Meeting Il Divo, visiting Amica and more…


Ali with Il DivoIt's a good job you can't see me as I write because I look like the wreck of The Hesparus this morning – I've actually got bed hair!! 🙂

That's something to celebrate of course: the non matching bedsocks (worn in Colin's absence I hasten to add) and thermal nightie don't look all that alluring either, but are necessary as it's a tad parky today. I'm trying to leave the heating off overnight, which is fine when I have my usual three hot flushes a night, but not so good when I wake up with a blue nose! 

There was of course very little to grumble about last week when I met Il Divo – what lovely gentlemen they were too, and very complimentary – which was a bonus! It was extraordinary to hear the power of their voices in our somewhat small studio, and the hairs on the back of my neck – which have only just grown back – were left standing! They said they'd definitely come back another time, so here's hoping!

Ali with AmicaAlong with working I've managed to visit Amica, our lovely model who was also diagnosed with breast cancer this year. She's doing very well following her reconstruction and is now on a different drug to herceptin to keep things in check.

She wanted to see how my hair was growing back and so I took my wig off and put it on the windowsill – next to hers! Looks funny doesn't it 🙂 She's hoping to come back to work soon too which will be lovely, and I've passed all your good wishes on to her. 

My CT bone scan was all clear and now I just have to wait for the MRI results of the breast tissue, but am expecting good news there too as it would be staggering to think anything sinister could still be lurking after that much chemo!

Ali and Amicas' wigsI'd be fibbing though if I said I wasn't a little nervous when once more, face down, I was manouvered into the MRI tunnel. Luckily I could just about hear Bobby Darin singing Mack the Knife over the constant banging, and before I knew it I was out.

Those nerves were nothing though compared to the stomach-churning, body-shaking ones I had on Monday night before I read at the Candlelight Carol Concert in Knightsbridge. Breast Cancer Care has asked me to write and read a Reflection for them, looking back over the last year. St Paul's is a beautiful church, and I was thrilled to meet Zoe Wanamaker, Bill Paterson, and the delightful Dan Stevens – who stars as Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey.

Ali with Zoe Wanamaker, Cherie Booth and Samir (the Chair of BCC) at the BCC Candlelight concertMy dear friends Ros and Jo both came along and as a complete surprise so did Lucy and Richard! Colin was there with me and held my juddering candle as I crept up the carpeted steps to the Lecturn. Suddenly I was nine years old in St. Mary's Church East Molesey, where I had read from the bible for an Easter Service.

Then, I'd read it through without stumbling, although I was a little worried that the word 'loin' might have caused  a ripple. This time, as I laid my speech out in front of me I looked up and into the congregation and a feeling of peace came over me… might sound silly but I felt instantly calmer, and apart from a slight wobble towards the end, I managed to read it through without crying. All was quiet as I walked back to my seat and as I saw my friends and family smiling at me, I knew that this last year, with its fear and uncertainty had been lain to rest…. the future is so much brighter 🙂

Alison with Colin at the BCC Candlelight concertAfter the service, Colin and I were invited to the Lanesborough Hotel for a champagne supper where we had a wonderful night with most of the management from Breast Cancer Care and the delightful fashion designer Hilary Alexander.

After a delicious meal, I was given the microphone and had to draw the raffle…. even though I picked a diner completely at random, can you believe the first ticket out was Colin's!! I put it back of course and someone else won the midweek stay in the Cotswolds, but it was anything other than a disappointing night for me….

The auction that followed saw my man bidding on a trip to Sydney via Dubai, which he won!!!! We will be heading out to Oz in the Spring before my op and I will finally see my brother after seven years – I am soooo excited 🙂 We'll also visit Colin's brother who lives in Tasmania and owns a vineyard there – could be interesting?! How lucky am I 🙂  

Today I'm visiting properties with Sam who is looking to move and then this evening we're off to Greenwood Towers for supper with Deb and Paul, Kathy and Olley and Claire and Dan… I'll make sure I take my camera! 

A black squirrelI'll leave you with a picture of a rather unsual creature who lives up the lane… I've never seen a black squirrel before, but this one is particulary friendly although bloomin' fast on his feet, so rather difficult to photograph. Any idea where he might have come from? I thought we only had red and grey squirrels in England??  

As always, thank you for keeping in touch with me, and for keeping me in touch with your lives. I hope that all is good in your world as Ali's Army marches towards a New Year 🙂  

Have a great week, Love Ali xxx


  1. Tina Lynne Shaddick December 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, I am so pleased that you have had good news regarding you CT Bone scan and wish every good wish when you have your MRI results.It was such a shock to hear about Amica also being diagnosed with breast cancer. I hope she is well and also fighting this dreadful disease. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.Wishing a joyful Christmas and mor importantly a wonderful healthy New Year. Regards and good wishes from Tina (West Glam., South Wales)

  2. maureen green December 9, 2011 at 7:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison it is lovely to see you back on qvc and looking great!Please pass on my best wishes to Amica i had no idea she was poorly too i miss her on the Gatineau shows especially.
    Happy christmas to you and your family.
    Best wishes Maureen xxx

  3. Magda Chetty December 9, 2011 at 9:17 pm -  Reply

    The beautiful beautiful Ali and the Army
    What a great blog Ali as always. You are an amazing lady, love your photo with Amica, great to hear that she is doing fine. Thank you for your advice, I did go to the hospital and talked to the doctor about getting other medication with less side effect, and she gave me something to stop me from being sick all the time, so far so good, I have been ok for 3 days. Thank you ladies ( the army )for asking after me and for your great support, you always help to cheer me up and keep me going, I love you all, and hope to meet you one day.
    Ali how amazing is it to look forward to Australia, well done Colin, Hope you have the time of your life, you both deserve it.
    Iam now booked for London, and will be able to come to QVC between 27-30 December, hope to see you and Debbie Greenwood and Kathy, it will make my trip, I can make it at any time, so hope to arrange something, seeing you will be the best thing to end this year for me. Keep happy and stay healthy my love.
    Have the best Christmas ever with your wonderful family.XXXX
    Much love.

  4. debi stubbs December 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm -  Reply

    Ali i am glad you are on your way to recovery, you are looking well and that wig you were wearing on air really suits you, glad for the update of Amica, she is looking well.
    Wth regards to the story of the black squirrel, i have a massive Conker tree outside my house and every year we have a black squirrel and a grey squirrel that must live nearby, they chase each other round the trunk, it is hilarious to watch, i thought they were only local to Hertfordshire, we had a pub in Letchworth in herts called the black squirrel as well.
    Anyway hope you have a fab Christmas and i wish you well for next year. Take care Debi x

  5. Pam Richardson December 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison glad everything went well at the carol concert. I am sure your reading was lovely as you have a beautiful speaking voice. How lucky are you with your holiday to Oz to look forward to -well done Colin!
    It was lovely to hear that Amica is doing so well, she has been missed and it will be great to see her on our screens again soon.
    I had a bit of a health scare myself recently which involved me collapsing in our local shopping centre and being taken to hospital in an ambulance – my 3 daughters were in a right state. Seems my heart beat is a bit slow and I might end up with a pacemaker but it might pass so we will have to see.
    Some good news though, my second eldest daughter and her boyfriend have just got engaged. I am so happy for them. The wedding is not for a couple of years as they want to buy a house next year but we have the engagement party in Feb and in the meantime lots of wedding discussions and wedding fairs to go to, it is very exciting.
    Hope you are nearly ready for Christmas.
    Love Pam x

  6. Sara December 10, 2011 at 1:02 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I’m so pleased to hear your bone scan was clear, hope the results of the MRI are good. There is something very strange about listening to Mack the Knife face down in an MRI machine. I have been in one a couple of times, I tried to pretend the banging was house music or whatever they call it. I always boast about my MRIs because my mum had a panic attack and had to come out of one she had, she’s never lived it down! I think if you close your eyes before you get in or even really see the tunnel it helps, even if someone has to guide you, because for me if I didn’t see it my brain didn’t really believe it, ie. the smallness. I am sure you’ve got some good tactics by now.
    I am glad you got to see Amica, I am sure a lot of us have been wondering how she is and I really hope things go well for her.
    I am sure your reading was brilliant! Very interested to see a black squirrel, and it is fantastic news that you’re going to Australia. Good bit of bidding there!

  7. SUE RADFORD December 10, 2011 at 1:31 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    You made my day – just reading your uplifting, exciting and positive blog just shows how far you’ve come! This blog has painted a picture in all our minds of what you’ve achieved after going through so much this year – you sound positive, look stunning and so happy. Ali, how lovely that you’ll be treated to a luxurious holiday and getting the chance to visit your brother in the process – well what can I say – JUST WONDERFUL! Well done to Colin!! Not only have you turned a corner as you’ve said, but you are also threequarters of the way up that hill now, and there isn’t much marching to go!
    I can imagine how nervous you must have been when giving your speech. Having to do two high profile speeches in a matter of months – I would have been a complete nervous wreck! Well, it was worth it wasn’t it?
    It was lovely to see Amica – she still looks classically beautiful as she’s always looked. You both look lovely without your wigs. (Your hair is growing back very fast isn’t it?) You made me smile when you described what you were wearing while typing your blog, because that’s what I’ve been looking like this last few days – I hate the cold!
    Hope you had a great night with your QVC friends – you couldn’t have had a better bunch of people to spend the night with. I love Debbie’s sense of humour, Kathy’s warm personality and Claire’s bubbly slightly eccentric (in a very nice way) personality.
    Christmas is nearly here – I’m sooo excited!!!
    Take care Ali. My best wishes too, to all Ali’s army – onwards we all proceed!!
    Love – Sue Radford xx (p.s. A black squirrel – I only know of red and grey ones too!)

  8. mary morphy December 10, 2011 at 5:27 am -  Reply

    Good morning Ali (I am writing this at 4.58am watching the repeat TSV hour of crystal bracelets and its dark as I am sitting here with the tree lights twinkling; very pretty but can’t see the keyboard very well so excuse the typing errors!)What a marvelllous week you have had. I didnt get to see Il Divo but watched the repeat from the QVC website…ooh they certainly warm the cockles of the heart…. The carol concert sounds like it was a very emotional and uplifting experience not just for you but for others that attended. You have come through so much this year, its wonderful now that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and nearer and I am keeping my fingers crossed for a clear MRI, the bone scan news was fantastic and must have been a huge relief for you and your family and now you have a family reunion to look forward to in the spring.
    How fantastic do you and Amica look, all the wigs on the windowsill needed was a saucer of milk! Great news though that she is also doing well.
    Westgate has been cold and windy but I love the dark evenings as the yankee candles are lit early in the evening and with all the tree lights and my fireside garland the house is all christmassy and cosy. Only one set of lights not working this year..outside porch canopy is now bare however I do have blue and white lights twinkling away in the front garden shrubs which my daughter tells me “are tastefully done and not tacky!” (There is a standing joke about lights and bushes but we won’t go there..I expect you are chuckling by now!) Last year was a disaster, both sets of lights on my main tree decided to have a malfunction with only bits of each set working. My tree is my pride and joy and I am the only one who is allowed to decorate or even touch it..passion for perfection, not a control freak..but the lights went wrong on Xmas day so I was unable to redress with new ones. Have new bright LED lights now which were bought in the sale in January, a bargain…500 lovely lights which my husband is moaning about because they reflect in the black glass of the curved fire and he can’t see the telly properly! We do have another tree which the kids do although my 14 year old son decided to opt out this year so my daughter took control..she’s getting a bit like me! They have old fashioned wooden decs on theirs plus since they were born, I have bought them a xmas bauble each year so they are on there to. The idea is that when they leave home they will have their special baubles to take with them but if the financial climate remains I will need a bigger tree as they may be with me forever!!!
    Keep warm Ali, hope you have a good week..I will as we finish school Friday for the hols. Lots of love Mary xx

  9. Sandra December 10, 2011 at 11:20 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali, This is the first time I have left any comment on a blog but have been reading yours and your journey through the year. I am so pleased everything is going well for you now and you have turned the corner. I have had health problems over the last two years and hope next year will be the light at the end of the tunnel.You are an inspiration to me and probably to loads of other women.I wish you good health and happiness for you in the year ahead and hope its a year full of fun and laughter
    love Sandra x

  10. Linda Marshall December 10, 2011 at 12:25 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, I am so pleased that your scan was clear you must be very happy.I am glad that Colin won that auction it will do you so much good after all you have been through in the past year.On Tues the 13th we go to see my husbands surgeon who did his pancreatic operation i just hope we will have a good result. the only trouble is that he keeps on losing weight and is now down to 8st 7lbs.I am so sorry not to reply to your last blog but we had our 16 year old grandson in hospital with Meningitis. It turned out to be the viral one so we were very lucky it could have been so much worse.
    love Linda xxx

  11. ELIZABETH ANN GREEN December 10, 2011 at 3:46 pm -  Reply

    HI ALI.

  12. Debz & Ainzley December 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    What an inspirational blog and boy haven’t you been busy!
    I am so glad that your CT scan was OK and I have everything crossed that your MRI scan will be OK too. Like you said, nothing could have survived all that chemo surely!!
    Glad your speech went well. You are becoming an old hand at them now. What a lovely way to put this last 12 months behind you and look forward with hope to the New Year.
    What a super special man your Colin is. With next year being a leap year and all, maybe you should get down on one knee and make a honest man of him eh?!!! Fancy him bidding and winning that trip to Oz. It’s almost like it was meant to be. You can see your brother after all this time and a nice treat before your surgery. More happy memories to be created to hopefully replace the darkness from this year.
    Amica is looking well and I am so glad that, hopefully, she will be back with us soon.
    Ainzley managed to lick all the butter off my toast yesterday morning when I had to answer the door!! Not good for his special diet. I’m just glad I saw him doing it otherwise I would have been non the wiser and I almost could have had toast with butter and cat spit. I shudder to think what THAT would have done to me!!
    Hope your property hunting with Sam went well. I do hope he is feeling better in himself and looking forward to a new year.
    Love to all of Ali’s Army. I hope you are all OK and are almost ready for the festive season. I am sending you all a seasonal hug and some virtual mulled wine and a mince pie!!
    Lots of love and festive, buttery licks

  13. Debz & Ainzley December 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Alpa and Una
    Just a little note to let you know that I haven’t forgotten you both. I know life is hard for you at the moment so I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and wishing you well.
    Helen, I hope that you are hanging on in there and just doing what you can. Big hugs to you my lovely.
    Lots of love and festive licks

  14. Pauline Howells December 10, 2011 at 9:25 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison, It was so good to read your news and also to see a picture of my favourite model Amica who I met a few years ago on a visit to QVC. I am a lucky survivor too. Next August it will be 20 years ( had my quadrantectomy just after my 60th birthday) so feel blessed to have lived so long after my operation. Unfortunately eight months ago I lost my beautiful daughter Alison to cancer, and pray for the day when this dreadful disease will be finally be totally cured.All blessings to you and your family, and to Amica if you see her. Pauline

  15. Elaine Martin December 10, 2011 at 10:12 pm -  Reply

    Alison you are such an ispiration – not only to myself (I have a long term, deteriorating health problem) & your blogs help me to stop feeling sorry for myself on down days, to so many other women & to the organisation BCC. It is lovely to have you back on our screens looking so well & with your ever changing hair colour 😉 How wonderful too to see Amica, who’s looking very well & very glamorous in your picture, fingers crossed that no more nasties are instore for either of you & that next year will make up for all that you’ve both been through this year 🙂 So sorry if this was rather long (it’s the 1st time I’ve plucked up the courage to leave a comment & there was so much I wanted to say). Here’s to a very Happy Christmas & New Year, Elaine :)x

  16. Julie C December 10, 2011 at 10:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Another superbly inspirational blog, you are a truly talented writer. So lovely to see Amica, what a great pic of both of your wigs, you are two very brave ladies. My son’s leg is doing really well and I start my radiotherapy on Monday, I signed up for a trial which could have shortened it to 3.5 weeks but alas the computer selected me for the standard treatment so with christmas/new year bank holidays I will get 5 weeks. I had my roots done today as per my normal schedule, some would think it mad but I need to look my best for my daily hospital visits. I’m sure you understand:) I hope that you and your extended family have a very special christmas. I’ve found it a bit tricky getting into the spirit this year so am going to buy Michael Buble’s christmas album tomorrow, I’m sure that will do the trick. Love and best wishes Julie xx

  17. Mrs Norma Smithson December 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali I wish I could have been at the church to see you give your talk, I knew when it was happening and my thoughts and prayers were with you. Glad you mentioned Annika, I missed her on qvc and had sent an email to see if all was ok but got no reply, I trust like yourself she continues to get well and you can celebrate a superb 2012. Much love to you and all your family over the festive season Norma x

  18. Linda, Glasgow December 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Private Linda reporting for duty – attention!! But seriously i’m so delighted that you are still going onwards and upwards and the trip to Oz sounds wonderful(what a lovely fella Colin is – and how lucky he is to have youxx)i do hope you both enjoy it – hopefully we will find out more via your blog later in 2012. It will be such a hardship having to visit the vineyard and you’ll be obliged to taste the wine too – i do hope you both survive the ordeal – i’m only jealousxx Amica is looking great – i laughed so much(not at you but with you) when i viewed the photograph of the two wigs side by side – laughing in the face of adversity(love itxx).Lovely to speak to you again Alix Look after yourself(and Colin) and i hope you both have the best Christmas and that 2012 has more highs than lowsxx Linda,Glasgowxx

  19. Jeannie December 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm -  Reply

    Just wanted to say “Well done Ali” – for, not only making your speech at the Service in St Paul’s, but also, getting through a very difficult year! All Good Wishes to you and your family for Christmas and the New Year!

  20. Joanna Downey December 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, Uplifting and busy blog as ever. What a fabulous time you’ll have next year,and with some of the sunshine you were denied this Summer. The carol concert sounds glorious and I’m so impressed that you could speak, I only have to hear the opening notes of “Once in Royal…” and I start crying. It was lovely to see Amica and to hear that she’s doing so well, hopefully she’ll be back on screen soon. I’ve seen black squirrels in New york so yours must be visiting family and friends! As a family we’ve had a good 2011 with Bex’s wedding and Ellie graduating and starting her first teaching job and I’m aware of how lucky we are. Your experience this year, and the way you have told us about it, has given me a lot to think about AND I’m not usually given to much introspection. I tend to “skate” through life always expecting things to stay as they are and with a certainty that it will remain that way. Thank you for your honesty and humour, they’ve made me stop taking so much for granted. I wondered where the name “Ali’s Army” came from and looked back over your blog replies during those difficult, early months and wow it was me, I wrote it in February! I wish you a Merry Christmas and a totally Glorious New Year. Love from Jo x

  21. Eileen P. December 11, 2011 at 7:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, So glad all went well with your speech. Lovely photo of yourself and Amica, also the one with Colin. I’m really pleased your CT bone scan was clear, that must have boosted your confidence no end. You have had a bad year but things look so much brighter for next year. I’ve had a few bad days (pains) after the trip to Coventry to see the grand-kids, well worth it though. I’m having a giggle at the odd bed-socks as I’ve done the same myself. My kitten had been clawing at the socks on the clothes maiden and pulled some threads which left holes in the socks. As it was on the sole it would have been uncomfortable to stitch them up. The odd ones still kept me warm so I wasn’t really bothered. Hope you have a lovely Christmas and a very healthy and happy 2012. God bless, take care.
    Love Eileen P. xxx
    Please say hello to Amica and pass on my best wishes for a speedy recovery. xx

  22. Liz December 11, 2011 at 8:43 pm -  Reply

    Just love reading your blogs, Alison. Wonderful news that your health is on the up and so is Amica’s health. It will be great to have you both back on QVC and you can put your wigs on the desk in front of you!!! What excitement about Colin winning the trip to Australia. You’ll have a terrific time visiting your beloved relatives. What an excuse to go wine tasting! Hope you had a delicious meal with Debbie and Paul and what great company you had too.I love hearing about all your very good and supportive friends. Keep well Alison and I look forward to the next blog.
    Love Liz.

  23. Liz December 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm -  Reply

    Alison, forgot to say I have wrapped all the Christmas parcels today listening to Il Divo’s latest CD. What wonderful voices they have and such a pleasure to listen to. Your interview with them was very relaxed….lucky you!

  24. Denise December 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, What a great blog from you as always. Well done on the Carol Service – I always find them emotional at the best of times but then to add your experience this year I can understand how it must have felt. So pleased that it all went off swimmingly though.
    What an exciting trip you have to look forward to next year – Oz and Dubai wow. That will keep you going through the horrid winter months.
    Hope you enjoyed the meal at Debbie’s with the other girls – sounds like a fun night to me. Hope the house hunting went well also.
    Love Denise xx

  25. kay salisbury December 11, 2011 at 9:03 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali-your year started so horribly and worryingly, but has ended so well-you have come a long way and been such an inspiration to all—-cancer sufferers and others-we all feel ‘it could be me next’!!!!, but you have shown that no matter how bad the treatment must be, and how low one must feel at times, there is hope and reward and still humour at the end of the tunnel :=) I wish you the best for this Christmas-you deserve a good one-I wish you excellent results-you deserve them-and I wish you a truly fantastic 2012-you ARE going to have it.THANK YOU FOR ALWAYS REPLYING.It was good to see Amica looking so well-I have missed her.God bless you Ali-to the victor the spoils. Love Kay.XXX

  26. kath butcher December 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm -  Reply

    hi ali,
    so good to see you back at work,you have been a real inspiration i am sure tolots of fellow sufferers.i saw a black squirrel a couple of years ago in raving in croatia,hope the little fella hasnt come all the way from there.much love ali to you and yours for a super christmas and a fabulously healthy 2012.
    love kath x

  27. Margaret Gannaway December 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm -  Reply

    Have never put a comment on QVC before but Alison, you are such an inspiration. You look wonderful and so pleased you added a photo of Amica. Have been thinking of both of you. Good luck to you both. Love xx

  28. Alpa December 11, 2011 at 11:56 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    I am sorry I have gone AWOL and have not written for a while. I have not been well and can not seem to shake off this horrible feeling of being very weak, which I think is from the M.E. It has made doing anything hard work, which is not good!
    My doctor has not been helpful at all and has has not responded to requests for further information about my health, refused to do referrals that have been requested and dismissed anything that might offer some relief. Even looking at my medical records, which are all computerised is beyond him! This is the norm and it is exhausting fighting for medical care and support when there is no need to (in spite of insisting!) As soon as I am up to it, a new doctor is in order I think!! Sorry for being a grumblestiltskin!!!!
    On a happy note, it’s soooo good to have you back. I love the cinnamon red locks, so stylish and very va va voom!! Although you look lovely with longer hair, short hair does really suit you, and you do look stunning in the photo with your own hair coming through. I’m so pleased that your eyelashes and growing back and that the results of your CT scan were clear. I do hope the results of your MRI scan are clear, please let us know when you find out. I have had a few MRI scans, not good for someone who is claustrophobic and it was a case of eyes shut tightly and lying completely still and feeling very relieved when I came out of the machine!! Saying that, it’s not a pleasant experience for anyone!
    I think you mentioned being concerned about how you looked when you came back? I promise that you look exactly like the very beautiful woman you are and have always been : )
    I did wonder at you looking like the wreck of The Hesparus, are you sure, Ali?! Yay to having bed hair, for sure 🙂 As for the night time attire, needs must, although a blue nose in the morning is not so good as you say, poor thing and the hot flushes at night sound more like hot flashes! Thank you for the photo of you and Amica, lovely to see her and the two wigs sitting side by side did make me smile….it’s as though they are having a rest before being worn again! And a great photo of you with Il Divo and interview, as well. I love your over the knee boots, are they chocolate suede and may I be very cheeky and ask where they are from?!
    What a lovely surprise to have Lucy and Rich support you at the Candlelight Carol Concert and Ros and Jo and your lovely Colin. It sounds like a very special night and you are glowing in the photos. So chuffed that you will soon be winging your way to Sydney via Dubai and that you get to see your brother as well as going to Tasmania to visit Colin’s brother, (I like the sound of the vineyard!) such FABULOUS news and something to look forward to. Well done to Colin on the winning bid and what a man!
    I do hope property hunting with Sam went well and that you enjoyed your evening at Greenwood Towers on Friday. Thank you for sharing the photo of the black squirrel with us. xx
    Helen, so sorry that you have been poorly. I am at my wits end about what to do. More blood tests next week for me, I was meant to have them done 2 months ago. The plan was to try and eat properly and take my vitamins after the results of the last bloods. As that’s not happening, I decided not to delay having them done. I think I need a new body! Lack of sleep does have a knock on effect on top of the M.E. If I find anything that helps, I will let you know. x
    Lovely Debz, I am sorry that you have been feeling low. I don’t like the cold and the short days are something else! Just as well the 21st of December is the shortest day of the year and after that we get more daylight, big YAY!! I hope you’ve recovered from your close encounter with the spider, poor thing. I did laugh out loud at your blog, though. It was very funny as was Ainzley’s latest antics at the vet. Like Ali and Helen, I also wish I could magic a pair of Emus to you. They are lovely, but on the pricey side for me as well. Sending you a big hug and a stroke for Ainzley from his Auntie Alpa 🙂 x
    Magda, I hope that your tablets have been sorted out and you may be feeling a little better. Please take care and remember that we are always here for you whenever you need us. x
    Una, thinking of you and sending my love. We really do miss you. x
    Shauna, I hope things are getting better for you. x
    Marg, I do hope you are well. We miss your blogs.x
    Love to you all and to Susan, Gail, Elaine, Sue, Angela and all in Ali’s Army. x
    Ali, I haven’t forgotten about a photo for the Rogues Gallery, still on go slow at present but it will be done! Are you all set for Christmas? I can’t believe it’s that time already! I am going to have a very quiet time at home on my own, I just don’t feel up to going anywhere. Never mind, there will be other times to go away!
    Take very good care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  29. Sandra Paulina Hood December 12, 2011 at 10:57 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali it was wonderful to see you and Amica looking so well!
    I wish you a healthy and happy Christmas with your family.
    What a fabulous trip you have to look forward to Ali…well done Colin.
    You SO deserve a lovely holiday with every thing that you and the family have been through this year.
    I wish you lots of love, this is my first comment that I have left! I read about you all the time and love watching you on QVC.
    Love from Sandra Hood xxxxx

  30. helen s December 12, 2011 at 11:11 am -  Reply

    Dear Alpa,
    Ooooh I so wish you lived closer, I would pick you up so that you could spend Xmas with us, all be it rather hectic I must add and no time for rest 🙁 with my little darling that likes to wake at 6.30am, so by tea time I can hardly string a sentance together let alone be sociable and thats not with festive spirit (i dont drink), thats with exhaustion!!!!
    Have you got anyone close by that can keep you company?
    If it makes you feel any better (?) I’m feeling the same my lovely. I’ve just been shopping and my legs felt like jelly. It is the weakness thats so annoying and tiredness, well don’t go there. Olivia was singing in the school choir yesterday at the local hospital, the thought of getting up and out again worried me all day Saturday, but we got there. It was so emotional I cried all the way through.
    I went to my GP with a list of all the things that I thought I have wrong with me, the list was endless!!!! In all fairness, she done every relevant blood test from cholestrol, heart function, ESR/CRP (which shows any inflamation in the body)…. the list goes on. I had a good MOT, but nothing, thank God, but I still feel rough!!!! Perimenopause was suggested although my fsh levels are fine. Apparently this is the case at the beginning of ‘the change’ and slowly rise. I’m not sure how old you are, but at 44 I think that could be contributing to the return of my ME!!!! Just a thought, have a look at some of the perimenopausal symptoms.
    I so know how you feel my love, and how upsetting and annoying it can be. I together with all your chums here are always with you. Please keep in touch, I was getting worried about you, Una too! Is there a different GP in your surgery? Go armed with all the questions and a list of bloods that you want done and insist on having them. If not go to the practice manager and complain!!! If all your bloods come back fine, that will be a great weight lifted off your shoulders. If your like me the more you worry the worse you feel.
    Take care my lovely and I’m always here for you, write soon and let me know how your doing.
    Love and hugs my friend
    Helen s xxxx

  31. elaine sallis December 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    What a lovely blog yet again. It was lovely to see Amica, you did make me laugh with the picture of the wigs!! Well, you have one lovely man there Ali hang on to him as tightly as you can. Talking about lovely men Geoff took me to London for the week-end we went to see the ballet Sleeping Beauty at the Royal Opera house, it was fabulous, then yesterday we took advantage of the traffic free shopping in Regents Street and Oxford Street. I had a fabulous time.
    Well on to Christmas and then a couple of weeks to find an outfit for Adams wedding. Thought I had better buy it after I have eaten all the Christmas Goodies!!
    Keep Smiling.
    Lots of love

  32. Debz & Ainzley December 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm -  Reply

    Oh Alpa
    I can’t tell you how good it was to hear from you. I was beginning to worry.
    Your Dr sounds most unhelpful. Can you change doctors or is that a bit too much for you at the moment? You must be so frustrated at his lack of concern for you. I’d like to have a word with him!! Threaten him with a day of looking after Ainzley. He’d soon be begging to be doing something else I can tell you!!
    I’d do a body swap with you if I could my lovely although mine’s not in great condition at least you’d have a bit more energy!!
    I have stroked Ainzley on you behalf and was rewarded with a very fishy yawn!! He sends his best to his Auntie Alpa.
    You take care of yourself Alpa. Am sending you the biggest hug!
    lots of love and licks
    Debz & Ainzley (=^-^=) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  33. Susan December 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What a lovely blog! It was soo wonderful to see you and Amica look so happy and close and beautiful. You have both been through the mill but it will be fabulous to have her back too and put it all behind you. Send our love. So glad your reading went well again and the outfit you wore was so beautiful and elegant. So appropriate. You always are a classy girl. I have to say I still prefer you blonde but do like you red as well if you decide to go for a change. Hope you had/have a fab night with your wonderful buddies and their hubbies! Can’t wait to see pics,
    Susan x

  34. Tracy King December 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm -  Reply

    Oyez Oyez!!
    Hi Ali, you’re becoming quite the public speaker these days, you should take it up professionally haha!
    Delighted that you’ve been to see Amica and got a photo, it’s better to see that she’s doing well, did you tell to get on here and feel the lurve!!
    I was at Edinburgh with hubby last week and we saw a squirrel (grey) and we bent down and it ran right over so I told Calum (quietly) to get a photo (normally by the time he gets the camera out they scarper) but it was like a wee pup, begging and running round my legs to see what i had for it, Calum said give it something to eat!! as if I carry nuts around in my kipling bag!! all I had was a new packet of apple licorice i had just bought for a crimbo prezi, anyway i opened it and offered it and it sat and ate the whole piece (needless to say I had to finish the bag – well it was open) it sat so long we got it on video! Gorgeous it was – Cyril i named it. I give all the animals names (sad I know but i live in a flat so not allowed pets) Cyril the squirrel, bertie buzzard, roland rat, philleus pheasant and his wife philomena, monty mouse, woody woodpecker, billy bunny etc etc, I worked in the countryside and they all came to my ‘bird’ feeders. spend more time looking out the window and taking pictures than working right enough.
    Aaaaaaanyway, your annus horribilus is nearly over and boy do you have some year to look forward to petal!! I said to mum that we still have to send you a photo and her words – make it a good one, i think where they got her best side haha.
    better go and get the tea on
    lots of love and hugz and stuff to you, Amica and the other AA members (Ali’s Army not the other one)
    Tracy (Fronk) and cath by proxy xxx

  35. LINDA P December 13, 2011 at 1:36 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, everything has been said above as to how well you look, so its all been said for me. As for the squirrels, we have so many black ones here in Stotfold, Hitchin, and Letchworth, – Hertfordshire that its rare to see a grey squirrel !!!!

  36. lynne chorley December 13, 2011 at 9:39 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali the best of luck to you for your MRI and please pa a my love and good wishes to a mica love Lynne xx

  37. Sukai Mahdi December 13, 2011 at 9:40 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    I have never posted on a ‘BLOG’ before.
    You are one of my fav presenters, remembering you from ‘this morning’.
    I have been away to Africa, as a Missionary for the last few years, so I missed your ‘news’.
    I am so sorry that you went through this, but by the grace of GOD, you have come out well.
    I was also diagnosed with Endometrial cancer and I had the operation in September 2011.
    I have just completed 5 weeks of Radiotherapy and I feel very well, praise GOD.
    I will be praying for you.
    GOD bless you.

  38. Izzie December 13, 2011 at 2:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    This is the first time I have ever left a comment but I have followed your blog with interest through the years. Whilst waiting in for a delivery – You know the type – The ones that say they will arrive between 8am – 5pm and always come at 4.55pm! I was doing some Christmas shopping -On QVC of course when I finally found the time to watch the clip of your speech at BCC evening – Tears poured down my face as I listened to you – You are a very brave and inspiring lady. I wish you all the best for a happy and healthy 2012. We all have so many issues that affect us during our lives – I feel blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family to help me through my own trials!. I came to London yesterday to have afternoon tea at Claridges for my 48th birthday – always think of you all at QVC as we go past the building on the train!. Stay positive and may God bless you and your loved ones this Christmas time.
    With my Love
    Izzie xx

  39. Chris Page December 13, 2011 at 7:15 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    It seems your Colin is a lucky man in more ways than one! Keeping my fingers crossed for the right result for your scan. Those MRI scanners are a uniquely bizarre form of torture. I had one the other year on my kidney (the one that had the stone). It was like having your head in the washing machine on fast spin! And up here in Letchworth, Black squirrels are as common as grey ones – says he, boasting! Have a terrific Christmas, and here’s hoping the New Year is a better one for you.
    Chris xxx

  40. Alpa December 13, 2011 at 9:20 pm -  Reply

    Dear Helen,
    Thank you so much for thinking of me and bless you for your very kind and thoughtful offer, beautiful girl that you are 🙂 I, too wish we lived closer to each other and not just because of Christmas! I do hope that in spite of it being a hectic day that it will be filled with much love and laughter for you and Olivia and your wonderful family.
    I don’t have anyone nearby to keep me company, as friends seem to have disparrued! Never mind, I’m sure it will be ok.
    It’s definitely the weakness that is most annoying and the tiredness is something else! I thought that the constant pain in my bones and tiredness were a bad combination until the weakness started! I do understand that is a worry to go out and do things and not know how you will manage, and I’m so pleased that you were able to go to the local hospital and hear your little one sing.
    I’m 37, going on at least 137 by the way my body feels! Had more blood tests this morning so we’ll see what the results say. Thank you for the suggestion of going in armed with all the questions and a list of bloods I want done. I think I will do just that and insist on having them done and complain if I need to!! I hadn’t considered the perimenopause before although I have been meaning to google it, to help understand how it affects you. I do know that anything on top of M.E. can exacerbate it and make you feel worse. I am so sorry that you have been feeling so rotten and I do wish there was something I could do to help.
    I did see another GP at the surgery and he was very unhelpful as well. The third GP there is my GP’s wife and nothing seems to be done without his approval. I did complain to the practice manager sometime ago and her response was, ‘she thought it was just a misunderstanding!’ and then I had to deal with the backlash from my GP, who was completely irrational with me several times! I don’t think so, to any of that!! A few months ago, she said that ‘they had been very good to me and gone out of their way to help me’ I was not happy and told her exactly what I thought!!
    And you are right, the more I worry, the worse I feel!
    Take care and please let me know how you are doing.
    Lots of love, Alpa xxxx

  41. Alpa December 13, 2011 at 9:40 pm -  Reply

    Lovely Debz,
    What would I do without you? I cried when I read your message to Una and myself, it was one of those days! Thank you so much for caring and sorry to have worried you again.
    To be honest, I am not up to changing doctors at the moment and I have been so very frustrated at his lack of concern. A friend said that he seems to be on a separate plane of exisence and I think she is right! Thank you for offering to have a word with him. No doubt that and looking after Ainzley for a day would make him change his ways! He would be quaking in his shoes if he knew what we wanted to do!!
    How I laughed at Ainzley licking the butter off your toast, so funny that you only knew after catching him in the act!
    Thank you for the kind offer of a body swop, if it were possible. A bit more energy sounds good to me!
    I hope you are feeling ok’ish yourself. I know how hard it can be and you are never far away from my thoughts.
    Thank you for the biggest hug, it helped 🙂
    Take care,
    Lots of Love, Alpa xxxx

  42. Magda Chetty December 14, 2011 at 10:35 am -  Reply

    Dear Alpa
    Iam sure Ali would not mind if we write to each other on her blog. I know how you feel my love, when I was told that I have breast cancer my best lady friend just kept as far from me as she could, still even Iam better now, she can not talk to me, some people just dont know how to deal with it.
    Sorry to hear about this Doctor, you think they know that patient care should always come first. Dont stress too much, as sometimes I find that the more I worry about my health the more ill I feel, and keep thinking that I have all kind of illness.
    Google is ok, but when you look things up and read the symptoms you think you have that illness, when you do not.
    Big big hug to you all the way from Mallorca, and do keep us informed, and I will pray for you to get better my love.
    Iam 55 but this year from the start I dont think I had more than a week when I felt ok, so can not wait for 2012, hope it is better for us all. Have a great Christmas. Lots of love.

  43. sharon brown December 14, 2011 at 11:25 am -  Reply

    hi alison, glad things r going well, i myself have went thru chemo and just yesterday had my op, so bit sore today was wanting to ask u about ur nails, all mine have fell off and can u recommend what to treat them with ???
    ty and take care
    love sharon xx

  44. helen s December 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, firstly I must say sorry for blog crashing, after all it is your blog, but I do feel the need to keep in touch with my buddies as I do worry about them.
    I hope that your ok and not overdoing it, you take it easy now. There, lecture over with. Its horrid here today, so cold and windy, i’ll be glad when school breaks up, not until next week, boo hoo 🙁
    Gosh, was going to carry on writing, but the school run looms. Will chat soon and take care.
    Love and xmas hugs
    Helen s

  45. edna munro December 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi, Ali,Great news re scan.Sure MRI will be fine too.Glad carol service went well and super news with Colin winning the auction trip to Australia.Hope this is the re-starting of good times for you.All the very best for the festive season.Enjoy it and give thanks!By the way ,the red wig is really the best and the shorter style is fab.You look so young and I am sure it can’t all be down to the Gatineau ,great though it is!!Love,Edna

  46. Mrs Maria Johnson December 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Great news regarding your Bone Scan and I know the MRI will be OK too. Great to see you and Amica together. I have been rooting for both of you all year long and thankfully you are now truly well on the mend. Great to hear that Amica might be back soon too. Its not been the same without both of you on our screens. All the new faces makes QVC seem a bit alien to me of late. I do so enjoy seeing you on TV. I just love that sense of humour of yours. Your zest for life jumps right out of the screen. You are a tonic that outweighs any medication a doctor could prescribe. There’s nothing better than a good laugh!
    Fantastic that you have Oz to look forward to next year. What a roller coaster ride you have been on! You certainly deserve to be pampered and indulged. Your Colin is one in a million.
    Loads of love & good wishes for a very healthy 2012 for you & your family. Maria

  47. angela white December 15, 2011 at 12:01 pm -  Reply

    hi ali you alright! glad to hear your scan was clear-onwards and upwards! hope you got my xmas card and photo and it didnt scare you to much!are you ready for christmas? doesnt seem 5minutes since last year i think we all be glad to see the back of it. we have lost 2 relatives in the space of 3 weeks so feeling a bit low at the moment and our dad died 15years on the 27th dec so always feel a bit sad. well i wish you a very merry christmas and a happy and healthy new year and the same to all of ali”s army-have a goodun! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XXX

  48. Alison Keenan December 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm -  Reply

    Dear Tina, Thank you so much for your kind words which I will pass on to Amica. As you can see from the photo she is looking fab and coping very well. We’re hoping she’ll be back to work soon. I hope that you and your family also have a wonderful Christmas and every good wish for a happy healthy New Year, love Ali xx

  49. Alison Keenan December 15, 2011 at 1:23 pm -  Reply

    Dear Maureen we too have missed Amica very much, but I know that she is hoping to return to your screens very soon. Thank you for taking the time to write, and I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas, love Ali x

  50. Alison Keenan December 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm -  Reply

    My dear Magda so lovely to hear from you and to know that you are improving thanks to a change in medication. Sickness is so awful! I will speak with both Debbie and Kathy and we will see what we can arrange as far as all being in the building at the same time during your visit! I am so glad that The Army has kept your spirits up, and it is lovely to see so many new friendships being made. It’s quite a support network we’ve got isn’t it?! You take care and have a wonderful Christmas and a safe journey over here, with Love Ali xx

  51. Alison Keenan December 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Debi, clearly it seems a stray squirrel has crossed the border from Hertfordshire into Bedfordshire!! 🙂 There are plenty of grey squirrels in the lane, but none of them seem to want to venture close to my new friend! Yes it was lovely to see Amica and I will pass your best wishes on of course, here’s hoping you and yours have a wonderful Christmas. Love Ali xx

  52. Alison Keenan December 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm -  Reply

    Dear Pam how frightening for you! And for your daughters too – so glad to hear that you are feeling better now, and I hope very much that they can find some kind of long term solution for you. Delighted though to hear your good news, and please do pass on my congratulations to your daughter and her fiancee. The wedding will be fabulous I’m sure 🙂 Until that time though I hope you have a happy and healthy Christmas, and that the New Year will be all you wish for, love Ali xx

  53. Alison Keenan December 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Sara, yes similar nerves in the church to being in the MRI tunnel, but equally pleasing results – scan is all clear :)I think you’re right I should have shut my eyes right at the very beginning and then it would have been easier!! 🙂 Your poor mum – she has my sympathy. Yes we’re both very excited about going to Austrlia, and having spoken to my brother Peter he too is looking forward to our visit very much.You take care, and thank you for writing – lovely to hear from you, love Ali xx

  54. Alison Keenan December 15, 2011 at 5:13 pm -  Reply

    My dear Sue, so lovely to catch up on all your news, and thank you for all your kind words. I have to thank you, along with all the other girlies who have carried me through the last year – without you I would have truly struggled 🙂 Three quarters of the way up the hill definitely. Yes Colin is a star, and I am sooooo excited about Australia – spoke to my brother and he is too! I will pass on your kind words to Amica who is doing very well, and yes thanks we all had a great night at Deb’s on Friday… some rather funny photos I’ll share with you next week. In the meantime, enjoy the run up to Christmas, and do keep in touch. With my love,
    Ali xxx

  55. Alison Keenan December 15, 2011 at 5:19 pm -  Reply

    Mary you are most definitely a woman after my own heart! The boys came with me to get the tree last Friday, and I put the lights and decs on with Lucy too on Monday. All was well, but last night I plugged the lights in and nothing!!! So wish I’d got the LED ones now… You paint such a beautiful picture of your home at Christmas, and I too collect christmas decs and baubles – most provided by Lucy over the years. I have wooden and even knitted ones!!! None in a bush tho…. snigger snigger 🙂 Enjoy your last day at School and your christmas holiday in Westgate. Thank you for all your support this year and your lovely tales – here’s to a happier and healthier New Year, love Ali x x

  56. Alison Keenan December 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sandra that is a very kind thing to say, and I am truly sorry that you’ve been struggling over the last couple of years. I hope very much that 2012 will be easier for you and that for you too it will be filled with laughter and happiness, love Ali x

  57. Alison Keenan December 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm -  Reply

    Gosh Linda it sounds as though you are really going through it at the moment, and I am just praying that you will finally have some good news for your husband. I too have lost a lot of weight, but nobody is concerned telling me that things are just settling, so hopefully that’s all it is with him too. How terribly worrying for you that your grandson was ill, but am so relieved that he is better now. I think you just need to look forwards and I sincerely hope that next year will be better for you, with love Ali xx

  58. Alison Keenan December 15, 2011 at 5:36 pm -  Reply

    Liz that’s great news! So pleased for you and your husband. I hope the treatment is soon finished and you can both get on with your lives once more – a ‘new kind of normal’ as my lovely counsellor at The Haven described it. I wish you and your family a truly Happy Christmas, and a healthy happy New Year, love Ali x

  59. Alison Keenan December 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Debz, lovely to hear from you and thank you as always for your kind words and encouragement. Yes, the MRI was also clear and so now as you say, I can move on and put the last year behind me 🙂 Next year is going to be so good especially with the trip to Oz – yes Colin is a star – my brother Peter is so very pleased that we will be visiting, and it’s not that long to wait either. Lovely to have that to look forward to before surgery as you say. Property hunting went well with Sam and he has made an offer which was accepted on a lovely place that he will move into with Jack in the New Year. I think this will help moving forwards… Thank heavens you saw Ainzley attacking your toast! That could have been very nasty! :)I am going to enjoy my virtual mulled wine and mince pie before heading off for my Centigrade hour with the lovely Glen Cambell. Take good care Debz and a big hug to both you and Ainzley. Here’s hoping you have a fab Christmas, and every happiness in the New Year. Thanks too for ALL your support this year – it has meant so much, love Ali xx

  60. Susan December 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm -  Reply

    Oh Ali Ali…I’ve just seen THE pics on Debs F’s blog!! You girls are ‘such fun’ as Miranda would say!!! How I’d love to have been there!! AND the size of Debs Xmas tree?! Giant!!
    Chat soon,
    Susan x

  61. Maria December 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali, lovely to hear your good news and watching you today with Ralph from Honora love the hair colour! please pass my best wishes onto Amica when you see her next and hope 2012 will be better, healthier for both of you, you have been so brave.
    Hope you have a Happy Christmas!
    Love always
    Maria x

  62. Tricia Dewey December 15, 2011 at 11:36 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Well done,wonderful news re:your bone scan, so much now is well behind you.
    How fantastic to read that you now have the opportunity to go to OZ, the timing will be perfect for you.
    I also would like to say well done with your reading at the carol concert in knightsbridge. I do admire you – you are very brave to be able to stand up infront of so many people like that.
    I must mention something quite quite diferent now – I believe that it was about the first time that you came back to qvc and was on with Charlie, he mentioned that you had given him cheese on toast with chorizo – he raved about how lovely it was – do you remember? I thought gosh – that sounds delicious, so quick, another idea for a snacky quick lunch, well we love it!
    Ali,have a wonderful christmas, and very best wishes for 2012.
    Love from Triciax

  63. margaret December 17, 2011 at 12:41 am -  Reply

    Dear Alison, pleased to hear you are doing well not been in touch for a while sorry about that been a bit poorly but hopfully things are getting better now .Very nice to here Amica is on the mend too would like to send my Very best wishes to you both for a Happy Christmas and a Happy and above all else a Healthy New year, goes for all ladies out there who have had a not so nice this year.God Bless and onwards and upwards everyone.Margaretxxx.

  64. Patricia Kurton December 17, 2011 at 6:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison, What a lovely Blog, a joy to read. Good news on the bone scan and my fingers crossed for the results you are waiting for. Lovely to read your update on Amica’s wellbeing. She is such a favourite of mine and I really miss her lovely face on our screens. So glad to hear that she may be back soon. The Church Service sounded wonderful and how lucky are you and Colin?,off to Oz in the Spring. Well Alison, someone up there must be smiling on you both and if anyone deserves it you do. We are off back home from Croatia tomorrow to spend 3 weeks with our Families. Would just like to say what an inspiration you have been to all women this Year and I would like to wish you and your Family the most wonderful Christmas and the best New Year ever.
    Take Care, Luv Anne x

  65. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm -  Reply

    Pauline I am so terribly sorry….. I can only begin to imagine your sadness, and hope so very much that this Christmas you will have other family and friends around you to support and comfort you. I like you pray that one day they will come up with a cure for this wretched disease… Stay well, and strong, and I thank you for your kind words which I will of course pass on to Amica. With love, Ali xx

  66. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm -  Reply

    Elaine I am so glad that you’ve plucked up the courage to write to me – and the others girls – and your kind words are much appreciated. I am sorry that you suffer with ill health, and just hope that you have the right kind of support network in place to make life more comfortable. It was lovely to see Amica, and both she and I continue hoping that next year will be a better one and that there won’t be any more bad news to contend with. Glad you like the ever changing hair colour! Think I’ll go blonde tonight 🙂 Happy christmas and every good wish for a healthier New Year, love Ali x

  67. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm -  Reply

    Julie, you go buy that album!! Michael Buble is a star and the songs will truly put you in the Christmas mood – I know because it worked for me. I’m sorry you ended up with the 5 week version of treatment rather than 3, but better to be on the safe side… So glad your son’s leg is improving too, and I hope that between you, you have a fabulous Christmas. Thank you for writing, and well done for keeping up with all the things that make you feel better – however daft others may think you are! 🙂 Love ali xx

  68. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:29 pm -  Reply

    Dear Norma thank you for your prayers 🙂 I too am sorry you weren’t at the church that night, but it was kind of you to think of me, and it was a truly lovely service. I will pass on your best wishes to Amica, and hope that you also have a very happy Christmas, and a healthy New Year, love Ali xx

  69. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm -  Reply

    Private Linda!! Excellent to see you on parade again! 🙂 Lovely to hear from you too, and yes I am extremely excited about the trip and will hopefully be able to confirm dates etc. later this week – can’t quite believe I’m going! Best of all I can pack in advance as I won’t be needing to wear shorts and T shirts in this country prior to our departure! 🙂 glad you laughed at the photo of the wigs – it still makes me titter, and both Amica and I found several things to laugh over inspite of it all. I hope you have a fabulous Christmas, and every good wish for the New Year – thank you for keeping in touch, it means a lot, love Ali x

  70. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm -  Reply

    Jeannie, thank you!! All my good wishes to you and your family too, and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year, love Ali xx

  71. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm -  Reply

    My dear Jo, it was indeed you who came up with the name ‘Ali’s Army’ and I’m delighted that it’s stuck. I’m also very grateful to you for your lovely messages throughout the year: supportive, insightful and always kind. I can see your face as I write this, thanks to the photo you sent me, and although we may never meet, I am delighted to have you as a friend. May I wish you and your family – plus the new inlaws! – a truly happy Christmas, and every good wish for 2012. With love, ali xx

  72. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Eileen, and thank you for writing to me. It was great to see Amica, and I like you, thought you she looked lovely too! Sorry you’ve felt a bit rough after your trip, but I am CERTAIN that your grandchildren truly appreciated you making the journey, and I’m sure you also truly enjoyed yourself. I found a brand new pair of bedsocks that were bought for me when I was in hospital, so I’m keeping them for best! 🙂 Have a great Christmas, love Ali xx

  73. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Liz – yes visiting a vineyard – how exciting!! 🙂 The whole trip feels quite unreal as yet, but flights etc should be confirmed before Christmas, and my brother has already been in touch re ideas of what to do while we’re out there! 🙂 I had a fabulous evening at Debbie’s as did Colin, and I’ve got a few pics to post up before Christmas too! We’re hoping Amica will be back early next year, so fingers crossed for that. HAve a great Christmas, and thanks for writing as always, Ali xx

  74. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm -  Reply

    How weird is that Liz – I too was wrapping presents a tad earlier listening to Il Divo! They were lovely – and it was a pleasure to talk to them – lucky me! 🙂 xxx

  75. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm -  Reply

    hello there Denise, yes house hunting was a success with Sam, and all things being even he should be moving in at the end of January! It’s only a couple of miles from me too which is good 🙂 We had a fab night with Debbie last week, and I stopped over again on Friday night after the QVC Christmas party too – she thinks I’m moving in! Thanks for your kind words about the Carol Service – I think anything in church always tends to be a tad more emotional doesn’t it? It was beautiful though and BCC have hundreds of photos of it on their web site too. Have a lovely Christmas, and thanks for writing, love Ali x

  76. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm -  Reply

    Dear Kay, it’s always a pleasure to reply, and thank you for continuing to keep in touch with me throughout the year…. yes it wasn’t the best I’ve had, but then it wasn’t the worst either… Great thing is that it’s behind me now and I will continue to move forwards. Both the bone scan and the MRI were clear so a great way to start the New Year 🙂 I hope you have a truly Happy Christmas, and I look forward to hearing from you in the New Year, love Ali x

  77. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm -  Reply

    Gracious Kath, Croatia!! New York has also been suggested for sightings of black squirrels and a little closer to home in Berkshire! 🙂 Either way they’re lovely and I hope they have a little family that will continue to grow. Love to you and yours too for a fabulous Christmas. Ali xx

  78. alison keenan December 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm -  Reply

    Dear Margaret thank you for your kind thoughts, and also for taking the time out to post a comment. It was lovely to hear from you, and I hope that you too have a wonderful Christmas, and a happy New Year, love Ali x

  79. helen s December 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, thank goodness all the scans were ok, GREAT!!!! I do hope that you will take it easy during the xmas hols, but it is good seeing you back on the tv, i’ve been tempted to phone in many a time when your on, to have a chat, but you might not be able to shut me up so I decided best not to bother. Had a quiet weekend, just catching up ‘slowly’ on a few chores, last minute wrapping and panicking, card writing and delivering, making lists of forgotten things, oh gosh, can’t wait til the shops are well and truly shut, all be it for one day. I can remember when I was small, yes, many years ago, the shops shut for ages and if you didn’t have batteries for a particular toy, you would have to wait!!!!
    Off now to have a cuppa and mull over my list, keep well and chat soon.
    Lots of luv and xmas hugs
    Helen s xxx

  80. helen s December 18, 2011 at 4:32 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alpa, how are you doing? Did you have your blood test results yet? You have been on my mind, I do so wish that I could find an answer to our ailments, and as for your so called friends, if they’ve not bothered with you, then they’re not worth it. You see, not many people understand that you cannot plan ahead or cancel at the last minute, I know exactly what its like to have so called friends just not bother in the end. I have two very good chums who take no offence at my last minute dithering but the rest seemed to have faded into the sunset. Well all I can say to your chums is ITS THEIR LOSS!!!!! You sound like a gem to me. We’re all here for you all the time!
    Please let me know how you got on at the Drs. Take care my lovely.
    luve and hugs
    Helen s xxxx

  81. Gail December 18, 2011 at 11:46 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, so glad to read that your MRI scan was okay; great news. Also it was lovely to read that Amica is doing so well and it’ll be lovely to see her back on the tv, lol Amica xx Great photo of you two; KEEP SMILING XX
    Had to blog tonight as I’ve just watched you with Mally and I’ve just had the biggest laugh of the day; actually still laughing now thinking of it. One of Mally’s lip glosses was called ‘FUZZY NAVEL’ and me and you both saw the funny side of it. Oh dear, hope Mally doesn’t read this. It was so funny xx You look great by the way; wearing that favourite dress of mine (can I borrow it?).
    What a wonderful trip you have to look forward to. If I liked flying perhaps I could have come along to carry the suitcases. You might not remember that I told you once that one of the places I would love to visit, if I flew, was Australia Zoo in, yes, you’ve guessed it, Australia. I know you’re going to have a wonderful time, Colin and you both and crikey don’t you deserve it after what you’ve been through.
    Love to all the ladies. Where is Una and Marg? Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and happy, healthy New Year. Hope you have a nice time at QVC Magda, lol x
    Bye for now Ali, speak to you in 2012 xx
    Gail xxx

  82. Paula Price December 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm -  Reply

    Ali, lovely to see you back on QVC and looking great. Really enjoyed the Mally shows yesterday and you looked amazing in her make-up.
    Lots of love and best wishes to Amica, and hope she is able to return to QVC soon.
    Hoping you all have a very happy chrsitmas and a healthy and prosperous new year xx

  83. Brenda Jones December 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, I would like to say that you are always dress so nice, all your clothes are stunning that you wear. Can I ask which brand of clothes you wear and also can I ask what size shoe you take?
    I wish you and you and your family a happy Christmas.

  84. Martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen December 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm -  Reply

    merry xmas when it comes to you and your family alsison. you look so fabulous on screen .happy 2012 .hope you dont mind me askling are you going out to xmas lunch i am going to aunts with my mums and dad.i will be glad when it si all over judt for the sake of one day

  85. merinda December 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    its great to have you back on our screens, you looked gorgeous in your show with Andrew from Gatineau yesterday evening, i just wanted to ask about your lovely black lace dress, as in your il divo picture above, is it available on qvc? I also spotted Debbie Flint in a lovely blue version.

  86. Carole Dane December 20, 2011 at 11:27 am -  Reply

    Hi to all the ladies going through this awful journey with BC, I am living in France and really need to talk to British ladies, as the language is difficult here, I have just had a mascectomy after a lumpectomy and now have to have the lymph nodes removed in the New Year, it is difficult to keep positive, but reading your blogs Ali is a great inspiration to me, I think you look gorgeous in your different wigs, and Amica still looks stunning. Wishing all the ladies a Bon Noel and Bonne Annee, carole from Brittany xx

  87. Cam December 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I am so pleased to hear you and Amica are doing well. My dad and I bumped into Amica (and her sweet daughter) outside the hospital earlier this year. My mum was in intensive care being treated for some nasty infections and despite Amica’s own health concerns, she took the time to write my mum a get well soon note (my mum is a huge fan of QVC!). We will always remember how kind Amica was for doing that. When I showed my mum the note, she couldn’t stop smiling. Please can you thank her for me when you see her. It put a smile on my face to read that you are both doing well. Wishing you both all the best. Lots of Love, Cam xx

  88. Debz & Ainzley December 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I am so glad that your MRI was clear. You can breathe again now eh? So glad also that Sam has found a place he likes. As you say, time to move on. Onwards and upwards from here on in.
    Alpa, Helen and I are thinking of you always. I too know all about fairweather friends. I have lost touch with most of mine. I rarely get out now with anyone other than my Neal. I know I am lucky to have him but sometimes a good girly night out is what I yearn for.
    Una my love, we are all missing you. I know that you have other priorities at the moment and I wish you all the best and am sending you a hug and maybe a little strength if that’s what you need. You take care.
    I’d just like to wish Ali and all of her army a really Happy Christmas and here’s hoping 2012 will be a little brighter for us all.
    Lots of love and licks

  89. Ann Mee December 20, 2011 at 10:57 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison,
    I have never written before but I am finding reading your blog is helping me. I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in November. On the 15th I had all my lymph nodes removed (17) and part of my breast. Unfortunately when the histology came back the cancer was still there. On the 8th December I had a second operation to remove some more of my right breast. I visit the Consultant on the 22nd for the results. If the cancer is still there I will have to have a mastectomy. I will definitely have to have chemo and radiotherapy. I had been feeling overwhelmed at the thought of losing all of my hair but seeing how fantastic and beautiful you look in your wigs has given me hope.
    You look wonderful and seeing you has given me hope for my own future.
    I was so sorry to hear about Amica and wondered why I had not seen her recently on QVC. I hope that she makes a full recovery.
    Have a great Christmas and New Year with your family.
    All my love

  90. Carole Dane December 21, 2011 at 9:49 am -  Reply

    think my comment was taken off maybe because I live in France? shame

  91. Marion Burns December 21, 2011 at 11:47 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I saw your show the other day and I’ve got to let you know you looked stunning! You were wearing a black lace dress, boots and a long blonde wig and you looked absolutely sensational. I hadn’t realised that you had been ill until you mentioned your wigs though I did wonder why I hadn’t seen you lately. Now I see how poorly you have been I’m even more impressed. You have always been my favourite female presenter but hun I have got to tell you that you have moved up a league! Your courage is as impressive as your stunning good looks and elegance. You go girl! You are truley an inspiration.
    I wish you and all the QVC family a healthy and happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous 2012.
    Warm regards
    Marion Durham

  92. helen s December 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm -  Reply

    Well Ali, what a hectic time for us all, you with all your do’s and me with all my, well umm, you know, school things!!!! Choir singing here, there and everywhere. Last one tonight, yipeeeee!! Oh don’t is sound awful, but I think that I along with the other ‘supporters’ should set up a choir of our own, I mean, I know all the words, yes, all of them, every single ONE! Ah well the things you do for love eh? My sweatpea has ‘Christmasitus’ and the excitement unbelievable, at the grand old age of 8 and half, she still believes, I think, in Santa although she did say that a few in her class dont and said that she did,because ‘can you just imagaine if parents had to buy all the presents we get, I don’t think so!’ Mmmmmm!!!!!
    Anyway all buying, wrapping, hiding, card writing done, just the food tomorrow, which is being delivered, really can’t be doing with the trolley battle at the moment! Still not feeling brill, but hey ho.
    I do so hope that you have a magical Christmas and I shall be raising a glass of something to you on Xmas day. Keep safe and enjoy. Its been a pleasure being your ‘friend’ and thank you for sharing your blog with us girlies.
    Lots and lots of hugs
    Keep dancing, holding hands and whatever else that keeps us in each others thoughts at this time of year.
    Helen s xxxx

  93. helen s December 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm -  Reply

    My dear Una, I do hope that all is well with you, you’re being missed. I want to wish you and your family as very Happy Xmas and hope it goes well for you.
    Take care my lovely and let us all know how you are
    Lots and lots of love
    Helen s xxxx

  94. helen s December 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alpa, how are you my lovely? Had any blood test results back yet? I’ve been thinking of you as we both know how each other feels.
    I just want you to remember that all you friends here are thinking of you and I’ll be with you on Xmas day, not exactly with you I know, but you’ll be in my thoughts.
    Take care my lovely and do let me know how you are before the holidays.
    Love and hugs
    Helen s

  95. Dorothy December 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Just want to say hope you have a good christmas, and a very very very happy and healthy new year. Good to see you back.
    take care.
    Love Best wishes.
    Dorothy xxx

  96. Pam December 21, 2011 at 10:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Fantastic news about your scans etc. New Year really will have a special meaning for you.I will think of you when I raise a glass ( or two!) at midnight and what a way to start, with planning a trip to Oz.Wow! Both you and Colin deserve it I hope you have a brilliant time,I’m sure you will.My son was there earlier this year and would highly recommend it.
    Your reading in church must have been very emotional but very worthwhile.Your family are so lovely and supportive.
    Well,better get back to wrapping pressies,oh and I have to confess I abandoned all my lists!I was spending too much time writing them!So back to mayhem ,but that’s part of Christmas I guess.Lol.
    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
    ( and to all of Ali’s Army too!)
    Lots of love
    Pam xx

  97. Angela December 22, 2011 at 12:51 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali
    Enjoyed reading your blog once again and great to hear the positive news on your scan. Here’s wishing you and your family a wonderful christmas and a happy and healthy New Year, lots to look forward to, especially that trip down under! Lucky you xx

  98. Alpa December 22, 2011 at 7:32 pm -  Reply

    Dear Helen,
    Sorry it’s taken me a little while to write to you. I have been thinking of you as well 🙂 Thank you for your kind words and your care and concern. It means a lot to me.
    I had my blood test results at the beginning of the week and will see my doctor next week about them. I did hope to be able to do something to celebrate Christmas but have just not been up to organising myself to do anything about it. Never mind!
    So pleased that you have been able to do what you need for Sunday and wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a better year ahead.
    Thank you for sharing Christmas in ‘spirit’ with me and I will also be thinking of you.
    Lots of love, Alpa xxxx

  99. Alpa December 22, 2011 at 7:42 pm -  Reply

    Dear Debz,
    Thank you for thinking of me. Maybe if there was a way we could exchange contact details, a girly night would definitely be in order I think! What is it with these fairweather friends!!
    So pleased that you have Neal with you. I hope Ainzley is well and up to mischief although not licking the butter off your toast!!
    Wishing you a very happy Christmas and all that you wish for yourself in the New Year.
    Lots of love, Alpa xx

  100. Alpa December 22, 2011 at 7:43 pm -  Reply

    Dear Una,
    Just to let you know that I am thinking of you and sending you lots of love.
    We really do miss you.
    Take care,
    Lots of love, Alpa xx

  101. Alpa December 22, 2011 at 7:49 pm -  Reply

    Dear Magda,
    Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. I hope that you are now safely in London.
    Wishing you a lovely Christmas and after a tough year, I hope your health will improve in the New Year 🙂
    Lots of Love, Alpa xx

  102. Mrs Maria Johnson December 28, 2011 at 1:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, 2012 is almost here and I wish you the healthiest happiest year. Enjoy Australia and seeing your Brother after such a long time. I will be holding you close to my heart all year and sending you all the good vibes I can muster. You have been such an inspiration to everybody on this Blog. You are truly amazing and such a natural wit! Nobody could feel down when you are around. Best wishes always. Love Maria J XX

  103. Kath Vinnicombe December 31, 2011 at 1:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali – wishing you the best of health for 2012 and onwards. Keep going!
    Please send my best wishes to Amica – good luck and God bless you both.
    Kath, Newport, S Wales.

  104. Dawn-Marie Smith December 31, 2011 at 4:56 pm -  Reply

    Thank-you for your blogs Alison, you’ve been great.
    Thanks for the picture of Amica as well, she is also a lovely women one of my favorite models, and as of today we have have just found out the nasty blighter is back with more fight in Amica which has really sent goose bumps over me as last we heard she was hoping to be back at work, as clear as she could be, having had re-consructive surgery she was working up to coming back. Please could you put the record straight for us. With lots of love and respect to you and your family from Dawn in Bradford

  105. cd January 1, 2012 at 5:21 am -  Reply

    so glad you are doing so well ali, and prayers go out to amica for a full and speedy recovery. i’ve an aunt going through breast cancer at the moment, and it too has spread, but i can only begin to understand what amica’s family must be going through. best wishes to both of you for a happy and healthy 2012!

  106. Helen Reilly January 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, so glad to hear that you are doing well. Best of luck for the New Year toyou and your family. I was so sorry to hear about Dear Amica who is my favourtie model and always seems down to earth, and genuine. I will hold her in my prayers and hopefully 2012 will be the start of a better year for her. You bring a ray of sunshine to our screens. Please keep us up to date with your health and also Amica. Love and God Bless Helen xx

  107. Yvonne Beattie January 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm -  Reply

    HI Ali
    Its soooo good to see you back on TV – I hope you’re not trying to do too much too soon lol! Glad you are making a fine recovery and you look fantastic x
    Have you heard how Amica is doing? Please tell her we’re all rooting for her to be well soon and hope to see her back on QVC in the not too distant future x

  108. Sue Jennings January 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Ali…Fantastic to hear the news is good from your bone have come such a long is lovely to see Amica and to hear she is doing well as her treatment continues xx Congratulations on your reading im sure there werent many dry eyes in the are a true inspiration and it is wonderful to see you looking healthier by the day..I send lots of love to you and im sure 2012 will be your year as you so deserve it to be….Sue J xxx

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