness of a mountain goat to climb. It was one hell of a climb and my poor lungs had had it by the time I got to the top and my inhalers for my COPD and asthma were working overtime but the views were spectacular for about two minutes….. The cloud suddenly enveloped us and it started to snow! We made it down safely and enjoyed a well deserved cream scone in the tea shop at the bottom.
    Back to normality now but it was lovely to spend quality time with both my sisters and get some wonderful photos as memories.
    My annual Xmas shopping weekend to MIlton Keynes is in three weeks so can’t wait for that.
    Wonderful news that your move is iminant..happy packing!! Much love Mary xxx
    Oh loved the halloween pics..we had a halloween party a few years back and couldn’t believe the effort people went to with their costumes. So much so that I didn’t recognise a few people. x
    Oh and my Clarisonic TSV arrived today and I removed my makeup with it when I got in from work with my Gatineau cleansing was fab. It certainly wont be going back. Hubby has looked at my Christmas list….still hoping for a Lulu bag!!!

  4. Jill Foster November 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    lovely to have your catch up and see what you have been up to. I loved the grey dress you had on yesterday (I think it was) – you looked just fantastic. I have been asked by my daughter to say thank you for recommending the Ohh Arr bra – (she had the major surgery and reconstruction in October) I think that is what you called it some time ago when you had your last surgery. The two I had ordered came today and my daughter has said how wonderful it feels – no rubbing on her scars and the difference in wearing this bra to a normal one is amazing. She is doing really well and we are all delighted with her progress. So once again thank you so much for sharing all your treatment etc it has helped more women that you can ever imagine.
    Love Jilly

  5. Mrs Janet Jones November 8, 2012 at 3:16 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, glad to hear you had a fun bonfire night. We went to a organised one in our village, which was an hour late and we were all freezing, but it was worth the wait! We rushed home to get a warm in front of our log burner which was very cosy.(will you still have a log burner in your new home?)We saw Michael McIntyre last weekend he was sooo funny my cheeks were aching from laughing, highly recommended.
    We also went to see Skyfall, I think Daniel Craig is the best Bond ever!! I thoroughly enjoyed the film and have to admit it’s the first one I have really enjoyed and understood!!!
    Hope your house move continues to go smoothly and you have a lovely time away with your girlfriends. Must write off now as I am waiting for a phone call to hopefully get my new fridge-freezer delivered today as my old one has finally given up after 15 years(not bad eh) last Friday so am buying food on a daily basis. “Such fun” Take care Ali and speak soon Love Janet xx

  6. Susan November 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm -  Reply

    Before I read any further Ali…lovely Javier is in the great Eat, Pray, Love. Fabulous film though some people thought it was slow moving. I loved it though. He’s fab. As is Julia Roberts. Inceidentally Erin Brockovich is on this week too!! Must read the rest of your excellent blog! x

  7. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen November 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm -  Reply

    another enjoyable blog alison

  8. Susan November 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Well I’ve read your blog! You it soo much in! It’s just great! Love the photos and shame you lost the headpiece…you’ll have to get a new one for next year! I noticed that M didn’t pick up her bag either by the way lol. Thought when she turned round she was going abck to get it lol! Sounds like you’ve hada lovely few nights out again this last while. And so lovely your village girls take a cottage once a year. How lovely. Will look forward to that. Hope the move goes ahead and with less snow. Re NY and the NorthEast yes dreadful. My friends were also affected but unhurt. Awful the new storm has hit with snow too now.
    Take care and chat soon,
    Susan x

  9. Babs lincsxxx November 8, 2012 at 6:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali Another great blog, you are having a lovely fun packed life, so much deserved. I haven’t seen the latest Bond film but my daughter and son-in-law have and they said it is great, well worth seeing. I was watching Loose Women when Sean Connery was on and he said it is the best Bond film ever and Daniel Craig is the best BOND, hows that for a compliment. Good your house move is going well and you’ll soon be all cosy and getting your christmas trimmings up, it’s not far away. My grandaughter’s baby should have been born yesterday but no signs as yet, i think she is staying where she’s warm. Lovely photos of your children when they were small, photos bring lovely memories don’t they.Keep well and safe. Bye for now, much love to you, Colin and all your family.babs xxxxx

  10. Debbie Sedcole November 9, 2012 at 5:21 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison, it’s sunny and hot here in Australia, we met you at the Sydney opera house, Sue, Jo and Deb, not sure if you’ll remember us but we remember you, we are having a reunion ourselves and talking about how we met you. We have photos, would love to email them to you, hope you are well, looks as though you are doing fantastic. Would love you to get in touch, love Deb

  11. Susan November 9, 2012 at 5:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Liz,
    I just wanted to say you really made me laugh there when I read your comment to Ali…your lovely cats are called The Condiments!! Wonderful! Thank you. And I wish you all the luck in the world for your transition with the drugs and the best of health for the future.
    Take care
    Susan x

  12. Janet Hall November 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    Hope that you are well on this chilly November evening. Just thought I would write to tell you how much I enjoyed reading the last two blogs and thankyou for your reply to me in October. I did reply to it but on the wrong blog (9th October one) silly me, its at the end if you want to read it lol x Anyway my latest news is that I was refused Chemo to shrink my lump and am being admitted on Monday for a Mastectomy and as I did mention to you the lymphnodes were clear but they are still going to remove them all. I was really quite upset when they told me because with the test’s being clear I thought that was it but they are doing it to be on the safe side. Don’t have any choice so guess that is it, will just have to get on with it. Am beside myself as I guess most people are when facing this awful thing but as I said previously I am a head case when it comes to hospital’s cannot even face visiting anyone, doesn’t that sound awful. The hospital are insisting that it is a day case but because I am alone they are going to allow me one night in hospital and then I am to have Hospice at Home and McMillan Nurses for a while so I guess I will be okay. Will keep your progress in my head as I go down this awful pathway. You really are an inspiration to everyone. Please would you also tell Amica that she look’s amazing and give her my best wishes. Well thats about all for now Ali am looking forward to your next blog, take care till then lots of love Janet, Solo and Ollie xxxx

  13. Sue Radford November 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Another lovely blog.
    I hope you’ll have a great time with your friends.
    Hope your house move will go smoothly. I’m sure you will be really happy in your new home Ali – lots of exciting and happy times ahead.
    Take care,
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  14. Sue Jennings November 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali…My word you’ve had a busy week…you put me to shame…we only had 2 trick or treaters on Hallowean which left us with a huge bowl of sweets and lollipops it was a dreadful night here in Cheshire pouring with rain…As for the frost it came as a complete shock to me as I haven’t passed my driving test yet (yes it’s true I’m afraid ) I’m due to take it in December (got everything crossed ) anyway as an incentive to learn I bought myself a little Corsa back in April which I drive to work at 6.15 every morning with my daughter as co pilot lol (bless her). So back to the frost my car was covered it the stuff so there I was spraying deicer and scraping for England that morning. As I was so ill prepared I was late for work !!! When my husband came home that evening I told him I didn’t like that one bit so he would have to do it for me in future ..his reply was short and sweet NO WAY …so I’m not looking forward to this Winter at all…maybe I will cover my car in Northern Nights duvets so I will be frost free lol….I’m looking forward to the email for Colin’s CD…have a great week and take good care xx
    Sue Jennings

  15. Jill Foster November 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm -  Reply

    Hello Alia
    and everyone – just an update on my daughter – she is to start her chemo later this month and has been offered the cold cap – is that right – any helpful hints and tips would be gratefully received to help my daughter through the next few months – I think she will have chemo once every three or four weeks for 4 months and then go on a hormone drug for 5 years – I am sure this will be what a lot of you have gone through or going through and know what I am talking about. I have picked up so much helpful information from Ali’s blog and am so grateful to you all
    Love Jilly x

  16. alison keenan November 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm -  Reply

    Dear Liz, thanks so much for writing to let me know how you’re doing, and belated birthday wishes to you! You sound so incredibly strong and positive, and I’m delighted that the cold cap is working for you! it will be much better to have hair over the colder months šŸ™‚ I’m sure you did tell me how many weeks of Taxol you were to have, but I am sorry that I’ve forgotten… Whatever the number, you are definitely half way through it all now, and on the up šŸ™‚ You do though have my complete sympathy re the nerve pain in your arm – I remember how incredibly painful it could be, but it DOES improve and as your consultant’s told you, it’s just part of the healing process. I have to admit to laughing out loud at the name of your cats – how delightful! I am sure you are definitely the main attraction, and no doubt they are thoroughly enjoying having you home with them. Stay warm and rested Liz, and thank you again for writing to me – YOU are the inspirational one, and I know your words will be a huge comfort to many women who find themselves in the same situation as ourselves. Exchanging contracts tomorrow, so hopefully news of the move soon! Love to you, me xxx

  17. alison keenan November 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm -  Reply

    Sue thanks for the heads up on No Country for Old Men…. I have yet to see it, but will make a positive effort to see how Javier B handles that role! I hope all good with you, Love Ali xx

  18. alison keenan November 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Mary, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who will thoroughly enjoy reading about your foray to Silloth! I’m sure that your Chloe and Jack had a ball, and I am so envious of you spending that kind of time and adventure with your sisters. However, the weather you experienced/suffered (!) must have tested you all! It’s a shame you didn’t have good weather for Keswick or Windemere – both are beautiful when the sun shines and the wind drops šŸ™‚ I do hope your lungs have now recovered from your incredible climb, and that you were wearing a thermal vest to combat the snow that greeted you – Michael Fish should have predicted that for you!! I’ll bet you were all glad to get home to your own beds though at the end of the week, and although I know you’re back in the thick of it at school, I very much hope that this term will also fly by, and it’ll be Christmas before you know it! Am keeping my fingers crossed for your Lulu Bag šŸ˜€ Take care and stay warm/dry/well!! Love Ali xx

  19. alison keenan November 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jill, I too loved the dress (Ronit Zilka) and it was the softest knitwear I’ve worn in ages! Nice too the empire line shape which hides a multitude of sins :)!! I am so glad that your daughter like me, is benefitting from the Aah bras. I am still tender under each arm and down the side of my rib cage as well as across the chest, so they are a joy to wear, and soooo comfortable. It’s my greatest pleasure to write to you both, and it genuinely cheers me when I hear that something which has worked for me, is helping someone else too! You take care, and thank you again for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  20. alison keenan November 12, 2012 at 8:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Janet – your fireworks sound fun, but I bet you were freezing after having to stand outside for that protracted length of time! Woodburners are a joy aren’t they – I went mad the other day adding more wood, and the temperature in the sitting room was 33 degrees! No, sadly the new house doesn’t have one, but Colin and I plan to do a major refurb so it may well have one in future! I do hope your fridge/freezer arrived safely, so you don’t have to keep popping in and out of the shops! Yes, my weekend away with the girls was great fun and very relaxing, and I am now scanning the internet to see if I can get tickets to see Michael McIntyre after your recommendation,and am glad that you, like me, thoroughly enjoyed the Bond movie šŸ™‚ Take care and thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  21. alison keenan November 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm -  Reply

    Aaaah Susan!!! That’s where I remembered seeing him before, but the blonde hair in Skyfall threw me off the scent šŸ™‚ I think if I’m honest though I preferred the book to the film, as although I admire Julia Roberts very much as an actress, I didn’t think she was as fiesty/passionate as her character on the page….. the same could not have been said though for her performance in Erin Brokovitch which I loved! I hope you enjoyed the rest of the blog and the photos. Love Ali xx

  22. alison keenan November 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm -  Reply

    Martin, I am very glad you enjoyed reading my blog – hope to be posting a new one for you towards the end of the week. Ali x

  23. alison keenan November 12, 2012 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    Susan, apparantly there is a website filled with continuity gaffes, but I do think it’s funny so many of us spotted the handbag error! Glad you liked my Halloween outfit – Colin actually found the headband/decorations for me, and I’m pretty sure the lost articles are somewhere in his son’s house – I will search next time we visit! The weekend away was true to form and great fun – I will write again and fill you in on our four days of doing nothing!! šŸ™‚ Love to you, Ali xx

  24. alison keenan November 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm -  Reply

    Oooh Babs, you’re one for the gossip eh?! I think it’s wonderful that Sean Connery said he thought Daniel Craig is the best Bond! I have to admit to a sneaky fondness for Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton too! Any news on the arrival of your grandaughter’s baby? My friend Jo is waiting for a neice or nephew to be born in New York – thank heavens the weather has improved and the roads are open again! I have to say the Halloween photo of the children when small made me smile all over again, but I particularly like the new firework one… can’t believe how they have all grown… it seems like yesterday… šŸ™‚ Love to you and your family too Babs, and thank you for keeping in touch, it means a lot, love Ali xx

  25. alison keenan November 12, 2012 at 8:23 pm -  Reply

    Debbie, both Colin and I do indeed remember you Jo and Sue and that perfect evening on Sydney Harbour. I will ask my editor for your e mail address as I’d love to see the photos! Yes, feeling pretty good these days, and moving steadfastly forwards! I hope very much all is good with you three too – Send us some sunshine please!!! Love Ali xx

  26. alison keenan November 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

    My dear Janet, I am so sorry to hear of your pending surgery, and completely understand why you are in a panic about it all. PLEASE will you call Breast Cancer Care on 0800 800 6000 and talk to them about your fears and also your subsequent stay in hospital? An overnight stay for a mastectomy and full lymph node clearance sounds a little too short a time to rest properly to me, although the Hospice at Home and McMillan Nurses I know are exceptional. The thing is Janet, you are already beginning your recovery… the diagnosis has been made, and now the surgery will be carried out… it’s not easy, but is truly giving you – like me – your best chance! šŸ™‚ Try and stay strong, and promise me you will talk to the lovely team at Breast Cancer Care, or get your hospital to put you in touch with a McMillan nurse BEFORE the surgery. Please do keep in touch, and I am sure that all of Ali’s Army would join me in sending our love and prayers to you. Amica and I have been where you are, and we are both doing well…. you will too šŸ™‚ Lots of love Janet, Ali xx

  27. Susan November 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Glad to hear your weekend…or 4 day break…went very relaxingly if that’s a word?! I have never done a spa break or anything like that but would love to sometime. I am sorry you didn’t love Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love but glad you liked her in Erin Brockovich. I love her in both! I love both films also! See you soon and take care,
    Susan x

  28. alison keenan November 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm -  Reply

    Sue, thank you, and up until 2pm today I would have said it was all going well, but major problem with the land registry and titles, which colin flagged months ago and was forgotten about…. not sure quite what happens now, but will have to wait and see! I do hope all is going well with you, love Ali xxx

  29. alison keenan November 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm -  Reply

    Sue, I take my hat off to you for learning to drive, although I think your choice of car is perfect to get you relaxed on the roads, and am keeping everything crossed that you pass in December! As far as the ice/frost is concerned…. sadly it’s a necessary evil unless you’re lucky enough to have a garage – I remember Colin one morning in his jeans and a T shirt scraping ice off with a credit card – there’s dedication for you!! Hopefully you should have my e mail today with a request for your home address, and then the CD will be winging its way to you šŸ™‚ Enjoy! Love Ali xx

  30. alison keenan November 13, 2012 at 10:07 pm -  Reply

    Dear Jilly, thank you for keeping us all in touch with your daughter’s progress – I am so glad that things are moving forwards, and try not to be too apprehensive about the treatments to come – some women respond really well with very few side effects – I pray your daughter is one of those! As far as the cold cap is concerned….. rarely do I get on my soap box, but if you can humour me just this once….. I was ALWAYS completely against it, as I can’t bear being cold…. the cap is put on at a temperature of minus 5 degrees, and you have to have it on for an hour before the chemo starts (that takes one and a half hours to drip through) and then another two hours after treatment has finished… There is NO guarantee that it will work (the staff will explain this), and if it does, it may only help you keep some of your hair, which may make for a patchy regrowth…. I am sure that all the chemo staff promote this system because some women find it devastating when their hair falls out…. that said, if your daughter is lucky enough to keep all her hair, then the fact that she won’t need further treatment after the four three weekly cycles could well mean it’s worth it for her…. My hair started to grow back two weeks after I finished chemo šŸ™‚ I hope this helps her with her decision….. just so sorry she has to even think about such things… That said, she’s already on her way to recovery -thanks again Jilly for your comment, love Ali xx

  31. Alison Keenan November 14, 2012 at 9:15 am -  Reply

    Dear Jilly I was awake in the night worrying about what I had said re the cold cap, as it really is a personal choice, and if your daughter feels the loss of he hair may make the rest of the treatment harder to deal with, then obviously it.s great to have the option to use something which may save it :). I seem to remember there are different types of cap – some that are plugged in and maintain the temperature, but others where they need to keep replacing it over the time as obviously it will thaw out! I am sure if your daughter was interested then she could try it just the once and see how she gets on. Please do let me know how she’s doing and anything else re the actual chemo you/she needs to know, just ask. It must be hard for you to watch h go through this, but I am so very glad that she has you there for support – everyone needs their mum at times like these šŸ™‚ Take care, love Ali xx

  32. Jill Foster November 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm -  Reply

    Thank you so much for your reply Ali – I will certainly pass this on to my daughter. I feel that it would be much easier for me if I was going through this rather than her but she is very strong and just wants to get on with it and move forward and get it over with then put all this behind her (or as much as she can for the moment). How good to know your hair started to grow back after two weeks of the chemo stopping- I shall also mention that to my daughter – you see I have to say once again how much help your blog has been – not just for me but all the other women reading it. I will update you when we have some more progress reports.
    Thank you for being there for us Love Jillyxx

  33. Jill Foster November 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Please don’t give your comments about the cold cap another thought – I am just grateful to have you there – I am like you and would prefer not to have the cold cap – there are some wonderful wigs around and you looked stunning in yours. Tomorrow when my daughter comes here we will check some out and then she can decide what she wants to do – she is not a fussy hair person so that will help -but grateful thanks and also from my daughter. I will if you don’t mind perhaps ask some questions nearer the time of when the chemo starts. It is such a help looking at your earlier blogs to see how you went along and to see how very great you look now.
    Thank you again Love Jillyxx

  34. Alison Keenan November 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm -  Reply

    Oh Jilly I am relieved, as the last thing I’d want to do is cause worry. The Ken Paves range of wigs is small, but that is where my short haired red one came from, and I lived in it! Please feel free to ask ANY questions as and when you need, and I sure if I can’t answer them, then someone out there will be able to šŸ™‚ You take care, and although you can’t do this for your daughter, being there is the next best thing. With love, Ali xx

  35. Janet H November 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    It was so nice to read your reply and thankyou for that.
    Well the nightmare I was dreading is over, I had my Mastectomy on Monday afternoon at 15:30 and was discharged at 10:00 on Tuesday. I must admit the operation part was okay, shame about the hospital stay although very brief afterwards. I am home now back in my own bed and with my cat’s Ollie and Solo. I am going back to the hospital next Wednesday for the results of my op and to see if they are going to give me anymore treatment. I have been in contact with BCC and they are wonderful and I have a wonderful Breast Cancer Nurse at the hospital who comes to all my appointments with me as I am on my own. The nurses from Hospice at Home are also very nice, they are coming in everyday for the next couple of weeks so that pleases me. My drain should come out on Saturday which I am looking forward to because it is quite uncomfortable and little Ollie loves trying to get a hold of the pipe bless him. All in all I feel okay at the moment I remembered everything you had written to me beforehand whilst in hospital and that seemed to keep my moral up so thankyou so much for that.
    I hope that you are having a good week and look forward to your next blog. I will let you know how I get on next week and thanks once again for writing to me.
    Take good care of yourself.
    Love to you and Amica from Janet, Ollie and Solo xxxxx

  36. alison keenan November 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm -  Reply

    Janet I am so glad to hear that you have had your operation and are safely at home, but with the support system in place, and people on hand to help you with your forthcoming hospital visits and to be there for you. I can tell you that once the drain comes out you will definitely feel more comfortable – remember to take a deep breath in when they remove it – much more comfy that way šŸ™‚ I hope that it won’t be necessary for you to have too much follow on treatment, but whatever advice they give you then McMillan, Breast Cancer Care and even those of us in Ali’s Army who have been through it, are here to help. Do make sure your furry friends don’t get their paws caught in your drain tubes though! I caught mine on the door handle – big ouch! šŸ™‚ Rest up this weekend, and well done for doing so well on this first part of your recovery, with my love, Ali xx

  37. Pam Richardson November 16, 2012 at 9:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    Enjoyed reading your blog as usual, I hope you had a great weekend with your girlfriends.
    Am just watching you with Caroline on the Liz Earle show and must say your hair is looking really lovely. I think the length is really flattering,
    I have had a wonderful day today as my son returned home after 8 months working in America. It is wonderful to have him back but he enjoyed himself so much he is going back in March. I thought hurricane Sandy might put him off but unfortunately not.
    Not going to think about that yet, tomorrow we are having a welcome home party for him at my daughters which should be great as my brothers, sister and families will be there and we always have a wonderful time when we get together.
    Take care, best wishes

  38. Joanna Downey November 17, 2012 at 12:40 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali, l am sorry that this a late reply as I try to get back to you as quickly as you do to us. However, we have had computer problems and I have had a very odd virus so I have been out of touch with many things. I loved your last blog, it suited the season, l also loved ‘Skyfall’ and had to remind myself to breathe for the first 25 minutes… Love from Jo x

  39. Sue Radford November 17, 2012 at 10:51 am -  Reply

    Hi Janet,
    Just read your blog to Ali – I would just like to say I’m so glad you are now back home after your operation and you were so well looked after by BCC. It must be so tough facing this on your own. I really hope your operation was a success. Seeing how Ali has coped must be giving you lots of strength as she is such an inspiration!
    Take care.
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  40. Joanna Downey November 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm -  Reply

    This is to Sue who is having a difficult time; I can only imagine your situation but we’re all with you. I can understand exactly your feelings about hospitals but this is going to be a temporary part of your life AND YOU WILL GET THROUGH. Love to you and Solo and Ollie Jo x

  41. Joanna Downey November 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm -  Reply

    I re-named Janet “Sue” must be a senior moment, my comments were for Janet. Apologies to all confused Sues. Jo x

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