Windy holidays, family catch-ups and Catherine’s play


Colin and Alison at Rhosili beachAnother week gone, and even more leaves to collect in the garden! Wonderful to see so many of you taking the time to enter our competition to win the Nails Inc Special Effects collection and, as promised, I will be naming the winner at the bottom of this blog πŸ™‚

Not sure how things are where you live, but here in the south of England it is still unseasonably warm, so much so that I was running in my sleeveless vest enjoying the warm of the sun on my now somewhat pasty skin!

However it was towards the West that Colin and I headed last Friday on an incredibly grey and wet morning. We had been invited to join our friends and their two children who had spent the half term week on the Gower Peninsula in Wales. I have to be honest and admit that not only had I never been to this part of our fair Isle but, in truth, had no idea where it was!

Penarth PierKathy Tayler had been there in the summer, and sent me a fabulous photograph of the view she was looking out of her motor home at, which was stunning! After crossing the Bristol Suspension Bridge in high winds – a tad scary – we had lunch in Penarth, which is right on the coast, with our friend the jewellery designer Marsha Varrow.

They have recently refurbed the pier there and made it into a theatre, which, as you can see, looked very impressive in the five minutes of sunshine we were treated to πŸ™‚

We then continued along the coast road to Rhossili, which is where Steve and Dawn were staying. It was lashing with rain by then, so we holed up in a local hostelry and played games with the children whilst tucking into a fabulously fattening feast of pie and chips πŸ™‚ Of course it was pitch black by the time we left, so we had no idea of where exactly we were until the morning, but as the sun shone through the windows we gathered our belongings and headed off to Rhossili Beach and The Worms Head – the name for the rock that sits out to sea there.

Rhosili beachThe beach is HUGE – purportedly the one used by the Top Gear team for their spectacular sand races - and by jingo there is certainly a lot of sand there! That morning though, the majority of it was being blown across the beach in the Force 9 winds that were coming off the sea. The waves were mighty, and it was jolly cold, but I had borrowed a hat from eleven-year-old Alfie and had my Centigrade coat on, so I was as warm as toast.

We decided to try and make it along the cliff path to the end of the peninsula, but were warned by several walkers that the winds were incredibly strong so to hold on tightly to the children! I thought this was possibly an exaggeration, but no, by the time we reached the coastguard's watch tower the wind had increased to 80mph!

How do I know?  Because along with the rest of our troupe, we were allowed in to see the coastguards who told us it was 'Gale Force 9'. I have seriously never been in winds like these, and have to admit to having a lot of fun trying to lean into the wind without being blown away…not bad, eh?!


[Having trouble viewing this video? See YouTube's Help page]

It certainly blows the cobwebs away and, after a lunch of Welsh Rarebit – would have been rude not to – we set off home. Luckily the weather on the journey home was far less agressive, and three and a half hours later we were parking the car in the last of the sunshine.

I've done a fair bit of driving over the last week, and was lucky enough to spend a day with my daughter Lucy whilst she was on her half term holiday. She has been working incredibly hard and, like so many other teachers, really needs these breaks to recharge the batteries. Lucy also now has three delightful step sons, who spend a lot of time with her and Simon.

Lucy's step childrenThe eldest is 16 so, understandably, has his own agenda, but George and Henry are nine and four years old respectively, and were delighted when Lucy discovered the Living Rainforest not far off the M4! Colin and I drove up to meet them all, and we had a fabulous morning discovering tree frogs, snakes, crocodiles and marmosets, all hidden in and amongst huge orchids and other foilage!

It was very realistic – warm and humid – and having dutifully filled in our questionnaires, we made tracks for the local pub where we motored our way through another fabulous meal! As it was Halloween, the boys had a party and then Trick or Treating, but we had this photo taken just before they left. I so enjoy being with the little ones and felt quite emotional as we held hands and walked around the Rainforest…so many wonderful memories of my three when they were small…good times πŸ™‚

Of course I've been back at work since then, had my hair cut and coloured (not certain, but I think the curl may have been cut out of it!!), and far more importantly, spent an evening with some of my colleagues from QVC supporting our thespian friend, Catherine Huntley!

Catherine and Alison after the playShe is starring as Mary in a marvellous production of 'The Memory of Water' at the Barons Court Theatre. It is a very emotional and quite intense play written by Shelagh Stephenson, and has a very talented cast of five. Catherine's acting made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and also brought me to tears more than once…incredibly sensitively played and she didn't forget her lines once! What a star πŸ™‚

I am hoping to go again with Kathy and Debbie before the end of the run on the 17th…would so love to tread the boards before I'm under them…it's on my tick list πŸ™‚

Just a quick mention to reassure those of you who knew I'd been for an MRI, that it was purely to make sure that one of my implants hadn't ruptured. Unfortunately it's all gone a little pear-shaped in that department, but there was mercifully no damage, it appears that the transferred fat has dissipated, and so we can hold off the next phase of surgery until the beginning of next year. So much to look forward to with Christmas and QVC I wouldn't have wanted to miss any of it πŸ™‚

Well, I think that's about it…Oh, of course, the winner of our competition!!! We needed a much larger hat this time to put all the correct entries in, but for those of you who took part, the answer to the question (What is the name of the Entrepreneur who founded Nails Inc?) was of course Thea Green!! Many congratulations to Debs Le Sueur and I will post the Special Effects to you asap.

Thank you ALL for taking part though, and rest assured there will be another competition before Christmas with a special collection of goodies πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful weekend, and I look forward, as always, to hearing what you've been up to, and how you are.

Take care,


Ali xxx


  1. Rhona Fenton November 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison what a wonderful blog as always, think I have just about stopped laughing at your wee video off you in the wind, just another day in Scotland, but then you and colin should know that oh wait that’s right you landed lucky when you were up here the weather played nice for you!! having said that it has been good just now with some sun, except the past couple off mornings its been white with frost as I found out yesterday as I slipped and fell smacking my face off out block path so staying in doors just now till all the black and blue goes from my face!! and as for your pasty skin, wait till we get together i’ll show you pasty!! so glad you had a good time and had fun with lucy, simon and the kids and Halloween, to which our house is clear again and as you say ready for the next Holiday Christmas woohoo!! thank you for sharing your results Alison and as you say you can now look forward to all the Christmas celebrations and start fresh in the new year, I hope you are doing well my thoughts are with you often, you look amazing as always, have a wonderful weekend love to colin and the family, stay strong lots of love as always Rhona xx

  2. Mrs Janet Jones November 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, sorry I haven’t been in touch lately,as I have been so worried about Alfie. Jilly you were right he did have his eye operation at the end of October how kind of you to inquire and remember my grandson thank you. Things seemed alright for the first couple of days but when he was checked again the operation hadn’t worked, the pressure has gone right up and they are not sure at this stage if he has lost the sight in that eye,they may need to operate again this week we will have to wait and see.He needs 10 drops a day that can be painful but they can’t take that route long term as it will effect his kidneys. So very worrying times ahead especially for his mum and dad. They are coming up this evening to stay with us for the weekend and I can’t wait to have them here and completely spoil my grandson and his mum and dad all weekend.
    So glad to hear you’re implant hasn’t ruptured I bet you were so relieved Ali.
    Hope hope is well with Annie, Jilly and hope you enjoyed the Lake District my little piece of heaven on earth!
    Sorry to be so miserable but we have worrying times ahead and I pray Alfie will be given the gift of good sight. Take care Ali speak soon love Janet xx

  3. SHARON PYART November 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I had to smile when I read your blog about Rhosili and you walking in a Gale Force 9. I live quite near and I would NEVER have gone up there, in such a wind. The view is lovely but you must have been crazy!!! You were all very brave and I take my hat off to you. Take care, Sharon

  4. helen November 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm -  Reply

    Oh Ali, fancy you being in my neck of the woods, we only live about 15 mins away from Rhossilli, I would have so loved to have met up with you, though I bet you wouldn’t have wanted your lovely little break gate crashed so to speak. I am really gutted, never mind perhaps next time…………..
    So glad your keeping well, I do admire your get up and got and endless energy, how do you do it????
    Been busy with my girl and she’s in a show tomorrow night, so another day of taxi service ahead!!
    Will write again shortly but have to dash to get costumes sorted etc.
    Love to all the army, and Alpa, please do take care and I do know exactly what its like to have M.E. Pretty, flipping awful!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Luv and hugs as always
    Helen s xx
    ps Nice to see your Lucy settled with her new man xxxx

  5. Elaine sallis November 8, 2013 at 9:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Loved the clip of you trying to lean into the wind. How lovely the picture of the two of you with Lucy’s step children is. I am telling the family that we should visit the rainforest in Swindon but they all look at me as though I am slightly mad. I wonder why?!
    So glad the implant was ok, I was worrying about you and your recent MRI .
    Love Elaine

  6. Mary Morphy November 8, 2013 at 10:53 pm -  Reply

    Good evening Alison..first lesson this evening..Wales is wet and cold But Because of this weather the grass is green and the lamb is juicy!!! That beach looked awesome…slightly larger than ours in Westgate but glad you have finally experienced and survived a sand blast facial with lashings of salty rain and sea splashed on for good measure. In the winter I put a layer of delicious face oil on under my moisturiser for extra support and to help my skin stick to my face!
    Lovely to for you to spend time with friends and like you, spending time with the wee ones reminds me of doing the same things with my own. Mums never lose their touch or memories of times with their children.
    Glad too the Catherine’s play was enjoyed by all..I think I saw her on TV once in Casualty or that might have been Sarah Griffiths!!!
    So My family now call me “The Cough’ ( supposedly tagging on to The Hoff as in Hasselhoff but I wasn’t amused!) as I have been coughing wheezing and spluttering for almost a month. So as you know strict orders to rest or hospital… but so much to do. I have my own nebulizer at home so have that now 4 X a day but its quite old and very nebulizer times slot into the TV schedule, at least in the evenings. I am improving though but I did find the wall paper scraper on Monday and scrapped the paper off in my daughters room on the damp wall..hoping no one would notice but wall underneath is painted pale yellow and I got found out. Anyhow going to buy the Bullseye damp paint tomorrow after i have dropped Chloe off at cricket practice after walking the dogs and paint the offending wall after Chloe’s indoor cricket match on Sunday ( cricket’s back!) before cooking family roast. Will paper the wall Friday so Chloe can de clutter and move her furniture back in. Have you been watching Paul Hollywood Pies and Puds on BBC at 3.45? Totally into this this week and have cooked his corned beef and potato pie this evening whilst I have been home alone for teatime tomorrow as I am a bit busy..hubby and kids at fireworks at a Friends.. not good for me to be standing in the wet..its pouring..and cold so stayed home..see I can be good, some times! Pie looks yummy but I fear it may not be complete in the morning. No doubt when the mob come home they will be starving! I have asked for the book to accompany the series for Christmas. Also coloured my hair this evening and wrote thank yous to the wonderful people who sent a donation on behalf of dad to the hospice.
    Sorry to hear your implants are giving you problems but you are.looking good though Ali. Going to have my final nebulizer of the day then sleep. Voice now gone delighted!!! Have a great weekend. Mary xxx

  7. Tricia Coulson- Wood November 9, 2013 at 5:53 pm -  Reply

    Hello Alison, What a fabulous time you are having, lovely photos too. I was very pleased to read that your scan was clear and also Jillys daughter and all the others positive comments. my own daughter Jan has received a clear ct scan which we are over the moon with. she is now preparing to return to duty and has been fitted for her new uniform. she is sporting really short hair which rather suits her, she always wore it long before therapy.
    I am sending my best wishes to you all and thanks. Tricia. X

  8. susan November 9, 2013 at 5:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Hope you are keeping as warm as you can in this winter chill?! Although we’re so lucky compared to the Phillipines. Just too tragic to even say. Looked chilly on the beach!? Lovely hat. Have I missed something about Lucy? Has she remarried? If so I wish her much happiness. Lovely children. I am sorry your latest setback has occured. Does it never end for you Ali? Well it must do so good on you for getting on! You’re looking fab. How is Debbie by the way??
    Susan x

  9. Beth Morton November 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    I am so glad you made it to the Gower – I went there a few years ago on a National Trust working holiday and loved it! I did chuckle at the footage of you on Rhosili beach – very glad you arrived back safe and sound though.
    It sounds like you’ve really had a fun time with your break and I’m so glad you got the chance to spend time with Lucy and her great step-sons. I am only an Aunty but when I spend time with my young nieces, they just bring so much fun and sunshine with them.
    I am glad you can look forward to Christmas without the thought of further surgery until afterwards. I had reconstruction due to breast cancer back in 2005 and had to have several ops afterwards – I sincerely hope you are coming to the end of your ops in the coming year.
    Finally, good for you and Colin to see Catherine in her play – great to hear she did well too – you are so busy yet it doesn’t surprise me that you make time for everyone!
    Beth XXX.

  10. TINA / WEST GLAM. November 10, 2013 at 1:24 am -  Reply

    Dear Alison,
    As a very proud Welsh girl I must say you have not seen our beautiful countryside at its best! Gower is one of the most spectacular places to see. It is truly the “jewel in our crown” and you should revisit it in more clement weather. It doesnt always rain in Wales contrary to belief! I live a short way from Gower in a town called Neath. It is not far from the homes of the talented Anthony Hopkins and Richard Burton.I must say that I still enjoy visiting the Welsh coast even when it is windy. I have been trying to take some photographs particularly during the stormy weather. I think there is nothing like it for blowing the cobwebbs away. I hope you will visit again as, even though I am biased, we have some stunning countryside as well as coastline to see.
    We will truly “keep a welcome in the hillside” for you.
    All the very best,
    Tina S.

  11. Sue Radford November 10, 2013 at 11:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    What a surprise to read about your visited to Penarth. I live not far from there and often walk along the Pier. What a lovely surprise that would have been if I’d bumped into you. What a pity the weather was bad, as you will not have seen it at its very best. We love to watch people fishing there in the summer and sit and relax with a nice ice-cream – bliss! Work on the Pier was still in operation when we visited last, so will look forward to seeing the finished result when we visit next. Also, you brought back vivid memories of my Mum as she was born in Swansea and when I was young often visited relatives who lived near the coastline. My mother’s oldest brother (who lived until he was 90) owned a beach hut there, and my late brother and myself used to love staying there. As you said, the beach is so huge it was never over-crowded and we used to run freely there and have great fun – such wonderful times! I know how bad the weather was the time you were there because it was around the same time my daughter and I started off on our usual Saturday afternoon shopping trip. The wind nearly blew my car away – I had to fight with it to keep it on the road – very scary, but not as scary as you walking in it!! I know that area and when the wind blows it can easily take you with it eek!
    Sorry to hear you’re having some problems with the reconstruction, but so glad it wasn’t a rupture. It’s nice that you have decided to take a few months rest before beginning more surgery/treatment. It’s also lovely to see you getting on with life regardless and enjoying life to the full. Glad Lucy has found happiness with her new man. I hope your sons are both well – I think about them often.
    Take care,
    Love from Sue Radford xx

  12. Mrs Janet Jones November 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali forgot to mention I bought your ‘I Hope’ pendant it arrived on the Breast Cancer Care Day. I absolutely love it, well done you for raising so much money for BCC through this pendant. Speak soon Love Janet xxx

  13. Cath November 12, 2013 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Great blog as always. My pendant arrived and it’s fantastic πŸ™‚
    Good news re dad’s myeloma. Had 2 cycles of chemo (halfway) and his protein levels gone from 32 to 5!!! So happy and looking like stem cell transplant after the last 2 cycles. Still a way to go but we can be positive πŸ™‚
    Take care and much love,
    Catherine x

  14. alison keenan November 13, 2013 at 12:24 am -  Reply

    My dear Janet, I am sure that Jilly and I weren’t the only ones concerned about your Alfie, although I am very saddened to read of his condition, and can completely empathise with you worry and concern. So pleased though that your son, his girly and Alfie will all be with you, so that you can do what mums do best, and I am SURE they will appreciate all the love and care. Please do keep us in touch, and stay strong, even though it must be very difficult for you. I have a lot of faith in the medical profession, and pray a solution will be found for Alfie. Do take care, and thank you for updating us – I had been worried. With love, Ali xx

  15. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen watching via sky tv November 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm -  Reply

    hi alison hope you are well iam nae abd on holiday for 1weeks holiday being lazt doing notyhing last holiday of the year hope your sdons are well ans i fyou dont mind me asking how is your daughter getting on with her man friend

  16. alison keenan November 13, 2013 at 5:08 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Rhona, and thanks for writing. So sorry that you’ve had a fall, and I very much hope that with the likes of Arnica Gel, your face is a lot less bruised by now! So glad you liked my ‘wee video’ πŸ™‚ There was another one, where the wind caught me and I only just stopped short of a gorse bush, but it looks as though I’m pretending! I’m glad your Halloween celebrations went well, but that you have things clear and ready for Christmas – can’t believe it’s so close now! We have my sisters birthday celebrations on Friday, so that’ll be fun. You take care, and don’t forget to wrap up warm, and wear rubber soled shoes/boots in the frost! Love Ali xx

  17. alison keenan November 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm -  Reply

    I guess Sharon that the expression ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ could be used to describe our little troupe’s expedition in that horrendous gale! But it was exciting, and something I’ve never done before, so another thing off my tick list πŸ™‚ How lovely for you to live in such a beautiful part of the country. I hope that the wind has now dropped and you are enjoying the winter sunshine. Thanks for writing, and keep in touch, love Ali x

  18. alison keenan November 13, 2013 at 5:13 pm -  Reply

    Dear Helen, I told Colin about your message, and he said that perhaps next time we heading anywhere I should mention it on the blog, and we could get together with whoever’s there for a cup of tea! Sounds like a plan, and if we do return in the summer, I will be knocking on your door!I hope very much that your daughter’s performance will stun the audience and that she will get the kind of applause our Catherine did – very well deserved :)Thanks for your message to Lucy – I will pass it on. Enjoy the rest of the week, and the weekend, and speak soon, love Ali xx

  19. alison keenan November 13, 2013 at 5:16 pm -  Reply

    Thanks Elaine for your kind concern. I too was very relieved that all was well with the implant, and the MRI wasn’t so bad πŸ™‚ I think your family would LOVE the rainforest in Swindon – the same neck of the woods I saw the Chinese Circus earlier this year – clearly a Cosmopolitan kind of place! Hope all good with you and yours, and as always, lovely to hear from you, love Ali xx

  20. alison keenan November 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm -  Reply

    Mary if I lived nearer I would be knocking on your door and chastising you!! You are a poorly girl, and if you’re using a nebulizer four times a day, I really don’t think you should be going anywhere near paint and its fumes, and not faffing around with wallpaper either! I’m glad at least to hear that you are eating properly and making delicious pies! I have only watched one of the Paul Hollywood series, and it was all about meringues which looked fab! I enjoy him and Mary Berry together on the GBBO! Have you seen Dale and Andi Peters at 7pm on a Monday? They’re great together and we had Simple Simon’s pies which are delicious! You promise me you’ll take it easy or you’ll end up in hospital over Christmas with Pneumonia! πŸ™‚ Keep in touch, and try to rest, love Ali xx

  21. alison keenan November 13, 2013 at 5:28 pm -  Reply

    My dear Tricia, that is such wonderful news about Jan, please pass on my congratulations. Such a relief for you, her and ALL the family. I hope that her return to work won’t tire her too much, and that they will be sensitive to all she’s been through. It’s funny how good the short hair looks when it first comes back, although she’ll probably need a winter hat if the weather continues to get colder πŸ™‚ Thanks for keeping us ALL in the loop, and please do keep in touch, with love, Ali xx

  22. alison keenan November 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Susan, thank you for commenting, and yes, it’s hard to comprehend the devastation that has happened in the Philippines… Terrifying and heartbreaking.. I just hope the Aid that we’re sending gets there asap… Yes, it was very chilly in the winds, and I would have been lost without Alfie’s hat – he’s only 11 but every inch a gent πŸ™‚ No, you’ve not missed anything with Lucy. She is living with Simon, but hasn’t remarried, and his boys spend their time equally between his and their mum’s home. It works very well, and Lucy is great with them. I must admit to being more than a little fed up with this latest setback, but at least I can crack on with Christmas preparations. Debbie is doing really well, and has started working at Bid TV. I am hoping to see her next week. Take care and stay warm this week, love Ali xx

  23. alison keenan November 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Beth, and lovely to hear from you, and to know that you are well, some 6 years further down the road than me πŸ™‚ I hope you were pleased with your reconstruction, although I realise that you, like me, had to have a number of operations to complete the procedure. It was a real treat to see Catherine in her play, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I remember going to see Sara Griffiths some years back in a Tom Stoppard and she too was incredible…. really diverse talents both of them πŸ™‚ I do hope you will get to see your neices over Christmas, and that they will light up the festive period for you. Thanks for writing, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  24. alison keenan November 13, 2013 at 5:42 pm -  Reply

    Dear Tina, you have EVERY reason to feel proud of your beautiful Welsh countryside, and the rather dramatic weather we experienced hasn’t put us off at all – Colin and I plan to revisit next year in the sunshine, and to try and walk the entire length of Rhosili beach – looks about 3 miles long?! I took quite a few photographs, and some of the black and white ones worked really well – how lovely that you can just travel a short distance to experience such amazing scenery πŸ™‚ I will look forward to your ‘welcome in the hillside’ – stay well, and thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  25. Julie November 14, 2013 at 10:25 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    I don’t know what’s happening these days but I sent you another message and it hasn’t appeared.
    It just said- pleased you were in Wales and love “our” country.
    Try the Brecon Beacons if you’re here next summer-stunning! maybe we could meet up then??
    Lily’s 3 on Sunday so all hands on deck-did you get the Halloween photo’s??
    Hope the family are well.
    Take care
    Julie xx Lily xxxxx

  26. Mary Morphy November 15, 2013 at 3:44 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali..consider myself well and truly told off!! My sister and trusted Christmas Shopping partner has threatened to abandon our Annual Shop fest if I don’t behave….unthinkable! So, very bored still no voice although a feint high pitched tone emerged randomly yesterday and all the dogs from the neighbourhood were at the door. Going to lie on the sofa after my pedicure lady has been and watch war horse…with a big box of tissues! Fingers crossed I may be back to work on Monday as I can’t afford to keep watching QVC in the daytime..bought loads!!. Lots of love. Mary xxx

  27. Kristina Moore November 15, 2013 at 8:50 pm -  Reply

    Ali’s Army needs to add Charlotte and William Morris to its people to support as Charlie has been diagnosed with cancer too. I know this isn’t to do with the blog and I am sorry for that. I hope that everyone who wants support gets it and the results they want with the problems they have.
    Best wishes

  28. Robina Castle November 16, 2013 at 10:37 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison So sorry to hear implants not gone as well as
    we all hoped for you but enjoy all planned and unplanned
    festivities. 2014 will be a good year for you when all
    has been sorted.
    Just a quick question is Debbie Greenwood ok as not seen for so long and she’s not doing a blog.
    You always look stunning on set and in your pictures Colin is a
    very lucky man.

  29. Jan Burnley November 16, 2013 at 11:01 am -  Reply

    Now you know the meaning of the phrase “getting the wind up” !!
    I’ve spent many happy hours in the same area Alison. My lovely Welsh friends have a caravan at Llangennith and I try to visit them sometime during the summer and this year the weather was brilliant,sunshine and BBQ’s almost every day!I have been there when the weather was bad but not as you experienced it. Wonder where you had your meal? There are some lovely eateries in the area, and did you sample Joe’s icecream, if not, that’s a must for next time.
    Best Love

  30. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen watching via sky tv November 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm -  Reply

    hi alison hope thge family and you are well
    iam enjoying aweeks lazy holiday 1week from work being lazy lastb holiday this year.

  31. alison keenan November 18, 2013 at 10:11 am -  Reply

    Hi there Julie and Lily, and I am sorry you’re having so much hassle with posting your comments! I know how frustrating it is when you’ve taken the time to write something, to find it has disappeared! I will look out for the Halloween photographs and thank you for sending them to me. I have heard wonderful things about the Brecon Beacons and so that may well be another place we visit next year πŸ™‚ You take care, and I very much hope you have less trouble in future keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  32. Jilly November 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali – lovely to have your catch up after my little holiday in the Lakes. I tuned in yesterday and thought your little blue lace dress was just so perfect. You made me laugh when they showed you running from one studio to the other. (I bought two TSV so cannot wait for them to arrive – one for me and the other to share!!!).
    Gutted to hear that things have not gone well with the op but I feel you are right to leave things until the New Year – you want to be feeling as well as possible with all the events and happenings in the run up to Christmas. You know how painful and awful the op was and not something to have again with all the jolly events happening.
    Lovely to have a picture of the little boys and to know that Lucy is so happy. So good that you could also share the day with them. Time does help so much as we all know and you will feel so much better knowing that Lucy is in a good place now.
    So very sorry to hear that little Alfie’s op has not gone well Janet. Not good news at all and very worrying for all the family. I am sure the weekend you had with the family was what you all needed – mummy and daddy as well as you. We will continue to pray that something better can somehow happen and he can start to recover. Distressing for everyone to know that he needs drops which are painful for his little eyes. Be brave and see some sort of light at the end of this horror that you are all going through. Our Lakes holiday was super – rained every day but one but it was not a problem – I had said to my husband that “Janet loves the Lakes” – he said “which Janet?” and I had to explain that although we have never met we all “know” each other from Ali’s blog and we all care about each other and our families. Well that is how it seems to me and I am sure this blogging helps us all – and more than Ali could ever imagine it would.
    Tricia I cannot tell you how I felt when I read that Jan was clear and thinking about going back to work – such good news after all the horrid worrying time that you have all had – and I know exactly what you have gone through being the mother (as Ali’s mother will know). How strange that Jan has always had long hair – the same as Annie – but everyone keeps saying how good she looks with short hair. It is getting very curly – but then it was when she was tiny. Lets just have our girls getting stronger as each month passess – it will not stop us worrying about them but they are both going in the right direction and that is wonderful.
    Looking forward to your next update Ali and never fear whatever is going on under your wonderful blue dress you look perfect to us.
    Love Jilly x

  33. alison keenan November 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm -  Reply

    Dear Sue, How lovely to think that I can now imagine where you live, and also those walks along the pier πŸ™‚ So glad also that the blog brought back memories of your mum and also your Uncle and those childhood holidays with your brother. I hope to making more memories there myself, and as you say, it is no doubt beautiful when the sun shines and the wind drops. Glad that you and your daughter managed your shopping trip unscathed, and hopefully bought some goodies! Thank you as always for asking after the boys. Sam did come and stay with us last week, and helped with the decorating which was kind. We are hoping to see him again tomorrow, with Jack if possible. I do miss them both, and as Jack is working all the hours God sends, he is rarely able to visit. I hope you’re having a good week, and as always, thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  34. alison keenan November 19, 2013 at 5:43 pm -  Reply

    Dear Janet, I am so glad that your pendant arrived so swiftly… I have to say of the 10 I bought, I only have four remaining now… it’s nice to be able to pass the message on, and for some of my friends, these are trying times… Love to you, Alfie and all, Ali xx

  35. alison keenan November 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm -  Reply

    Catherine, such a relief to hear about your Dad’s protein levels – not surprised you are feeling so much more positive – I am hoping he is too πŸ™‚ My best friend’s sister had her stem cell transplant three weeks ago, and all is well. You take care, and thanks for updating me. Keep in touch, love Ali xx

  36. alison keenan November 19, 2013 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Martin, glad to hear you’re taking it easy on your last holiday of the year – a leaf I should take out of your book! πŸ™‚ Lucy is very happy with Simon thank you. They live together now and she is working very hard in her new job. There is a possible promotion for her too which will be fabulous considering she is only 28! Take care, love Ali x

  37. alison keenan November 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm -  Reply

    Mary forgive me! I read my comment back and I sounded like a really bossy old bag!! I am however glad though that you are trying at least to take it a little easier, and hope very much that in this next week you will get your voice back, and won’t be finding work too exhausting! I know the feeling about all the additional shopping at QVC – too many bargains I couldn’t miss πŸ™‚ Take care, with love, Ali xxx

  38. alison keenan November 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm -  Reply

    My dear Tina, consider Charlotte and William Morris added to our numbers… so very sorry to hear William’s diagnosis, and pray that the treatment he will receive will help. Thank you for your good wishes, love Ali xx

  39. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen watching via sky tv November 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm -  Reply

    hi alison hope you are well iam okayjust backt o work after alazy weeks holiday

  40. alison keenan November 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Robina, and thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, I am a little sad that the surgery didn’t go quite to plan, but the current discomfort will be sorted in January, and then as you say, I have the rest of the year to look forward to. I am sorry you weren’t aware that Debbie Greenwood no longer works at QVC. That said, she is still in touch with many of us. Infact I’ve spent this lunchtime with her too, and can tell you that she is doing very well πŸ™‚ I hope that you are having a good week, and thank you for getting in touch, love Ali xx

  41. alison keenan November 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm -  Reply

    Hello there Jan, you’re another lucky one who has sampled the delights of the Welsh coastline, and I’m glad that you had time there this summer when the weather was so fabulous πŸ™‚ We actually had our lunch in the Rhossili Beach Hotel that is just by the car park, but sadly didn’t sample Joe’s ice-cream. That will be on our tick list for the next visit definitely! Thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  42. alison keenan November 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm -  Reply

    Jilly it’s always so good to hear from you, and I love the fact that you are able to keep in touch with Janet, Tricia, and all the other Army Girls through this blog. I am certain that for all the comfort we give to each other, there are those, who maybe never write, but have been helped through reading about your lives, and how you cope with all that is sometimes ‘thrown’ at you! You are kind with your comments about the surgery, and very understanding… I’m seeing my oncologist tomorrow, and than I have Christmas to look forward to before any more hospital appointments πŸ™‚ So glad that Annie is enjoying her hair being curly. It took me a while to get used that – I have to say I wasn’t too keen initially, but as it got longer it was Fab, and I feel incredibly lucky that it still has a wave inspite of having had at least two inches cut off!! Thank you for your continued support of this blog Jilly – I will hopefully have a new one for you at the end of the week. Glad you enjoyed the Elemis TSV – I too have treated myself πŸ™‚ Enjoy the rest of the week, and stay well, love Ali xx

  43. Una November 25, 2013 at 9:23 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Hope you’re well.
    Just a very short one this morning, as I’ve posted 3 times recently, my usual epic novels, and they’ve gone astray!!!
    Trying again to see if it works, then will set about typing agsin lol!
    Love to Ali and the wonderful army.
    Una xxxxxxx

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