with Lulu

Welcome to British Summertime!!


I’m not going to major on the weather, as I’m sure it’s upset plans for quite a few of you, but at least we know it’s more likely to improve than worsen! One fence down, and a few branches, but the sun’s shining sporadically today, and my garden pots haven’t fared too badly. I hope you managed to batten down the hatches and enjoyed Easter in spite of the elements!

Fence down

Thank you so very much for taking the time out to enter the competition – I think we had a record number of responses for the blog – and so many of you were correct when suggesting that the answer was Rose Sunday. It was as you guessed (or Googled as I did!) that the name was given in reference to the colour of the robes worn by the clergy during the third week of Lent, which is when Mothering Sunday is. I wish as I often say that I had enough prizes to give to all of you, but the lucky winner this time around is Donna Coleman!! Congratulations and I will make sure I send the products out to you immediately – I hope you enjoy them! : )

The windmillI must also thank you so much for all my birthday good wishes. The cards and gifts you sent were beautiful, the tweets made me smile, and your comments here on the blog were very much appreciated. I swapped my working days around so I would actually be with Colin on my birthday this year, and he surprised me by booking us into a beautiful country hotel and spa. We had afternoon tea, followed by a fabulous dinner in the evening, and then I was treated to an Elemis massage the following morning!

When I got to the Spa, I had to fill in my personal details on the obligatory form, which included my age. There were a number of boxes to choose between, starting at 18-25, before finishing the choices on 56+!!! I am officially in the oldest category now : (! The treatment was wonderful though, and after a short walk, Colin and I reluctantly left the hotel, and set off home. Having lived in Surrey for the first 20 years of my life, this was a part of the county I’d never visited, and was a real mix of town and country. We saw this beautiful windmill and it made me wonder what kind of farming or industry was set up there when it was built?

I have had a really busy week or two at work, not spending time with some charming guests, but also treating myself to all sorts of products! I do hope you are able to get your hands on the Nails Inc TSV as it features a brand-new formula for ageing nails! I felt this was particularly well-timed considering my escalating age, and so I applied the collagen-infused ridge filler, chose the nude option in the colour, and finished it off with the collagen-infused top coat! All my own work – what do you think? It is sooo easy to apply, and made my nails really smooth – this is just one coat of the colour too!

Nails Inc nails

And from pretty to practical – I wanted to give you a heads up on a very exciting event – the return of the Lock and Lock storage boxes! I am thrilled, as I love them, and have over the years collected an inordinate number of them in all shapes and sizes, and which I covet! I have an entire drawer in my kitchen dedicated to them, and am loathe to lend them to anyone in case they aren’t returned! They are like children to me : ) I use them mainly to freeze food in, and since little Honey started eating solids, I often store little portions for her too! What do you put in yours?

Lock & Lock drawer

Lock & Lock

HoneyHoney will be 11 months old on 6 April, and I spent a day with her just last week when the poor little mite had viral tonsillitis and was far from well. That said, she still managed to give me a big smile and make Nanny feel very welcome : )

In addition to the little ‘pickle stabber’ bottom teeth she’s had for some months now, she’s cutting her top teeth too, which is very uncomfortable for her, but she has such a sunny nature she still manages to smile. I’m staying overnight next week with her, while mum and dad go to a party, so that will be fun – not much sleep, but a lot of fun!

Talking of fun, we had a corking night out on Good Friday, when my sister Jenny, her partner Linda, Colin and I, all went to see Lulu at her one woman show which was for that night at Watford’s Coliseum. You may remember Colin and I had seen Lulu when she first began the tour back in May 2015, and her performance and the entire show was incredible.

Well, last Friday was just the same – where she gets her energy from I have NO idea – but I will be picking her brains next time we work together! : ) The fact she’d hosted a TSV here at the Q on Wednesday made it even more remarkable, but then she is a remarkable woman and a consummate professional – she completely rocked it! Check out her next gig dates and treat yourself to a fabulous night out. We had a ball : )

with Lulu

I’ll be back with you on Thursday night at 7pm with Benefit Cosmetics, and then our Diamonique special at 9pm! We had a lot of interest in my pick last week which was the bespoke solitaire ring so we’re bringing it back! In a choice of either 14ct yellow gold or rhodium finishing, there were also six cuts to choose from and carat weights ranging from 1 carat, 2 carats and 3 carats. Basically you choose exactly what you want, and we’ll make it for you, holding the same price for all sizes. Oh, and a date for the dairy is 14th April because it’s Diamonique Day! I’ll try to give you a heads up on some of the special offers ahead of time by tweeting them – @alikqvc – so if you follow me you can find out! : )

Diamonique ring

Well that’s pretty much all my news for this week, and I must go and nurse my poorly husband who is full of cold. I know there are many of you – including lovely Kathy Tayler – who are struggling with this horrid virus, and so I wish you better very soon. Thanks as always for keeping me in touch with your lives, and for your lovely comments here on the blog – I’ll look forward to hearing all the latest from you this week.

With my love,

Ali xxx


  1. Joanna Downey March 31, 2016 at 9:19 am -  Reply

    Morning Ali, Last day of March, we’ve had a sparkling frost, however, the sky is blue and it was hot, not warm but HOT in our conservatory yesterday afternoon so Spring is close by. There is something very romantic about windmills, I think loving Camberwick Green started my longing for one and then I was given a wooden figure of Don Quixote and even though I don’t do too much “tilting at windmills” I think it’s a lovely quote. The last age category box to tick is horrid but the criteria is different for each company and it’s only a number! You looked lovely in the Kitchenaid show and your jumper really suited you – I look a fright in anything wooly, you looked elegantly “at home”. We know you enjoy food, eating and preparing, so I’m not surprised that you love the Lock and Lock boxes and I’m very impressed that you have such a huge collection. I have few and use them for all the obvious foodie things, Ellie uses them at school for all those little craft items that get lost so easily and cost a fortune to replace. Poor Honey with her teeth coming through and tonsillitis; teeth are tricky things, necessary but tricky all our lives and I have a major visit soon that I’m not looking forward to:(( This afternoon I’m going to Worcester on a shopping trip for shoes and then to meet Colin for supper so I’d better get on with cleaning the windows to salve my conscience. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan April 5, 2016 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

      Dear Jo how lovely to have the sunshine in through the conservatory, and for it to actually feel hot! I must admit I’m sitting in the sunshine writing this and do feel much warmer than I have done of late! It’s a shame you didn’t see our Karcher window cleaner that we were selling yesterday, and incredibly ingenious device that takes the effort out of cleaning windows. I really feel I need one in my life. Thank you for reminding me of that beautiful “tilting at windmills” quote… such lovely imagery from the Don Quixote novel I think. That’s very sweet of you to mention the polo neck jumper I was wearing for the Kitchen Aid hour -it’s a Marla Wynn jumper, and I find her sizes suit me, and the knit is light – it came in a number of colours and we might have some left 🙂 Yes, poor Honey – not much fun trying to cope with teeth and tonsillitis but as you say the teeth anyway are necessary! Good luck with your pending appointment – I;m sure it will be OK. Thanks as always for taking the time to write, and love to you and Colin, Ali xx

  2. sally March 31, 2016 at 4:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,

    Lock n Lock your cupboard looks exactly like mine, and I am too very possessive with them. If one of the family say to me I am just taking this food home in this I have to check and say “oh have this one it’s much better” and give them an old one lol.
    We put up all new fences last year as we spent a lot of time giving the garden a make over, but I must say the fence quality is not as good as they used to be unless you pay fortunes.
    Lovely little Honey bee she has such a warm friendly face I hate it when their not well, bless her, my latest little grandson is 4 months old now he has a cold too my daughter got a spray for his nose which seems to help him and doctor told her to put some olbas oil on something and just have that in the room too which is good.
    We put some Liz Earle on him cos he has a little area of dry skin and they are all bathed in Molton Brown and being their skin is so new and young they smell absolutely divine.
    Glad you had a good birthday and all is good.
    looking forward to a walk in the bluebell woods which we do every year and i’m sure we are all looking forward to the summer.
    Best Wishes. Sally

    • Alison Keenan April 5, 2016 at 5:51 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Sally and thank you for writing to me – you are definitely a woman after my own heart! I do hope that although you say your fence quality is not as good as it used to be that you haven’t lost any in the recent storms? I hope also that your little grandson is feeling much better now and that his cold has gone? My niece Emily had a very strange contraption that sucked mucus out of her baby’s nose, which I thought was quite disgusting but apparently it helped! 🙂 how wonderful for you to live close to a bluebell wood. I have quite a lot of bluebells and grow along the path leading up to the house, but they don’t last long! I do hope you have a great week, Love Ali x

  3. Gwen April 2, 2016 at 8:00 am -  Reply

    Hello Dear Ali,

    I am so sorry that I didn’t acknowledge your last blog or your birthday, it was so lovely and the picture of dear little Honey was gorgeous and I really do look forward to keeping up with all of the lovely news that you so kindly share with us. I don’t want to sound all doom and gloom but have been having a really sad and worrying time over the past few weeks, but I am hoping that things will get better soon. That said I have just had the most enjoyable time catching up with all of your latest events and seeing yet another dear little picture of Honey, it is such a shame that cutting is teeth is so painful for babies isn’t it. I love her smile and as I have said before I can see such a likeness to you Ali, which can’t be bad can it!!!!!

    Take care of yourself and keep well.

    Love to you and Colin.


    • Alison Keenan April 5, 2016 at 5:52 pm -  Reply

      My dear Gwen I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been going through such a difficult time over the past few weeks and I very much hope as you do that things will improve soon. So glad that the photograph of Honey put a smile on your face, and I am always terribly flattered when told that she looks a little like me! Please do keep in touch, and let me know that things are easier for you. With love Ali xx

  4. Judith Lennon April 2, 2016 at 3:20 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    I know the feeling only too well when the fencing collapses! We intended to replace one panel but on further inspection the whole thing was in need of some urgent TLC. Anyway the simple job of replacing it by a professional was the easy bit. The greenhouse had to be put back in place and all the ground cover stones cleaned as they were covered in soil. We then decided to top up the stones. 11 bags later our garden looked like ours again. The lawn took a battering so the next job was a lawn feed with Richard Jacksons lawn feed. Brilliant stuff. We have used it before with great results so fingers crossed this time. I’m sorry to hear about poor little Honey. It’s rotten when they are poorly and they can’t really tell you at that age how they feel. I hope she is feeling better. Little ones do bounce back quickly. I wish we adults were the same. Belated birthday wishes also. You don’t look your age so enjoy being young at heart!!! It’s rained all day and I’ve just come home from the garage. Just two hours to relax and then my youngest grandchild is coming for a sleepover. Lovely times but exhausting. Take care as always and love and hugs from me. Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan April 5, 2016 at 5:55 pm -  Reply

      Gosh Judith where do you get your energy from! That sounds like a mountain of work in your garden although I am sure now the greenhouse looks fabulous. Richard Jackson is a genius isn’t he? Not just his lawn feed but also Flower Power – I love both! That’s very sweet of you to pay me such a compliment, thank you for your kind words about Honey. I saw her and her mum today, and she was looking very bonny although her face is still sore from the teeth cutting but she is 100% better really. I hope your sleepover went well – I have my first with Honey this Saturday! Just she and I as I mentioned – it’ll be fun I’m sure! Take care and have a good week, love from Ali xx

  5. Christine Auchterlonie April 3, 2016 at 8:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali.. Another interesting blog… My granddaughter/son/husband all have birthdays back end of March and beginning of April Jessica is fourteen now and received some very nice gifts .. And Simon and his partner took all of us out for a nice evening meal … I have to laugh my granddaughters look over the menu and always order from the Al la carte !!!they take after their dad he too has expensive tastes….I wonder where he got that from!!!the weather was lovely on Good Friday we live not far from the coast so ended up in a local hotel at lunch time for coffee and sandwiches by the time we came out the traffic running along the coastal route was manic everyone obviously having the same thoughts . The Garden is job in progress at the moment as the weather is very hit and miss… I to like Colin and Honey have had the dreaded virus… But recovering now. I have heard that the Lulu concert is amazing … She is remarkable for her years …. I’m pleased you enjoyed it. Pleased you had a lovely time on your birthday it’s lovely to have a change… And hope little Honey is feeling better now.. It will be her birthday soon… How time goes by. On Simons birthday we all went for a curry so for Derek’s birthday on the 7th April we may go to Marcos … I do hope you are keeping well and thought you looked lovely in the red jumper and the beautiful silver jewellery ….I hope life is good to you and yours so until next time… Take care… With love Chris x

    • Alison Keenan April 5, 2016 at 5:58 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Chris, so glad you enjoyed the blog, and have been enjoying life generally! It sounds as though you’ve had a couple of really nice days and evenings out, and I just hope that Garden isn’t too much like hard work! Yes thank you I very much enjoy my birthday, and have already got my instructions for Honeys first birthday cake! Thanks for the compliments about the red jumper, I must admit I really enjoyed wearing it and the jewellery was stunning. I hope life is good for you too, and thank you for keeping in touch. With love, Ali x

  6. Sue Huskisson April 3, 2016 at 9:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali.
    So glad to hear lock n lock are coming back to QVC . I have lots for usual things like cereals, pasta, flour etc. My husband has commandeered several of them for his greenhouse for plant ties etc. I have to be careful when one becomes empty or it will be gone haha!!
    Poor little Honey suffering with her teeth, they are a necessary nuisance aren’t they? She still manages to be a happy little soul though bless her!
    We spent a day with our niece Lisa and her little boy Charlie last Thursday. We were meant to go on Easter Monday but like Honey he is teething and went down with a nasty bout of gastroenteritis. Thankfully he is well now and we had a lovely day. He is quite comical now and very entertaining!
    Your birthday sounded wonderful and the bliss of an Elemis spa— heaven!! Don’t worry about which box to tick, I’ve been in the last box for years now— quite a sobering thought but never mind!
    I still haven’t decided which option of the lovely diamonique solitaire to choose– better get my skates on before it sells out!!
    Anyway Ali, bye for now love Sue xx

    • Alison Keenan April 5, 2016 at 8:21 pm -  Reply

      Dear Sue, Glad to hear you are as excited as the rest of us! It’s funny to know who uses them and for what… Plant ties sound like a jolly good idea! Yes for little Honey has been going through it, but she stays cheery and happy. I saw her today with Lucy, and she is feeling much better than she was then. So glad you had time with Lisa and Charlie last Thursday, but very sorry to know that he was poorly also. So pleased he’s feeling better, and I’m sure the entertainment value is high! I was so happy to read that you like to solitaire designs we have on offer… I know it can be a little bit boggling for choice, but some of those cuts are quite rare, and it’s nice to have a choice of size. I won’t be with you this Thursday, as I have a day off, but will look forward to seeing you following week. Take care and enjoy the sunshine Love Ali xx

  7. Denise April 4, 2016 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, a lovely blog as always. So sorry to see your fence blown down. Up here in the North we seem to have escaped the worst of that weather. Over the Easter weekend the best day weather wise was Good Friday so we headed to the coast which we can get to in about 40 minutes. It was beautiful bright sunshine although a tad chilly which blew the cobwebs away. We had a wonderful walk along the front. Being so close to the coast is something I often count my blessings for.
    I so pleased you had a lovely break away for your birthday and how fabulous to enjoy the Elemis facial – I’m very jealous! I hope little Honey is feeling better and her teeth aren’t causing her too much pain. You do feel for them don’t you? I’m sure you can’t wait for your overnight baby sitting duties I know you will have such fun together.
    The rest of our Easter was pretty quiet with the unsettled weather also my hubby had a bit of man flu. We managed a catch up with my son and daughter in law, enjoyed a nice walk around our lovely Marina followed by a coffee and a nice lunch out. 4 days soon fly by though and it’s back to normal routine.
    Am I right in thinking you spent part of your honeymoon in Corfu? I was thinking of that as I wondered if you saw the new series on TV called The Durrells which is set on the island which started last night? I thought it was delightful and one of those perfect Sunday evening programs. I think it’s going to be a huge hit.
    Take care.
    Love Denise xx

    • Alison Keenan April 5, 2016 at 8:28 pm -  Reply

      Did your niece I am very jealous of you living so close to the coast! I can think of nothing nicer than going for a walk in the sunshine along the front. I used to live close to the coast when Lucy was a baby, but I didn’t go there very often. You are completely correct though in remembering that I went to Corfu for part of my honeymoon. And yes I am definitely watching The Durrells. I read Gerald’s book when I was 18 years old – “My Family and Other Animals” and it was absolutely enchanting, as is the series. It brings back the same feelgood factor I used to get when watching “the Darling Buds of May”. Long may it last 🙂 Take care, Love Ali xx

  8. Linda finch April 4, 2016 at 11:42 pm -  Reply

    well hi Ali , hope your well ,last Friday my hubby had his pot off,but it wasn’t all good news ,he still has to spend another 6week’s immobile until his bones have fused around the screw in his ankle , so only half happy hubby. He keeps looking longingly at his beloved garden and can’t wait for the time when he can get out there. Hope Honey dosent have too much trouble with her teeth, you feel so helpless there’s not much you can do only administer calpol and lots of cuddles, Hope you have a great time with your sleep over with her I am sure you both will be fine ,lots of love to you both Linda F xx

    • Alison Keenan April 5, 2016 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Linda, I’m guessing you meant your husband has his plaster off!? Poor man to have to spend another six weeks immobile until his bones have fused around the screw in his ankle. I am sure he will be desperate to get back in the garden, and I hope it will be sooner rather than later. You are right it is that same kind of helpless feeling I had when Poor Honey was poorly… Although I saw her today, and she is much happier, and I’m very much looking forward to our sleepover on Saturday. You take care and enjoy the rest of the week. Thank you very much for writing, love Ali xx

  9. Anne Marie Mason April 4, 2016 at 11:46 pm -  Reply

    Congratulations Donna. x

  10. Anne Marie Mason April 4, 2016 at 11:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi, I love reading your blogs Ali. I feel like I can hear how happy you are and that’s lovely. It’s so nice to see such a happy couple that really enjoy being together. After all that you’ve been through you truly deserve it all too. x

    • Alison Keenan April 5, 2016 at 8:32 pm -  Reply

      Anne-Marie that is really sweet of you to say. I love your name – it reminds me of my Chemo Ward Sister who had the same name. Colin and I are lucky that life turned out so well for us, and that we rub along really well too. I know I’ve had my ups and downs, but I still genuinely count myself lucky compared to many. Do keep in touch on the blog, and thank you for writing to me, love Ali xx

  11. Christine April 6, 2016 at 2:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi honey looks beautiful. We went to see Lulu Saturday night. She was great, don’t know where she gets the energy from. Take care.
    Christine x

    • Alison Keenan April 10, 2016 at 3:28 pm -  Reply

      Me neither Christine, but long may it last! Have a great week, love Ali x

  12. Ruth April 6, 2016 at 4:06 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    What a lovely post. Your spa looks amazing! It’s my birthday on 9th April and I will have to tick the 2nd to last box as I’ll be 47. Where has the time gone? Your nails look amazing. I must say, as well as diamonds, my nails are my next indulgence. I paint them once a week without fail. When I’m feeling poorly (I have Multiple Sclerosis) looking down at my painted nails – fingers and toes – always puts a smile on my face. Your Honey is beautiful – just like her nanny! Take good care of yourself
    Love and blessings

    • Alison Keenan April 10, 2016 at 3:34 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Ruth, I believe it was called Nutfield Priory, just outside Reigate – belated Happy Birthday for yesterday – I hope you were spoilt! Thank you for your lovely comment about my nails – I feel very lucky to be able to try so many different nail products, and am glad that you get pleasure from painting your nails too – I’m sure they look beautiful. Hard to believe that Honey will be a year old at the beginning of next month, and I will make sure I put lots of photographs in the blog to celebrate with you. Love Ali xx

  13. karen April 6, 2016 at 9:05 pm -  Reply

    hi Ali what spa did you go to?

    • Alison Keenan April 10, 2016 at 3:35 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Karen, I believe it was Nutfield Priory just outside Reigate. Love Ali xx

  14. martin forbes April 13, 2016 at 9:53 am -  Reply

    hope you are well iam not bad hope familyan dgrandaughter arewell hope your colin is getting over his cold

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