Team GB and a little bit of love


Ali and her sister by the 'Love' sculptureWay to go Team GB!!!!! I don't know about you, but I was pretty much glued to the TV over the weekend – in between working – and I am not a particularly sporty person!

Maybe it was because my sister was with me, and she, in her own words, is a thwarted sprinter (at least that's what I think she said..?!) We watched enthralled as Britain won Gold after Gold medal. And what lovely down to earth people these winners were… not too proud to shed a tear on the podium, or to hug John Inverdale, inspite of his occasionally negative comments!!

As a family it was our brother Peter who really made inroads when it came to sport. He was a great sprinter, triple jumper and tennis player. Infact in tennis, he beat everyone, including the staff!! πŸ™‚

'Love' by Robert IndianaJenny and I were pretty good sprinters (although at Junior School I didn't put much effort in unless it was for kiss chase), and for a short while I represented our house in hurdles… until the girl next to me fell over her hurdle, and I stopped to make sure she was ok!

Had she have been on my team, it probably wouldn't have been such a faux pas!! (oops!) but needless to say my hurdling future was then over.

I played Centre in the Netball Team for a while and wasn't too bad at Hockey, until I was thwacked so hard on the ankle during the 'bullying off' stage that I had to have my leg swathed in crepe bandage and stay at home for a fortnight unable to walk!

Waddesdon ManorBut walking is something we did do this last weekend, over a number of different floors, and some pretty expensive carpet, while enjoying the very opulent interior of Waddesdon Manor.

It's a National Trust property built in 1874 by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to display his outstanding collection of art treasure – oh, and to throw a party or two! Impressive isn't it?! As well as the old artefacts (that'd be Colin and I), they also had on show an exhibition of Contemporary Sculpture – all sorts of things from beautiful birds created from plants to wrought iron Tea pots!

This sculpture though (photos above) is one you may recognise. It's by a chap called Robert Indiana and was made in 1966. I first saw it when I was in New York with Lucy in 2006 and of course it is featured on the cover of one of my favourite romantic novels, 'Love Story' by Erich Segal.

The bride and groom Love was definitely in the air the previous weekend when Colin and I spent the day with his family celebrating the marriage of Stacey (Colin's neice) to Stephen. Again, I was able to recycle an outfit I'd worn before (to Ros's wedding two years previously) and borrow my sister's hat! I also have to thank our very own Anna Cookson for lending me her jacket as it went perfectly with the dress and hat! πŸ™‚

The sun shone, the church was beautiful and the couple very much in love – another perfect day.

Thanks, by the way to all of you who wrote to me last week, as it's been particularly entertaining catching up on your news, and hearing about your weddings and holiday – oh and cricket matches Mary!! The search for a new home continues, and although I know it's out there somewhere, it is hard to think of moving out of my little cottage.

Ali and Colin at Stacey's wedding I have become close friends with my landlord and his mum who live in the cottage next door, as they have been a constant through what has been at times, a difficult year… nothing to say we can't keep in touch though eh? πŸ™‚

And I very much hope that you'll be able to keep in touch with me at midnight tonight, as it's my first TSV launch in heaven knows how long! I have a visit to the oncologist and then the dentist before I head towards Chiswick Park.

But the excitement of being the first to introduce you to Diamonique Day will keep the energy levels up, as will the unveiling of the beautiful piece of jewellery that has been chosen as our Today's Special Value… it has very much caught my imagination, and is something I am so inspired by, I've bought two already!!

Do hope you'll be able to join me and maybe call in – how grand would that be to put a voice to the name?! πŸ˜€

Have a wonderful week, and may the sun shine on you πŸ™‚

With my love, Ali xx 


  1. Susan August 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What a lovely blog. What a stunning wedding dress of Stacey’s! I do love dresses with straps as sooo many now are strapless. Almost a little predictable I think. But then that’s just me! I thought Anna’s jacket was a perfect match to your outfit!! Wouldn’t have known! I have to say that you don’t sound that non-sporty to me lol. Netball, hockey, sprinting! I like the rest of the country have been glued and so impressed. Fabulous. Oh and I must say I’m pretty sure it was John Inverdale who was soo emotional when the lovely lads in rowing got their silver but lost their gold title…he shed a tear. So sad!
    Look forward to your TSV and hope you got on ok today,
    Love Susan x

  2. Elaine sallis August 7, 2012 at 7:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Lovely blog as usual. You and Colin make a lovely couple. I was never sporty, I still cringe with embarrassment at being the one who went the wrong way round the maypole at infant school and made everyone else stop as all the ribbons were tangled. I stayed well away from sport until I went out with and finally married a rugby player. Who is now a staunch Aston villa fan.
    Two baby cardigans completed before she arrives so think I deserve a medal !
    Hope all went well at hospital and dentist.
    Love Elaine. Xxx

  3. Babs lincsxxx August 7, 2012 at 9:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali Don’t you and your sister look alike,even your smiles. The olympics have had me keeping the TV on all day so i can keep watching whilst working,not good as i have’nt got the things done i need to whilst we have the better weather,but are’nt we doing great for medals.Once again you look very elegant in your lovely outfit, Colin very smart.The bride looks beautiful.All these weddings,when are we going to hear you announce your engagement to Colin, or am i being cheeky. I know he’s bought you a 7diamond ring but thats not an engagemet ring is it.You never seem to stop but thats a good thing is’nt it, keeps your mind occuppied with other things rather you being poorly.Now you are on the up and up thank goodness and my word who would know you have been so poorly the way you have coped with it. CHEERS! heres to you and your future.I will see you tonight at midnight, as Bruce Forsythe would say “You Are My Favourite” Ha Ha love to you, Colin and your family, hope they are all keeping well xxxxxx

  4. Chris Page August 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    25 years ago, I was representing Hereward college at the National Disabled Student Games at Loughborough University. I was a Discus and Javelin thrower, but my lusty teenage attentions were drawn to a pretty Welsh wheelchair racer. I knew from the moment I saw her on the track that she would be a big star one day – and now that lady is a Paralympic veteran (our most successful track athlete) and sits in the House of Lords as Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson. Sadly, my athletic prowess fell away, along with tendon problems in my throwing elbow.

  5. Norma Smithson August 9, 2012 at 10:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Excellant blog (as usual) yes the Olympics are wonderful, for me it’s been the equestrian events that have been supberb, it’s been years since we achieved such results. Although I don’t ride myself, equestrianism has been my business life for the last thirty years, so the results in eventing, then the show jumping and finally today the dressage, such wonderful horses.When Charlotte got the gold, with the wonerful patriotic music, I got out the tissues. Saw you on the Diamonique special value, loved the dress, and you could tell the way you presented the pendant that you absolutely loved it, excellant product diamonique, have rings and earings and people always comment on them when I wear them. Hope all went well at the oncologist, and you and Colin find that perfect home, you’ll find it when you least expect it, I think of you often having that long drive in to QVC, I used to have to drive a lot and can remember being on the M25 for over five hours and we only moved a mile and a half, murder!!!!. Take care Love Norma xx

  6. SUE RADFORD August 9, 2012 at 11:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I really wasn’t looking forward to the Olympic Games, but I surprised myself and must honestly say I’ve enjoyed watching it so much. I’m not a sporty person, but I did take part and win many races during my time at senior school. I hated all other sports though, especially netball!
    Your sister looks so much like you – she has the same lovely smile. Glad you enjoyed yet another happy wedding – loved your outfit! Gosh! you’ve attended quite a few weddings recently haven’t you?
    Hope all went well with your visit to the Oncologist (and the dentist). I also hope your house hunting is going well. I can understand how you feel leaving the cottage that has been your safe haven during such a difficult time, but Ali it’s time to move on now, and it will be so exciting and refreshing to move to a new property, which I’m sure you’ll love even more as you’ll be sharing it with Colin – great times ahead Ali!
    Saw you during the launch of “Todays Special Value” – you look so well – just wonderful!
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  7. Marg August 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi ALI, hope you are well on this beautiful Saturday afternoon, I was pottering around the garden but it was too WARM, not a complaint we have has to often this year, I’m afraid the garden has been left in the hands of the man who cuts ,trims and keeps order in general as far as the grass and shrubs are concerned. We didnt have one successful annual this year, the bedding season was so awful I couldnt keep them going in the cold frame.Never mind there are lots of shades of green and the occasional flowering shrub. Theres always next spring to try again.
    I must say you look very swish in the wedding picture,you really suit the light colours, that hat is a stunner, oh and Colin looked very dapper to.
    I stayed up to watch the TSV you did and thankyou for remembering our names, I would be too nervous to ring in but I would have loved to, thing is I cant wear silver so I dont have Diamonique, I did mark the occasion by buying a pair of little star earings, they are beautiful I will find some way to wear them, mabye not as ear studs but as a touch on a sweater to brighten it up, I can remove the back post, we’ll see. I did get a second pair just to keep,I liked them so much.
    I put a comment on facebook qvc about how you looked and it got plenty of comment, we all thought you looked fab even at 2am.
    I hope all is going well for the show, they are right to make good use of your looks,I know it will be a great success.
    I noticed you had news of Alpha I was so pleased she was getting the attention she needed, thankyou for letting us know, I hope she will improve with the correct treatment,I think of the ladies often and wonder about what they are doing. I hope life is treating them kindly and wish them well.
    Its amazing how you brought us together as a group of strangers and although we had the common link of your blog we all shared a common goal, to see you back at QVC,happy and fit. Well that part has come through,with bells on.
    I hope you have some success with your house hunting,and keep glowing as you are doing,
    Keep Well Dear ALI,

  8. alison keenan August 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Susan, and I’m so glad you enjoyed reading the blog. I agree with you and thought Stacey’s dress was beautiful – like Lucy, she felt the straps balanced the bodice perfectly and I have to agree! It’s good that you too have been enjoying the Olympics – just about the get ready to watch the diving! It was indeed John Inverdale who was too emotional to speak after the rowing! The entire team of presenters I think have done a cracking job, and we’ll no doubt miss them! Thanks for asking re Oncologist – chest pains are due to the radiotherapy which can make the bones heat up hugely during treatment… will be checked again in three months, but no real worry there at all πŸ™‚ I hope you liked the TSV and thanks for watching! Love Ali xx

  9. alison keenan August 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm -  Reply

    Elaine, what are you like?! The wrong way around the maypole!!! Sounds like you made a better decision with your rugby playing husband!! πŸ™‚ Delighted that you’ve had the old knitting needles out and made two cardigans already – I think you deserve a medal too. Hospital fine – seeing breast nurse on Tuesday and check up in 3 months. Dentist good too – am going to start the whitening trial with my teeth! One day I may sport the blinding grin of Ms Greenwood!! Love to you and keep in touch re the baby won’t you. x

  10. alison keenan August 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Babs, do you know it’s funny how much more alike Jenny and I look now that we’re older. We also sound very similar too! It was great to see her, and having hopefully found a house, we will be living far closer to each other at last which will be good πŸ™‚ You made me smile with the engagement comment…. You’re right the 7 stone ring is an eternity ring, but it came with a promise, and that still holds true… I tend to take each day as it comes now – we both do – so don’t really plan ahead, but…… if anything happens you’ll be the first to know πŸ™‚ Take care and thank you for staying up at midnight to watch – I should have said Hello to you! I’m honoured to be ‘your favourite’. Love Ali xx

  11. alison keenan August 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm -  Reply

    Chris thanks so much for writing, and what an amazing memory that you’ve shared! Clearly you were very intuitive and knew a star when you saw her… I will watch out for the Baroness who might make an appearance at the Paralympics next week. I’m sorry that you weren’t able to continue with your discus and Javelin throwing, but how proud you must have been to represent your College all those years ago. I hope that life has been good to you, and you have done all those things you set out to do πŸ™‚ Love Ali xx

  12. alison keenan August 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm -  Reply

    Hello Norma, and lovely to hear about your business – thirty years in equestrianism – not easy to say, and I’m sure pretty hard work! I also saw some of our Olympic dressage, and the horses were just beautiful! Like highly polished wood rather than a living breathing animal – and such incredible control. A few more tears will be shed I’m sure at the closing ceremony, but we can sit back and feel jolly proud – amazing results for such a small island eh? Just to update you, Colin and I have found a house, so finger’s crossed it all goes through. Chest pains were due the damage caused by radiotherapy, but check up in 3 months, and dentist was fine. It’s very kind of you to ask. I hope that you will have enjoyed the weekend’s sport, and thank you for staying up with me (metaphorically) for the TSV last week. Love Ali xx

  13. alison keenan August 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm -  Reply

    My dear Sue, you do sound so very much like me! I wasn’t particularly interested in the Olympics but it has been so memorable and inspiring, many of us are now hooked for life!
    You aren’t alone with your comments about my sister – Jenny is very like me to look at, and I was very grateful for her hat! Yes, Stacey’s wedding was our fourth in 9 months! All was fine with the Oncologist – check up in another 3 months and seeing the breast nurse on Tuesday – thank you for asking. You read me very well too about the cottage, because although I am incredibly excited about Colin and I having a ‘home of our own’, this little place has been exactly as your describe it – a safe haven. Thanks for staying up for the TSV – lovely pendant wasn’t it? – and I hope that life is good for you. Whenever I hear from you I can see that lovely photo of you that you sent to me last year – hope you still have plenty to smile about :), Love Ali xx

  14. alison keenan August 13, 2012 at 9:45 pm -  Reply

    My dear Marg I have to say that your lovely comment has brought a tear to my eye… bless for continually keeping in touch and giving me so much support and kindness – it means a great deal. This blog has been a lifeline to me, and I too am delighted that it’s brought so many of us together – long may it continue!! So sorry to hear that your garden has been a disappointment to you this year – I am sure next year will be better πŸ™‚ Colin and I have found a house, and fingers crossed it will all go through in the next few months. It has a lawn with no beds at all, so will take a fair bit of imagination to bring it to life – Richard Jackson may well be able to help me, he’s such a sweetie πŸ™‚ Bless you for writing on our Facebook page – I still have to discover how to access that, but think our newly updated website is brilliant – much easier to navigate than some I could mention! I do hope that the slightly cooler weather is suiting you, and thanks again for keeping in touch. With my love to you and yours, Ali xxx

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