Fitness, family, fashion and fingers crossed!

So, as we gallop towards the end of ‘Flaming’ June, I’ll admit to feeling just a little disappointed with the weather. Granted, we’ve had a fair few warmer days, just not a huge amount of sunshine!

I’ve managed pretty well with my Ultrasun Tan Activator when the sun has made an appearance though, and with a combination of Gatineau’s Tan Accelerator and Golden Glow Faux Tan, I’ve been told I look as though I’ve been away somewhere hot, so all is well in my world.  Let’s hope July will be better.

How are you? I know from reading your comments on the previous blog you’ve also had to cancel holiday plans or re-jig events to fit in with the ongoing Covid situation. But I also know some of you have finally been able to make things happen, move home and organise holidays, which is great to hear about.

It seems we could have made it to Gozo after all, as both Colin and I have had two jabs, but I’m not so sure it’s wise to travel at the moment with everything changing in Australia etc. Colin and I are hoping for a family get-together to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary last weekend, but we’ve held off until the weather turns.

We did however, stay away at a beautiful country house hotel in Surrey overnight, and enjoyed a fabulous evening meal in their wood-paneled dining room. It’s the same hotel Colin took me to all those years ago when we first started dating, and it was just as lovely.

I finally got the opportunity to wear this Phase Eight jumpsuit that I’d originally bought for my 60th birthday party last year, which up until now I hadn’t had the chance to wear! It was so nice just to escape the world for a while and spend some quiet time together, and the food was delicious!

 

Back at the Q

Talking of anniversaries, on Wednesday we have an OPI six-piece Anniversary Nail Envy Collection that includes their award-winning Strengthener, and it’s on Auto Delivery too!  I’ve had massive success with this and also Margaret Dabbs Nail and Cuticle Serum. Using them together, I’ve finally managed to cultivate finger nails of a fairly decent length. As you know, it was a real bugbear of mine, particularly when I was presenting Jewellery shows, but we are taking a small break from the Diamonique on a Tuesday evening, so that won’t be back with me now until the 20th of July.

Did you see last week’s show? It was the first of our special programs involving a customer, and I was delighted to have Vanessa Hart join me for the full hour. She was absolutely brilliant and she had such great stories to tell, as well as being excellent when showing the jewellery we’d sent her to try on. I do hope you might feel like joining me on one of these evenings. All you need to do is email us at Your-Stories@qvc.com and include your telephone and we’ll get in touch. It’d be great to meet you, albeit virtually.

The last time I wrote I was just days away from bringing you Davina McCall’s Indoor Workout, and we had a great midnight hour with her, exercising on all kinds of fitness equipment that falls within her range.

She is just as delightful off-camera as she is on, and I’m hoping we get the chance to work together again very soon. Staying with fitness though, if getting on the floor to exercise or sitting on a bike isn’t your thing, you may be interested to hear about the Gymform Slim Fold Home Treadmill, which is coming as a Today’s Special Value offer on Friday the 2nd July at 9pm.

We’ve had one set up in our presenter lounge this last week, and I’ve had a go on it and I was really impressed. You can walk, jog or run on it, and it tots up all the calories burned as well as offering you a variety of programs to work through. It’s on 3EZ and has a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you’ll be able to trial it yourself!

 

Home and Garden

I’ve not had much chance to walk locally, as the crops are almost up to my shoulders now and the path is really narrow. No good if you’re a hay fever sufferer, or if you don’t like the bugs which I don’t, but I’ve been kept busy in the garden, and I recently planted out this hedge of Photinia.

I gave them all Richard Jackson’s Root Boost as well as watering them in with his Flower Power, so watch this space! I also managed to capture this fabulous moonscape the other night when it was unusually clear – quite spectacular I thought.

I had a wonderful day with Honey at Legoland the other week. The sun shone and the rain held off and we had a lot of fun on all the rides and sideshows. She stayed overnight with us before Lucy collected her the next day, and we’re already planning the next sleepover. We’ve seen a fair bit more of Joe and Hayley, Rhys and dear little Corey. He’s really growing fast and has the most beautiful smile!

 

Book recommendations

Well, I finished listening to Jackie Kabler’s new novel, The Happy Family, and I was once again very impressed with her writing! So many twists and turns and it was full of suspense, all of which keeps the storyline moving – I think you’d love it! I’d talked to her about the characters and how she chooses their names, and she didn’t let on to me that the baddie is called Alison! But, no, I wasn’t remotely offended!

I’ve now started listening to Ruth Jones’s second novel, Us Three, which she narrates. I really enjoyed her first, The Grass Is Greener, and her characters are very well drawn. I’ll let you know how that turns out. Same story re my own book, which is being sent out to the publishers next week. My literary agent has drawn up the submissions letter, so we’ll have to wait and see if they like it – fingers crossed!

That’s pretty much all my news for now. I’ll be away from work for the next couple of weeks or more, using up my annual leave. I’ll keep in touch here on the blog and also on my social media – Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – but do email me as it would be lovely to consider you as part of the Diamonique family. Let me know how you are, what you’re buying, reading and enjoying and I’ll write back.

Take care,

With my love,

Ali xx

24 Responses

  1. Hi lovely Ali so glad you had a great time for your anniversary. Cant believe its six years. How cute is baby Corey – so cute and adorable! Have just started my first Jackie Kabler novel – The Perfect Couple and am really enjoying it so far. I really like her style of writing. After that will be Ruth Jones – Us Three – like you i really enjoyed her previous novel. Is so good to get recommendations from you. I will keep my fingers crossed for your re your book. Enjoy using up your annual leave xx

    1. Hi Karen, good to hear from you and I’m glad you enjoyed the blog and the photographs! I know, it is hard to believe it’s six years since we were married and have gone so quickly. I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy Jackie’s novel, I thought it was really clever and very well written. I have to be honest and say I did not enjoy Ruth Jones‘s second novel as much as her first. I hope you have more luck with it. Take care and keep in touch, love Ali XX

  2. Good morning Ali, I think you may be away now but as I’ve read your blog I thought I’d reply while I had the chance..its quite early but the parakeets that sit on the electric pylons outside have been partying since 4am and I’ve been awake..and the sun is out!
    I loved your blog; your anniversary break looked lovely as did you in your phase 8 jump suit. I’m glad you got to wear it eventually. John and I celebrate out 25th Wedding anniversary at the end of August but we are keeping it very low key..its been a tough 18 months financially so it’ll be a few drinks down the pub I expect..I’ve told the family that they are not to buy us anything silver..its just not my thing in photo frames, tea pots etc..they will end up in the charity shop! We won’t be going away as johns attentions are now getting the pub fully open as soon as he is allowed after restrictions are lifted and he can start earning some money.
    Your newly planted hedge looks great but I was rather impressed with the fence..I love a good fence..my garden seems to have transformed since I’ve had new patio laid and altered it..I’ve been planting to my hearts content and the plants from Q this year have been fabulous although my garden is a slugs dream and my dahlias and lupins have lace like leaves even though I’m using RJ slug pellets…I think they are immune. My giant lillies however are looking immensely tall..I moved them this year as they are in pots to be a little more protected from the wind and there are many many bids on them..I will send you some before and after photos.
    Jack and Anna are moving to a rented house soon, Anna is now 23 weeks pregnant and she is looking beautiful. I’ve continued with my crocheting and am on blanket number 3….and I’ve made a few little baby beanie hats too. My friend at work is due 3 weeks before Anna and I’ve just finished a blanket and matching hat for her little one..she requested autumn colours..its come up really well and I am giving it to her today.
    Chloe and I had a room shift about last weekend and Jack’s room is now my office come dressing room and she has Jack’s virtues double bed in her room..I bought it for him at just before Christmas and he moved out two months later to be with Anna during lockdown and we’ll the rest is history..it means all the pub stuff is out of the cupboard in the side board downstairs and into canmake that space a toy cupboard..I will pur two baskets on it to keep the baby toys in one place!

    Well I had better get up and ready for work..have a fabulous break. Much love Mary

    1. Hi there Mary, thanks forgetting in touch and for bringing me up-to-date with all your news. Your garden sounds fabulous – I’m sure your mum will be really chuffed with all that you’ve done and I’m pleased that your Richard Jackson plants are doing so well too. The fence behind my photo is belongs to our neighbour – he has run it all the way around the field behind us and it looks much neater now. I am away at the moment, writing to you as I lay in the Sun. I’m so glad that the UK is going to get some sunshine later in the week and over the weekend – heaven knows it’s not before time! Talking of which not much time left, before you become a grandmother! I’m so pleased things have worked out so well for your Jack and his girly and i’m sure they will appreciate your handcrafted baby clothes 😊 I do hope everything works out for John and his microbrewery and that even though it might be in a small way you still celebrate 25 years together. Do send me all photographs of the lilies. I think ours may well have bloomed while we’ve been away. Take care Mary, thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali XX

  3. Hi Ali, lovely photos as normal – particularly little Rory and the picture of the moon!
    Good luck with your book.
    I’ve just finished watching another good series called Before We Die with Lesley Sharp.
    My nails are showing some improvement after using Nail Envy for sensitive/peeling nails but I’ve yet to try the M Dabbs cuticle pen as I’m currently using one from L’occitane but that’ll be next on my list.
    It’s good that you have some time off (although i”ll miss your presenting) as I think we’re due some better weather🙂.
    I hope to possibly go away in the next few weeks to the Isle of Wight (fingers crossed) as my fibromyalgia has been pretty bad and I recently hurt my shoulder which has been very painful. I know that Charlie loves the IOW and I totally agree!
    Anyway – I hope you have a lovely time.
    Take care. Love Tina xx

    1. Dear Tina, I am sorry that your fibromyalgia has been problematic for you, and I hope it will not stop you from visiting the Isle of Wight. Looking at the forecast in the UK it appears the summer is finally on its way! I do hope so. That is great news about your nails – do try to Margaret Dabbs treatment though won’t you. My nails are great now – I do think sunshine and salt water help as well. Take care, and keep in touch, love Ali XX

  4. Hi Alison you look fab in those Trousers and blouse really suits you . You always look lovely in what ever you wear. Have a good break take care sending love xx

    1. Hi Kay, and thank you for the compliment! It is actually an all in one jumpsuit that I bought originally for my 60th birthday party which of course didn’t happen! Mind you it was the perfect way to celebrate wearing it for the first time. We had a lovely evening. We are currently having a lovely holiday too – feeling very spoilt with the endless sunshine. Love Ali xx

  5. Hi Ali, lovely to read your blog as usual, what a gorgeous colour your petunias are, they brighten up the dismal days! Those six years have passed so quickly, glad you were able to celebrate it. Corey is adorable what a beautiful smile. Glad you were able to spend time quality time with Honey. Have a lovely break. Merchexx

    1. Dear Merche, I too have been thrilled with the petunias. Not sure if I mentioned but they were a birthday present from my sister Jenny although I feel that when we get home for holiday they probably would’ve passed the best! I ordered some of the DE Jaeger petunias that were multicoloured and striped, and I think they should have begun blooming by the time we are home. Thank you for writing to me, love Ali XX

  6. Enjoy your time off Alison. I’m pleased you enjoyed Legoland and Honeys sleep over. I live on the Costa Blanca and it’s starting to get a tad warm. We’re in the high twenties early thirties at the moment. My friend and I had four days in Benidorm last month and enjoyed it so much we are going back in October. We booked a small family run hotel, very close to the old town. Lots of shops, cafes etc are still closed. They depend quite heavily on British tourists. I’ll miss your presenting on QVC, but enjoy your well deserved break. Take care.xxx

    1. Hi there Elizabeth, it certainly is a tad warm here in Europe! The temperature hasn’t dropped below 30 the entire time we’ve been in Gozo. It is glorious! We visited Benidorm some years ago with the entire family and had an absolute blast! The beach is beautiful there, and the nightlife exceptional especially the bands that play free of charge! Hopefully Europe will open up again safely for all of us once the restrictions have lifted as long as people are sensible. Take care, love Ali XX

  7. Dear Ali
    It was a delight to take part in the Diamonique show with you.I thoroughly enjoyed the experience like I said on the show I think we all have to grab opportunities and embrace them .We all experience lows in life and I think very often that can affect our confidence but sometimes we just have to seize the moment and believe in ourselves.I urge anyone who is thinking of applying to just do it When the hour finished I wanted to do it all over again.The team at QVC will guide you through and its just like FaceTiming a friend .Im glad you had a wonderful wedding anniversary the jumpsuit looks gorgeous.
    Im now in the month of my wedding and myself and Graeme are like two children waiting for Christmas its a great feeling.
    Lots of love Take care

    1. Dear Vanessa, it was my absolute pleasure to share the hour with you, and thank you for The time and effort you put into the jewellery and your stories. I’m so excited for you and Graeme and it looks as though the weather is going to be glorious at the end of the month. Don’t forget to send photographs to me! Wishing you both every happiness that life can bring and the best of health too. With love, Ali xx

  8. Hi Ali
    I hope you are enjoying your annual leave. Congratulations to you and Colin on your 6th anniversary – the country house sounds idyllic and the perfect place to wear your Phase Eight jumpsuit, which looked fab.
    You managed to capture a great picture of the moonscape – I find there is something quite magical about looking up at the moon 🌙
    What a lovely picture of little Corey – he looks adorable and a delight to spend time with.
    All the best with your new book – I’m sure it will be well received and is certainly an achievement to feel proud of 🙂
    Take care
    Love Jules x

    1. Hi Jules, Thank you for writing to me and for your lovely compliments. Sometimes I wish I had a proper camera to take those photographs with although I have been very impressed with what ever is built into my iPhone! I was lucky with the picture of Corey as well. As soon as they are more aware they find life so much more interesting. 😊 thank you for your good wishes about the book – I’m not at all sure what will happen but it has been a wonderful experience writing it. I hope all is well with you, love Ali XX

  9. Hello Ali Happy Anniversary it’s gone so quickly. You look beautiful in your jumpsuit as you are tall and slim. Enjoy your time off and hope you do some lovely things as well as relaxing. Love to hear your stories.
    Lots of love Karen xx

    1. Hi Karen and thank you for the compliment! I think it’s trick photography! Although I was wearing fairly high heels😊 we are having a great holiday in Gozo, the weather is beautiful and the island stunning. We have been here twice before and will definitely return. I do hope all is well with you, love Ali XX

  10. Hello Ali
    It’s been quite a long time since I last chatted to you. Firstly happy wedding anniversary. You look amazing in your outfit is it a QVC one or one bought elsewhere? John and I celebrated 52 years on the 14th. Seems like yesterday. I have read all the last couple of blogs and as usual enjoy reading what you have been up to. I still feel quite poorly and taking a lot of medication, hence I have to cram a lot into what time I can stay awake and not feeling too groggy. I have enjoyed the warm days and loved being in the sunshine, although I shout out toJohn what to leave and what to clear. If I don’t do this the garden would look very different😂I am now trying so hard to get out every day even if it’s only twenty minutes. Easier said than done but I have been told my recovery will take a long time and all concerned are pleased with my efforts. I hope you and your family are well and safe. My daughter is struggling with long covid and is exhausted by the end of each day. Well Ali I’m glad I’ve finally made contact with you. Keep well and safe. Lots of love and hugs. Judith xx

    1. Hello there Judith, and many belated happy anniversary wishes to you and John. 52 years! What an achievement. I hope that in spite of your health issues you were able to enjoy the day, and that you’ve had more sunshine – that always helps. I think it’s important to get outside even if only for 20 minutes a day so well done you for your perseverance. I’m sorry to know that your daughter is still struggling as well – this long Covid is wretched. I know several people who have also been trying to get over it but it just won’t shift. Here’s hoping that the year ahead will bring you both better health and more sunny days to look forward to. Thank you for getting in touch, love Ali XX

  11. Hello Ali, Belated happy anniversary wishes, you look stunning in your jumpsuit, what an attractive girl you are. I hope you’re enjoying your holiday at home & I can’t imagine you’re letting this dismal weather stop you having fun. We’ve just returned from a few days in Lancashire, we stayed in Chatburn, a pretty village near to Clitheroe & our guesthouse had the most glorious views of Pendle Hill. On the way we called in to Accrington, a place close to our hearts, went to see a display of Tiffany glass at the Haworth Gallery & then had a meal at our favourite Italian restaurant, somewhere we hadn’t been since football matches came to an end. That’s probably our only trip away until ‘normal’ holidays to Europe resume but then it’ll “Ciao Bella” all the way. How lovely for Honey to have sleepovers with you, staying at my grandparents was one of the highlights of my childhood & have asked Ellie if Juliette could start doing that later this year, it would give her a treat & them a night with just the baby. Your photinia hedge will be wonderful, a good ‘do-er’ in every respect & I love your star jasmine, we’ve got one in a big blue pot by the front door & her fragrance is gorgeous. Blue skies, sunshine & freedom! Love from Jo x

    1. Hi there Jo, thank you for the compliment! I love hearing about your travels – I remember the Clitheroe Kid on Radio 4 years ago. My mum used to listen to it at lunchtimes – you can’t beat a Lancashire accent in my opinion! I love the sound of Accrington, and I’m hoping to persuade Colin in the future to visit Lancashire and Yorkshire. Mum’s Joe hales from Halifax and I would very much like to go and visit his hometown. The Akroyd’s were famous for providing housing for their workers and there is a whole little village somewhere that has family links. I’m sure Juliette would love to come and stay overnight with you and Colin. I agree with you it is a real treat to have them, and although I didn’t ever stay over with my grandparents until I was in my late teens, I still remember it as clear as day. I am sure that Ellie would appreciate it too 😊 thank you for your words of encouragement about my foot in your hedge – I will keep you posted! I didn’t realise that the Jasmine was a star jasmine so thank you for naming it for me. By the time I return the restrictions have been lifted so I wish you happy travels wherever you are headed. Take care and thank you as always for writing to me, love Ali xx

  12. Hi Ali,
    I, like you had the nail problem and used Margaret Dabbs cuticle & nail cream with great success.
    Do try to get to Lancashire. My husband was from there and we spent many an enjoyable time in the hillside around Pendleton, very famous for witches ! My children loved all the rocky streams searching for bullheads (small fish)
    My 10yr old grandson had his birthday on your anniversary (Bastille Day). He was diagnosed with Lukemia just before he was 3 but with fantastic staff at Addenbrooks hospital he is here to tell the tale. Best wishes to you and
    yours.
    Edwina. xx

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